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Criminal Minds: Why Elle's Decisions Seem Inconsistent

Several regular cast members left the long-running crime hit "Criminal Minds" over the years, but one of the earliest to exit the series was FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) team member Elle Greenaway (Lola Glaudini). The agent had been chastised early on by Unit Chief Jason Gideon (Mandy Patinkin) for being regarded as impatient and impulsive. She quickly became an essential part of the BAU team anyway.

For most of the first season, Greenaway is a successful investigator and profiler, but when she is kidnapped and injured by serial killer Randall Garner (Charles Haid), the agent is deeply traumatized. Elle takes a leave of absence to recover but is unable to fully process what happened. When she returns, the BAU agent panics during an operation to catch rapist William Lee (Jason London). That evening she follows Lee and shoots him dead, but claims that it was self-defense. Afterward, in Season 2, Episode 6 "The Boogeyman," Greenaway finally resigns from the BAU before Unit Chief Aaron Hotchner (Thomas Gibson) can fire her.

Even before this change in behavior, however, fans noticed some strange, illogical decisions from Agent Greenaway. Here's why some of Agent Greenaway's controversial decisions don't make sense.

Redditors think Elle's decisions are out of character for an FBI agent

In a Reddit post titled "Elle makes some silly decisions," user u/Turbulent_Offer noticed that Elle Greenaway keeps making dangerous errors which "seem inconsistent with the behavior of someone in the FBI." For instance, at one point Elle feels that the guy she's walking with is weird, and could be the unsub they're looking for, "yet she walks in front of him with her back toward him so she can't even see what he's doing."

u/bellaidovve responded that they love the character but "fully agree that she wasn't cut out for field work." Another, u/teerakzz, had less positive feelings, arguing that Elle wasn't as cool as many fans believed and instead "is the epitome of letting your emotions dictate your actions." Others simply agreed with u/Turbulent_Offer that Elle's behavior, like loudly implying that she is an FBI agent on a train and not noticing a man staring, was inconsistent with that of a professional law enforcement officer.

It seems like fan reaction is strongly divided about the character, yet either way, Elle's departure early in the series meant "Criminal Minds" could move on quickly without her. u/Traditional-Anarchy concluded that ultimately, "if they [the producers] kept elle [sic] the show wouldn't have done nearly as well or ran for as long as it did."