Warning: GIGANTIC spoilers ahead for the Season 13 premiere of Criminal Minds. If you haven't already seen the episode, you may want to read some of our other articles until you get the chance to watch.
Criminal Minds Season 12 ended on a crazy cliffhanger courtesy of none other than the serial killer known as Mr. Scratch. A whole bunch of the good guys were on the way to Mr. Scratch's hideout to hopefully deal him a major blow, and they were well aware that they would probably walk into a variety of booby traps. What they weren't expecting was an attack to come before they even made it out of their cars. Spike strips on the road busted the wheels on the agents' SUVs, and a giant truck plowed into them, causing a huge wreck and undoubtedly doing a lot of damage to the people inside. Now, the Season 13 premiere has finally revealed to viewers who died in the cliffhanger: Stephen Walker.
The odds were always that Special Agent Stephen Walker was going to bite the dust in the Season 13 premiere, as actor Damon Gupton was fired from the show over hiatus. Walker was a newcomer to the BAU and the series, as he was brought on in the wake of the departure of Thomas Gibson as Hotch. According to Mr. Scratch in the Season 13 premiere, Walker died due to whiplash in the collision. It was his body that Garcia spotted when she arrived on the scene, and it was a seriously tragic way to kick off a new season. R.I.P. Walker.
The rest of the team didn't escape wholly unscathed either. David Rossi was in need of surgery, and J.J. had a pretty nasty gash on the head. Dr. Tara Lewis was hit pretty hard as well, and the medics were all over her as soon as they got on the scene. Emily Prentiss survived as well, but she was in terrifying amounts of danger, as she was pulled from the scene by Scratch himself to be subjected to his cruelties as he probed for information. She was injured and in no state to fight her way to freedom, and it was horrifying to see her at his mercy... at first.
Fortunately, when Tara woke up, we found out that Prentiss' situation wasn't as dire as it seemed. As it turns out, Scratch dosed Prentiss with his gas in front of Tara and made her believe that her legs and arm were broken and she was completely out of commission. Scratch made his mistake when he tried to make Prentiss believe that he had killed her by pumping her full of adrenaline to stop her heart. Having died before, Prentiss knew the difference between the dark nothingness of death and the afterlife Scratch created for her. It was enough to jog her to awareness, and she got close enough to Scratch to chomp him on the ear.
On that note, Walker was not the only person to die in the Season 13 premiere. Mr. Scratch himself fell to his death after Reid and Luke came to try and rescue Prentiss. When fleeing Luke, Scratch ended up dangling off the side of a building. He begged Luke for help to climb up, and Luke took his time deciding. By the time he moved toward Scratch, Scratch let go and fell, smashing his head hard enough on the ground that he was a bloody mess. Mr. Scratch is pretty unambiguously dead, and here's what it means for Hotch.
Tune in to CBS on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET to catch new episodes of Criminal Minds Season 13 with the survivors, along with at least one newcomer. The agents may need all hands on deck to deal with one long-lost killer who will be back after many years off their radar, on top of whatever fresh hells are still in store courtesy of Mr. Scratch's scheming. Even if Scratch is dead, he could have left booby traps behind. If you're still working out what to watch this fall, check out our TV guide for everything coming back and debuting in the coming weeks.