‘Criminal Minds’ Season 8 Premiere – Does The BAU Need Prentiss?

Published 3 years ago by

criminal minds season 8 jeane tripplehorn Criminal Minds Season 8 Premiere   Does The BAU Need Prentiss?

As the Criminal Minds season 8 premiere begins, the Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) once again finds itself replacing Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster), now that she’s taken the position to run Interpol’s London office. Stepping in to fill her shoes is FBI linguistics expert Alex Blake (Jeanne Tripplehorn), who has a history with Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) and, as we find out later, Director Strauss (Jayne Atkinson). Is Blake a good replacement for Prentiss, or will there always be a hole left by their former team member?

Strauss’ first case finds her and the rest of the BAU heading out to Texas to capture an escaped prisoner known for leaving his victims with their mouths sewn shut, which lines up with a former unsub known as “The Silencer.” In the end, the unsub turned out to be a mentally disturbed deaf man, seeking peace and silence, but Blake was still able to flex her linguistic muscles in an attempt to save the day, albeit extremely conveniently.

As a character, Alex Blake feels extremely similar to that of David Rossi (Joe Mantegna), as they’re both known experts in their profession and can each command a scene effortlessly, which proves to be a positive and a negative in the premiere. When Blake is taking charge, it feels appropriate, and she handles herself completely. However, when Blake is interacting with fellow team members – even if she is still “new” to them – it feels too much like she’s acting as a superior to them, rather than as a relative equal.

In replacing Prentiss, Blake’s strong presence will help to also replicate that element of their former team member – however, she was much more than that. Even though Prentiss’ position overall was technically higher than that of her co-workers, she was still presented as a friendly equal to them – which helped drive much character development and viewer attachment.

criminal minds season 8 alex blake Criminal Minds Season 8 Premiere   Does The BAU Need Prentiss?

Now that Blake is the new team member, her (now) appearance of being emotionally withdrawn may leave some feeling like there’s an element, not actress, missing from Criminal Minds season 8. Additionally, Blake’s authoritative presence might feel overwhelming when combined with that of Rossi and Hotchner (Thomas Gibson), making the friendly, comedic moments in the series even fewer, thus moving the series away from its previous perfected blend of suspense and levity.

Blake currently has a history with Reid and Strauss, so we’ll have to see how that plays out, over the coming weeks. Tripplehorn certainly has the talent to pull it off, she just needs the writing to allow her to do it. Hopefully Garcia’s (Kirsten Vangsness) friendly gesture at the end is the beginning of things to come.

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Criminal Minds airs Wednesday @9pm on CBS

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  1. I want to know who was that at the end with the photos.

  2. Not just because prentiss was awsome but she was nice to look at seriously this new one is old and looks like a plastic surgeon ruined her face

  3. I am sorry CBS, nice try. Tripplehorn will ruin your ratings. I love the show, I love the cast, I can’t stand Tripplehorn. I get Brewter left, that’s fine, get a better replacement. Also, what is with the writing? We all know even in a Team of experts you can have 3 of 6 the “boss”Its ok for each to have their specialization but the new girl acting like the boss won’t work. Hotch and Rossi are the mentors, we don’t need a newbie to walk in and take charge when the bosses, the mentors never left. If anything Morhan was once noted as Leadership for a different field office, not this plastic surgery, too old looking newbie. Take her off. She won’t work. The newbie needs inteligence with personality, you want older than JJ ok bring Brooke Shields on, Kim Raver, Lori Loughlin, someone who can reach us as viewers. I don’t care for Tripplehorn’s perfomance or how she fits this group, point blank she doens’t.

    • I couldn’t agree more!

    • I completely agree as well!!

