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Every Job Position Emily Prentiss Landed On Criminal Minds

Over the course of its 15 seasons, "Criminal Minds" has seen its fair share of characters: A core few stay through the entire run, while others come and go. Among them, however, Emily Prentiss stands out as a key character whose presence is often in flux.

Paget Brewster plays the badass, cool, and collected Agent Prentiss. She's a bit of a nerd, loves her cat Sergio, and is always sticking her neck out to protect people. Though she joins the series late, she's an integral part of the show, and a crucial member of the BAU's most iconic version of the profiling team.

Emily joins the series in Season 2, replacing Elle Greenaway (Lola Glaudini) after the latter's exit. Her first storyline puts her in mysterious opposition with the team, though it's unbeknownst to her. BAU Section Chief Erin Strauss (Jayne Atkinson) appointed Emily to the team to spy on Hotch (Thomas Gibson). However, Emily quickly grows close to the team and refuses to report on Hotch. From then on, she's officially one of them, even though she still bounces in and out of the show, taking on a variety of positions before settling into a perfect fit.

Emily starts as an agent but earns leadership positions

Emily Prentiss comes to the BAU with an impressive history. Due to her parents' jobs, she grew up moving from country to country, learning several languages, including Arabic, French, and Italian. Before "Criminal Minds," she worked with Interpol, The International Criminal Police Organization, but when she joins the BAU, she's a Supervisory Special Agent, like several of her colleagues.

Prentiss stays in that role for a long time, despite momentarily faking her death, until the end of Season 7 when she takes a new job as Chief of Interpol's London office. This is when she officially leaves the show, only appearing in a couple of episodes as a guest until her full-time return in Season 12. However, she doesn't simply return as a Special Agent. That would be a huge demotion from her Interpol job, plus, a new position on the team opens up when Hotch makes his exit from the series. Emily, a natural leader, takes on a new role as the BAU's Unit Chief.

In Season 13, however, she's suspended from this position by Linda Barnes, a despised villain of the series and high-ranking member of the FBI. Emily briefly — and unhappily — is reassigned to the OPR, which is described as "the FBI version of Internal Affairs." But after going behind Barnes' back for a high-profile case, she's reinstated as the BAU's Unit Chief and stays there until the end of the series. 

Though losing Hotch is a blow to "Criminal Minds," Emily makes for a good replacement.