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This story contains spoilers from the season 1 finale of Criminal Minds: Evolution.
When Criminal Minds: Evolution debuted in November 2022, fans didn't know what to expect from the BAU. As viewers know, the Paramount+ reboot saw the FBI profilers reunite to catch Elias Voit (Zach Gilford) a.k.a. an elusive UnSub called Sicarius. But the new storyline also left out one major player: Dr. Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler), who was last seen in the original CBS drama and not present in the Paramount+ show.
Although folks felt Reid's absence during this season, they didn't stop wondering about the boy genius. Though the show explained that he was working on another assignment with a different unit, some mentioned needing to speak with him, as he often had an unorthodox approach to finding serial killers. After all, it wouldn't have been the BAU without seeing Dr. Reid rattle off a scientific fact that oftentimes was the key to solving a case.
But as viewers saw in the last few minutes of the season 1 finale, Voit was finally in custody and waiting for someone to speak with him about key information regarding the ominous phrase "Gold Star." This happened moments before the door opened and the scene went black, leaving many to ask who was about to walk in. With this set up, coupled with Reid's continued popularity on Criminal Minds, it's possible the show's cliffhanger may be the piece for him — and Matthew — to return for season 2.
When a lot of followers of the procedural drama saw the season 1 finale, they all had a theory about Reid being the man behind the door. What's more, they voiced their opinions about it on Twitter shortly after it aired.
"Just finished Criminal Minds Evolution... it has to be Reid who is opening the door right???" one person wrote. "The Criminal Minds Evolution ending was the perfect way to bring back Spencer Reid," another agreed. "Finished Criminal Minds Evolution and it was so so so good. Best that Criminal Minds has done in a long time. Also the person at the end is [definitely] Reid and Gold Star is whatever assignment he’s been on," a different user added.
Reid re-entering the BAU would fit into the reboot, because he has been off on a top secret assignment no one knows about. Add the fact he has an eidetic memory and knows a lot about human behavior, this would set up the old-school UnSub-agent psychological warfare fans love from the franchise.
As far as whether the theory checks out, there may be a slight snag. Matthew hasn't explicitly shared whether he plans on returning, nor has the show revealed his place within it. But Criminal Minds: Evolution star A.J. Cook did give a tiny insight about what may be stopping him from coming back.
"He wants to do it. He wants to be involved," she told Good Housekeeping in January. "It's just the timing hasn't been right yet... He would absolutely come back if the timing could work."
When showrunner Erica Messer spoke with TVInsider in early February, she voiced a similar thought about whether it's possible to see Matthew back on-screen.
"I really can’t say anything because we don’t exactly know when we’re shooting this," she told the outlet. "The problem with a 10-episode season is you have such a short window to shoot it, and Daniel [Henney] and Matthew are doing their other projects... I would love to say we could have them back, but I can’t promise that."
Well, until we know for sure, we'll just have to wait for updates and keeping re-watching Reid in the original series.
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