“Criminal Minds” is six episodes deep into its 10th season, and half of those episodes have included b-plots focusing on personal relationships outside of the BAU. After Wednesday’s (Nov. 12) episode, the B-plot count will be up to four.
Although four out of seven episodes focusing on one of the BAU member’s personal relationships — for example, “Hashtag” will partially explore Morgan’s struggle to find alone time with his girlfriend, Savannah — might not sound like too high of a number, it is. The show is not about Morgan’s girlfriend, or J.J.’s late sister, or Kate Callahan’s niece (sorry, Jennifer Love Hewitt) — it’s about the members of the BAU, their relationships with each other and how they cohesively work together to solve crimes.
So why should fans care about the seemingly superfluous B-plots that are sometimes carelessly thrown in during the last two minutes of an episode? Are those scenes just there to remind viewers that Hotchner and Reid are real people who have real lives? Maybe. But is that a strong enough reason to include them? Probably not. In the end, fans most likely tune in to see a group of close-knit people do their jobs and hunt the bad guys down, not to watch Morgan make kissy faces with random women that fans don’t know or to watch J.J. tuck Henry in at night.
Rated from “OK, you can stay” to “Why are even here?”, here are the current B-plots of “Criminal Minds”:
9. Aaron Hotchner and his son, Jack
If any B-plot of the show makes sense, it’s Hotchner’s. His family became so ingrained into the core of “Criminal Minds” because of the murderous George Foyet who, after many episodes, eventually killed Hotchner’s wife. His relationship with Jack is a reminder of those horrifying episodes.
8. Spencer Reid and his mother, Diana Reid
Oh hey, Jane Lynch. Reid is one bottled up character, and having his mother there is an insight into his brilliant yet strange mind. Plus, she was involved in those two episodes where Reid thought his father had murdered a boy, so, technically, she’s worthy of more than just a B-plot.
7. Penelope Garcia and Kevin Lynch
Even though Garcia and Kevin are no longer together, their relationship took place in the office, so he was at least somewhat integrated into the BAU and not some stranger who didn’t have a connection to the plot.
6. J.J., Will LaMontagne Jr. and their son, Henry
Ah, the memories of J.J. and LaMontagne Jr.’s courtship — what an adorable storyline. J.J. and Will get a pass because viewers saw their relationship unfold before their eyes. From J.J. going weak at the knees thanks to his charming Louisiana accent to the couple getting married in front of everyone from the BAU to both of them becoming parents to Henry, fans got a chance to become invested in the relationship.
5. Hotchner and Beth Clemmons
Beth gets to stay because she’s played by “Scandal” star Bellamy Young, who is a treat to watch and also the only person who’s made Hotchner happy since the death of his ex-wife.
4. Rossi and his ex-wives
Rossi’s ex-wives are throwaway B-plots, for sure. It’s fun to hear him talk about them — hey, fans need some comedic relief in between all of the murder and blood — but things get a little boring when they’re brought into the storyline.
3. J.J. and her late sister
J.J.’s relationship with Will works because fans know him, but fans don’t know her sister.
2. Kate Callahan and her niece, Meg
Considering Callahan — what a great detective name — just joined the BAU, it seems a little crazy that her whole backstory is already being revealed.
1. Morgan and Savannah
Come on, “Criminal Minds” — viewers don’t care about Savannah. And if you’re talking to a Morgan and Garcia ‘shipper, then they really don’t care about Savannah.
What do you think of personal relationships on “Criminal Minds”? Should they stay or should they go?