Evolution Has Chance To Rectify Criminal Minds Original Misstep with Emily Prentiss

Evolution Has Chance To Rectify Criminal Minds Original Misstep with Emily Prentiss
Image credit: ABC, Paramount

Now that Criminal Minds is on streaming, fixing the original mistake should be easy.


  • The move from CBS to Paramount+ allowed Criminal Minds some much needed change.
  • Now, as Season 2 of the reboot slowly approaches, fans are hoping for one more tweak.
  • They want BAU head Emily Prentiss to get an arc that has been canon since day one of the show, but was originally cut by CBS.

Criminal Minds: Evolution has hit the refresh button on the fan-favorite FBI procedural. The transition from CBS to Paramount+ has made the investigations of the Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) more realistic with the addition of some much-needed gore, swearing and even some adult content (hello, Penelope).

In addition, the good old 'monster of the week' format was transformed into a season-long investigation, allowing the writers to delve deeper into the personal lives of our beloved BAU members.

Season 1 of the reboot gave us insight into the lives of Jennifer Jareau, Penelope Garcia, David Rossi and Tara Lewis. But one mystery still lingers in the shadows - Emily Prentiss.

Evolution clearly showed that Emily is currently married to her work and there's no love interest in the picture, but as Season 2 gets closer (fingers crossed the premiere happens in the next few months), fans are hoping that changes. More than that, the reboot has a chance to fix the mistake its parent show made years ago.

Prentiss' Original Arc

Did you know that Prentiss was originally written as a lesbian? Well, we'll bet that even if you didn't, you felt it. Ever since the gutsy agent joined the BAU in Season 2, viewers have read her as queer-coded.

So when the original, never filmed scene of Emily waking up next to a woman became public, no one was surprised. If anything, the majority of fans were disappointed that they got robbed of such a strong queer model and started rooting for Prentiss' romance with various female characters on the show.

The actress behind Prentiss, Paget Brewster, confirmed that she was all aboard the LGBTQ+ train for her character in an interview with Criminal Minds Fans.

'Prentiss being a lesbian was an idea brought up by Ed Bernero when he ran Criminal Minds years ago and I said yes,' she said. 'I don't remember why that story idea went away but I embrace everything our writers create. I would be happy to play Emily as bisexual or gay because I trust our team would do it well and honorably.'

Why was the story scrapped?

Brewster didn't go into detail about why Prentiss' original storyline was cut, but rumor has it that it was CBS that nixed the idea and pushed for a more traditional rewrite that gave Emily a couple of unmemorable, lukewarm heterosexual relationships.

Apparently, a queer character was a bit too spicy for TV back in the early 2000s. But now that the show has landed on streaming, there's a glimmer of hope. With showrunner Erica Messer at the helm, the writing team may have a chance to give Prentiss the arc she deserves.

Fingers Crossed For Season 2

Evolution has already dipped its toes into exploring queer relationships with Tara Lewis, who had a same-sex fling with FBI prosecutor Rebecca Wilson in Season 1. And it opens the road for Emily to also explore her sexuality and find love in a queer relationship of her own.

Fans would certainly want that. There's even an online petition urging Paramount+ and the show's creators to stay true to the character's identity and let Prentiss embrace her sexuality, which has been hinted at since day one.

Looks like Season 2 of Evolution might have a lot of goodies in store for us, huh?

Sources: Criminal Minds Fans, Ultimate Pop Culture Wiki, CBR, Change.org.