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Criminal Minds Fans Agree That This Is The Most Problematic Part Of Garcia

Though its 15-season run ended in 2020, "Criminal Minds" remains a pop-culture powerhouse that can ignite debate among its legions of die-hard fans. On Reddit, there are several subgroups and threads devoted to "Criminal Minds," in which fans discuss their most and least favorite member of the Behavioral Analysis Unit, opine about the worst "unsub," and share mistakes and Easter eggs they discovered during a recent re-watch.

Recently, user No_Seesaw_5789 took to the platform to question one particular aspect of the fan-favorite character Penelope "Baby Girl" Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness), and to see if other fans shared their discontent (and they did). In the post, No_Seesaw_5789 states that as much as they like Garcia, they had issues with the times she oversteps. And we're not talking about the fairly illegal hacking the tech genius performs each episode, nor the issue with the human resources nightmare of Garcia and Derek Morgan's (Shemar Moore) sexually charged-yet-platonic relationship in the workplace. While troublesome, neither compares to the instances when Garcia crossed multiple lines and hacked the lives of her friends and loved ones.

Garcia hacked her way into Hotch's life

As watchers of the series know, the first few seasons of "Criminal Minds" address the marital struggles of Aaron Hotchner (Thomas Gibson) and his wife Haley (Meredith Monroe). Hotch repeatedly chooses his work over his family, which means Haley is essentially a single mom to their infant son, Jack. In Season 3, Hotch makes the decision to transfer out of the BAU and take a position that will allow him to be more present in his family's life. Just when it seems like the Hotchners have found their happiness, however, Garcia intervenes and brings it all crashing down.

Using her impressive computer skills, Garcia gums up the works, slowing and stalling Hotch's transfer request. When the BAU catches a new case, the higher-ups tell Hotch he needs to work the case with the team because his transfer request hasn't been processed; in fact, it wasn't even in the system. With no recourse, Hotch agrees to lead the BAU on the case, a decision that infuriates Haley. Through the course of the investigation, Hotch begins to second-guess his transfer request. By the end of the case, Hotch has completely changed his mind, and opts to remain with the BAU. When he heads home, he finds that Haley and their son have moved out. Had Garcia not interfered, Hotch would have transferred out of the BAU, which would likely have saved his marriage — and prevented Haley's murder in Season 5.

Garcia selfishly kept Kevin from professional advancement

The Queen, as Morgan once dubbed her, pulled out the same tricks in Season 4 when her boyfriend Kevin (Nicholas Brendon) was preparing to accept an overseas job with the National Security Agency. Though Kevin asks Garcia to apply with him, Garcia can't bring herself to leave her BAU family. This should have been the point where Garcia supported Kevin and encouraged his career advancement. Instead ... she hacks the NSA project Kevin is applying to, which results in the entire project being put on indefinite hold until the security breach is fixed. With just a few clicks and taps, Garcia erases the potential future for the man she claims to love. To make matters worse, Garcia ends their relationship a few years later, when Kevin proposes to her.

Legality aside, Garcia's actions in both situations are entirely selfish, which is mostly out of character for her. She eliminated potential paths to happiness for both Kevin and the Hotchners solely because she did not want them to leave her. Garcia didn't merely "overstep." By hacking the lives of those closest to her, she breached all codes of friendship, love, and professionalism. A BAU profile would likely attribute Garcia's fear of abandonment to the death of her parents when she was a teen, but just as the show's unsubs are responsible for their own actions, so too is Penelope Garcia.