  4. It’s not my cup of tea anymore. My reason has more to do with CBS’s CSR policy and negotiations strategy. And of course too much cast ‘let go’ for my taste. Sure Paget Brewster left the show on her terms and it was what she needed to do – to gain back control over her own life – and not agreeing to something (whole S6 deal – CBS/ABC tactic to not offering her any comedy pilots) out of loyality for the show and collegues. Just my thoughts. JT will probably fit in over the time. That’s the writers job to make sure. For me it’s a question, do I want supporting a network with such tactics?

  5. As a fan of the series, all the behind-the-scenes drama drew too much away from the basis of the show. I’ve not seen the premiere as of yet, but I barely followed the yo-yo that was last season. Are they fired, are they not fired? Are they dead, are they alive? Are they on the team/show, are they not on the team/show? Is there a spin-off, is there not a spin-off? Is she leaving again, is she staying? The revolving door’s gotten a little too big for what this show or its cast merits. Sad to say, the writers/strategy have taken original cast members for granted. I liked the direction it took once Morgan had earned his place at the top. Now it seems like everyone has had a turn at running the unit, except Reid. The cast could have stayed small and been just as strong as it was in the days after Mandy Patinkin’s departure. Or Lola Glaudini’s departer. Or…

  6. I will continue to be a fan for the reason I love the other actors and all but I’m not thrilled with the newbie. She was acting to much like she ran the show. Not cool. My husband dont watch the show like me and he watched it with me last night and thought she was a boss. I had to ezplain to him what happened. She shouldn’t come in and take control like that. But other than that. I love me some criminal minds and Shemar!!!!

  7. I miss prentiss just like I miss giedon and greenway but let me honestly here people the show suppose to be base in real life and we have all had coworkers who have left the job it just the fact of life.

    Was glad to see that they let the other character do stuff usually ried does everything while everyone just point their guns.

    look like their bring back the bad guy who took picture of his Victem that so cool

    • Yes that is who I thought of as well… There is an UNSUB throughout season 8 that is going to test the team by the sounds of it…. As long as it does not invole Hotch I am fine with that. I really do not think that Hotch could take another deranged serail killer coming after him again.

  8. I love CM always have always will….
    Emily has gone please get over it.
    The new team member is going to take some getting use to but lets all agree she is so much better than Ashley Seaver!! Sure she may look old but to be in that job you have to be older there was no way that a cadet could be in that job role. Alex is more belieable than seaver ever was. I think that like any new person in a series it just takes some time to get use to them. I was a big fan of Gideon and even though he left in season 2 I still miss him and wish that he would come back and all though I am not a fan of Rossi I have grown to like things about him as I am sure that I will with Alex Blake which is good because there was not a whole lot to like about Emily Prentiss.

  9. I get a kick out of these shallow comments about her being too old looking….That they need some eye candy to enjoy (Although I don’t think Prentess was that either). That’s why we have so many mindless drama series while the BBC has drama series that have actors who look like every day people and damn good writing and performing. Although this series isn’t chock full of people who look like they do modeling in between shows…there are far too many that do…..I don’t know if I’ll like this addition in the long run…but what the hell…….we’re making big judgements off the first show….Lets give it a few shows in at least

    • I can see where Blake’s character was a little stilted and bossy, and that’s the writers, not so much the actress. I agree, this show is not about eye candy. The job this team does requires a lot of skill and not every team member can be that young and attain those skills. I think Alex is believable as an older woman with a particular skill, linguistics, that can add a nice dimension to the other facets of analysis the team does.

      I have always liked Jeanne T in her other roles and I think once everyone relaxes, she will do OK here. I miss Prentiss a lot….I loved her character, but in real life jobs, people burn out and come and go. I will be watching CM all season to see how it plays out, and also because I LOVE most of their weirdo unsubs….:) Just DO NOT LOSE Garcia!!!!

  10. Honestly, Tripplehorn does not fit. I love this show and understand that Brewter left, but seriously replace her with a better actor. This one does not fit the team. Bad job in casting her!

  11. The premiere did feel a little stiff and stilted, but I really like this show and am willing to give it time to find its stride with the Alex Blake character in place.

