Criminal Minds season 13: Should there be a new Big Bad?

Big BadFor most of Criminal Minds season 13, we had the presence of a Big Bad in Mr. Scratch who may go down as one of the worst. After all, this is a man who is responsible for the departure of Hotch from the BAU — we’re only talking about the story on the show here, people — and he also found ways to torment many other people.

In general, Criminal Minds season 13 was the show’s most serialized to date, and over the course of it we absolutely saw some other villains in the process like Cat Adams. In some ways, having these familiar villains was all sorts of fantastic.

Now that we’ve said that, we do have to wonder if it’s in the show’s best interest to have another strong villain this time who spans much of the season. There are many benefits for it.

1. Live viewership – You want viewers to watch your show as it’s happening, and having a story that could be spoiled down the line is a great incentive in order to do that. If the show is strictly procedural, there is no incentive to watch an episode live unless you really love the show because nothing’s going to be ruined. Knowing what’s going to happen next thanks to a character’s interaction with a Big Bad is a good way in which to further ensure that.

2. Getting a big-name guest star – While you can get an Aubrey Plaza for one-offs here and there, the easier way to attract great actors is to tell them that they’ve got a super-meaty role that gives them material for a few episodes.

3. Creativity – It’s hard to establish a backstory for an UnSub in just one episode. Doing this across four or five during a season is a way to get viewers more invested. This raises the stakes for the finale, given that it’s possible something crazy could happen because of the character.

4. Structure – Sometimes, it does help a show to know where it’s going. We’re not advocating that the show go super-serialized in the way that it did with the Reid arc last season (though we did enjoy that more than some); but we are hoping that the writers consider giving this show some sort of blueprint where you know somewhat that this person is going to be turning up down the road and you can keep them in mind.

It’s still too early to know for certain what the story on Criminal Minds season 13 is going to be, or if there even is a Big Bad. After all, production is just now gearing up! Nonetheless, watch this space since we plan on delivering a whole lot more in the way of news coming up regarding everything that could be coming up.

What do you think: Is there merit in giving us a Criminal Minds season 13 Big Bad, or is the show better off trying to give us isolated villains the whole way through? Sound off in the comments. (Photo: CBS.)

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