In the 12th Season of Criminal Minds, Adam Rodriguez joins the cast as Luke Alvez, a new recruit to the BAU from the FBI’s Fugitive Task Force tasked with helping to capture one of the escaped killers from last season. Aisha Tyler, who plays Dr. Tara Lewis, becomes a series regular.
The BAU team opens an investigation when a man who fully believes he's Dr. Tara Lewis' brother arrives in town, knowing everything about her and her family, and she is unable to make contact with her real sibling.
When a BAU member gets in trouble in Mexico, the team enlists the services of the International Response Team for their help. "Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders" stars Alana De La Garza and Daniel Henney guest star as Clara Seger and Matthew Simmons.
Caught in an impossible scenario, Reid must square off with an old nemesis, and Derek Morgan (guest star Shemar Moore) comes to the team with a lead that might help catch Mr. Scratch, the elusive fugitive that has been tormenting the team all season.
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Reviewed in the United States on December 28, 2016
So far I'm disappointed. I get there are growing pains when there is a cast-shuffle but the dynamics aren't clicking. And it seems as though the writing is different too; a little boring even. Emily is a good (re)addition, but as far as being Unit Chief. . I'm just not feelin' it from her. And lastly, how can you not miss Hotch and Morgan?! If you've watched from the start, the void is evident. I love the Adam Rodriguez addition! Luke Alvez's character can certainly be explored. I will remain optimistic but they need to shake something up on the WOW factor. Soon. And I don't mean connected to Mr Scratch. PLEASE return from Witness Protection!
Season 12 - lots of changes created some fresh energy for an aging series.
Some other TV series - notably Law and Order - were famous for their regular cast turnover. Criminal Minds has had its share of cast changes over the years - Lola Glaudini at the end of season 2, Mandy Patinkin's departure in season 3, departures and returns for both Paget Brewster and AJ Cook, then in rapid succession Jeanne Triplehorn and Jennifer Love Hewitt. At the end of season 11 Shemar Moore departed; early in season 12 Thomas Gibson was fired from the show for on set misbehavior. The producers wisely brought Paget Brewster back, added Aisha Tyler as a regular, and introduced Damon Gupta and Adam Rodriguez. The result, unexpectedly perhaps, was to bring some fresh energy and direction to the show.
Overall, shifting the characters, creating space for new characters and their insights, gave the show a fresh, energetic feel.
Were there a few bumps? Yes, of course. Taboo (ep 3) was a mess. Elliott's Pond (ep 6) needed a rewrite. Profiling 202 (ep 9) was a clunky sequel to an earlier episode (Profiling 101) that was a clunker.
The Reid in prison storyline didn't work for me. The prison gang and their drug running, the "mysterious" former fed who helps then turns on Reid (who is actually in charge of the gang), even the murder or Reid's prison friend and Reid's act of sabotage (adulterating the drugs) felt cliched. The story arc was too drawn out and spent too much time trying to set up cliffhangers. At the same time, it felt as if it were covering ground the series had covered before with Reid.
My other criticism concern the character of Garcia. Like too many shows, Criminal Minds portrays hacking as an almost magical power. Garcia has gone from the eccentric genius hacker to a TV cliche of the hacker able to unearth the most obscure information after wildly tapping at the keyboard for a few moments. Too many episodes turn one her nearly magical computing powers. If the writers dial it back a bit, that would be a good thing.
Starting with episode 16, Assistance is Futile, it felt as of the season had finally found not just solid footing but a sense of excitement and interest. There were some engrossing stories and great acting. The slightly grotesque True North was diabolically dark. Unforgettable - which could have been filler and featured some truly painful jazz - ended up feeling like an episode with a soul. The last two episodes - Green Light and Red Light - provided a nice coda to the season.
I'm hoping season 13 can continue to build on the strengths of season 12.
