‘Criminal Minds’ season 9 spoilers: The Replicator’s future; ‘The Following’ season 2 link

Criminal MindsHave we really seen the last of the Replicator on “Criminal Minds”? The much-touted villain was seemingly killed off during the season 8 finale Wednesday night in an explosion, but much like we saw on “The Following” recently with the “death” of Joe Carroll, the show was strategic enough to make certain that there was a way in which we could see Mark Hamill be brought back in the future, at least if the writers choose to go that route.

Speaking to TV Guide about the show’s future following the episode, executive producer Erica Messer explains just how carefully the show decided to tread when it comes to what happened to the Replicator, mostly because they don’t know yet just where the story is going to go:

“I wanted to leave that as our option creatively. My guess is he’s gone. But I specifically didn’t want to do that in case in Season 9 we say, ‘Well, you know…’ [Laughs] I wanted to leave that up in the air until we decide in the writers’ room next month. Even all the actors said, ‘We don’t see his body.’ By keeping that open-ended, it will keep a beat in the season premiere where we can show photos from the scene or say he’s dead. It’ll be a nice starting point for us.”

The issue that Messer is speaking about is something that many showrunners are forced to tackle time and time again, as you don’t want to let go of a good villain or a good actor sometimes. However, it is better to have their legacy be great, rather than just good. “True Blood” made this mistake last year by bringing back Russell Edgington, and having his real death be far less epic than what happened to almost kill him in season 3.

At this point, do you think more of this character would be a bad thing, at least from the standpoint that it turns the show into a cheesy comic-book movie? Our full review of the finale is over at the link here, just in case you want some more insight into Strauss’ death.

Photo: CBS

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