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The Criminal Minds Episode That Showcased Garcia And Morgan's Friendship The Most

The relationship between Derek Morgan (Shemar Moore) and Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness) on CBS' "Criminal Minds" was a key feature of the series for years. During this time, the two shared their witty banter and back-and-forth flirtation showing how much they enjoyed each other. While it walked the line between appropriate and inappropriate the entire series, they never seemed to care who was around to hear them.

From the series premiere, "Extreme Aggressor," until Derek Morgan moved on late on the show, their friendship was one that not only served as an anchor for each of them but also provided some much-needed comedic relief to the audience among the usual dark and gritty subject matter. The friendship became a staple of the show, with Shemar Moore's charismatic bestowing of her nickname, "Baby Girl," to her playful fawning.

But through the years, their relationship was constantly established as something more profound than mere banter, with each one showing they cared deeply for the other, even uttering the three coveted words, "I love you." Fans shipped them for a long time, but they always kept it platonic. Of all of the episodes that established this relationship, one episode stands above the rest, showing who they were relatively early on the series.

Season 3, Episode 8 showed the range

All of the best friendships have at least a little conflict. If a friendship never has any disagreements, it usually means one or both are not entirely invested. Conflict adds a bit of realism to any on-screen friendship. In Season 3, Episode 8, "Lucky," PG and Morgan find themselves at odds with each other for the first time — at least on-screen.

While the BAU is chasing Floyd Feylinn Ferell (Jamie Kennedy), a maniacal cannibalistic serial killer who shows up again later on the series, Morgan begins to lose his faith. Meanwhile, Garcia meets a dreamy man (Bailey Chase) who is everything she could ever want. Morgan urges her to be careful as the guy seems too good to be true. Garcia takes issue with his perspective, believing he implied an attractive man couldn't be interested in her. They go at it, and she goes on a date with the man. It doesn't turn out the way she hopes when she is shot at the end of the date.

Morgan turned out to be correct — maybe listening to someone who profiles bad guys for a living when they say your guy is suspicious is a good idea ... even if he can be a little arrogant. But what made this episode the best showcase of Morgan and Garcia's friendship was the fact that they argued. It provided a depth to a relationship that easily could have remained surface-level for 11 seasons. They cared for each other, proven by the fact that they disagreed and fought each other on it, only to make amends later. Like true friends do.