‘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Now that Blake is the new team member, her (now) appearance of being emotionally withdrawn may leave some feeling like there’s an element, not actress, missing from Criminal Minds season 8.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. Sorry, but I really loved PRENTESS. Criminal Minds is one of the best shows ever and when I saw that Prentiss was replaced by Tripplehorn it was a turn off. No offense to Tripplehorn but this is my “gut” reaction. It reminds me of CSI. I preferTed Danson & Elizabeth Shue, they seem to fit so well.

    • I know right I love Paget Brewster and watch criminal minds but since she has been replaced I have not watched it no affence to the other girl but she doesn’t belong there. Paget is the one that should be on Criminal Minds it’s not the same without her and criminal minds sucks now that she’s not there. Paget is the best actress ever. And no one has watched season 8 that I know because we love Paget. I think season 8 should be over with a season 9 should just start now and the other girl should be replaced with Paget. I have all the episodes of criminal minds but I only watch the ones that have the best cast on them Aj, Kristen, Shemarr, Mathew, PAGET, and the other two dueds Rossi, and Hotch I don’t know there names. But i really love Paget and she has to be on the criminal minds or me and everyone i know which is a ton of people and everyone else will never watch criminal minds again because Paget was not on the show. Love you Paget my favorite acress <3 mustach power :3D

  2. She just does not fit too mousy and no personality. The team has a certain chemistry and Blake character isn’t it. We don’t need another Rossi. They are each individually unique. She does not fit!

    • I completely agree with you on this she just has this personality that is NOT one that clicks with the rest of the team and I AM trying to give her a chance however I just don’t think she is fit for this team im sorry.

      • I agree, absolutely NO personality and boring. If we need a “new by” in place of Prentiss, then bring in a new hot guy that will hold attention and give him an exciting role. This lady just don’t cut it, sorry. What happened to the funny but very interesting Morgan and Penelope relationship. Was hoping some awesome would bring them together in a special event or story. Kinda leaves you bored now. I understand this is a very serious show dealing with intense subjects but comic relief gives it more of a sense of reality. I am very much a CM lover, I own all 7 seasons on DVD.
        Can’t wait every year for that years episodes to come out. Staring to struggle now with boredom.

  3. I think we just need to give her some time. Seaver didn’t fit in at all, but I think given the chance Blake will eventually work her way into the Criminal Minds family. I mean, look at Rossi. A lot of people said he never stood a chance, but now look at him. We accept him as part of the group. Blake may have the personality of a walnut, but I think she can grow. We CM lovers are like Garcia; we don’t like change. But hey; if she’s willing to try and be accommodating, then so can we.

    • Hey!
      I agree with you……..
      But I don’t like changes!
      I will give her a chance too, but Emily was so ….. special…
      Do you know what I mean?
      Lg. Michi

  4. I am dissapointed in the writers of this show. When the first few seasons came out it was realistic in the plot, however, this season it seems that the plots are so off the wall and implausable. It is getting hard to watch anymore because it is no longer reaistic to me.

  5. Maybe its you because their are baise on real case

  6. Really enjoy CM. However Tripplehom does not seem to fit in. No chemistry
    between her & all of the other characters, especially Morgan. Hope the
    show goes for more seasons, however I don’t see this happening with her
    on the program.

  7. It will she a lot better then emily

    • whatever emily is the best you and the crazy people no affence will be the only one watching cm until the get emily back.

  8. “Come near my team, and I will end you.” – Prentiss is just a bad ass and no one can play her like Paget Brewster.

