Wrap your minds around this: Criminal Minds: Evolution is not done yet. Paramount+'s hit revival of CBS's long-running crime drama just finished up its first season, but Evolution Season 2 — or, if you prefer, Criminal Minds Season 17 — is already in the works. While we recover from the events of Season 1, we're keeping tabs on what's to come. It helps us sleep at night.
Season 1 of the revival reunited most of the BAU team to track down the show's most dangerous unsub yet — Elias Voit (Zach Gilford), who used the pandemic to build a network of other serial killers — over the course of the whole season. The series has been a hit for Paramount+, becoming one of the streamer's top five original series, according to Paramount+.
Here's everything we know about Criminal Minds: Evolution Season 2.
[Warning: This section contains spoilers for the Season 1 finale of Criminal Minds: Evolution.]
Elias Voit hasn't left the picture just yet. In February, showrunner Erica Messer revealed that Voit will be a (twisted) resource for the team in Season 2. "The plan is to have Voit back next season almost as our Hannibal Lecter. And when things come up regarding Gold Star is when we have to go get his help," Messer said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.
The showrunner also teased some relationship drama up ahead, including a potential love triangle for Penelope (Kirsten Vangsness), Alvez (Adam Rodriguez), and Tyler (Ryan-James Hatanaka). Now that Alvez is in the know, "there can be a little bit more of a triangle than we've ever really done on the show, in terms of the members being in relationships," Messer told Variety. "We also didn't want to deny Garcia and Tyler this bond because it does feel special and real."
And after focusing on one unsub in the first season, Evolution Season 2 will be more of a hybrid: Messer teased to TV Line, "In the first four episodes so far, two are a little bit serial, and the two are not."
Messer revealed in February that the writers have started work on Season 2, which will "hopefully" begin shooting this spring. Per TV Line, it will be a 10-episode season. No release date has been announced.
We can assume all of the main cast members on the team in Season 1 will be returning for Season 2, including Joe Mantegna, A.J. Cook, Paget Brewster, and the others.
While most of the BAU agents were back in full force for the reboot, Season 1 of Criminal Minds: Evolution was missing a couple of key characters from the OG series. Dr. Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) and Special Agent Matt Simmons (Daniel Henney) were noticeably missing from the new episodes. The actors were reportedly out due to scheduling conflicts, and the series explained away their absence in the first episode by saying they were "out on assignment." Since Paramount+ didn't just kill them off or have them move on, that gives us hope for a potential comeback if schedules line up.
"Dr. Reid's and I believe Matt Simmons' desks are still there, still have stuff on it…," Messer told TV Line back in September 2022, saying Spencer and Matt "are not gone gone." However, speaking to EW in February, the showrunner cautioned against fans getting their hopes up just yet: "I wish that there was some promise that I could make to everybody, but it's not my promise to keep."
You'll be able to stream Season 2 along with Season 1 exclusively on Paramount+.