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. Tim Curry is stil amazingly brilliant, looking forward to this

    • I have enjoyed every single episode until the finale of season 5 and premier tonight. I think that Morgan is beautiful to look at, but i think his acing feels forced. I will not stop watching, but I am disappointed with the last two episodes.

      • I agree, I love Criminal Minds, but now that the Powers that be decided to fire A.J. and cut Prentice….I think that this will be my last episode to watch…Both of these actresses help make the team! I like Law and Order: SVU, but since Criminal Minds was on at the same time, I chose Criminal Minds, but next week I will choose Law And Order……

        • I have to totally agree with you…I always chose CM over SVU but after CBS’s decision to cut AJ Cook and reduce Paget Brewster I have to say goodbye.

          AJ Cook was absolutely fabulous in tonight’s episode and I hope CBS gets heartburn because of it because her scene tonight just cemented for me the reason of why JJ is so important to the show and team. Everything abou that scene just shows that JJ is the heart and soul of the team and for me AJ stole the show and made it great.

          • I agree totally with the other comments about firing A J COOK her performance in last night season 6 opener was EXCELLENT why do they always want to change what truly works so perfectly. Criminal Minds is an excellent but dark series and this team of actors are perfect together I really hope that the powers to be try and listen to the fans that have faithfully watched this series from the beginning and also fans that have been added along the way I have bought all 5 seasons on dvd. I am sure this will change now Please rehire A J and let this group of actors do their magic every Wed. night

            • I totally agree! Firing AJ is a big mistake

      • The departure of JJ and the reduction of scree time for Prentiss leave on Penelope as a female member of the team. So, to put it mildly, it is all about the BOYS of the BAU.

    • Hi
      Can anyone tell me when series 6 starts and what channel it is on in the UK

  2. I tried not to include spoilers in this but if you haven’t watched the episode yet, don’t read it. :)

    ‘The Longest Night’ was an excellent premiere/conclusion to the ‘Prince of Darkness’ story. Curry was brilliant (creepy & tragic at the same time), Shemar Moore was top notch, but AJ Cook blew the episode out of the water. If nothing else, this was a tremendous slap in the face to CBS for deciding to fire her from the series. One of her best performances.

    • Most definately one of her best performances! If only the writers had given her this type of material to work with one regular basis perhaps CBS would have thought twice about firing her! I hope the slap CBS gets for this hurts for a long long time cuz I certainly think it will!

      • Assuming they even watch their shows.

        • I found the season 5 finale of Criminal Minds and the season 6 opener to be excellent. I had no trouble with the dream sequences or any other elements, which were well done and informed the viewer of the Tim Curry character without tedious dialogue.

          I have faith that the writers of this series know what they are doing. Perhaps with a smaller ensemble, those remaining will be given fuller range. We saw what Thomas Gibson can do when given more time on-screen – stellar work.

          JJ and Prentiss were wonderful and will be missed.

    • do you remember A.J.’s final words as she walked into the elevator?

  3. Why the hell are they taking JJ off the show??? Seriously???

    • I think all of the networks made a bet to see which one could do the dumbest thing. :|

        • The petition went out earlier this summer when the news was announced. It did not work. AJ announced she has moved on (after thanking her fans via Twitter) and Paget said she will only be on the series for a portion of the episodes. It’s unfortunate and complete.

          No word on any replacements, as this was done under the guise of cutting costs.

    • I agree with you…..

  4. Season 5 finale did not have as much suspense as past, but, overall I think the opener for Season 6 wrapped it up nicely. As for JJ leaving, COME ON!! I wasn’t able to see the entire clip, so, is she leaving or “dying” off?

    • According to the preview for next week’s episode, she is leaving.

      • I have watched this show from the beginning. I love the cast just the way it is. JJ’s character is soft but yet tough in how she goes in front of those cameras cool and calm giving all the details of to the press. Maybe rather then shake up the cast it would be better to shake up the writers.
        The stories lines have almost been predictable.
        I want to see JJ back with the TEAM.

        • I agree, the writers need to be replaced….

  5. Thanks Jason! I couldn’t bear to hear her having to be killed off. That would be an insult to such a great actress.

    • No problem, Vanessa. I think the network felt the same way. Personally, I’d have preferred to see them axe the Criminal Minds spin-off and keep the original going strong; but that’s just my opinion.

      • I agree that a spin-off seems less valuable to an invester than a project that is working and has a growing audience. Perhaps this year will reveal to the CBS minds behind CM that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

  6. I like the show but I am getting a little tired of the pissed off Morgan charater. He takes the whole thing too personal and seriously dont think that the ” I’m mad at the whole world thing” is fun to watch.. Yes the job takes its toll but he is extreme and the other end some of the charaters dont even flinch anymore at how depravied the killers are.

