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For the majority of popular television shows, the loss of one key character can be the beginning of the end. For Criminal Minds, however, the loss of a key character basically signaled the beginning. Ever since Elle Greenaway left in Season 2, the show has played musical chairs, cycling in and out both leads and supports. For the most part, the constant change has worked; however, there are more than a few fans that are still pissed at the show for kinda sorta pushing Paget Brewster and her character Emily Prentiss out the door in Season 7. Fortunately, some fences were mended during subsequent guest appearances, and now, it seems Prentiss will be around a bit more during Season 12. Oh, and if that wasn't fun enough, apparently Aisha Tyler's Dr. Tara Lewis will be back to catch some more weirdos too.
During a panel at San Diego Comic-Con, the big news was revealed by Kirsten Vangsness, who plays hacker whiz Penelope. Here's the full quote...
Also, this is fun, Aisha Tyler is coming back who is my sister from another mother... and someone who has been trying to [tease] pictures on Twitter. Someone whose name rhymes with "Raget Rooster" named Paget Brewster is going to be on several episodes of Criminal Minds this season.
While we're still a little short on specifics, we do know Brewster's return to Criminal Minds will be for "several" episodes. It'll likely come in the form of a single, multiple-episode arc, but until that information is available, there's no reason for fans not to hope the brief stint will turn into something a bit more permanent, especially after Brewster's follow-up vehicle Grandfathered was prematurely and stupidly cancelled.
Tyler, on the other hand, seems like she'll be back for more than just a few episodes, but that's a lot less of a surprise. She told CinemaBlend earlier this year that she'd love to come back under the right circumstances. That obviously wasn't a promise, but it certainly made it clear she'd like to be around for some more shenanigans, which is really important given what happened last season.
In case you've been trapped in a shed by a Criminal Minds unsub for the last six months, the show wrote off Derek Morgan, maybe the most popular character on the show. Actor Shemar Moore was ready to leave, and it led to one of the most emotional episodes in the show's history. As a result, now, more than ever, the show needs familiarity. The returns of Prentis and Lewis will definitely provide that.