Posts Tagged ‘JJ’

*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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Some very interested news for Criminal Minds fans!

We know from the season finale from last week that AJ Cook was back on board the show for next season, but not only that – it has been revealed that Paget Brewster, despite ‘exiting’ the show this season, has inked a new deal to return next season. And as expected, Paget’s reprisal of her character as Emily Prentis means newcomer Rachel Nichols is out. Unfortunately for Nichols, I doubt many Criminal Minds fans will be upset about her parting the show as many saw her character as a replacement for the other two women. That being said, Nichols has the blockbuster Conan the Barbarian with co stars Rose McGowan and Jason Mamoa coming out shortly, and her departure from the show leaves her to carry on what I expect to be a pretty successful movie career.

As for Criminal Minds, well I think you’d be hard pushed to find anyone who is unhappy to see Paget and AJ return! Last season sort of feels like a bad dream, one I’m sure we’ll all forget when the gangs all back together!

Paget Brewster and AJ Cook with co-star (it feels so good to be able to say that again!) Kristen Vangness

Criminal Minds. A small little show (at least this side of the pond) about a special team of FBI agents who catch serial killers by profiling them.

NB. Profiling: noun; recording a person’s behaviour and analysing psychological characteristics in order to predict or assess their ability in a certain sphere or to identify a particular group of people.

See reading my blog can be nonsensical educational from time to time.

So where am I going with this? I’m not afraid to admit, I have watched (and sometimes rewatched) every single Criminal minds episode. And I love it. I love how dark it can be, I love that after nearly seven season’s I can still be surprised. That being said, none of the fire setting, necrophilia loving and human doll making UnSub’s surprised me more than the downright bold move made by the production team when they fired – yes you heard me right FIRED long standing cast member AJ Cook, and cut short the screen time of actress Paget Brewster – both of whom were the backbone of the show and two of my personal favourites. 

Why? Well according to the shows producers, cut backs had to be made to save money. I guess it turns out the recession even hit show business. Forgive me if I’m being a pessimist here, but why did they decide that it was a good idea to more than halve the number of female cast members? Why did they think that it was okay to cut a character who has been in the show since almost the very first ep? And why did they think if was okay to do this and then introduce a new [very similar character in every way] just days after losing one of their primary cast members. If it was about saving money, save it – don’t then turn round and say oh no we’re a character short, we need a new female agent – just don’t get RID of the first character in the first place!

Phew – rant over. This was a move obviously greatly opposed by pretty much the entire population of fans, let alone female fans. I can’t help think that there was some level of sexism involved. Paget, despite not being fired and just having her episodes cut, decided to do the honourable thing and quit on her own accord. Given they had already pretty much told her how worthless her role was in their eyes – you can hardly blame her. It may be just me, but I always thought that when cutbacks are made on shows, the last in is the first out. The last in was SSA David Rossi, played by Joe Mantegna. Don’t get me wrong, I like his character and I always get a kick out of hearing Fat Tony off the Simpson’s solving crimes. But in a business sense, he would be the logical choice to go – not fan favourite AJ Cook. And the fact that two women were picked to lighten the load cash wise, just seems wrong to me. The way that the writers wrote off AJ’s character JJ showed they agreed with the fact it was an odd move, showing an episode filled with, “You can’t go, were a family and we don’t work without you” and “Why would they do this to us…!” Yadda yadda. 

So why am I talking about this now? AJ Cook came back for Paget’s final episode which aired last night in the US. I kind of loved the metaphorical meaning behind the end of that episode. The two of them sitting together in a cafe in France, like that’s were they were looking for work since they got canned. It seemed fitting that it was JJ who knew Prentis wasn’t dead. And I can’t help thinking that if the next season of Criminal Minds bombs they’ll be begging Paget Brewster to come back – and she’ll be laughing all the way to the bank as I hear she’s taking her pride of place back in comedy. Let’s be honest, I love Criminal Minds. But I can’t help thinking Paget was almost doing them a favour by being there. Like she was just too good for it. Criminal Minds was holding her back, and it is in comedy that she’s at her best. As for AJ Cook, she belongs in either her own show – something that mixes sassyness with drama – or back in movies (Final Destination 2 was highly underrated!).

Whatever ends up happening, needless to say I am not worried about either actress. I can’t say the same thing about the next season of the show though. I hope it doesn’t bomb, because Lord knows it still has a great cast. But it’s likely it will be a shadow of it’s former self with too many vital cast members falling by the way side.  

NB. It always annoyed me that the male cast were so often at the front of the group in group pictures. Foreshadowing perhaps?!