  7. I am a huge fan of Criminal Minds AND of Tim Curry. I was really looking forward to the season finale and tonight’s premiere– but I was disappointed… The last 2 episodes left me feeling underwhelmed! What’s going on with the writing? These were not of the same caliber that the rest of the shows have been…..
    Come on back, Criminal Minds!!

  8. Anyone else feel the same way??

    • I loved the use of Leonard Cohen’s music behind Tim Curry’s character. I loved Tim Curry’s derangement and the young girl who, belatedly but effectively got it together and survived. Only Tim could look at that girl, after she freed one of the hostages who went to get help, and only express disappointment that she would do that. This was masterfully written and only someone of Curry’s skill could play it so well.

      I love that guy!

  9. Actually part of the problem is a lot of the writers WERE replaced .
    It happened during the Writers Strike.
    If I remember correctly five of their best writers were fired.
    I really hated the season finale .
    I hope they are using their A game tonight ,SVU has a 2 hour premiere at the same time as the CM premiere.

  10. I think it is a stupid decision to take the girls out of the show, i have been watching from the very DVD, when i heard that on the show tonight i was so mad, but with them doing that, i have a feeling this will be the final season, cause no one will watch anymore…

  11. I am a member of Criminal Minds Fanatic its a fan group that actually has regular contact with the producers and cast.
    They were happy with the episode.
    They liked the performances of Tim Curry and the little girl
    And they loved AJ Cooks perfomance too .
    I think JJs role in the episode was to set up her departure .
    My theory is that someone high up in the government will offer her a job because of her performance during this crisis .
    The Fifth Season Premiere was a lot better.

  12. WHOEVER thought of removing JJ and cutting Paget Brewster is nuts. This was such a good show, it was actually my favorite. I know the decision was made but, it can be reversed. If whoever deceided to do this doesn’t change this decision, I am another viewer that will watch another show!!!! I was only thinking how perfectly these 2 women fit in this show. I think the cast is perfect the way it is. WHO make’s these stupid decision’s?????????? I will miss this show but, I will not watch it with these change’s. I will watch the next show if these said change’s are made, it will be the last one I watch. It is sick to have a show as good as this lose viewer’s because of casting change’s.

  13. Hi I love Criminal Minds and was wondering what the song is that they played, and how to get it.
    I believe it started with “Dance me to your Beauty”

      • Would seem they’re having issues at the moment, though, so no go there for that song… sorry.

      • Same here w/BoH. Thanks for that link, Greg. It’ll come in handy for me.

      • The songs that were in last night’s ep were:

        “Night Comes On” Leonard Cohen

        “Dance Me to the End of Love” (live) Leonard Cohen

        “Sisters of Mercy” Leonard Cohen

        “Who By Fire” Leonard Cohen

        got this from the Criminal Minds Fanatic blog

        • Strangely, I knew them all from my mis-spent youth! Cohen is not a fun person, but he writes the most complex and dark music. It was just my cup of tea when I was a “deep, complex teenager, dressed in black, smoking cigarettes and striking bored poses during the 1960′s”


          • How can anyone ‘dismiss’ Leonard Cohen as a “phase?” I complained on their message board that the music was boring and stifling and finally they have reached into classy and appropriate use of great tunes, old and new. Still, Hotch’s character is way too dry and detached for the depth of subject that Criminal Minds is attempting. Montengna is great in some of the Indie films that he has under his belt, but so underutilized in this series. Replacing a ‘tour de force’ like Patinkin was at first a great mistake on the part of the producers, and though I do love the spark that Moore brings he is not presenting as a lead.
            Again, dissing Cohen is musical ignorance.

  14. Very disappointing to see the direction the show is taking. A real waste of Matthew Gray Gubler’s incredible acting talent in the season 5 finale and season 6 opener. Sort of a regression for the Reid character to just babbling statistics and being in the background. For me, his contribution to the episodes constitutes the humanity of this series and he is more than qualified to handle that responsibility. I’m still watching–for now–to see if there is a return to the solid characters and plotting that made this show my favorite. I’m totally bummed about A.J. Cook’s exit too. Why tamper with success?

  15. I really want to tell you what I think about your review but I want to remain civil. You are the worst kind of fan out there, your the fan who see’s one or two episodes that you don’t like and then go on to say how bad the show is. Stop watching the show only to complain, so the rest of us can enjoy a great show in peace.

  16. A.J’s acting was exceptional in this episode. I really hope CBS figures out their attempt to get more ratings by cutting JJ really cost them fans. I have watched the show from the beginning A.J Cook being the reason for it. After tonights episode the show is over in my eyes. I would rather stop watching with the BAU family intact than to watch it with a member down and my heart not really in it. Plus at the end of the season Prentiss is gone too. CBS really sunk the Titanic with this one.

