Why Criminal Minds Won't Keep Garcia's Dark Side Up In Season 14

Criminal Minds Penelope Garcia Kirsten Vangsness CBS
(Image credit: CBS)

Garcia faced a different challenge in the 300th episode of Criminal Minds, and it is going to leave a mark. Having been kidnapped by a cult of serial killers and forced to do something unfortunate to help in the larger scheme of things, Garcia will have a lot of dark feelings to sift through in Season 14. So, how long will Garcia's darker side, show? Criminal Minds showrunner Erica Messer shed some light on that and why it will not last too long, saying:

It's impossible not to have that face and energy onscreen and not feel happy and good. When she's off, it sort of affects everything and everyone and that's why we'll tell that arc in the first four of five episodes. She's not suffering for that long because that's a painful thing to watch. She's our sunshine.

With Garcia's upbeat nature having been impacted by the events of the Season 14 premiere, what may be a short time, relatively speaking, might feel longer. Criminal Minds' showrunner revealing to TV Insider that Garcia's mood will be overcast for around four episodes does not sound that lengthy. However, the show's fourteenth season is currently slated to run for fifteen episodes, meaning that this is almost a third of the season. So, Garcia's return to her upbeat nature will not be a blink-and-you-missed-it event.

That said, the crime drama will not be lingering on it for a great deal of time for the reasons the showrunner mentioned. So, there is light at the end of the tunnel as fans settle in for Criminal Minds to contribute a significant block of the season to explore this side of the usually upbeat character.

As showrunner Erica Messer points out, Garcia is the show's source of sunshine, and when the sun is eclipsed, it tends to get noticed. Garcia will not be alone in facing darker times ahead. Messer also teased that Season 14 will find Reid pausing to reflect after being tortured in the premiere.

Maybe he and Garcia can help each other? With her facing a challenging time in her life, fans should prepare for an arc that will take them through some ups and downs. It is sad but realistic for her not rebound from a trauma overnight, or in the span of a single episode. While Criminal Minds' showrunner revealed how long Garcia's dark side would last, she did not reveal the mechanism that will eventually help Garcia overcome the darkness so that she can shine again.

While time heals, fans will have to tune in to see if anything else plays a role in helping her. Given how Garcia's personality helps stave off the show's own dark side, that development will be a significant game changer for the crime drama. Stepping in to provide some light in the meantime, will be Rossi's reignited romance with his ex-wife, and he is not the only one whose personal life will be explored in the current season.

In that vein, there will be lots to look forward to as the latest installment in the crime procedural moves forward. The fourteenth season of Criminal Minds continues Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on CBS. The crime procedural is joined by a ton of new programming arriving on CBS, along with other series coming this fall.

Britt Lawrence

Like a contented Hallmark movie character, Britt happily lives in the same city she grew up in. Along with movies and television, she is passionate about competitive figure skating. She has been writing about entertainment for 5 years, and as you may suspect, still finds it as entertaining to do as when she began.