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What Happened To Shemar Moore's Derek Morgan On Criminal Minds?

Derek Morgan (Shemar Moore) was one of the most popular characters on "Criminal Minds" during his tenure on the program. A regular for 11 seasons, he works his way up from supervisory special agent to acting unit chief in the wake of Hotch (Thomas Gibson) stepping down. Eventually, Derek himself leaves the unit after he and his wife, Savannah (Rochelle Aytes), become parents to a newborn son, Hank Spencer Morgan. But it takes something major to make Derek realize what he really wants out of life.

During "A Beautiful Disaster," Derek is threatened by a mysterious unsub. It turns out to be Chazz Montolo (Lance Henriksen), father of Giuseppe Montolo (Robert Neary), a previous unsub who got killed after Derek arrested him, previously just another face added to his surprisingly high unsub kill count. He's taken off the case, but JJ Jareau (A.J. Cook) shares the information with Derek, and he nobly decides to head to a property where Chazz is hiding to offer himself up as a sacrifice. The team obviously isn't going to let him do that, though. Held hostage, Derek almost dies but manages to save himself. 

After the team captures Chazz, Derek skedaddles to the hospital to watch Savannah give birth to Hank. The day's events are enough to encourage him to seek a more sedate line of work. But that doesn't mean he leaves his colleagues behind forever.

Derek Morgan pops up in several subsequent Criminal Minds seasons

Derek Morgan pops up in the flesh on several episodes of "Criminal Minds" after leaving the series as a regular. Many of those visits relate to Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness), his close friend and frequent partner in flirtation, adding more insight into their relationship

His first guest starring bit occurs on Season 12's "Red Light." Contacted by notorious unsub Mr. Scratch (Bodhi Elfman), otherwise known as Peter Lewis, he visits the old office and catches up. Otherwise, he mainly encourages Penelope to be kinder to Luke Alvez (Adam Rodriguez), his replacement on the team. During Season 13, he appears on "Lucky Strikes" to afford Penelope help during a difficult case. And finally, he's seen in the series finale, Season 15's "And in the End," after being attacked by the latest unsub.

There's no word as to whether or not he'll appear on the show's new sequel series, "Criminal Minds: Evolution," but when one considers how dedicated Derek is to his friends — and the fact that "S.W.A.T." is gearing up to shoot a new season (putting Shemar Moore on the right lot at the right time) — anything is possible. In any event, the 2nd season of "Criminal Minds: Evolution" debuted on June 6.