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The Details Criminal Minds Fans Would Change About The Show

"Criminal Minds" may have a devoted fanbase made up of viewers who regularly rewatch the show with great enthusiasm, but the series is far from perfect. From the moment it premiered in 2005, "Criminal Minds" produced plenty of moments that didn't age well, with the show being critiqued for, among other things, featuring insensitive portrayals of people with mental illness. However, despite the series' many gruesome deaths, "Criminal Minds" is also a comfort show for many.

That said, even the most devoted "Criminal Minds" fans are not without their complaints, whether they involve issues like representation or have to do with simply disliking certain storylines. On the show's subreddit page, where fans continue to regularly talk about it, Redditor u/scullbag_Molder posed the question: "What would you change? If you could pick one character and you could change one thing about their story what would it be?" 

For the most part, "Criminal Minds" fans seemed to be in agreement about a few key changes they'd like to retroactively make to the CBS series.

LGBTQ+ representation is at the top of the list

One of the changes that "Criminal Minds" fans were most vocal about in the thread was including LGBTQ+ representation in the show, particularly with regards to Emily (Paget Brewster) being a lesbian and Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) being bisexual. Notably, both of those character traits have basis behind the scenes: Brewster mentioned in an interview that both she and executive producer Ed Bernero were interested in portraying Emily as a lesbian, while show creator Jeff Davis said in a tweet that Spencer was supposed to be bi (via ET Online).

Fans wish the series had stuck with these characterizations. u/RileyTMR put it simply, stating, "We need an LGBT character on the show." Even though Emily is never said to be gay on the show, fans still picked up on the subtext as well, with u/Asuna_Kikyo writing, "The girl had hardly any chemistry with any men but just about every woman." Meanwhile, u/SlyKenz revealed that they just imagine their own version of the character when rewatching the series, admitting that "When I watch, I ignore the fact they portray her as straight."

In particular, "Criminal Minds" fans especially wanted to see a relationship blossom between Emily and JJ (A.J. Cook).

Criminal Minds fans wish Spencer Reid could just be happy

Another common thread in the Reddit post's comments was the desire for Spencer Reid's overall story to go in a different direction. First, "Criminal Minds" fans revealed that they would get rid of the Season 14 episode "Truth or Dare," in which JJ oddly confesses her love for Spencer only for it to amount to nothing but pain for both of them. Secondly, fans would alter one of Reid's last story arcs, which involves his final romantic interest, Max (Rachael Leigh Cook), who appears in just two episodes of Season 15.

Both u/mccabebabe and u/CMStan1313 commented that they would have had Spencer meet Max in an earlier season of the show. The latter user wrote, "I would've introduced Max in season 10, had her and Spencer get married in season 14, and had them be expecting a child in the finale." u/sarbear0903 added that they wanted Max to stick around as a character after her second episode, instead of simply disappearing from the story.

In contrast, u/AvianBEJKS had less to say about Spencer's romantic entanglements, and more about how his character was written. In particular, they wanted his character to change more over time, writing, "I would have allowed Reid to 'grow up' and experience life/relationships outside of his job and the team — before the final few episodes of the show. The writers seemed desperate to have him remain as a naive 20-something when he was 40. Young, novice Reid was a great character but it shouldn't have taken prison to have him develop beyond that."

Since the fan-favorite character is known for being completely woobified (AKA made to feel sorry for) many fans simply wanted him to have a moment of peace. With that in mind, u/megan_6724 proposed a simple change, writing, "I would actually give Spencer Reid happiness for once."

Criminal Minds fans wanted more for Garcia and Emily

While the added LGBTQ+ representation and alterations to Spencer Reid's storyline were the most popular changes viewers proposed, there were a few other ideas that "Criminal Minds" fans threw around in the Reddit thread. u/scullbag_Molder, for instance, said their change would be giving Emily Prentiss a child, either through adoption or her own pregnancy. Others agreed with this sentiment, with u/Asuna_Kikyo writing that the character "would've been a great mother."

u/ifyouseekamy_bae also backed up the idea, writing, "One thing I was always mad about was the fact that Emily never had a child." In their comment, the user brought up Emily's relationship with Carrie, a teen witness who helped the BAU with the case of her family's murder in Season 3, and Declan, the son of Emily's nemesis Ian Doyle, who she went to extreme lengths to save from his father. "She was ready to adopt Carrie and had looked like she would have been a great mom, which was proven by the Declan flashbacks," the Redditor wrote. "Honestly, I would have been fine with her taking over and raising Declan. Out of the whole cast, and other than Hotch and JJ, I felt that Emily should have been given/had a child."

Beyond Emily and Spencer, a couple of commenters said they wanted Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness) to be written more consistently. u/AvianBEJKS wrote, "I would have given Garcia a more cohesive storyline. One minute she's an only child, then she had brothers. She was in her 40s, then she was as young as Reid. The canon for how and when she joined the team also contradicts itself."

All in all, it seems safe to say that, as beloved as "Criminal Minds" is, its fans know exactly what they'd change about the series if they could.