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Criminal Minds: Evolution Season 2 Is Exposing A Big Problem That The BAU Has Ignored For Years

This article contains discussion of PTSD.

Warning! This article contains SPOILERS for Criminal Minds: Evolution season 2.


  • The BAU team has brushed off their government-mandated counseling since Criminal Minds season 1. With the stakes raised in the revival series, it’s becoming a major problem in Criminal Minds: Evolution season 2.
  • The BAU team’s struggles with PTSD continue in Criminal Minds: Evolution, highlighting the importance of communication.
  • Forensic psychologist Tara Lewis could be key to keeping the BAU team together in Criminal Minds: Evolution season 2.

Criminal Minds: Evolution season 2, also called Criminal Minds season 17, is exposing longstanding BAU team problems dating back to 2005. Criminal Minds: Evolution season 1 premiered on Paramount+ on November 24, 2022, just two years after Criminal Minds ended. The quick revival proved there was still a strong fanbase that wanted to see how the BAU’s story would continue. Criminal Minds: Evolution season 3 was confirmed the day before season 2’s premiere.

Criminal Minds: Evolution season 3 will likely premiere around the franchise’s 20th anniversary. Some of the best Criminal Minds episodes are the milestone episodes, like “100,” “200,” and “300,” and with Criminal Minds: Evolution having 10-episode seasons, something special could be done for episode number 325, which would be season 3, episode 6. The Criminal Minds condition for Reid and Morgan returning is a relief, especially because Evolution has continued to put its characters through traumatic situations that expose an important past issue.


Why Criminal Minds Ended After Season 15 (Was It Canceled?)

After 15 successful seasons, Criminal Minds ended on CBS. Despite its long time on the air, the reason for its cancelation remains intriguing.

The Criminal Minds: Evolution Characters Never Took Their Government-Mandated Therapy Seriously

The Criminal Minds: Evolution Characters Have Been Through A Lot Of Traumatic Situations

Each Criminal Minds season has added more life-changing trauma for the characters and helped unearth old trauma. One of Criminal Mind: Evolution’s biggest themes is how trauma affects the brain, and the BAU team members are no exception to having their personalities altered, even if only temporarily, by trauma. With the danger and stress that come with the job, the Criminal Minds characters are often made to attend government-mandated therapy sessions.

Unfortunately, they tend to dismiss these therapy sessions, often assuming they know what’s best for themselves or being unwilling to open themselves up to someone outside the team. This has been going on since the series began. For example, before Elle left the team in Criminal Minds season 2, she was skipping her mandatory therapy sessions following a PTSD diagnosis. In Criminal Minds season 7, Emily lied to her therapist to be cleared for duty. Despite their aversion to therapy, or perhaps because of it, each character has been diagnosed with PTSD at one point or another.

With their older age and decades of shared trauma, they share even less about what they’re feeling in

Criminal Minds: Evolution


The Criminal Minds: Evolution Characters Aren’t Communicating About Their Mental Health Issues In Season 2

The Lack Of Communication Is Causing Tension & Could Put The Criminal Minds: Evolution Characters In Danger

The Criminal Minds: Evolution characters bottling up their feelings is nothing new, but typically the team members have been able to talk to each other about it. Hotch was understanding with Emily when he found out she lied to her therapist in Criminal Minds season 7. However, in his worry, he became an important sounding board for her. When JJ started experiencing PTSD flashbacks after being tortured by Askari in Criminal Minds season 10, Spencer and Emily were there for her. Her hallucination scene with Askari shines an important light on PTSD and how it often affects people.

However, Criminal Minds: Evolution season 2, episode 4 showed the team heading in different directions physically, mentally, and emotionally. Elias Voit and the “Gold Star Program” are exposing the trauma they’ve always had issues dealing with. Between Criminal Minds ending and Criminal Minds: Evolution starting, there was a 3-year time jump where the team was split up. Though they remain close, with their older age and decades of shared trauma, they share even less about what they’re feeling in Criminal Minds: Evolution.

Like JJ with Askari, Rossi has been hallucinating and speaking to Voit in Criminal Minds: Evolution season 2. However, whenever someone asks him who he’s talking to, he brushes them off. When JJ tries to talk to Emily about “BAU-Gate,” she tells Emily it’s no big deal despite her trying to help as BAU Unit Chief. Garcia is still learning to feel comfortable again at the FBI as everyone around her manipulates her to help them. Luke’s issues with anger management, Tara’s breakup with Rebecca, and Emily’s determination to avenge Doug Bailey have caused further mental health issues.



Hotch’s Unresolved Storyline Finally Haunts Prentiss In Criminal Minds: Evolution Season 2

Emily Prentiss is great as BAU chief, but Aaron Hotchner’s abrupt departure issue finally catches up to her in Criminal Minds: Evolution season 2.

Tara Can Play An Important Role In Criminal Minds: Evolution Season 2

The BAU Team Is Going To Need Someone To Help Keep Everyone Together

Ironically, the same team that has been hesitant to receive proper psychological treatment has a forensic psychologist working with them. Dr. Tara Lewis joined the BAU in Criminal Minds season 11 with extensive experience interviewing psychopathic criminals to determine whether they were fit for trial or not. Though not a traditional therapist, Tara was reassigned to be a psychologist to FBI agents when Linda Barnes split up the BAU team in Criminal Minds season 13. The job was treated as a joke, but she has used her therapeutic skills to help the team beyond just cases.

Tara is not immune from repression but can step up at this vital moment in Criminal Minds: Evolution season 2. Being forced to work with Voit has triggered the entire team’s PTSD; someone like Tara could keep the team communicating, unashamed of vulnerability. Voit’s belief in “social contagion” and how it’s already affected the BAU has unearthed an age-old fear for the team: being driven into becoming a Criminal Minds unsub. Hopefully, Tara will remind them that working together helped them survive past trauma in Criminal Minds: Evolution.

Criminal Minds: Evolution
season 2 premieres new episodes every Thursday on Paramount+ through August 1, 2024.


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