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Why Some Criminal Minds Fans Are Upset With The Ending

Throughout its 15-season run, "Criminal Minds" featured an impressive cast, and fans of the show were quick to establish their favorite characters. The show followed an elite team of FBI agents with varied academic and practical disciplines that allowed them to better understand unknown subjects, or "unsubs." By analyzing the actions and evidence of the unsubs, the FBI agents were often able to apprehend the elusive criminals.  

The series concluded on February 19, 2020, and the finale of "Criminal Minds" had Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) out of commission and hospital-bound, while the rest of the Behavioral Analysis Unit used their combined skills to track the vicious criminal Everett Lynch (Michael Mosley). The series culminated in an epic battle, and decisions were made that would affect the careers of the members of the BAU. Considering how long fans were invested in the series, several decided to voice their displeasure in the manner in which it finished.

Why were fans displeased with the ending of Criminal Minds?

Several discussions created by fans popped on Reddit to have a conversation regarding the "Criminal Minds" series finale, though there seems to be a common thread between all of them. Redditor u/nannyash stated, "Y'all I finished season 15 yesterday. It felt kind of empty. I wanted so much more for everyone but they just went back to work. It almost feels as if the writers were hoping for one more season or something. I get that the network asked for 10 episodes and they were doing the best with that. It still feels like it was like a send off for Penelope rather than the finale."

It was noted by u/DansoRoboto that Kirsten Vangsness co-wrote the finale. Vangsness played Agent Penelope Garcia, which would help explain why the series finale lingered on the character during the dinner sequence for the BAU. u/mccabebabe had a long list of their own issues with the finale and pointed out that there should have been more of the original cast present during the aforementioned dinner sequence. However, due to scheduling issues, these actors could not appear.

u/mccabebabe also mentioned a table-read snippet from the Season 15 DVD commentary had far more going on then what appeared on screen. The original poster concluded the comments by saying, "I think you nailed how I was feeling about the finale. It was forgettable. If this wasn't the series finale but like a normal season I feel as if it would've been an okay season finale. Like Cat Adams got a better send off than some of the cast. Maybe I'm a bit salty because it's over."

What are some other thoughts on the Criminal Minds series finale?

In a separate Reddit thread dedicated to "Criminal Minds," Redditor u/ACaringBeingofHatred said, "Like most people here, I've been watching this show for so long I don't even remember my first episode or when i actually watched it for the very first time. All I can say is, I love this show and although I think the quality decreased a bit at times, it still is one of my favorites." They added, however, that overall, they were "mostly disappointed" that the finale maintained the status quo as opposed to showing the characters "moving on."

Several comments popped up in response, with one agreeing that the series finale did indeed feel rushed and that some of the characters' endings seemed abrupt or forced. u/Rustednickle247720 gave the series finale a 5 out of 10 and stated that the ending just felt mediocre. Some commenters took issue with the entirety of the dinner scene, with one observing, "I agree that the dinner party scene felt cringy. The conversation felt so forced. Thank you for putting it into words for me." 

Ultimately, it seemed that fans acknowledged the series finale but wished for much more of a proper send-off for the team of "Criminal Minds."