Paget Brewster and Shemar Moore
After an ominous month-long arc, Paget Brewster left Criminal Minds, as Prentiss finally confronted IRA nemesis Ian Doyle in an episode filled with suspense, emotion, torture and twists. And it also answered the question everyone had on their mind: Will Prentiss die?
The answer: no.
Criminal Minds: Top 8 Prentiss moments
Following a violent showdown with Doyle (Timothy V. Murphy), Prentiss — who we learned staged the death of Doyle's son years ago to get him to break during interrogation — gets impaled in the torso by the former IRA member. "Let me go," she tells Morgan (Shemar Moore). JJ — A.J. Cook in a nice, but underused, reprise — tells the team at the hospital that Prentiss never made it off the table. But only she and Hotch know the truth: Prentiss survived, and she says au revoir to the BAU when JJ slips her new IDs and money in the Paris-set closing scene. (Sidenote: After last summer's cast shakeup, how awesome was it that the two women who were dropped by CBS were in the last scene?)
The death fake-out has been done to, well, death on procedurals, and after the show's audacity to kill off Haley last year, it's slightly disappointing that they fell back to an overused trope. However, given the off-screen circumstances, it's understandable and expected to leave the possibility of a return on the table: Brewster, whose episode count was reduced this season, has the option to remain a regular next year. But she's currently attached to the NBC pilot My Life as an Experiment.
And, honestly, who doesn't want to see Prentiss (or whoever her new identity will be) back?
Criminal Minds' Matthew Gray Gubler on directing Prentiss' exit: "This one's for the fans"
At her sharp and charming best, Brewster brought it in her final (for now) hour, effortlessly alternating between steely assassin, altruistic teammate and undercover lover Lauren Reynolds in the flashback scenes. The episode, directed by Matthew Gray Gubler, was also well-paced with seamless transitions between past and present.
The one thing missing, however, was a scene of Prentiss with the rest of the team. Outside of Morgan and JJ, Prentiss had zero airtime with anyone else, so I'm left scratching my head since this is a group that prides itself on being a family. Also, shouldn't the rest of them have been suspicious when they weren't allowed to see her body in the hospital?
Now, for this family, it'll be interesting to see how they pick up the pieces going forward.
What did you think of Prentiss' exit? Do you want to see her back?