The DVD's were all working and I'm glad I got it for my collection as I own all the previous Criminal Minds. I didn't give it five stars because this season isn't my favorite. I don't like the Reid storyline this season and how it was dragged out all season long. ***Spoilers ahead*** I don't understand the decision to put Reid in jail in the first place. Are they running out of ideas? Did the actor have another project he was working on? It got hard to watch because of his struggles in jail and they left him there all season! Also, didn't like how the wrapped it up. All season they were talking about it being Mr. Sractch and then it wasn't, Ugh.
Reviewed in the United States on November 17, 2017
I think for its age, Criminal Minds is holding up very well despite the growing pains of revolving female leads and the loss of two long-time faves. The week-to-week cases are very strong, compelling, and relevant often ripped from the headlines. The strain comes from the characters themselves as the writers don't give them a chance to develop and treats the characters as if they are in a sitcom. Rather than allowing several episodes for issues to develop, and giving the actors something to work with, they solve problems within 43 minutes. J.J. remains the stalwart mother pulled in opposite directions, Rossi the fatigued expert, who should be contemplating retirement, and Prentiss has the task of not only leading the team but pulling this team back together after a lot of huge changes. We still barely know Aisha Tyler's character and instead of focusing on the team we LOVE, they added Luke Alvez and Steven, who we've barely gotten to know. Alvez, played by Adam Rodriguez, has potential - I like the tension between him and Garcia, which is welcome after 11 year love fest between her and Morgan. It gives Kirsten the opportunity for something new and it looks like she's writing Now!
This leads to the departures of Morgan and Hotch, who I feel were very developed over nearly a dozen years. I can understand Shemar's decision to follow new dreams which now seem to be leaving the FBI and joining the SWAT team, but whatever. He was likely tired and wanted new material, I get it. With Thomas Gibson's firing, it left a huge hole and a lot of frustration. Understandably there was little closure and we as viewers were just as lost as the team. There was no sweet goodbye episode because of Gibson's actions. He was just gone. But rather than letting the team deal with it, It was quickly and logically wrapped up with the Hotchner family going into hiding after Scratch's escape.
Which brings me to the secondary storyline which ran throughout the last half. I seem to be in the minority but I really enjoyed the Mexico storyline for two reasons: 1) it gave Matthew Gray Gubler something to do and 2) this was the shows first real attempt at doing serial story-telling rather than just a procedural, which have them a challenge. I love this show, I don't want it to become stagnant and lose their cast. I don't know if it could survive losing their resident genius. Watching the behind-the-scenes footage with the showrunner, it seems very clear that they are trying to keep Gubler and challenge him. Face it, he really hasn't had much to do other than do a fact spiel at the round table and/or on the plane, deliver a line during the profile, write on a whiteboard, draw circles on a map, have an epiphany, and then read on the plane ride home. I love that he's directing but the show hasn't given him anything meaty since season eight. And while I would have loved some secret relationship whisking him off to see a lover, I'll settle for buying experimental drugs in Mexico (in jeans!!!) It's for his mother and Diana Reid seems the only relationship writers want to develop. Even though he suffered, it gave MGG the opportunity to ask his butt off and he is very gifted. Also, I've seen procedurals like Elementary, Bones, Dexter that still has a case of the week but also has a long arc running throughout. This whole JJ-centric episode, Rossi, whoever, gets old. So I appreciated the switch up with a very Reid-heavy storyline. I hope we can continue to see the consequences of season 12 as we move forward.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 28, 2017
What can I say. I really love this series. I thought without Hotch and Morgan it would go down hill, but thankfully I was proven wrong. The new team members have jelled, and work well with the old team members. Welcome back Emily, I'm glad she is now the new team head.
For about 8 episodes Spencer is in a prison....... Boring, Boring, Boring, Boring. They should be doing a different criminal minds for each episode........... BORING, BORING, BORING !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
5.0 out of 5 starsGreat series but i hate the cliff-hanger ending
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 17, 2017
Great series but i hate the cliff-hanger ending!!!! Without giving anything away, i did feel that one story was dragged out a bit too long (over several episodes and part of the cliff-hanger ending) but none the less, i love this series so will forgive them on this occasion!!!! A must have for me.