Criminal Minds series finale debate: How could the story end?

Criminal MindsThe Criminal Minds series finale is coming — granted, it’s always been coming, but now we investigate this situation with a different set of eyes. We have a greater sense of the timeline, when we’re going to get there, and, to a certain extent, how. The road plans are laid out, but it still needs to be paved.

For any series finale, the hardest question is always how to stick the landing … and if there is a way to properly do so. Can you tie together all of the loose ends in a way that makes a certain degree of sense? Can you make viewers happy with the endpoint? There are, in theory, a thousand or so different scenarios that the writers could conjure up for this final episode (the tenth of the upcoming season 15), but some are clearly more realistic than others. For example, we don’t think Erica Messer is going to run the final episode into the Red Wedding. It’s always possible in theory that you lose someone close to the series finale, but you’re not losing everyone. Meanwhile, we don’t envision the finale ending with a huge cliffhanger or an UnSub in need of capture. There will always be more, so can’t you just let the BAU have a win, even if it’s just for a few minutes?

If you haven’t seen our recent Criminal Minds finale discussion, you can check that out at the bottom of this article! For some more news beyond that, subscribe to CarterMatt on YouTube and remember to also take a look at our official Criminal Minds playlist. You don’t want to miss any other update we have as the final season nears.

Here is where we envision there being real, legitimate ambiguity — whether or not we’re going to see the entire BAU team still working these at the end. This is a close-knit crew of people who love each other, but this is not an era where people hold the same job forever. There’s a greater sense of career fluidity than there’s ever been, with folks jumping constantly from one job to the next. Some of these people are so successful (see Rossi) that they never technically have to work again. Others (see Reid) already are alternating between being a BAU agent and then also a teacher. This is a dangerous job, and really any of them could determine that it’s time to spend more time at home not being almost killed off every time they head into the field. Simmons has an expanding family, for example, and that’s something to think about.

There’s a fitting end to Criminal Minds where a couple of agents end up leaving the BAU and the goal of this story was to chronicle the team that they had together. We don’t see the unit shutting down, but within this version of the narrative, the landscape changes. New agents come into the fold and the beat goes on.

Meanwhile, there’s another outcome here, one that keeps the world exactly the same. The BAU sticks together in its current form and we’re left wondering what sort of cases they’ll keep solving. Their world continues, and we just have to picture it with our imagination. It’s a viable end that would leave the door open for something more in the future … though we don’t get the sense that this is something anyone is planning. Getting a final season is a gift and we don’t see producers leaving anything open when they’ve got an opportunity to end things proper.

No matter how the story ends…

Let’s just hope that we actually get a chance to watch it at some point this year! After all, remember that there is no final-season premiere date for Criminal Minds just yet.

Want more news?

Then check out our recent season 15 spotlight, which revolves entirely around the character of David Rossi!

How do you think the Criminal Minds series finale is going to end? Share now in the attached comments. (Photo: CBS.)

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