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Many Criminal Minds: Evolution Fans Think The Show Still Works Despite Reid's Absence

The first season of "Criminal Minds: Evolution" succeeded in reviving the classic procedural series for a fresh yet nostalgic new chapter, but it also had to do so without one of the biggest characters in the original series. Aside from a couple of verbal references, Matthew Gray Gubler's Dr. Spencer Reid is nowhere to be found in the first chapter of the sequel series. For longtime fans of the show, they can't help but notice Reid's absence, and there's plenty of clamor for the character to somehow make his way back onto the cast for subsequent installments. However, many "Criminal Minds: Evolution" have also been vocal in their opinion that the show can still continue effectively without Reid, too.

In the time after "Criminal Minds: Evolution" started airing, some fans were surprised to find that the show held up even without Reid. "I realized a few episodes in that I didn't feel like anything was 'lacking' despite the lack of Reid," u/Exact_Roll_4048 commented. "While I miss him and would love him to return, they did a good job with 'Evolution' in patching any holes he could have left." Other fans agreed, noting that the in-universe explanation of Reid being on a special assignment helped soften the blow of his character not being around. "I think they did a really good job of explaining Reid's absence and referring to him every so often!" u/LazyBlueberry5 wrote.

Reid might have dodged a bullet

Some fans are taking a stronger stance on Reid's absence from "Criminal Minds: Evolution," arguing that it's actually better that the character isn't present. For u/gremlin-with-issues, they believed that Reid may not be a good tonal fit for the show's new direction. "I love Reid and I was really disappointed he wasn't coming back BUT honestly I really don't think he would've actually fit in well this series," they wrote. "Like his quips and human encyclopedia just doesn't seem like it would've vibed with this season?"

Other fans worried that if Reid had appeared in the series, he would have ended up in some unsavory situations, as was often the case in the original "Criminal Minds." "If Reid was in Evolution, the writers would probably have found new ways to hurt him like they always do lol," u/No_Seesaw_5789 suggested. Other fans echoed similar ideas, feeling that Reid coming back wouldn't be worth the price of seeing him suffer. "I would like him back he was my favourite but I also would be so damn mad if they brought him back to abuse him more," u/AliDeAssassin commented.

While many view his absence as a good thing, it's still possible that Reid will have at least a cameo in a future season of "Criminal Minds: Evolution." Showrunner Erica Messer teased as much in an interview with TV Insider. If the character does end up coming back, though, hopefully it's in a way that satisfies fans.