Following tonight’s Criminal Minds finale, there is one key question worth asking: Is Kirsten Vangsness leaving the show? What about Matthew Gray Gubler? There’s definitely reason to wonder about that after what we just saw.
After all, the closing minutes of tonight’s episode found Garcia and Reid both at gunpoint and in grave danger — while we’ve seen the BAU find their way out of many difficult pickles in the past, this is one of the worst. It’s easy to imagine the series picking up and Garcia’s already dead (if the show returns) — or, it’s easy to imagine her along with Reid finding a way out of this situation. This is a team that has been through SO many close calls already and know how to handle this sort of situation, but with Garcia being held at gun point in a car if Reid decides to show the agent that has the gun trained on him then what’s stopping the cult members in the car from killing Garcia? This is a no win situation here for anyone.
While the future for Criminal Minds beyond this season is not entirely clear, it’s hard to be too shocked that they would choose to end the finale with an event this shocking and stunning. This is precisely what the writers love to do with this show, especially as an incentive to ensure that they get another season. Putting a character like Garcia in grave danger is really just the icing on the cake. The producers know that these are the two characters whose possible deaths could send fans into a panic of epic proportions and for good reason — they’ve long been essential parts of the show and if they were to go, there would most likely be riots.
If there’s one thing that does give us a little bit of solace, it’s the fact that Criminal Minds just killed off a series regular in Damon Gupton’s Stephen Walker over the course of this past season. With that in mind, you have to imagine that they wouldn’t want to repeat themselves … would they?
If there is some sort of cast departure, odds are you’ll hear about it over the summer. While occasionally you get a surprise exit a la Blue Bloods and Amy Carlson, those are few and far between.
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