“Criminal Minds Evolution” Recap: Episode 1 — Garcia/Luke Update

The following contains spoilers from the first episode of Criminal Minds: Evolutionnow streaming exclusively on Paramount+.

Criminal Minds: Evolution debuted this Thanksgiving with a double helping of episodeswhich will be followed by the weekly releases.

The first episode opened with a flashback to 2005, in which an unsub was dragging the latest of many victims to a partially buried container in Washington State, inside which he proceeded to torture/kill the man. We then flash forward to 2022, where a home invader has kidnapped a teenage daughter after killing her parents in their sleep.

Dr. Tara Lewis gets a phone call when the container is discovered by some children and takes stock of its gruesome contents. Prentiss as section chief is unable to do much with Tara’s discovery, given FBI Assistant Director Bailey’s penchant for considering it a cartel thing. When Emily talks about the overworked BAU — especially given the absence of Reid and Simmons — Bailey notes, “Sorry, I’m not at liberty to discuss their assignments. Whether and when they return is entirely up to them. Unfortunately we have no say in the matter.”

Rossi served as unit chief at the BAU, although for the past year he has been “obsessed” with an unsub dubbed the “family wrecker,” who handled cases in Virginia and now Maryland. Between a few brief exchanges between him and Luke, and then him and Garcia, it’s Rossi who has faced (or not) a big loss for “nearly a year.” And while he was never outright stated in episode 1, the memories that come back to him at the end of the episode strongly suggest that his wife Krystall is dead.

Criminal Minds resurgence photoAs for the rest of the agents we know, Luke is basically holding onto what’s left of the current fort BAU, where Prentiss’ old office now doubles as a gym; JJ comes home late (and brings work with her), though he finds time to wonder/worry that son Henry has her first girlfriend. And Penelope Garcia…? Good….

Of course, he announced his decision to leave the BAU in the CBS series finale, and has since “banned 24-hour news” and “fate scrolling.” Four people have been hired and failed to do his job, but the latest twist in Rossi’s investigation requires his computer knowledge, especially since the social media site at hand is one that Garcia has made a proof of hackers. So Luke is sent to ask/beg her to take a “behind the curtain” look and see what he can find to connect the two teenage victims.

And with Luke’s arrival at Garcia’s door, a string dangling from Criminal mindsThe CBS finale is lightly broached.

If the pandemic perhaps dulled your memory of the show’s farewell in February 2020, Luke had invited Penelope over for dinner and she gladly accepted. So… how did it turn out?

Apparently one of Garcia’s friends was also curious, whispering something in her ear after hunk Luke crashed their Anglophile baking party.

“Was one dinner, three years ago,” Penelope told her friend. “We thrive as frenzied enemies, however.

But is this the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? Or could there be more to the story?

“How do I explain it…?” Kirsten Vangsness said when TVLine asked about the Garcia/Alvez update. “Guys, will it take a minute to explain ‘A date, three years ago.’ You will get some satisfaction.

“But between that satisfaction,” he enthused, “there’s a whole other thing — there’s a lot Other satisfaction – that no one, including me, would call.

“And this is time”, Vangsness said cryptically. “Thanks television, it is time why this happens. No one will be sad. You’ll think, ‘Aww, man…’, and then, ‘Wait, what?’ And that’s the most I can tell you about it.

What did you think about Evolutionthe premiere of , the mysterious assignment of Reid and Simmons and the “satisfaction” promised by Vangsness?

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