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Criminal Minds: Here's the Scandalous Reason Simmons Is Joining the BAU

This was not what we expected

Joyce Eng

There's a new old face on Criminal Mindswhen Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders' Daniel Henney joins the series in the fall. But what brings Simmons from the IRT to the BAU? Turns out it's not just a simple transfer.

When TV Guide asked the cast Tuesday at CBS' Television Critics Association summer press tour party, Kirsten Vangsness let a major detail slip about Simmons' former crew on Beyond Borders, which was canceled after two seasons. There was "some sort of scandal that made the IRT collapse," Vangsness reveals, before catching herself. "Am I supposed to say that?"

Well, if you have to ask, probably not. But it must be a pretty massive scandal to bring down a whole FBI team. Did Jack (Gary Sinise) let someone die on his watch? Kill someone himself in a Reaper-esque way? Henney's keeping his lips zipped, but jokingly added, "The IRT was taken apart last season and didn't make it to a Season 3, so I'm looking for work and apparently these guys call me and I come to help out Penelope (Vangsness)."
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Simmons will fill the void left by Damon Gupton's Walker, who is leaving the show after one season and whose fate is still up in the air after that Season 12 finale car crash. Henney, of course, is no stranger to the mothership series, having appeared in the Beyond Borders backdoor pilot in 2015 and most recently in an episode in February after Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) was arrested in Mexico for murder.

Barring another global frame job on a BAU member -- we wouldn't put anything past Mr. Scratch (Bodhi Elfman) at this point -- the new stateside gig ought to put less of a strain on Simmons' personal life. He has a wife, Kristy (Kelly Frye), and four little kids, including twin baby girls, at home, and it was a tough balancing act with IRT's international unsub-catching duties. "His big struggle is, when can I get home to see my kids and how much is my wife working?" Henney previously told TV Guide.

Season 13 of Criminal Minds premieres Wednesday at 10/9c on CBS.

(Full disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS.)
Additional reporting by Lindsay MacDonald