  9. I love Emily/Paget and I think she should stay on criminal minds

  10. dispite not aired in uk yet was able to find somewhere online to watch, blake character does not fit in with the team, she reminds me of rossi when he joined team in s3. but wot confuses me more was why even bring prentiss back for season 7 after her new pilot didnt get picked up if she wasnt signed on for 2 seasons more min, we all wanted prentis back for s7 but not just for one season. although ppl disagree the young woman who joined the team woulda been better than brining in yet again someone new, at least with last young woman whos name i forgot woulda fit in abit more for s8 having spent part of last season in the show.

    i wont stop watching show simple coz prentiss left but i cant see blakes charactor ever fitting in properly

  11. Prentiss compleats the team , she makes them come alive ! She needs to come back !

  12. I want her to come back

  13. Criminal minds is the best show on tv and all the team members have something different that makes them special im sorry but we dont need to rossi’s we only need one and without prentiss it just doesnt seem right , prentiss should come back and make things right :)

  14. i think that prentiss completes the team they’re a family no one can ever take her place she needs to be back with the team

  15. after reading a few comments on C M, I m glad to read that many people feel the same way about criminal minds a show I believe has a character line-up that can not be changed, each and every character is a perfect fit in the line-up of the team and their looks are as vital to the show’s success as what the character brings to the table, Mandi and Joe’s switch is provably the only switch the show will ever take. so PLZ PLZ keep Prentiss


  17. Is Thomas Gibson still filming? He got arrested but I’m concerned as to how many episodes have been filmed so as to keep them coming until he’s out. Hopefully he’s already bailed out or someone will soon. Anyone got any input or news? Let me know!!!

  18. I really hate Alex Blake. She adds nothing to the team dynamic, and she really has no unique qualities, she really is just like Reid but not as good. She comes on the show and is correcting long time team members like Morgan, when she is in fact new and should be learning from them. She never apologizes and after just joining the team is magically perfect and has all the answers. Her type of character is overused, how many tv show right now feature or include strong smart independent older women who do and say what they want? I guess CBS decided criminal minds needed this stereotype but I beg to disagree, I think the team did fine without Blake, and would be better off if she left. Please, CBS don’t sacrifice the team members we all know and love for a new non-unique character.

  19. I like her she hot and smart and does not think she better then the team like a certain female character on a other CBS show

  20. I completely agree with Nicole’s comment. She does not add anything
    to CM yet she seems to have a bigger role than Morgan. Sad.

  21. Since Emily left I have not watched CM. she needs to come back, the show won’t be as good if she isn’t in it.

  22. It’s not that I miss Prentiss so much as the new character Alex Blake is so boring and lacks personality. I’m sure Jeanne Tripplehorn is great in other roles, I’m just not sure this one is right for her. Also some of the interactions between the other characters have seriously gotten duller. Especially between Morgan and Garcia, but all of the characters almost seem roboticly professional since season 8 started.

  23. I cried a lot with the departure of Prentiss. I can not accept. She returned after “dead” now simply decides to leave? There is no logic! CM is not the same without her, just like everyone on the team. Gotten used to Rossi, but Gideon wanted a little more. Thus, Penelope does not like change, I do not. LOVE U Prentiss.

  24. Change is never easy. However Alex (in my opinion)is not the answer. She
    does not add to CM. One Reed is GREAT 2 are too many.
    The chemistry is not there with any of the other cast members. Really miss
    Prentice & her interaction with Morgan & all of the team.
    Come on you REALLY good writers send Alex to another place. (Gently if
    possible. To omit maybe is better than to replace!
    Give us more Morgan, Garcia, J.J.

  25. Please bring back Emily!!!!! She completes the team.

  26. I think this whole article is biased. Prentiss was NOT higher ranking than her coworkers. She was a profiler, that’s it. She used her mother’s political connections to get there and the only reason why she was hired was because Strauss hired her to be a mole in the BAU to help Strauss get rid of Hotch. She was never given any more responsibities, however, Morgan was. Jeanne Tripplehorn is an excellent actress with some mega movies on her resume, far better than Paget Brewster. And Alex Blake has an intelligence that Prentiss didn’t have. Jeanne fits in with the entire cast who love her presence. Alex Blake fits in great with the team. I am thrilled that Paget Brewster left the show and hope she finds what she is looking for. Having Jeanne Tripplehorn join the cast is a refreshing change.

  27. I don’t dislike her, I just don’t feel ‘invested’ in the character. Perhaps in time…but I miss ‘the girls’ and the banter.

  28. Brewster, aside from being one of the most beautiful women I’ve seen, cannot be replaced by any one I know of. Great actress, great presence and great fit on C. M. Hope to see her soon in another acting gig.