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    As Someone Who Has Never Seen "Criminal Minds," I Watched The Pilot And Finale And Nothing In The Middle

    What happened...to all the characters?

    Ryan Pattie / BuzzFeed

    Hey friends, it's Farrah. If you don't know the drill by now: I watch the first episode and last episode of popular or beloved TV shows that I've never seen without watching anything in between. Controversial! Today, I'm bringing you my thoughts and feelings about a show that recently ended, Criminal Minds.

    Fandango / CBS

    Here's what I know about Criminal Minds. A group of people track down criminals, and Matthew Gray Gubler is in it. Honestly, that's about it. I'd guess that it hits with the CSI and Law & Order crowd. I'm pretty excited to watch and form my own opinions.

    CBS / Netflix
    Ryan Pattie / BuzzFeed

    We begin with a cold open where a woman is IMing (instant messaging, for all the youths who weren't around to experience this in 2005) a stranger about test driving a car. Seems safe and not sus at all!

    CBS /Netflix

    It wouldn't be a crime-solving show if we didn't see something sketchy happening in the opening, I guess. The driver won't let her out, and it's assumed he's kidnapping her. Now the criminal masterminds must solve the mystery!!!

    CBS / Netflix

    There's a quick opening with these two discussing what they should name their baby. They land on Gideon, which I assume means something to someone, but not before mentioning Donald, which...yikes.

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    We're introduced to some characters that I can't quite keep track of, but they're basically going to try and figure out where that lady is.

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    Matthew Gray Gubler and Gideon (?) discover that the bad guy is a serial killer. Don't worry, I have a feeling they'll get to the bottom of this.

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    I don't know what this guy's deal is, but he came back to work after a break of some kind, and it's unclear as to why he needed a break. But anyway, he seems smart.

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    Reid is the kind of character who figures out the weird, impossible details of cases because he's ~super smart~ but also kind of annoying.

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    Gideon takes the lead after ~analyzing~ his behaviors and some evidence. I'm guessing he is supposed to be the main character.

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    Gideon thinks he knows the model of car the criminal is driving, and he and his team set up a raid on his house.

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    But when they get there, they realize it's the wrong car even though the suspect seems like he might be involved. HMM.

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    The suspect is a bit creepy. Gideon's team searches the house for clues as to where our missing lady is.

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    HERE WE GO, BABY! RACE AGAINST THE CLOCK TIME. If Gideon doesn't find her = bad news. Her life is literally in his hands. We gotta love these high stakes.

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    Meanwhile, a guy named Morgan calls this lady who reminds me of Wade from Kim Possible. He's like, "hack into this computer for me." But she's like, "LOL that security system is too strong. SORRY."

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    So Morgan and Reid have to crack the password knowing almost nothing about this guy. Oh, and they only get six tries. No pressure. They get the idea that the password must be hidden in his CD collection and based on the CD he listens to the most. Wild guess, but OK! You're the experts.

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    They get the password right on the first try after realizing he listens to Metallica, specifically "Enter Sandman," which really took me back to the time my high school boyfriend said he wanted to walk down the aisle to this song.

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    Meanwhile, Gideon pulls over the right car but the WRONG GUY is in it, leading him to believe the true criminal is getting ready to murder that lady.

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    We cut to the hacked computer that Morgan and Reid cracked and see a livestream of the very much alive woman who is being tortured. Jeez, this is dark. Also, this old school desktop has a floppy disk folder to the right. What a time!

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    Gideon SWOOPS IN and the girl lives!

    CBS / Netflix

    As a callback to the beginning, these three discuss the meaning of the name Gideon and, to no one's surprise, Reid drops an intellect bomb and says it means "mighty warrior."

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    Afterward, Gideon is seen stopping to get gas at a small little station. He sees someone who seems SUSPICIOUS, which leads him to believe there were more people tied to these serial killings.

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    And this is the final image of the pilot, leaving us with a MASSIVE CLIFFHANGER. So rude.

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    Ryan Pattie / BuzzFeed

    - Gideon doesn't die. He's the main character and this was just a cheap cliffhanger to get the series through the door.

    - Reid becomes more bearable and less of a robot.

    - I foresee some chemistry between Greenaway (I had to Google her name) and Morgan, but it ultimately doesn't last.

    - I'm going to be bold and predict none of them get killed off.

    GUESS WHAT, FRIENDS. You get a little bonus content this time. Why? Because I accidentally watched Season 12, Episode 22 instead of the finale since it was the last season on Netflix. Should I have googled? Absolutely. But then would I have had the opportunity to see AUBREY PLAZA BEING PERFECTLY CAST IN THIS EPISODE? No. I would not.

