A.J. Cook Revealed What It’s Been Like To Return To “Criminal Minds” Without Matthew Grey Gubler

    "I was like, 'I don't know how to do this without him. Like, how do we do this?'"

    So, you know Matthew Gray Gubler. He starred as fan favorite Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds for 15 seasons and appeared in nearly every one of its 324 episodes.

    A closeup of Dr. Spencer Reid

    Now just two years after the series finale, our favorite serial killer-hunting team is back with Criminal Minds: Evolution.

    The cast of the original Criminal Minds

    And while many fans are screaming for joy as their favorite comfort crime show returns, many have also noticed that the revival is missing one very crucial element: Dr. Spencer Reid.

    People — the cast included — are understandably heartbroken.

    spencer reid not being in the criminal minds reboot is super sad and i miss him sm <33

    CBS / Getty Twitter: @dixonsrhee

    In a recent interview with BuzzFeed, A.J. Cook, who plays SSA Jennifer "JJ" Jareau, talked about what it was like to come back to Criminal Minds without her onscreen best friend.

    Matthew and A.J. in a scene together on the original Criminal Minds

    She said, "Matthew is one of the most charismatic, larger than life, yet very real, people I've ever met. It was actually really, really difficult for me when I found out he wasn't gonna be able to come back. I considered not [returning]."

    Matt and A.J. in FBI gear smiling on the set

    "I was like, 'I don't know how to do this without him. Like, how do we do this?' [Spencer and JJ are] best friends. I kind of struggled with that at first."

    "We all want him there. Hopefully, that will all come together because he's so much fun to be around. He's just that guy that you want to be around. Good energy."

    The cast together with Matt in the center and his arm around A.J.

    And luckily, Gubler's return is definitely in the realm of possibility, because Cook even said, "But yeah, he's so great and we definitely miss him. Hopefully, we will see him again soon. We're definitely setting some things up."

    The cast together, including Matt during the original show's run

    Earlier this month, Joe Mantegna, who plays SSA David Rossi, even tagged Gubler in an Instagram post promoting the revival.

    joe mantegna tagged matthew gray gubler in the criminal minds reboot trailer…even though he’s supposedly not returning as spencer reid does this mean…👀👀

    Twitter: @laurengarafano

    I mean........it's pretty good evidence that Gubler could somehow be involved, huh?

    Matt holding two thumbs up

    But for now, only time will tell!

    Read A.J.'s full interview here and be sure to stream Criminal Minds: Evolution on Paramount+.