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The Character Criminal Minds Fans Hate Seeing During Rewatches

Over the course of "Criminal Minds" 16-year history, a number of agents have served in the FBI's elite Behavioral Analysis Unit with distinction. As the years have gone by, agents have come and gone, the team has grown and shrunk as actors either move on from a role, with their character written off, or the writers decide to shake up the status quo and introduce new characters to up the ante on the drama and potential for interpersonal conflict. While many of these characters become beloved fan favorites, there is one from the series' early seasons that some fans aren't at all happy to see.

Not every character on a long-running television series can become a fan favorite: sometimes characters are written to be naturally antagonistic, sometimes the writers start off believing they have potential but in the end, the ingredients just don't make for the reaction they're hoping for. In the case of Elle Greenaway (Lola Glaudini), the answer just might be a bit of both.

A frustrated fan base

In a recent Reddit post, user JustAnotherAnonHuman went in-depth on their antipathy toward the character: "She feels like a jammed-in character trying way too hard to play a sexy strong woman role; strikes me as tacky and unnatural. . .Do you think this is meant to be part of her characterization (like when an unsub profiled all of them early on and said something like she's trying too hard/won't ever make it at the boy's club)?"

Introduced in the debut season of "Criminal Minds," Elle Greenaway was a supervisory special FBI agent with a specialty in investigating sex crimes. She resigned during Season 2 of the series due to complications arising from PTSD she'd sustained after being shot by a serial killer stalking the team and the vigilante murder of another killer. She was replaced by Emily Prentiss (Page Brewster), who filled Greenaway's role through Season 7.

User Katmango08 also commented on the character, saying, "Elle never got a personal story, every other character has a background that makes them relatable or "real" while Elle was just a 1 dimensional character which enforced to me that she was just 'eye candy.'"

A mixture of problems

Given her appearance over the course of a mere two seasons, it's understandable how fans could be frustrated by Elle Greenaway as a character. Unlike other BAU investigators who stuck around longer, there wasn't much time for the writers to dig into the character and really understand what made her tick, nor to provide more hooks for future writers to explore as the series progressed. It also doesn't help that Greenaway's final appearance has her deliberately botch an investigation the BAU was undertaking to capture a serial rapist, all so she can track the man down and kill him herself. Afterward, she expresses no remorse — in a rather chilling parallel to the very serial killers she helped to put away.

The behind-the-scenes explanation for Greenaway's departure was rather simple: Glaudini didn't like living in Los Angeles and wanted a change of scenery. As a result, the creative team had to move things around and wrap up the character's arc before writing her off the series. It's an unfortunate confluence of behind-the-scenes problems and the actions of the character on the series that led to Elle Greenaway's character becoming one of the most disappointing experiences of "Criminal Minds" first two seasons, with so much potential left unfulfilled.