Now that Paget Brewster has confirmed her (abbreviated) return to Criminal Minds for Season 12, and the show will be bringing Adam Rodriguez on board to mend the wounds of our hearts made by the departure of Shemar Moore, what else could be in store for us, the loyal, yet world-weary fans of this show?
Aisha Tyler, who joined the cast in Season 11 as Dr. Tara Lewis, will become a full-time cast member in Season 12.
What could this mean other than she'll be in the credits? It's hard to predict, since last season, Dr. Lewis wasn't in every episode. She had a limited role with the team, while she did some other fancy job involving forensic psychology and serial killers. (Also, Aisha Tyler had like 14 jobs in real life.)
However, it's not difficult to figure out how the writers will get Tyler's character back at the BAU full time, since this is the season the team is going to have to catch all those serial killers who escaped last season.
But what about Lewis' personal life? We don't know much about it other than that she left her fiancé early in Season 11, after said fiancé accused her of caring too much about her job and not enough about him, an all-too-familiar conversation on this show because the BAU destroys both relationships and happiness.
It is likely that I am way too invested in the personal lives of these people, and also too cynical about how happy they're allowed to be while still being part of the team. While the show is really good at character development, it's not great at letting the profilers have quality relationships outside the BAU. There's JJ, who has a romantic partner and two kids and seems to be doing fine most of the time, except for that part where she was kidnapped/tortured, had a miscarriage and remains emotionally compromised. Rossi's entire character is based on the fact that he can't maintain a relationship. Reid got to be happy for four whole episodes in Season 8 before that crashed and burned horribly.
The writers certainly have their work cut out for them this season, but if they're planning on giving Lewis a storyline that's about her romantic life, I hope it's not going to be a disaster. It's totally possible that isn't where they'll go with Lewis since she does have quite the rapport with the serial killers, which is obviously useful.
Having Tyler signed on as a full-time cast member is great news for the show on a lot of levels, not the least of which is the fact that it means there are four women on the team. After the show fired Brewster (Emily Prentiss) and AJ Cook (JJ) back in Season 6, it came under fire for the way it was treating women, so it's good to see that the female cast is robust going into Season 12.
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