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Criminal Minds series finale: Good, bad, in between?

Criminal Minds came to an end after 15 great years. How did the series finale fare? Here’s our break down of the good and bad of the Criminal Minds finale.

After 15 years, we said goodbye to a show that has touched our hearts in ways we couldn’t ever imagine. A cop drama of sorts, it helped to pave the way for a new kind of drama. Criminal Minds focused on the minds of the killers, breaking down profiles and bringing a new way of finding the UnSubs (as the show called them).

Now the series has come to an end. Feb. 19 saw the two-part Criminal Minds series finale, but did it live up to expectations?

Caution: We’ll be getting into spoilers for the Criminal Minds series finale. You can watch on CBS All Access.

There were good and bad parts to the episode. Overall, it was a strong finish with a message that not everything truly ends. But there were moments that fell a little flat. Here’s a look at the good and bad from the finale.

The bad: Just slightly rushed and underwhelming

We’d spent all year between the Season 14 finale and the Season 15 premiere wondering what Rossi would be like, wondering how the team would finally capture The Chameleon. Part of us wanted to see him caught and sent to jail, but we knew the only way to deal with him was to kill him.

That’s what happened. While I enjoyed the use of the jet and saying goodbye to what has been a sturdy and reliable “character” in the series, the overall moment felt just a little anticlimactic. We didn’t see all that much of a showdown like we thought we would.

With only two episodes focused on Everett Lynch, it was also a little rushed. We could have done with another episode in the middle that focused on him a little, rather than getting this sense that Rossi had to quickly turn back to the case to start off the two-part finale.

The good: Memories of characters

Knowing the show couldn’t get all actors to return to their previous roles, Criminal Minds managed to work around it. Instead, we got glimpses of the characters inside Reid’s head, which meant that we could get flashbacks of previous episodes. And those flashbacks came from the earlier episodes, as we got to know each of the characters.

There were the odd characters who turned up, characters important overall to the story. Bringing in The Reaper was perfect, as he did completely change the dynamic of the team by killing Hotch’s wife. However, I also adored bringing Maeve back, someone who shaped Reid so much in their short time together.

Then there was Diana Reid. Maybe it would have been better to keep her appearance just to the second episode where she had a brief moment of lucidity, but she also helped to pull Reid out of his coma. She was able to help remind him of things from his childhood, which showed the bond between them. Plus, Garcia’s talk of how while her brain affected her, Diana always knew in her heart and gut what to do really showed that Diana has always just wanted to be a great mother.

The good: The ending

At the very end, it looked like we’d find out where the various members of the team were going to go. There was talk of Prentiss becoming the head of the FBI and JJ taking over the BAU, but the two ended up staying put for various reasons. Then we got talk of Rossi retiring, but in the end, he just couldn’t do it.

There was only one person leaving the team (although Reid is consulting and teaching at the same time). Garcia had accepted a job elsewhere, doing something she loves without the gore of the BAU. And it’s just right for her to move on in that way. She won’t be too far away from the team, but she needed to step away from the darkness of the BAU after 15 years of seeing her just deal with it.

The ending to Criminal Minds was perfect. It made it clear that not everything truly ends. The team didn’t split up, but focused on the next day and the next case. The only person moving on was Garcia, which while rushed and came out of nowhere, it was realistic that one person would move on.

Overall, the episode was a good ending. Criminal Minds didn’t damage the storylines that had been set up throughout the last 15 years and bring in twists for the sake of it. The series finale delivered heartfelt moments while we watched as the team continued on, finding the next UnSub and saving as many people as possible.

More: SEAL Team is back with a two-hour episode

What did you think of the Criminal Minds series finale? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Criminal Minds is available to stream on CBS All Access.

Photo credit: CBS, acquired via ViacomCBS Press Express