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    Reid now looks like all the indie guitar playing boys in bands I had a crush on as a teen.

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    Also, Jane Lynch????? Is Reid's mom???

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    And I...do I want to know?

    CBS / Netflix
    Ryan Pattie / BuzzFeed

    Anyway, let's get to the real finale. Which is not on Netflix. Very uncool of them, but whatever.

    And by the way, CBS took Seasons 13–15 off CBS All Access even though they're literally promoting that they have the whole show on there? So I watched the finale on FANDANGO. The plot twists in 2020 never cease to amaze me.

    Here we go. The opening. There was a small recap from the last episode, where we saw some cheesy special effects for a house explosion during an FBI raid. Now, Reid is stepping into the office.

    CBS / Fandango

    Except...it's kind of a dream! He's not really here because he's unconscious from the explosion? We also got a flashback to what felt like every single character from the first season. Based on what I saw in the Season 12 episode...a lot of characters left? Except our fave hacker girl.

    CBS / Fandango

    Except hacker girl turns into this lady. IDK who she is, but she tells Reid his brain isn't doing great. Honestly, what's with finales doing this ~between life and death~ thing with characters?

    CBS / Fandango

    I also don't know who this dude is, but he makes it seem like Reid's killed a lot of people throughout these 15 seasons.

    CBS / Fandango

    According to this woman, despite the home exploding during the FBI raid, the bad guy escaped unharmed because: tunnels.

    CBS / Fandango

    We see another Reid flashback and a Michelle Trachtenberg appearance! What show hasn't this girl been on?!

    CBS / Fandango

    I guess Michelle killed Maeve, who was Reid's lover. He has this whole conversation with her while he's in ~the place between life and death~.

    CBS / Fandango

    FINALLY Reid's crew finds him in his home, unconscious, and calls for help.

    CBS / Fandango

    Meanwhile, in the ~between life or death place~, Reid and Maeve visit a graveyard where I learn that Gideon is dead. Honestly, so many characters from the pilot are gone that my prediction about most of them making it to the end seems LAUGHABLE now.

    CBS / Fandango

    While Reid's in the hospital, this guy's wife is captured by the bad guy pretending to be an agent. Now he's holding her hostage.

    CBS / Fandango

    Reid experiences some pretty terrifying hemorrhages and the doctor is considering surgery for his brain swelling, but it's okay because Reid opens his eyes and is completely fine?

    CBS / Fandango

    The bad guy frees that dude's wife (I had to google: his name is David) in exchange for his life, leading David onto a private jet that's owned by the FBI. But in a manner of 30 seconds, David uses a little contraption on his wristwatch to un-handcuff himself, then finds a secret gun stored on the plane.

    CBS / Fandango

    David and the bad guy have a shootout, and he escapes the jet. It happens so quick that's it's very anticlimactic. The bad guy continues to try and fly the jet, but the agents shoot at the gas tank until it begins leaking.

    CBS / Fandango

    The sense of urgency from the cast is just...not there in this huge moment. But anyway, we get some really bad special effects again as we watch the jet burst into flames.

    CBS / Fandango

    There's a really abrupt cut to a party that David is hosting at his house. This feels like an excuse to get all the cast together, but it's fine. After 15 seasons, you deserve a happy ending.

    CBS / Fandango

    One of the only characters I recognize (aside from Reid) from the pilot is leaving for another job. Her name is Garcia, and I love her aesthetic. There's like 10 minutes of all of the cast singing and dancing together.

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    The next day, Garcia packs up her super cute work station and bestows an octopus mug to Reid, who says this:

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    And then a sad song starts playing as Garcia says goodbye to her team, turning off the lights in her office for one final time. THE END.

    CBS / Fandango
    Ryan Pattie / BuzzFeed

    - I feel like this is a series that got better after the pilot, then went on a roller coaster of ups and downs throughout the entire 15 seasons. The finale seemed like...a down.

    - The fandom probably enjoys how neatly they wrapped up the show, though!

    - 90% of the characters from the pilot are gone? What happened to Gideon? Hotch? Derek?! When did Reid and Garcia become the main stars?

    - Was Aubrey Plaza in more than that one episode I watched because that alone is worth me watching the entire series?

    - What other guest stars am I missing out on???

    - Did Reid ever find love again or were they just cruel to him by killing his only lover?

    - Finally, I love the high stakes and intrigue that the concept presents, along with some great characters, so I understand why this show ran for as long as it did!

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