Criminal Minds just returned to the schedule last night. The premiere really highlighted Shemar Moore's absence, and the show's lineup is only going to change more--thanks to the whole Thomas Gibson ordeal--in the coming weeks. One notable change on the series is the addition of Adam Rodriguez as Luke Alvez. While Penelope used to have a flirty relationship with Derek Morgan, she notably gave Luke Alvez the cold should during the Season 12 premiere. Actress Kirstin Vangsness recently revealed exactly why her character reacted the way she did to the new guy. Apparently it all has to do with a scene that was cut during Season 11. Here's what she had to say:
Last year they had written a scene that they cut out, where Garcia, Reed (Matthew Gray Gubler ) and J.J. (A.J. Cook) were standing outside of Morgan's old office, and Garcia says, 'Whoever takes his place, I am going to hate them.' They are like, 'You don't hate anybody,' and she said, 'You're right, I don't, but that person, I'm going to hate.' Even when they cut a scene out, it informs you.
It totally makes sense that Penelope would dislike the new guy, simply on principal. She was devastated when Derek Morgan decided to leave the BAU in order to focus more on his family. When he left, one of the reasons she got up and went to work in the morning also became moot. It's not fair to new guy Luke Alvez that Penelope only sees him as the dude who took Derek's job, but it does make sense within the context of Penelope being an emotional character on a show filled with logical ones.
I'm glad, however, that Kirstin Vangsness chose to share this story with Parade. While we didn't need to see her blanketly state she was going to hate the new guy on principal to understand why she might dislike the new guy, having the context of the scene that was cut is still a nice bonus. Vangsness also said that there's really nothing that can replace Derek, which means this could be a long, hard row for Luke Alvez during Season 12.
There's nothing to replace him. He's irreplaceable. It's the sadness that comes from, 'I thought we were always going to be like this.' Then people get married and they have kids, and all of a sudden, the stuff that was so valuable is not there and it's hard.
During the Season 12 premiere we saw Penelope affirm that she doesn't give "personal information" out to the new guy, who was simply trying to get to know his new team. They later had an interaction when Alvez needed Penelope's help, but there's a long way to go before the two characters get anywhere near the "babygirl" phase. We'll have to wait and see how this relationship plays out.
You can find out when new episodes of Criminal Minds air on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET, only on CBS. To find out when the rest of your favorites are returning, check out our fall TV premiere schedule.