*Sniff* Okay… okay I am composed. I’ve dried my eyes and the events of Criminal Minds Season 7 finale have finally sunk in.

Okay so maybe it’s going to take some time.

But cut me some slack here! As a long time Criminal Minds fan, I was absolutely devastated when the big shots at the network essentially axed both JJ and Prentiss in order to save costs. And then to finally get the big happy family back together again for season 7 -and then now watching Emily Prentiss go again was a really tough watch. This wasn’t the same as last time, and even though Prentiss made it through the episode alive – despite several close calls and red herrings – it probably hurt more. Why? Well because last time, I was more angry than sad. Angry at the Execs for letting it happen, angry at networks for having such sway, and angry that they thought to axe not just two leading characters, but two female characters. However, this time around, Paget Brewster wanted to go. She felt that it was time to try something new. And I get that, and honestly I am thrilled for her as she has a real talent for comedy, and I would love to see her in a sitcom or two, very soon. However, the selfish side of me doesn’t want her to go. Why would I? She brings so much to criminal minds and when she left the first time around, there was a big Prentiss shaped hole left in the show. Will Criminal Minds be able to move on and grow from this? Of course. They have a really talented bunch of writers on board, and they still have the rest of the team. But I will say this – Leave it at that. Don’t go adding new leads, don’t go getting rid of regulars, and no killing anybody off. Capiche?

And so to the episode itself!

We were treated to not one but two hours of Criminal Minds, that followed a bank robbery that turned into a hostage situation that, in turn, turned into a terrorist attack. It was edge of your seat stuff. Not least because JJ’s other half, Will, was at the scene and ended up being taken hostage. Honestly – I was a little worried about him myself for a while there. After Hotchner’s wife’s murder a few seasons ago, I couldn’t help thinking that the Criminal Minds writers wouldn’t flinch at dropping him. They didn’t thankfully, and despite surviving a bullet wound, a bomb blast, and having a shit load of C4 attached to his chest, he was safe and well by the end of the episode. In fact, thanks to this little scare, by the end of the episode JJ agreed to marry him and we were treated to a rare – although on the rise – scene of softness and celebration as the pair tied the knot in Rossi’s back yard. It was touching and a refreshing change from ending the season on a cliff hanger. My nerves can’t take those.

The wedding wasn’t all sunshine and roses however, as Morgan realised that Emily was thinking of leaving. One of the things that stuck with me so much in that scene were the words Emily said –

Its not you guys. I love you. I just can’t grab on to my old life and pretend that nothing happened.

You don’t have to be Freud to psychoanalyse those lines. That could as easily have been on Paget Brewster’s resignation letter. And I kind of get it. It must have hurt to be tossed aside and told that her character wasn’t as vital as the others and so they were reducing her lines. And that was why she left. And I bet she spent a lot of time moving on. So to come back probably felt like a step backwards. I just hope AJ Cook doesn’t feel the same way…

The wedding scene was as much a good bye to Prentiss as it was a wedding. There was a slow scene showing Prentiss watching her friends have fun and then her dancing with each of them. And then rather fittingly, they showed her dancing first with Hotchner – there was definitely some awkward tension there – and then with Morgan. The Morgan dance ended the episode, and it showed her hugging him good bye, and they looked more intimate than colleagues would be. I’ve always thought they could have easily grown to be more, and I doubt I was alone in that. And so it was nice to see the writers acknowledging that with that final sensual moment.

You would think, with all the stuff that they crammed into those two hours, and how much I just ranted on about Emily’s departure, that my favourite scene this episode would have her in it. And actually – it didn’t. Why? Well because I am just loving bad ass JJ. We saw a glimpse of it previously in this season, when JJ tackled a suspect and basically beat the living snot out of him. Following that there was a little scene between her and Morgan which mentioned him helping her with her hand-to-hand combat training. I feel like that was a nod from the writers saying that they’re definitely going to include more of it going forward – and I guess I was right. I always say, never get in the way of a woman and her child… and my God didn’t JJ prove that. Not only did she totally kick ass against the UnSub and super bitch Izzy, but she also did the coolest move I think I’ve ever seen with a gun in disarming it. She had total sass’. Interestingly, the little boy who played Henry, JJ’s son, is AJ Cooks real son Mehkai, so bonus points for cuteness and awesomeness! To think I remember when he was in her belly…

Anyway… Overall, a quality finale that kept me on the edge of my seat, and despite be bawling about Emily’s departure, I really do wish all the best for Paget Brewster, and I know I will see her soon in some sort of outrageous comedy. Until next year Criminal Minds…!

Make sure you let me know your thoughts in the comments section!

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