Criminal Minds season 14 finale review: The Reid – JJ surprise

Criminal MindsThe Criminal Minds season 14 finale has officially now come and gone, and we hope you’ll excuse us for having our jaw on the floor right now because…. Wow!

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What’s perhaps is the most surprising about this finale is that it managed to deliver a huge surprise without an enormous life-or-death cliffhanger. Nobody’s life was left in the balance, and there wasn’t some sort of looming threat that arrived to ruin Rossi’s wedding. Instead, it was more of an emotional cliffhanger that stemmed from what happened with Reid and JJ.

When the two parties were held hostage by our UnSub of the Week in Casey, he made it his mission, via a deadly game of truth-or-dare, that he would get some of the deepest, darkest secrets out of JJ. If he didn’t, people would die whether it be Reid or the innocent judge they were trying to protect. She tried to get out of it telling Casey some lesser secrets, things that maybe a few people knew, but maybe not everyone. He wasn’t buying that, and this led to her saying something we weren’t sure we’d ever hear her say about Spencer: “I’ve always loved you.”

At first, the assumption to make here was that she just said this as a way to trick Casey into thinking that this was her big secret, a way for her and Spencer to get out of this situation in one piece. (They eventually did, mostly because Spencer had a side-piece hidden at his ankle.) However, that changed when we started to see JJ’s body language after what happened. She clearly didn’t know what to say to Reid and at that point it was clear that what she said mattered. She does love Reid, and has on some level ever since early on in the show’s run – which is why there have long been Spencer and JJ shippers out there rooting for them. Unfortunately, it just never amounted to anything, and life moved on and eventually JJ and Will were married.

While at Rossi’s wedding, Reid understandably wanted answers as to whether or not she really meant what she said, but they were interrupted before the absolute truth came out. Judging from her hesitation beforehand, though, it feels reasonably clear to us that she meant it. JJ loves Reid. Does that mean they end up together? Not necessarily. Just because she has unresolved feelings for him doesn’t mean that she will leave her husband or the life that she has. Reid seemed to give her at least some acknowledgment that everything is okay between the two of them and with that, life goes on — probably okay — between the two moving forward. We do certainly wonder if this will be picked up in season 15, or if they will continue to just move forward as friends.

Other events worth noting

Rossi and Krystall are married, and there was a lot of fun to be had here! You had Garcia dancing with Luke (a nice Garvez moment for anyone out there shipping these two!), Kristy revealing to Matt that they’re expecting another baby, and also Rossi and his new wife getting a surprise honeymoon. Rossi’s daughter also returned, which is a nice callback to what we’ve seen from her in the past. Prentiss and Mendoza are still together, but she thought it may have been too fast to have him at a wedding. Meanwhile, Luke’s girlfriend was working, at least for the part of the ceremony that we saw.

There was a happy ending tonight — or, at least a happy-ish ending for most.

CarterMatt Verdict

In solving their latest case, the BAU proved themselves to be heroes again — but they also set the stage for at least one emotional storyline they could explore in season 15. It’s a difficult one, given that JJ is married and she has a family and so much to think about. Yet, there’s also this admission that could change her work dynamic in some sort of way. Once these feelings are out of the bottle it’s hard to put them back in – anyone who watched the Jim and Pam dynamic on The Office saw how that ended up with Pam leaving her fiance and ending up married to Jim. We aren’t saying that’s going to happen here (it’s a much different situation for JJ because she is married and did take those vows of forever), but a love that’s been going on this long makes it difficult to go back into denial now that it’s been said.

No matter where it leads, at least Criminal Minds presented something different for us to discuss entering the offseason and for that, we are truly excited to hear some of the theories on how this is going to play out in the final season.

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What did you think about the Criminal Minds season 14 finale, and the big Reid/JJ reveal? Be sure to share in the comments. (Photo: CBS.)


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