Criminal Minds Season 6 Premiere Review & Discussion [Updated]

Published 5 years ago by , Updated September 23rd, 2010 at 8:10 am,

criminal minds season 6 review Criminal Minds Season 6 Premiere Review & Discussion [Updated]

Tonight, CBS’ hit drama Criminal Minds returns for its sixth season. Following the events of the season 5 finale, viewers were left wondering what fate would come to Detective Spicer’s kidnapped daughter. With Tim Curry reprising his role as the crazed serial killer, will the BAU be able to close in on him before he takes another victim?

While many enjoyed the Criminal Minds season 5 finale, I have to admit that I was completely underwhelmed. Not only was it a poor episode, but it was also one of the worst finales of last season. Fortunately, it’s going to take more than one bad episode to get me to stop watching after all these years.

With a new season comes another chance for Criminal Minds to make up for past mistakes. Unfortunately, before season 6 could even begin, the series suffered a major setback. For some reason, “the powers that be” decided JJ (A. J. Cook) was no longer an important character to the series and subsequently fired her – something that costar Kirsten Vangsness (Penelope Garcia) wasn’t happy with. Along with Cook’s departure, fellow BAU member Emily Prentiss’s (Paget Brewster) role has been significantly cut.


Criminal Minds has never been the type of show to display fantastical visuals to represent or help explain any character’s behavior. So I was more than confused when the episode started with a dream-like scene. Unfortunately, that surprise quickly turned into annoyance as they continuously cut to that same, poorly-realized scene throughout the episode.

criminal minds season 6 premiere prentiss Criminal Minds Season 6 Premiere Review & Discussion [Updated]

I’m still not quite sure what, if anything, that added to the story – other than to waste time. While understanding the UNSUB’s association to the music is a relevant plot point, they have handled situations such as this previously without including extraneous scenes that diverge from the expected behavior of this series. The notion of The Prince of Darkness associating his relationship with Elle as paternal was an interesting twist, but as a killer who’s quickly evolving, it seems absurd that he would give so much control to such a young child – especially this early in their “relationship.”

While my assessment of Tim Curry’s performance in the season 5 finale was a little harsh, it was more than deserved. Thankfully, he has redeemed himself in this episode. The scenes between him and Elle really helped viewers to fully realize his character. Obviously, this is something that should have happened in the season 5 finale, but as they say, better late than never.

While the majority of the episode has the team hot on the trail of the UNSUB, JJ was left manning endless phone calls which, in the end, served no other purpose than to artificially inflate JJ’s role in this episode and provide her character with more screen time before her unceremonious departure. A perfect example of this poor handling comes from the awkward scene in which she’s forced to talk to The Prince of Darkness. As a long-time member of the BAU, it’s should be almost impossible for viewers to believe that she has no hostage training. Throughout her tenure, JJ has been surrounded by skilled negotiators and had to, at some point, gain some type of knowledge.

criminal minds season 6 premiere jj Criminal Minds Season 6 Premiere Review & Discussion [Updated]

Honestly, this particular scene was embarrassing to watch and did nothing but solidify just how little they think of JJ as a character. Not only was it was a poor monologue with lazy writing and cheap direction, but what made it worse is that throughout her painful plea, we were shown scenes of others listening and being affected by this terrible speech – a cheap ploy that may work on some series, but doesn’t fit in Criminal Minds.

Continuing with something that doesn’t fit in Criminal Minds is the premiere’s horribly written ending. For something that has been touted as a gripping conclusion to last year’s shocking cliffhanger, they really dropped the ball.

I’m not sure what’s going on with this series, but something needs to change quick… and by things changing quickly, I don’t mean firing A.J. Cook.

Final Thoughts

The season 6 premiere of Criminal Minds is a terrible start to what used to be a terrific series. With such drastic cast changes on the horizon, viewers have to be concerned that an episode like this is no longer the exception, but a sign of things to come.


