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This week brought a most hectic and tumultuous conclusion to Criminal Minds' thirteenth season, with two lead characters getting stuck inside a terrible predicament with no easy answers. Perhaps strangely, CBS still has yet to put in an official renewal for Season 14, despite the drama maintaining its streak as one of the network's most popular shows. Stars Kirsten Vangsness and Joe Mantedgna spoke with CinemaBlend about that killer finale, and I had to ask what they knew about Season 14's chances. Here's what they told me:
Vangsness: We don't really know. I mean, people tend to think that we know more. We probably know the least. We probably know less than the audience sometimes. We know what everybody else knows, so who knows what's gonna happen?
Mantegna: You know, once we get our official pickup, then the writers will just...I'm sure they're musing over it now: ideas and things to do and plan on. And we even go in, the actors; we have input and we'll take meetings with them during the hiatus and say, 'Hey, we got an idea for such and such.' I like that. I think it's a good way of working. It's not too planned out ahead of time, and yet, it's open enough for some input.
As everyone can see, Joe Mantegna's answer is on a completely different wavelength from Kirsten Vangsness' response. But it's on the kind of wavelength that inspires rampant optimism for more episodes, so it's definitely going to be embraced by fans. Perhaps Vangsness was being humble and didn't want to set up any potentially false hopes, on the highly doubtful off-chance that CBS chooses to put Criminal Minds to pasture just one episode shy of 300, or maybe she really does have less insight into the situation than even average CinemaBlend readers do. Even if she didn't want to voice any good vibes, however, CBS' annual renewals for the past 12 years probably have her feeling pretty good about the prospects.
On the flip side, Joe Mantegna shined a little light on how things work behind the scenes while a primetime series' creative team is waiting on renewal news. (Or cancellation news, I guess.) Considering how things wrapped up, showrunner Erica Messer likely has a lot of ideas about how to bring the characters to justice for a Season 14 premiere, and she might even already be talking to the writers about how that storyline will play out. We shouldn't expect them to already know where Season 14's finale would end, though. Speaking of that finale, let's talk about it. *Spoilers below the image for anyone who hasn't watched it yet, so be warned. *
The BAU team wrongfully assumed they had wrapped up the Messiah case, which got insanely complicated in a short amount of time, so they should have known it wasn't over yet. While most of the team ended things on a safe, if worried, note (unlike how things played out for Season 12's finale), Reid found himself in a standoff with Agent Mary Meadows, revealed to be one of the Messiah's serial killer converts, with Garcia being held at gunpoint inside of a car. If Reid shoots Meadows, there's a good chance Garcia will die, but if he allows Meadows to put the Messiah back out in the world, there's a good chance many more people will die. This is definitely not where Criminal Minds fans want things to end.
We want to see Rossi going buck on the Messiah and his cronies, right? That's what Joe Mantegna wants, too. When I asked the actor what kind of revenge Rossi would want to put into action, here's what he said.
Oh, well, it depends on what he does, and how cruel he is to Kirsten. If he's very cruel to Kirsten's character, then he better be ready for a major tune-up. I mean, you know, I dish it out as I see fit. We'll see.
Two words for the Messiah and his underlings; be warned. And don't think that you're gonna get away with this without Garcia going off as well. Now just renew the show like you did with all those other dramas, CBS!
Check out what Kirsten Vangsness told us about that wild cliffhanger, and stay tuned for any and all information about Criminal Minds Season 14. (And watch repeats every Monday and Saturday on WE tv, where the crime drama is a constant ratings magnet for the cable channel.) And while waiting for news, head to our midseason premiere schedule and our summer premiere schedule.