“Thinking Like a Criminal” is set to return to Paramount+ after its initial cancellation in 2020, but the behavioral analysis department has proven that it no longer needs Dr. Spencer Reed (Matthew Gray-Gabler). Although the bulk of the original cast is due to return, there is still no information on whether Gray-Gabler will be involved. However, in case he doesn’t sign up for the upcoming revival of “Thinking Like a Criminal”, BAU will still be able to do his job effectively, as previously shown.
Since its foundation, BAU has always adapted the composition of its team so that everyone has their own area of expertise. For Reed, apart from the fact that he is one of the most experienced members of the remaining team, his intelligence, not to mention his eidetic memory, played an important role in tracking down the unknowns and imprisoning them. It’s always nice to see how emergency responders from different cities react to him when he quickly lays out a case. At the same time, since Gray-Gabler’s participation in the “Think Like a Criminal” season is still unknown, there are concerns that his potential absence will make BAU less effective.
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Fortunately, this will not happen. Even if Reed doesn’t return in the revival of “Thinking Like a Criminal,” Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster) and her team will still be able to catch serial killers. Given that Reed’s involvement will make BAU’s job easier, given his extensive knowledge and experience, the FBI unit has long proven that it can do its job well without him. In seasons 13 and 14 of “Thinking Like a Criminal,” Reed missed work on several cases because he was ordered to take regular vacations after his traumatic experience when he was framed and jailed for murder. Knowing that Reed needed something to occupy himself, Prentiss organized seminars for him for new agents. This forced BAU to work without him for a while, and the division worked just as well.
Given this, in case Reed doesn’t appear in season 16 of “Thinking Like a Criminal,” it’s safe to say that watching BAU figure out serial killers will still be nice. No matter how much he helps in solving these cases, his other teammates are just as capable as he is in the work of profiling these unknowns. Aside from Reed being the genius boy on the team, Reed’s relationship with the rest of the group is arguably the biggest loss due to his eventual non-interference. His personal arc also became interesting again towards the end of the last season of “Thinking Like a Criminal” when he started dating Maxine (Rachel Lee Cook). After a series of broken hearts, a promising relationship seemed to have great potential for success, and it would be nice to see them on screen.
As a fan-favorite character, Reed’s possible absence from the revival of “Thinking Like a Criminal” will definitely be felt. He is one of two characters who have remained in BAU for all 15 years of CBS procedures, the second is J.J. Jaro (A.J. Cook). However, if Gray-Gabler decides not to repeat his most famous role, it is safe to say that BAU will be able to continue his work even without Reed.