    I, for one, am happy that they brought a more mature actress into the role. It is much more appealing to me than when they tried to jam Rachel Nichols down our throats in Season 6.

    Blake is not Emily. She is not meant to be. I loved the team of Morgan, Prentiss, Reid, JJ, and Garcia with Hotch and Rossi in team leader roles. However, Paget Brewster wanted to try something new and I wish her the best. I hope she lands a great comedy role and has tons of fun with it.

    I’m a die hard Criminal Minds fan and am rooting for this new team dynamic to gel and bring us the kind of wonderful episodes we’re used to enjoying.

    Just my honest opinion…

  12. Love Criminal Minds, but this show was boring. There was no “Wow” factor. Not sure about Tripplehorn, she may grown on me, but I also didn’t like that she came in with a “boss” attitude. I’ll keep watching and hope for the best…

    • I liked Tripplehorn when she was in the movie “The Client”, however her performance in the premier was less than steller. What Criminal Minds doesn’t need is another somber face to look at. Hopefully the writers will come around and make her a more friendly addition to the team. She actually bored me.

  13. I have alway enjoyed the show, but I am debating if I will continue. She came across too authoritative. She also appears to have a problem with being part of a team. Her comment to Derrick was not of a team Player. The Team has always been presented as a warm respectful family, even if they disagreed. Now, it has a very Cold present.

  14. I don’t like the new girl, Alex Blake. They should get rid of her. I think, Paget Brewster should come back. The show’s better the way it was. The team worked well together. Personally and professionally. That’s why, the show was such a hit. It had the right people. I think, Derek and Emily are having a long distance relationship. I hope, so. They’re perfect for each other.

    • Yess , i always thought they were perfect for each other

  15. Yes, Brewster left. But look at why! CBS treated her horribly. The series which I have loved since the beginning was barely watchable for me the other nite. I will be able to get used to it but not with the passion that I had for it now that I kno what they out Paget Brewster through. That is no way to treat a beloved by the public cast member. Tripplehorn needs to leave the show cause even if she wasn’t replacing Emily, she’s not a good fit. It would be nice of CBS to play nice with Brewster and convince her to return. This may be old news but the network treated her shabbily! That’s my first choice. If not, replace Blake and write in a character with a likeable cohesion with the rest of the cast.

  16. Yes, Brewster left. But look at why! CBS treated her horribly. The series which I have loved since the beginning was barely watchable for me the other nite. I will be able to get used to it but not with the passion that I had for it now that I kno what they out Paget Brewster through. That is no way to treat a beloved by the public cast member. Tripplehorn needs to leave the show cause even if she wasn’t replacing Emily, she’s not a good fit. It would be nice of CBS to play
    nice with Brewster and convince her to return.
    This may be old news but the network treated
    her shabbily! That’s my first choice. If not, replace Blake and write in a character with a
    likeable cohesion with the rest of the cast. I want to love Criminal Minds again!!!

  17. . I don’t understand the whole concept of “We have to replace Prentiss in first episode!”. Other new cast members were brought on as a natural process and were not shoved on fast to replace someone. Well, Seaver was and that worked out really well. I loved Paget’s portrayal of Prentiss, but bringing her back full time again would be absurd at this point. I think it would’ve been nice to leave the team as is. Maybe give REID a good character development story. I love CM, but I think this season should’ve been the last if they just had not added the new person. Then, the writers could’ve given the team a great send off. Now, though, we have to focus alot of attention on a new person the audience doesn’t know and doesn’t want to know.

  18. Tripplehorn just doesn’t fit in with the rest of the cast. She came in as too aggressive and assertive. She doesn’t seem believable in this role on Criminal Minds. CBS Should pay the money and bring (Paget Brewster)Emily Prentiss character. I never like Tripplehorn as an actress in “The Firm” with Tom Cruise.

