'Criminal Minds' Season 7 Premiere Preview: Prentiss Returns

It Takes A Village - Prentiss and Hotchner

What do you think of the premiere? ‘Criminal Minds’ Season 7 Premiere Review & Discussion

When Criminal Minds returns this fall for its seventh season, fans can rest easy knowing that familiar faces will be returning for good. After the continuous ousting of female cast members last year, the favored members of the BAU will be officially reunited in the Criminal Minds season 7 premiere.

The episode, entitled “It Takes A Village”, will mark the official return of Paget Brewster (as Emily Prentiss) to the Criminal Minds family. Of course, since the rest of her BAU team believes that she’s dead, there’s a certain amount of explanation that needs to occur.

Unfortunately, the return of Prentiss from the proverbial grave isn’t something that can simply stay within the confines of the FBI. Considering Hotchner was responsible for faking Prentiss’ death and providing her with a somewhat new life abroad, a Senate Committee is extremely interested in knowing why all of this occurred, and why she’s now returning.

For those unfamiliar with the Criminal Minds cast shake-up that occurred during the sixth season, allow me to fill you in. For some reason (likely to cut costs and move the series into a different direction), “the powers that be” initially decided that AJ Cook (as JJ Jareau) was no longer needed in the series. On top of that, it was also decided that Paget Brewster’s role would be cut down significantly.

Almost a year after the role reduction for Brewster was announced – and following the departure of AJ Cook from the series – it was revealed that Brewster would also be leaving the series. As a reunion of sorts, AJ Cook returned to Criminal Minds for Brewster’s final episode, and the producers made sure that Brewster’s character arc allowed for her to possibly return.

Thomas Gibson season 6 Criminal Minds CBS

While all of this was occurring, both fans of the series and cast members still on the series were appropriately upset (read what series star Kirsten Vangsness said to us about this situation).  With Cook and Brewster being replaced by a new female character, Ashley Seaver (Rachel Nichols), some stability was restored to the hit CBS series – though fans were still wondering when/if their favorite characters would return.

As Criminal Minds season 6 came to a close, a cliffhanger hinted that Hotchner (Thomas Gibson) may not return. In real life, Gibson was in the middle of contract renegotiations (he was highly underpaid in regards to the ratings that the series was receiving and his position on the show). With Gibson willing to walk away from Criminal Minds, a flurry of decisions were made: Rachel Nichols was let go from the series, executive producer (and showrunner) Ed Bernero left Criminal Minds, AJ Cook and Paget Brewster were rehired, and Thomas Gibson renewed his contract.

JJ Criminal Minds season 7

With all that craziness over, we are now a month away from the Criminal Minds season 7 premiere, and things have somewhat returned to normal. Even though the loss of Bernero from the series will certainly be felt, Criminal Minds still retains a great team of writers and producers that know how to make the series work as successfully as it has in the past.

While it's hard to tell exactly how things will play out in the upcoming season, the return of AJ Cook and Paget Brewster is certainly a step in the right direction.

You can see photos from the Criminal Minds Season 7 premiere below:

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Click here to check out our complete Criminal Minds  Photo Gallery

Criminal Minds season 7 premieres September 21 @9pm

Follow Anthony on Twitter @anthonyocasio

Source: TVLine

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