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Over at Criminal Minds, there’s currently quite a lot of foot traffic happening, with actors coming and going as the end of Season 11 looms on the horizon. One particular character is returning to the BAU’s world, although it’s one whose story was told before the show even started, as actress Frances Fisher has been tapped to play an extremely creepy UnSub who has a history with the late Jason Gideon. Cue the spooky organ music.
For the presumably unsettling guest spot, Frances Fisher will portray the deranged Antonia Slade, who was originally sent to prison by Gideon 15 years earlier. One of her crimes involved a plot her and her husband cooked up where they ran a runaway hotline for teens, but brought a world of horrible punishment to those who weren’t behaving. For one reason or another, she casts a net out for BAU agents to visit her in jail, and it looks like her past may come back up again in some capacity.
If we can just stop the story for a quick diversion into dreamland: how awesome would it be if Criminal Minds pulled a fast one on everyone and actually got Mandy Patinkin to come back and play the role of Jason Gideon again for a flashback sequence, so many years after he left the show? Sure, things went out on bad terms back then, but everyone’s a little older and a little different now. It’s probably pointless to keep going with this, though, so I’ll just throw a couple extra pennies in the wishing well this week.
Showrunner Erica Messer says that Fisher is “amazing,” according to TVLine, and that the show had been trying to get her for a while now. Thankfully for all involved, nothing happened until now, allowing her to bring out the psychological drama in this wacko UnSub. I’m intrigued to see just how gritty and disturbing the whole runaway teen thing is, since that could go in a million different cringe-worthy directions.
Fisher’s is a face that you’ve seen everywhere on TV in the past 40 years, from her start on The Edge of Night to her most recent starring role in the short-lived ABC drama Resurrection, which had some creepiness of its own. The past few years have also seen her appearing on everything from Castle to Masters of Sex to The Expanse. Her next big screen effort will be JT Mollner’s western drama Outlaws and Angels, which is out this summer.
Frances Fisher’s episode, titled “Devil’s Backbone,” will be Season 11’s penultimate installment. No date is set just yet, but we can probably look forward to seeing it hitting CBS next month. Until then, check out Criminal Minds every Wednesday night on CBS.