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The Criminal Minds: Evolution Team's Love For Zach Gilford Led To An Extended Voit Storyline

The first season of "Criminal Minds: Evolution" has officially come to an end, and many are still reeling over that breathless finale. There's good reason for that, as the pulse-pounding season-ender was heavy on the action, and even featured the death of a major new player on the BAU team. It, of course, also featured the capture of season-long protagonist Elias Voit, the crafty unsub who'd essentially unionized — and weaponized — an entire network of killers on the dark web.

Given his own well-established prowess in the serial murder game, and his uncanny ability to bring like-minded persons together, it should go without saying that Voit more than earned a spot among the most dangerous unsubs the BAU team has ever faced. Arguments could even be made that he's the most memorable killer the "Criminal Minds" has conjured to date. And yes, he's set to continue giving the BAU crew fits in the coming season.

It seems, however, that was not always the plan for Voit. According to current "Criminal Minds" big boss Erica Messer, the killer's arc was initially set to end in the "Evolution" finale. But the series' creative team loved working with Zach Gilford so much, they opted to keep him around.  

Criminal Minds: Evolution creators apparently have big plans for Gilford's memorable unsub

Erica Messer made that surprising admission during a recent interview with Variety. And per the "Criminal Minds: Evolution" showrunner's comments, Elias Voit is still around purely because Zach Gilford was so good in the role. "A huge part of that is because we love working with Zach," Messer said. She went on to claim that Voit's ultimate fate started to shift the moment Gilford signed on to play the part, noting, "we just thought it would end," later adding, "but we didn't know we were gonna fall in love with Zach so much that we wanted to come up with a story that could continue..."

And it seems the "Evolution" team's adoration of Gilford may well lead to the character having an even bigger role in the action next season as the finale-teased "Gold Star" storyline comes into focus. As Messer told Variety, "Well, we're hoping to have Zach a lot in the season and sort of treat him — the simplest way to say it — as our Hannibal Lecter." That's a potentially massive reveal, of course, as "The Silence of the Lambs" character is regarded as one of the most fascinating serial killer characters ever created. Merely mentioning Voit in the same breath indeed alludes to big things for the character moving forward.  

Given Voit's intimate ties to numerous unsubs, and his knowledge of the mysterious "Gold Star" program, the captured killer could well become a vital source of information for the BAU team next season. And it should be fascinating to watch him trade barbs and info with the gang moving forward.