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The Criminal Minds Character Fans Have Missed Since Season 2

With a hefty 15 seasons, the brutal procedural Criminal Minds saw numerous characters cycle through its main cast over the years. But, while the show's most iconic form of the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit didn't assemble until season 3, there's a character from the first two seasons that fans still miss: Elle Greenaway (Lola Glaudini).

Elle, a sex crimes specialist, is a newcomer to the BAU in the pilot episode. She's eager to work with the team until the season finale, when she's shot in her home by the murderer — nicknamed The Fisher King — they're chasing. She recovers physically in the second season, but becomes much more closed off and distant from the team. Afraid of being in her own home, she's still suffering from the trauma of being attacked and shot. It soon affects her work, as she botches a serial rapist case while undercover. He's let go from police custody, but she follows him and kills him. She claims it was self-defense (it wasn't), and faces no legal consequences, but the act drives a rift between her and the rest of the team, leading her to resign soon after.

Glaudini had her own reasons for leaving Criminal Minds, forcing Elle to be written off, but fans still miss her all these years later.

Criminal Minds fans liked her but wish she left in a different way

Reddit user u/littleindian1, amidst their sixth rewatch of the series, posted to r/criminalminds, wondering if anyone else missed Elle. 

"Elle has a way of talking to the victims/relatives of victims that's extremely personable and I really miss that. Her confidence, and ability to push back against Gideon & even Hotch is commendable and she brought some humour to the show," the user wrote. 

Several commenters agreed, including u/sooprotectionsquad, who wrote, "She was compassionate while being bada** and spunky and I loved her attitude. Her interactions with Morgan and Reid were super cute to watch."

But, for all her confidence and spunk, the fanbase's lasting memory of Elle is centered on her downward spiral and decision to kill the suspect in the serial rape case. User u/megan_6724 said that the show's writers did the character dirty by tying her exit to shooting a suspect in cold blood. Elle was the first of several characters written off because of the actor's choices.

While shooting the suspect was Elle's downfall, user u/reidsindiegf understood why she felt the need to do it. 

"Elle was a vital part of the team until she almost died. Her whole personality changed when she had that near death experience. I think when she killed that guy it was her version of revenge on The Fisher King. She thought that if she can save those girls then it would give her closure, but once she did everything was the same and she still felt the same way," they wrote.

In truth, the BAU's reaction to Elle's trauma is one of a series of things on Criminal Minds that didn't age well. Her teammates all got their own share of traumatic experiences by the end of the series.