For nine seasons, the hit CBS show Criminal Minds has brought action, adventure, tragedy, and laughter to our screens as the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit profiles serial killers in order to bring justice to victims. Aaron Hotchner, JJ Jareau, Derek Morgan Spencer Reid, and Penelope Garcia have been the members of the team who have been around the entire time, while other characters have come and gone for various reasons. In addition to the main cast, the show has had many guest stars who have riveted our screens whether as a love interest for the character, a family member, or as a serial killer who destroys the lives of the team in one way or another.
From George Foyet, who tortured Agent Aaron Hotchner before murdering his wife, to Diana Reid, who plays the Schizophrenic mother of Doctor Spencer Reid, there have been many reoccurring characters, and guest stars, to come our way. Many of them have been antagonistic characters, leaving our hearts pounding as we watch them make our beloved team suffer. But others have brought us laughter and smiles as they light up our screens, making this otherwise heavy show a bit lighthearted.
The news has come that Jennifer Love Hewitt will be joining the cast as another agent, with the departure of the team’s third team member who has left, Alex Blake. As we sit and wonder how Hewitt will fare with the rest of the seasoned BAU, TheCelebrityCafe.com takes a look back at some of the reoccurring guest stars and their characters who have left us either shouting at them, crying unexpectedly (like me), or smiling after an otherwise rough episode. Which guest star has been your favorite on the show?
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10. Jordan Todd, played by Meta Golding
While BAU liaison Jennifer ‘JJ’ Jareau was on maternity leave, Jordan Todd joined the team to take over. She had a brief run in with Derek Morgan before they both realized they’d be working together and in the clip below, Reid and former agent Emily Prentiss tease Morgan upon meeting Todd and finding out the two had some sort of encounter.
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9. Technical Analyst Kevin Lynch, played by Nicholas Brendon
After the BAU’s tech analyst Penelope Garcia was shot after a date, the team brought in Kevin Lynch while she was recovering. He would go on to play her love interest and in this scene, the two unofficially meet when Penelope is home, attempting to hack her way into the investigation.
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8. Maeve Donovan, played by Beth Riesgraf
In the eighth season, Reid began dating a woman he never met, but spoke to through the phone. She had a stalker and was unable to leave to show herself to Reid. Unfortunately at the end, she met a grisley end as her stalker did end up murdering her in front of a heartbroken Reid, who had been unable to tell her how he really felt about her. In this scene, Reid dreams of Maeve and they share a dance as a final goodbye.
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7. Erin Strauss, played by Jayne Atkinson
As the section chief of the BAU, Strauss wasn’t the most popular character. Many of her decisions she made may not have benefited the team and made them feel annoyed with her, as well as the audience watching. While not much was revealed about her at first, we eventually found out she was a recovering alcoholic. Unfortunately, she also met a tragic end as a disgruntled FBI agent forced her to drink red wine at gunpoint. She ended up being poisoned and died tragically in Aaron Hotchner’s arms, tearfully telling him she didn’t want to die alone. In this scene from season three, she is telling Aaron that former agent Gideon is leaving the team.
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6. Ian Doyle, played by Timothy V. Murphy
Ian Doyle was the nemesis of former agent Emily Prentiss. He was under investigation by Interpol, with Emily having gone undercover to catch him. Doyle found out who she really was and went after her. Eventually, after stabbing Prentiss, her death was staged in order for her to go into hiding. In this scene, Doyle and Prentiss have a tense discussion where he appears to threaten her team.
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5. Tobias Hankel, played by James Van Der Beek
Tobias recurred in two episodes as an unsub who eventually kidnaps Reid and holds him hostage. He has multiple personalities, with one being his father, who is deeply religious, and a vengeful angel named Raphael. He would use web cams to find his victims in their homes. Reid is forced to choose which one of his team members will die at gunpoint. Eventually, Tobias is shot and killed.
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4. William LaMontangue Jr., played by Josh Stewart
William LaMontangue is the husband of JJ Jareau. They met while on a case in New Orleans and eventually, JJ becomes pregnant with their son, Henry. In some episodes, they have appeared happy, although there have been times tension came due to JJ’s job. In this episode clip, JJ and Will have a fight, but they later make up before JJ tells their little boy a bedtime story. Fun fact: The little boy in the clip is actually the actress’ son.
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3. George Foyet, played by C. Thomas Howell
No character is probably hated more than George Foyet, the Boston reaper who staged his own stabbing so no one would realize he was the killer. However, the BAU eventually figures it out but he is able to escape. Later on, Foyet viciously stabs Aaron Hotchner in his own home, so Aaron has his ex-wife, Haley, and their son, Jack, go into witness protection. However, Foyet is able to get to them and in this scene, he quietly displays foreboding terror as Hayley realizes she and her child are in danger. In a powerful and heartbreaking clip, Haley says goodbye to her ex-husband and first love before Foyet kills her. Jack had been able to escape when Aaron tells him to ‘work the case,’ which Jack knows means he has to go hide in a small box upstairs.
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2. Diana Reid, played by Jane Lynch
Diana Reid is Doctor Spencer Reid’s mother and she suffers from schizophrenia. She is very proud of her son as he continues to help put bad guys away. She hasn’t appeared in many episodes, as her actress Jane Lynch is on the show Glee but her presence makes for bittersweet moments with Reid. In this clip, Reid goes to see her about some murders happening, as he has been having dreams about something happening to either himself or a boy he knew.
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1. Haley Hotchner, played by Meredith Monroe
Haley Hotchner was the wife of Aaron Hotchner and they had a child together, Jack. She eventually grew tired of Aaron’s long working hours and they eventually divorced, but they still loved each other. In the end, the serial killer, George Foyet, murdered Hayley. She later returns when Aaron is having complications from the stabbing he had endured, where he dreams of both her and Foyet. They appear to be watching a video of Haley’s life and death, and Aaron is unable to understand what is happening. He doesn’t want to leave Haley, but she reminds him that he needs to be happy.
At Large Senior Editor, Arizona State University alum, coffee addict and television crime drama fan