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Why This Reid Moment Still Doesn't Make Sense To Criminal Minds Fans

As the only character to be in every episode of Criminal Minds, Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) has been through more traumatic experiences than any one person could feasibly handle. He's been shot, kidnapped, infected with anthrax, and framed for murder. There was one time when he actually had to watch his girlfriend killed in front of him. Even considering all that trauma, fans have a problem with the aftermath of him finding out his friend Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster) faked her death.

Near the end of the sixth season, Emily is stabbed and comes uncomfortably close to death. Hotch (Thomas Gibson) and JJ (A.J. Cook) hide her recovery from the team, fake her death, and send her to Paris for seven months to keep her safe from the man trying to kill her — and to explain Brewster leaving the show. She returns at the beginning of season 7, however, when they catch her would-be killer.

It isn't until their next case, in the episode "Proof," that we see how Emily's return affects Spencer. He's short with JJ, making her realize something is clearly bothering him. After needling him to talk about it, Spencer reveals that he's angry because he trusted her enough to cry at her house for 10 weeks straight after Emily's "death," and yet she never told him the truth. In a biting remark, he says he thought about taking dilaudid again, a drug he was addicted to in season 2.

Once they end the case, Emily approaches Spencer to ask if he'll be joining the team at Rossi's (Joe Mantegna) for a cooking lesson. Spencer is reluctant, but she convinces him and he shows up to Rossi's house. By the end of the episode, it appears all is well and forgiven. Fans, however, think Spencer should have harbored ill feelings toward JJ and Emily for longer than a single episode.

Fans think it would have taken Spencer longer to get over being lied to

On Reddit, user u/Novel_Breadfruit_923 broached the subject with a post arguing that the writers "should've let Spencer be mad a little longer." They wrote that his unstable home life growing up might have given him trust issues, making the breach here particularly hard to swallow. Plus, they criticized the insensitivity of Emily's line, "You mourned the loss of a friend, I mourned the loss of six. This whole thing gave me an ulcer. Please don't give me another one," saying it sounded like she wanted him to feel bad for being justifiably angry. The post ended with: "This could be my favoritism towards Reid speaking but in real life, this would be more of a process then just him instantly forgiving them cause of a few words from Emily and moving on."

User u/Comprehensive_Ad4689 agreed, saying this was one of the factors that made them like JJ less — r/criminalminds has crowned her the show's least liked character — because she didn't allow Spencer to be hurt. They added, "I think it would have been a much better story arc to show Reid actively distrusting JJ, Emily and Hotch for the large portion of Season 7." 

For user u/cheerful_buttercup, JJ's line to Spencer, "You know what I think it is? You're mad that Hotch and I controlled our micro-expressions at the hospital and you weren't able to detect our deception," particularly annoyed them. While many fans wish JJ and Reid would have gotten together, these commenters likely fall on the other side of that hot topic.

Still, no matter how much or how little this experience drove a wedge between the team, fans are united in loving Spencer's care for his friends. It's the scenes where he's protective of them that fans delight in watching over and over again.