Shemar Moore by Eric McCandless/ABC Shemar Moore by Eric McCandless/ABC

You've seen the rockin' promo, now watch the actual show. This Wednesday at 9 pm/ET, CBS' Criminal Minds opens its new season by resolving the "Whose SUV Exploded?" cliff-hanger in short order, but that merely lights the fuse for another series of tense, high-stakes moments. Shemar Moore, the best he could without divulging Derek Morgan's own fate one way or the other, shared with us this look at the season premiere. - Matt Mitovich

TVGuide.com: I've been casually "grading" a few season premieres, and a part of me wants to give Criminal Minds a 10. It was so freakin' awesome.
Shemar Moore:
Yeah, it's pretty phenomenal. I wish we could do that every week. That felt like a feature film. It was fun to be a part of. It's fast and furious.

TVGuide.com: It's smart, too, in the way it sets up a major dilemma involving the critically injured agent's body and an inability to get him or her medical attention.
Moore:
Right, we handcuffed ourselves. Simon Mirren, who's one of our head writers, and Ed Bernero, our executive producer and show runner, stuck their foot all the way in that one. What a great way to kick off Season 4.

TVGuide.com: When you filmed the season finale, did they know at the time whose SUV was blown up?
Moore:
No. I guess it was their way of telling us not to renegotiate. [ Laughs] It was a great cliffhanger and they didn't tell us anything, so we went into the break going, "Who knows?" We had no idea it was going to play out the way it does. When I read that [season premiere] script, I was on pins and needles.

TVGuide.com: You and Thomas Gibson have some good scenes together.
Moore:
It's fun when [Morgan and Hotchner] push at each other. I like when it's not all perfect and you finished each others sentences. There were a couple seasons where we were all saying the same things, you could give our lines to whomever, but now we all have our own identities and personalities, and that makes it more interesting.

TVGuide.com: Morgan has a very emotional moment where he's on the phone with Garcia, saying goodbye.
Moore:
We had to do that in one take [because of stunt work involved at the end of the scene]. All the producers kept saying to me, "If you forget your bleeping line, do not stop. Say something. We don't have the money to [do this] twice." There was a lot of pressure! But it was also a lot of fun.

On Thursday, in Today's News: Shemar speaks more freely about the season premiere's big surprises.