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The Garcia Episode That Criminal Minds Fans Always Skip Watching

The long-running procedural crime drama "Criminal Minds" has gained a massive following over its 15-season run. The captivating show centers on the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit, which analyzes the behavior of serial killers in an attempt to prevent further violence. The agents at the center of "Criminal Minds" have varied a bit, but some fans' everlasting favorites include supervisory special agent Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler), senior supervisory special agent David Rossi (Joe Mantegna), supervisory agent Derek Morgan (Shemar Moore), supervisory special agent Jennifer "JJ" Jareau (A. J. Cook), and, of course, the BAU technical analyst and communications liaison Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness).

Garcia is well-loved for her bubbly and funny disposition — not to mention her flirty relationship with Morgan. While she's been known for her flamboyant looks and bright personality, she wasn't always portrayed that way. In one episode of "Criminal Minds," we get a look at Garcia's backstory, and while it's an interesting peek into her life before joining the BAU, some fans can't get through the entire episode without cringing.

Garcia isn't convincing as The Black Queen

In Season 9 Episode 12, we meet Garcia before she joins the BAU. The episode opens with her in an interrogation room after having been arrested for hacking into a cosmetics company's database. We immediately see a difference in her appearance and personality — she's donning much more goth clothing and has a sarcastic, brooding way of speaking. Senior supervisory special agent Aaron Hotchner (Thomas Gibson) gives her the opportunity to work with the BAU rather than face jail time, and the rest is history.

Further in the episode, Garcia is tasked with asking her hacker ex-boyfriend Shane Wyeth (Paulo Costanzo) to help the BAU recover some files. She makes her return as her hacking bad-girl alter ego "The Black Queen," complete with background music and her signature goth clothes. Not only that, but she goes so far as to kiss a nerdy hacker to "prove" that she's over Wyeth — a moment that some might say ran entirely too long.

"Criminal Minds" fans who couldn't handle the cringe of the episode took to Reddit to vent their feelings. User u/shortmallows wrote, "I'm rewatching for the billionth time, and I'm at the Garcia backstory episode, where she plays the Black Queen. As much as I love Kirsten, she cannot play this dark and mysterious person they say Garcia was. I'm like physically cringing at the scenes of her from "the past." Another Redditor named u/eli454 agreed, confessing, "I just skip it whenever I rewatch that episode." User u/MayaJ_89 bluntly added, "I mean the scene when she enters the 'hacker den' with aaaaall the sound and light effects. If I owned a gun, I'd shoot the TV. Multiple times."

Though Garcia's backstory episode is definitely skippable, it did give us the "flarpy blunderguff" line. So, there's that.