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The Criminal Minds Characters Fans Wished Were In More Episodes

Change is inevitable. As writers for TV series craft their trajectory from Episode 1 until whatever finale they are working towards, many things begin to veer off into directions unforeseen. Whether it is an actor in a pivotal role needing to move on to other projects or a storyline began and then forgotten, there are plenty of examples of fans speculating or wishing for what could have been.

"Criminal Minds" is a crime procedural series that ran for 15 seasons on CBS. It was a viewer favorite and spawned two spin-offs, "Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior" and "Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders." Multiple characters were replaced over the 15 seasons as the actors moved on or their storylines ended. Most notably was Mandy Patinkin's Jason Gideon and Lola Glaudini's Elle Greenaway — the former being the heart and soul for three seasons before the actor left due to personal reasons related to the job, while the latter left for unclear reasons.

While viewers get entire storylines for some "Criminal Minds" characters, others never develop past a single episode, leaving fans clamoring for more. Here are some of the most desired characters on the popular show that fans wished to see return.

Danny Murphy was the stuff of nightmares

Look, brothers fight. It is a right of passage for most younger brothers to survive the torment of older brothers. They make you tough and determined, and younger brothers learn to persevere. However, in "Criminal Minds" Season 4, Episode 21, "A Shade of Gray," Danny Murphy (Kendall Ryan Sanders) takes brotherly fighting to a disastrous length.

When the BAU is brought in to investigate the death of a young boy, local law enforcement is sure the culprit is a local sex offender. Even though the man confesses to the crime, the team believes that the crime was committed in a way outside of the suspect's usual method. Later, the victim's brother displays an outburst of anger that leads everyone to conclude he killed his brother in a fit of rage, exonerating the sex offender. 

While "Criminal Minds" usually follows the episodic format, with each episode taking on a single case, Murphy provided a very intriguing opportunity that fans think the show should've taken advantage of. In a Reddit thread about characters fans wished had returned at some point in the series, Redditor u/mrsprinkles3 commented, "It would have been really cool to have an episode where they interview [Murphy] after he has turned 18 or something, or where a case similar to his occurred and they had to interview him." 

They missed a magical opportunity

It doesn't have to be a villain that fans want to see more of. Sometimes, it can be a person the viewers want to see enrich their favorite characters' lives. Dr. Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) is a staple character who serves as the brainy BAU team member for the entirety of the show's long run. Graduating high school at the age of 12 and being the team's youngest member, he tends to struggle with social cues. Therefore, he sometimes has little to no love life to speak of, and working next to a specimen such as Derek Morgan (Shemar Moore) often makes him feel invisible.

With this background and dynamic, it is no surprise that fans flipped when he had an incredibly charming encounter with a character in Season 4, episode 9, "52 Pickup." Courtney Ford plays a character named Austin, who ends up being a survivor of a serial killer who perfects his ability as a pickup artist in order to find victims. There is an undeniably sweet moment between Reid and Austin, hinting at a future. The "Criminal Minds" episode shows incredible potential for charm and romance between the two characters, with Redditor u/mccabebabe commenting, "I think they could have made magic together." Considering the amount of upvotes the comment has, many fans agree.

Is he still out there?

Sometimes, the writers on a series will leave storylines open-ended to give them the freedom to go back to it later on if they wish. While this is an excellent tool for writers to use for story building purposes, when they don't actually end up returning and finishing the storylines, this can cause some backlash from fans. Such is the case with the "Criminal Minds" Season 11 episode "Awake," featuring a killer only known as the "Skull Tattoo Man," played by Troy Jones. 

In the episode, the BAU is chasing a killer named William (Todd Lowe), and in the process, they uncover his inspiration as a man with a skull tattoo on his hand. After catching William, the show reveals that the deadly mentor is still out there and very dangerous. The episode leaves it wide open for the mysterious character to return, maybe even as a future season's "big bad." Since the show ends without him ever returning, fans showed their displeasure on Reddit, with u/sammysummer saying, "That was one of my biggest disappointments. I mean COME ON!" Unfortunately, fans will never know what really happens with the Skull Tattoo Man in "Criminal Minds."