Plus, executive producer Erica Messer tells HollywoodLife.com to expect a huge moment from Prentiss’ return.
Feb. 5 is going to be a huge night for CBS’ Criminal Minds — and not just because the procedural smash is airing its 200th episode. The milestone hour features the return of fan-favorite character Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster), as well as some surprising revelations about JJ (A.J. Cook), and executive producer Erica Messer tells HollywoodLife.com there are plenty of blanks to be filled.
“The episode specifically focuses on the season that [JJ] wasn’t with us,” Erica explains. “When we wrote her out in Season 6, it was with the idea that she was being promoted to a higher position in the State Department. Then she came back at the end of Season 6, and she’s been with us ever since. So it seemed like a good time to ask, ‘What happened to JJ in that missing year?'”
And J.J.’s not the only character with secrets to spill! The 200th episode will also shine a light on Mateo’s (Esai Morales) connection to J.J., and how he may have helped mold her into the profiling agent she turned out to be.
“Esai joined us this season as the section chief for the unit, and when he came onto the scene, it was obvious that he had a relationship with J.J. that preceded this,” Erica acknowledges. “That gets answered, as well. You find out both personal and professional things J.J. got over that year.”
‘Criminal Minds’: Emily Prentiss’ ‘Heroic’ Return Revealed
And what would a major milestone episode be without a major return? Erica says it’s a “very heroic moment” when Prentiss re-enters the picture, and she hopes “everybody will be cheering.” (I don’t think she has anything to worry about.)
“She’s pretty much just back to help with the case,” Erica explains, refuting my speculation that Prentiss might have “unfinished business” to attend to. “We also use Prentiss in a flashback to help with today’s mystery, as it’s something J.J. helped her with all those years ago.”
HollywoodLifers, are you pumped for Criminal Minds‘ 200th episode? Drop a comment with your favorite moments from the series below.
— Andy Swift