‘Criminal Minds’ season 11 premiere review: Aisha Tyler joins the team, AJ Cook apperance

AJ CookNow that Jennifer Love Hewitt has flown the coop on “Criminal Minds” (and AJ Cook is on maternity leave for a little while) we are going back to the basics as we focus on the show’s main cast and the weekly crime stories. This has never been a show to focus too much on the main cast and their personal lives, but this premiere is going to be bringing in a new cast member (at least for a little while. Aisha Tyler will be joining the crew as Dr. Tara Lewis and can’t wait to see what she brings to the table this season.

We have lost JJ for part of this season to her adorable baby, but the show has found a way to include her and make sure that we the viewers know how important she still is to the team and that she’s coming back. It was wonderful to see her at home, snuggling with her baby, but we loved the conversation she had with Hotch who reminded her how important she is to the team and they can’t wait for her to come back… and neither can we!

As for our new profiler, we had a chance to check out the newest member of the “Criminal Minds” team (at least for a little while), Tara Lewis. Unfortunately we didn’t have much of a chance to get to know her, since there was very little focus on her outside of her brief introduction and her help on the case of the week. Is the show keeping their cards close to their vest when it comes to this character’s back story since they invested a lot of storyline into Jennifer Love Hewitt for one season and she is no longer part of the cast? So far we really like the Tara character as a fit on this team and we hope they keep growing her with the group in a slow, organic way.

Last but not least, we had a crazy moment with Morgan at the end of the episode where the unsub set him up to look like Morgan physically harmed him. Is this going to be a lasting story arc this season?

We have to say that with all of the cast changes the past few seasons, it was so great to see our five remaining cast members sitting down together at the beginning of the episode to catch their unsub. While things are changing on this show, there are still some constants that we really appreciated seeing. Episode grade: B+

What did you think of the premiere of “Criminal Minds” and are you already missing AJ Cook on the show? Leave us a comment in the box below and tell us what you want to see happen this season. If you are looking for more news on the show, then head on over to the link here where you can check out some reviews, previews and spoilers. Also, if you want even more great TV news sent your way then be sure to sign up for our weekly CarterMatt newsletter. (Photo: CBS)

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