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What Song Does Penelope Garcia Play In Criminal Minds: Evolution?

After a relatively brief hiatus, the hit CBS crime franchise "Criminal Minds" has returned with a brand new show. Aptly titled "Criminal Minds: Evolution," the new series aims to advance the scope of its storytelling and subject matter with an ambitious season-long arc revolving around how social media and the COVID-19 pandemic changed the nature of serial killers. Though your mileage may vary with its crude use of the internet as a catchall boogeyman, it is, at the very least, exciting for "Criminal Minds" fans to see the return of several beloved characters.

Though fan-favorite Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) is notably absent, Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster), David Rossi (Joe Mantegna), Tara Lewis (Aisha Tyler), Luke Alvez (Adam Rodriguez), and JJ (A.J. Cook) are all back, working together to track down Zach Gilford's criminal mastermind, Elias Voit.

One returning alum has received special focus in the sequel series — Kirsten Vangsness' tech-genius, Penelope Garcia. One of the show's strongest storylines is Garcia's internal struggle between enjoying her life outside the FBI and helping those in need. At a critical moment in her journey, Gracia turns to a song that may sound familiar to those on TikTok.

TikTok's this-or-that anthem

The song is Run-D.M.C.'s "It's Tricky." Originally released in 1986, it has become somewhat popular among today's youth due to a TikTok trend. Users on the social media app record videos of themselves making choices or stating bold preferences while the song plays in the background.

The connection is worth noting because Garcia's arc closely links with COVID's impact on social media. In the same episode, she describes herself as thriving during lockdown, the isolation helping her sort through complex emotional problems. She is constantly seen using an array of apps for meditation, exercise, and work (she's even invented her own Zoom-like social network called "Soar"). For both the show's creative team and its audience, it isn't hard to imagine that Garcia became an avid TikTok user during the pandemic, as did a striking number of people in real life (per Statista).

Garcia plays the song on a portable speaker while she and Rossi track down the locations of Voit's "kill kits." In a small way, the scene shows how Garcia is choosing to return to work on her own terms and in her own way. She begins the episode by hosting a virtual "dance party" for her co-workers on Soar. This attitude ultimately influences Rossi, who then makes his own positive work-life changes before the credits roll.