  17. After watching tonight’s episode of Criminal Minds, CBS has just lost me as a viewer. AJ Cook is one of the highlights of the show & to fire her just makes my blood boil. She is the glue that holds this how together. I’m saddened that I have to give up my favorite show but CBS has left me no choice.

    • I feel the same way. Seems like the viewer’s interests are of no concern to the CBS. JJ’s character brought a cool yet feminine feel to the show that can’t be replaced. I always looked forward to shows in which she was featured. Although I want her back I hope she get s a great show that blasts these idiots out of the water and makes them realize the huge mistake they’ve made. Maybe they need to get out in the real world and see what the average person wants to see. This is a great show but it has taken a hit.

  18. Im really disappointed with CBS decision to FIRE JJ. I didnt like the end of season 5 either. Im not really sure if I will continue to watch criminal minds anymore, but I wont run to the TV anymore. I guess Ill have to see whats on ABC or NBC now. Congrats to CBS for screwing up a great show. Bring back JJ.

  19. i am sorely disappointed with CBS. There decisions cost yet another viewer. I have been a faithful fan from the beginning. If anyone should have been let go is that female head (whoever) I can’t remember her name because she has no value except to be the protagonist besides the unsub. She serves No, I repeat no value. I am afraid this is the LAST season.

  20. I’m very sad to see J.J go. I think they mad a great team. this will seriously affect the show. I’m now in doubt in the direction the show is going if I will continue to watch it. I do hope what I just read isn’t also true. I do hope that they’re not planning to let go of Agent Emily as well. I will then definetly no longer watch. I fo hope something improves quickly before the show gets cut. I love this show PLEASE improve it!

  21. “Crimminal Minds” & CBS are idiots. I guess this is CMs last year.

    • Just to clarify, it was CBS entirely who cut JJ. She didn’t want to go and the people on the show didn’t either :/ Same with Prentiss.

    • I agree with the above/below–why did you fire A.J. Cook? She’s not there and she is missed.

  22. As much as I love this show, it has officially “Jumped The Shark”. In a complete Hollywood twist, it has jumped the shark in a a whole new way. Most of the time, the shark gets jumped by adding useless characters (see Scrappy Doo, all of the new people in the last seasons of Happy Days, Facts of Life, Different Strokes, Alias, etc, etc, etc.). In this case, the “Experts”, errr executives are taking characters away because THEY think they are not important. Hey executives at CBS and ABC Studios, Check out the guy who just got fired, errrr, is pursuing other opportunites at NBC, Jeff Zucker. This was the wonderchild when the ratings were great at NBC, but when he started screwing with the programing, moving shows timeslots, canceling shows that were doing well until he moved them. Now he is unemployed. This is what is going to happen to CBS if you don’t be careful. Because of these changes, I unfortunatlly think this is the last season for Criminal Minds. Oh Yeah, thanks for yanking Numbers and Cold Case, I didn’t realize you had so much rivoting tv to put on, on Friday nights.

  23. I have been a faithful fan of Criminal Minds and was quite upset with the dismissal of JJ. As usual the powers that be never listen to the viewers. They do not really care what we think. Well I think that actions speak louder than words. How about not watching this show until they re hire JJ. She made the opening of season six and even made the current episode interesting. Too bad that this was the last night I will watch this show. Its time that CBS and ABC listen to us the viewers. Ratings are what make or break a show. SO to the powers that be–that makes US the VIEWERS the ones with the power.

    • I absolutely agree with you!

  24. as a long time viewer of cm…i was very disappointed when mandy patinkin decided to leave…still, i watched…and have, for the most part enjoyed the series…i thot the season five finale was excellent, and left me excited to see the season six opener…well, that episode turned out to be a real stinker! different writers? director? what? it was a massive disappointment…i will keep watching…for now…

  25. The all BOYS BAU team leaves a lot to be desired. I sense the departure of more. Joe M. has done an excellent job and I do like him. However, Mandy Patinkin was fabulous. Perhaps he needs to come out of retirement and rejoin the team. Both these men are tortured by their pasts and bring the element to the job. I love Shemar and am glad to see that he has grown in his role. Now it is time for Garcia to grow!

  26. I am highly upset with JJ’s leave. What is wrong with the directors? She has brought a lot to the team. My mind set towards Criminal Minds has changed completely, not to mention I will not be seeing what is left of it. But I know one thing, JJ will have a beautiful and blossom career ahead of her. She is a terrific actress. I am so disappointed, sad, and angry.

  27. I have never followed any TV show regularly. I find most TV to be so unbelievably bad as to render it simply unwatchable – That is until I discovered CM four or five years ago. Like anything else in life, some shows are great, some not so much. But overall I find that it’s the principle characters that really are the draw. Each character on the team is unique and fascinating. I guess my dream scenario would be to have the JJ character return after being mysteriously plucked by “the powers that be” by adding her character to the new team gearing up for the midseason spin-off series. Hmmm