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How Criminal Minds Fans Really Feel About Reid And JJ's Relationship

Many TV shows are known for keeping viewers hooked by having their characters wrapped up in endless "will they, or won't they" romantic entanglements. Ross and Rachel from Friends or Tony and Ziva from NCIS are just two examples of onscreen couplings between main characters on popular TV shows that teased viewers for season after season of turmoil and ambiguity. Despite it being a popular trope, one show that never really dabbled in those antics was Criminal Minds.

While fans love the relationships of many of the show's characters, for the most part, it was their platonic love that kept them watching. But that doesn't mean there was never a romantic subplot between the agents of the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU). Back in season 1, it seemed like something might be brewing when brilliant, but awkward, Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) confessed to having a little office crush on JJ Jareau (A. J. Cook). An attempt at setting the two up was made, but ultimately, romance never blossomed.

Cut to the finale episode of season 14. While they are being held at gunpoint by an unknown subject (unsub), JJ makes a startling confession to Reid: "I've always loved you. And I was just too scared to say it before." The revelation that JJ, who by that point in the series was already happily married with children, had been harboring deep feelings for Reid came out of the blue. For many in the Criminal Minds fandom, it was an unwelcome twist in the saga of Reid and JJ's relationship.

Fans thought JJs admission of love was jarring

Over on Reddit, user Coolsbeans kicked off a discussion about JJ's confession by starting a thread about that fateful episode. They wrote, "JJ is definitely the mom friend and when you show her being all maternal to reid for 13 seasons you cant suddenly change the dynamic. It's absolutely out of character for her to make that confession..."

Quite a few other commenters also had a major issue with this sudden change in Reid and JJ's dynamic. User Dalance10 wrote, "Totally agree! They ARE great friends, almost as siblings such as Morgan and Reid etc. Obv they liked each other in the earlier season but [then] she started going out with Will and then had Kids and got married [...] It was so out of the blue, it made no sense [...]"

Even self-identified Reid stan ReidsMyFavorite found fault with this particular storyline. They said, "I have to agree that it came out of nowhere...There was much more of a sibling vibe than 'secret lovers.' Plus... Reid is the godfather to Will and JJ's children. It's just ... wrong on so many levels." They also made an important point that several other fans also argued: "Reid had a MILD crush on JJ back in S1, but the writers didn't pursue it [...]"

For many, the issue wasn't so much the idea of JJ and Reid getting together, but rather, that if it was going to happen, that ship had sailed a long time ago.

If Jeid was going to happen, the time to do it was season 1

One important point of distinction that should be made in this conversation is that for some fans, the problem isn't the idea of JJ and Reid having a romantic relationship. But if that was going to happen, even the hardest Jeid shippers agree that when the show passed on the opportunity to pursue something between the two characters back in season 1, that should have been the end of it.

User ikindalovemgg, who seems to harbor some Jeid sympathies, said, "that was definitely an awkward moment for the both of them. i wish they pursued jeid at the beginning of the show instead but i agree!"

User thnks-fr-th-memories wrote, "I don't think I would have shipped Reid and JJ but it would have at least made sense if they had started something mucchhhh earlier on." They added, "It makes 0 sense why JJ would date another guy, marry him, have kids with him while she was in love with someone else all that time (and also make this someone else the godfather to her kids?)."

Meanwhile, thepferdandonly suggested a more cynical theory for JJ's sudden declaration of love. They started by saying, "They sort of hinted at there being something with JJ and Reid very early on, but it got completely abandoned. They could have brought it back but they should have done it wayyy sooner than season 14," and then went on to argue, "But it was obviously a Hail Mary to get a season 15."

No matter the reason for the show suddenly bringing the Reid and JJ romance subplot back to the fore toward the end of Criminal Minds, it's clear that most fans wanted them to remain just friends.