  19. I am a big fan of the show. I will still watch because of the other actors as well. I completely agree with everyone who has left comments that Tripplehorn does look out of place. The network should ave hired someone younger who is easy in the eyes and will compliment the rest of the good looking cast.

    • i think its stupid that brewster is not there anymore because she has been great at her job ( as acting and at being emily on the show)i will still watch the show only cause of the other actors in the begging of the first episode of season 8 i completely agreee with garcia(kirsten) that the newbie is not the same a s emily(brewater) and never will be. if you think that the show is the same without emily(brester) then your insane
      well thats my opinion anyways so like hate it i dont care thats what i think so deal with it. i still loveeeee the show and im terribly sorry if i make y’all mad but i think its not right again my way of thinking probably not y’alls but it smine

  20. I’ve been watching since the beginning. I would say that this episode was some of the laziest writing I have ever seen. It almost made me turn it off.

  21. alex blake is great.her back story explains her bossy behaviour.

  22. I absolutely love Criminal Minds. I loved it even more when the Greenaway and then the Gideon characters left. I thought Prentiss was a perfect mix of strength, ethics, humor, intelligence, empathy, etc. The new character is too tough, which should not be confused with strong. I hate the habit of making females become a “man wannabe” and they stop being ladies. I also believe the new character should just leave. The team would survive a “downsizing” just as people do in real life. The loss of the Prentiss character has broken the team, but the new character is not the fix. I also agree that there should be a tiny bit more personal sides to the characters.

  23. Plleeaaassseee bring Emily back!

  24. Why yal didn’t put my girls bck on da new season cuz dis a.j. Wanna be ain’t cut it for me!!!i want da old gang bck folk…why?…would yal do dat!it was fine without any new folks n ion like em…

  25. The writing is absolutely horrible. Both this season’s episodes so far have been full of cliched, nonsensical, poorly realized characters and terrible dialogue. Tripplehorn.s character is a terrible fit for the team, and not to beat a dead horse, but she’s downright hard to look at…she looks like a burn victim, for God’s sake.

    Get better writers and get a better actress (or just drop that spot altogether and focus on the characters we already have.)

  26. for all you cowards attacking her because of the way she looks that like attacking morgan for being black

  27. It may be a little early to tell, but Tripplehorn just doesn’t seem to fit. I for one, want Emily back but I wish her the best in her new endeavors. The show is missing Emily’s humor. Tripplehorn is way too serious. I didn’t like Seaver the firt time around but I’d rather see her back.

  28. Criminal Minds is my favorite show on TV. I have watched every single episode and many episodes several times. I actually do not recall how I started to watch, but I fell in love with it right away. Unlike all other police dramas the action moves along very quickly and if you pay close enough attention to it, all the characters,right from the very first episode, have their own special qualities. Yes I do miss characters when I have emerced myself into their characters. Of those that have left the show, I do miss Prentis the most. If you are a true fan of the show you must give the ” newie ” , as many of you refer to her, a chance. For god sakes there have only been 2 shows so far. That is like judging a professional sports team after playing only 2 games or anything else in life. Today everyone is so inpatient. Not every episode is going to have a 10 rating,just like not all characters are a 10, but as far as I am concerned most of them do or come very close. Each character is unique and the team is a family.As with anything else you watch for entertainment, you cannot expect to love every character all of the time and love every episode equally. I think true fans should wait until they have seen all of season 8 proir to making a final judgement.Why not vary the size of the team. That is how real police work takes place.I say even bring Seaver back and Prentis for some episodes. I’m sure the network could work something out and I’m sure the writers could handle it!!! Heck even get Giedion back, on some cases as a special consultant to the team,and El too!!! I love all of them and I really did not have a problem with the ” newie “.

  29. I don’t think the comments are shallow. Jean Tripplehorn is not a good fit. The character and her acting seems dead and contrived. Really awful. It has notribly wrong with the writing as well.Whatis going on ? How could such a good show turn to mush so fast?