Criminal Minds airs Wednesday’s @9pm, on CBS

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  1. Having said that, I think if you squint really hard you can see the writing on the wall. Very few series which are so ensemble oriented ever survive for long if the ensemble is broken. I can think of some that did survive. Those were usually 30 min. comedies which shuffled up cast members every season or two (M*A*S*H, for example). But take Barney out of The Andy Griffith Show or John-Boy out of the Waltons and the result is a train wreak. I have to agree with other CM fans who view the loss of JJ and the reduction of Prentiss’ role as a sign that certainly the best of “Criminal Minds” is behind it, and probably the end of the series is in sight.

  2. You really aren’t that much of a fan of the show if you’re gonna stop watching it simply because your favorite character is leaving. Prentiss is my favorite and yet, after her departure, I’m still gonna watch this show until it very end because I am a true fan.

    • The cast makes CM.. If certain cast members are taken out from the show then people are going to feel different. That said, the show isn’t the same and therefore their ” Fans” are no longer going to watch it.

  3. Criminal Minds writers need HELP! Are they only capable of one or two good episodes per season? I.E. Elle’s near death encounter with her deceased father, Dr. Reed’s forced drug addition, Hotch’s loss of his wife and attack by “The Reaper”, JJ’s romance with the Texas deputy and subsequent motherhood. But what’s with Garcia? Her irradical hairstyles and color changing, extremely low-cut necklines and her nauseating dialog with Morgan leave me cold, not to mention her unrealistic “keyboard” ability. Common on, no one is that proficient, let’s be more realistic – other shows are more believable in this area.

    • I agree completely with you — Garcia makes me sick and tonight’s show validates just what I think of her character — she’s too emotional to discuss the case or see the crime scenes. Waaaaaaaaa. I hope the producers see just how useless she is and bring in another STRONG female character, not a cartoon.

      • Your a MEAN B****! Criminal Minds Rock!!!

  4. Tonight’s episode “promoting” Garcia to JJ’s old job makes this formerly outstanding series a joke. Garcia’s job could easily be done by voiceover and eliminate Garcia altogether and bring JJ back. Criminal Minds will no longer be on my “must watch” list.

  5. I was so disappointed with this season’s premiere. What happened to the serial killer at the end of last season? How did Morgan escape? What happened to the little girl who the unsub left with? I usually have to catch the rebroadcast but did I miss an episode? I need to catch up because I’m totally lost. Season 6 never even addressed the previous season. And JJ is no longer on the show!! Episode 1 should have been episode 3 NOT the season opener. I hope the writers will fill in the blanks as some point.

  6. JJ was my favorite! i am so mad!!!!!!!!! criminal minds isnt the same with out JJ on the show :(

  7. I cant believe they’re getting rid of JJ, the show will definitely not be the same! And maybe while they’re making all these changes they can change makin every unsub a gun totin white male!

  8. This is my favorite show. It has been a long time since I have even bothered with television, yes, television, I love to read. However, this particular show, with the cast has brought me back in. I do miss A.J. Cook, primarily, because she is a familiar character. Perhaps, the writer thought she was too familiar. However, I have to be honest and not too long winded and say that I want her back, she is a perfect fit in the cast. I have not been happy with replacements, or lack thereof.

  9. I agree that CBS has made a trrible mistake with the character cuts. But the thing that is really hurting my fandom of the show is the lack of mystery. In every episode I have watched so far the UNSUB’s have been revealled almost instantly. or even what their motives are. What happened to episodes where the “UNKNOWN SUBJECT” was really unknown until the end of the episode. Like Not knowing “George Foyet” was “The Reaper”, Or that “Norman Hill” had already killed his entire family snd was halucinating them in the episode “Normal”. The writers need to re-incorporate the mystery aspect.

  10. I love jj and prentiss..

  11. i no longer like JJ so much…and now Jennifer Love Hewitt, can’t believe… season 8: JJ and Alex, season 9: JJ alex… season 10: JJ and Love hewitt?Where is the team?