Criminal Minds has had some extremely hectic months going on between Season 11 and Season 12, and it didn't get any crazier than the firing of star Thomas Gibson. That unfortunate occurrence brought on something truly great, though, as actress Paget Brewster agreed to reprise the role of Emily Prentiss not just for a cameo, but as a full-time regular. And now we have our first look at her back in her familiar digs.

criminal minds season 12

Now, I know that the image above isn't full of explosions, and it isn't a glitzy indication that certain doom will befall one of these characters, but isn't it great all the same? It's more about the comfort of something so familiar, like seeing a parents' car parked at a childhood home you haven't been back to in a while. I know, I know. Paget Brewster's last appearance on Criminal Minds only happened six months ago for a Season 11 episode following Derek Morgan's exit, but that one was experienced without the knowledge that she'd be back for good one day. This is better.

Unfortunately, Prentiss won't be showing up in the season premiere, and we'll have to wait until Episode 3 to see her again. Here's the official synopsis for the episode, which sadly doesn't tell us too much about what the beloved agent will be doing upon her return. Other than investigating, I guess.

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"Taboo" -- The BAU welcomes back Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster) as they are called upon to investigate the disappearance of three women, on Criminal Minds.

"Taboo" will also feature a guest-star appearance from Twin Peaks' Sherilyn Fenn, so this episode is packing some major actress power. This will presumably also be the first episode without Thomas Gibson's Agent Hotchner involved, so we can probably expect to hear some kind of excuse for his absence. (Kinda hoping for something snarky, although that wouldn't do the character any justice.) Season 12 will also feature a guest spot from Jane Lynch, whose last Criminal Minds appearance was back in Season 4.

And now, because it's important, let's take another look at Prentiss back at work at the BAU.

criminal minds season 12

It's like it should be weird seeing her there with Adam Rodriguez's Luke Alvez, who is being introduced as the lead role replacement for Shemar Moore's Derek Morgan, but it doesn't. As long as there's light shining through some blinds somewhere in the room, it works.

With Prentiss now on the way to making a more permanent home for herself in the BAU again, Criminal Minds will bring Season 12 to fans on CBS starting on Wednesday, September 28, at 9:00 p.m. Check out everything else that's premiering and returning with our fall premiere schedule.

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