Saying goodbye to TV characters sucks no matter how short-lived a show can be, and when that character has been around for over a decade, they're basically family. Such was the case with Shemar Moore's Derek Morgan, the former Supervisory Special Agent within the BAU on Criminal Minds, who exited the show last season. Thankfully, Moore was missed dearly by the cast and crew, and since those feelings were reciprocated, the actor is returning to the CBS drama for the season finale, and we hope you're as happy to see him as he appears in the first look below.
Be still all our hearts, Shemar Moore, you suave summanagun. Sure, he's only been gone around a year, and TV audiences have waited far longer to see favorite characters returning from absences, but we're not trying to over-analyze anything here like some kind of... Anyway, most fans awaiting Morgan's return to Criminal Minds are no doubt anxious to see what kind of sparks will light up the room whenever he and his Baby Girl see each other again. I mean, he and Penelope could have technically had coffee together before audiences see him again in the show, but still. It probably won't go down like that. But whatever is happening has given Penelope cause for concern.
Don't worry, CBS released a pic or two where Morgan and Penelope were actually talking to each other, so don't worry about them not having any personal time. He's returning to the BAU to help with an important case, so it's obviously not going to be all about the flirting, though.
Below, you'll see more of the team standing around talking to one another, presumably figuring the shit out of something. It's a fun group to look at, too, considering all four of the actors are intrinsically tied to Criminal Minds, and none have been there for its entire run. Paget Brewster came in during Season 2, had a temporary leave from Seasons 7-11 with some guest appearances, and returned in full this year with the firing of Thomas Gibson. A.J. Cook's Criminal Minds run was interrupted for almost the entirety of Season 6, but producers brought her back for Season 7 and beyond after the fan outcry. And then there's Joe Mantegna, who signed on in Season 3 with the exit of former star Mandy Patinkin, and he's been around ever since.
Shemar Moore is only back for the finale, but the actor has not shied away from mulling a possible return for Season 13, although it likely wouldn't be a full-time run. That said, we've already talked about several actors who "left" the show, only to return in full later. Fingers crossed.
Criminal Minds will air its big Season 12 finale on Wednesday, May 10, at 9:00 p.m. ET. To see when all the other shows are debuting and returning to the small screen in the near future, head to our summer TV premiere guide.
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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.