'Criminal Minds' season 12: Kirsten Vangsness talks about 'Beyond Borders' crossover


“Criminal Minds” will look a bit different when it comes back for its 12th season. While fans are starting to get used to Derek Morgan’s absence, following Shemar Moore’s departure last season, a lot of faces both old and new are scheduled to appear in the series.

Kirsten Vangsness, who plays Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) technical analyst Penelope Garcia, shared details on what is in store for fans when police procedural comes back on the air.

“In the first episode, it’s just a mess, thanks to him,” she told Buddy TV during the San Diego Comic-Con, referring to Peter Lewis/Mr. Scratch (Bodhi Elfman). The notorious proxy killer is due to reappear as the team once again goes after him, along with a couple other criminals after the massive prison break back in season 11’s finale. Vangsness also said, while admitting that she’s also just speculating, that Elfman might be the biggest baddie of the season. She adds that the special agents will consider him as their most personal hunt among all the serial killers currently on the loose.

Assuming that most of the arcs for the new season will revolve around retracing criminal patterns, the BAU has also tapped the help Luke Alvez (Adam Rodriguez), a Fugitive Task Force agent. His addition will be part of the team’s efforts to have the perpetrators locked up in jail again. While Rodriguez can easily be typecast as a replacement for Moore, Vangsness said that their characters are very different and each can stand on his own.

Contrary to newbie Alvez, Emily Prentiss is also due for multiple appearances. The former BAU agent, played by Paget Brewster, will once again collaborate with the FBI in what could arguably be an international case given that she now works with the Interpol. This may be a good way to execute the supposed crossover between “Criminal Minds” and “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders,” as teased by Vangsness.

“It feels very organic and normal because it’s the same building,” the 44-year-old actress said referring to the imminent special episode. “Beyond Borders,” which is gearing up for its sophomore season, takes the premise of its parent show and applies it on an international level.

As a closing remark, Vangsness calls season 12 as some kind of a “greatest hits” type of chapter where fans will love to hate the notorious convicts more.

“Criminal Minds” season 12 will be premiere on Sept. 28 and will air every Wednesday night at 9 p.m. ET on CBS. “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders” season 2, on the other hand, will premiere sometime later in the season.