How Criminal Minds Will Kick Off Season 12

criminal minds season 11 finale

Season 11 was a big one for the CBS hit drama Criminal Minds, both on the screen and behind the scenes. The show and audiences bid farewell to actor Shemar Moore and Special Agent Derek Morgan, which was a big hit, and then the season finale knocked all the main characters for a jaw-dropping loop with a killer cliffhanger that saw the escape of 13 highly dangerous serial killers. Thankfully, showrunner Erica Messer has offered up a tidbit on what we can expect when Season 12 begins.

There are still five out there when we come into the premiere. One of them is a guy Peter Lewis plays named Mr. Scratch. He is our baddie for the year. We will stretch him out and tell his creepy tales.

We're just going to just lightly ignore the fact that this quote from EW uses the character name Peter Lewis in place of the actor Bodhi Elfman, which the context of the quote called for. But moving beyond that, there are clearly exciting things happening.

There will be the expected time jump between the Season 12 premiere and the Season 11 finale, and it's presumed that during that time, new character Luke Alvez (portrayed by Adam Rodriguez) and other BAU agents caught and re-processed the other eight serial killers that were at large. One can only guess how deadly those escapes were, but it sounds like Mr. Scratch and the others will cause a lot more terror across the next TV season.

Fans know Elfman's brainy and bizarre Peter Lewis from his introduction in Season 10. He used drugs and other psychological tactics to turn Mr. Scratch into a boogeyman of sorts to Hotch and others, causing his victims to attack and sometimes kill others. If this guy is going to be the overarching baddie for Season 12, we are likely in for some seriously creepy episodes and situations, unless he's completely changed his M.O. to hosting birthday parties for his victims. And now we get to start speculating on who those other four unsubs will be, since there's a really good chance we'll catch back up with some criminals from past seasons.

Speaking of familiar faces, Season 12 will also be bringing back Paget Brewster's Emily Prentiss for several episodes. Aisha Tyler's Tara Lewis will return to help in capturing some of the freed unsubs, and rumors are out there that Shemar Moore will pop back up on set at some point. Expect some crossover potential with Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders as well.

Criminal Minds will return to CBS for Season 12 on Wednesday, September 28, at 9:00 p.m. ET. To see when everything else will make it to your eyeballs later this year, check out our fall TV schedule.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.