Once one of the more stable franchises on television, Criminal Minds has been in complete and utter disarray over the last year. Its spin-off Suspect Behavior tanked miserably en route to a cancellation, and the decision to minimize and then ultimately cut out AJ Cook and Paget Brewster was widely maligned by fans. Now in an effort to return to that previous stability, the show has announced Paget Brewster will be back. The news comes just a month and a half after Criminal Minds extended an invite to AJ Cook, meaning both leading females will work in the behavior analysis unit next season.

According to Deadline, the reunion is bad news for recent signee Rachel Nichols. Her Ashley Seaver character started appearing regularly last season, but after failing to connect with the fan base, she’s out.

Sometimes change can be good for a long tenured show, but too much change all at once doesn’t always fly, especially where major characters are concerned. Both Cook and Brewster were beloved by fans, and as much as this might seem like a backtrack, it’s still ultimately a step back in the right direction.

Of course, all of this return to the glory years talk is moot if producers can’t agree on a contract with lead Thomas Gibson. The two sides have been in negotiations for sometime, but until now, those talks haven’t materialized. It’s a good bet he, like Cook and Brewster, will return, but the sooner that’s finalized, the sooner the writers can start carving out scripts for next season.

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