‘Criminal Minds’ Season 7 Finale Review: Saying Goodbye (Again) and the Family Element

Criminal Minds season 7 came to an end with the two-part episodes 23 and 24 “Hit” and “Run,” and unlike in season 6, Emily Prentiss said goodbye to the team quietly. Yes, there was a hostage situation and an explosion and a wedding, but unlike previous seasons, this finale didn’t end on a cliffhanger with many questions unanswered.

Yes, there are some questions that need to be addressed, such as what Prentiss’ departure will mean for the team and whether or not Prentiss will take Clyde’s job offer (it seems likely, but this was more about her needing to move on to something else than that job offer). However, what’s important is that they left it open so that she can return in the future, and that ending—with Prentiss dancing with everyone, even though not everyone realized what was going on—was perfect.

While this was Paget Brewster’s exit from Criminal Minds, “Hit” and “Run” gave AJ Cook the chance to shine as JJ, and shine she did. She has always been so good at JJ (which is one of the reasons why when they wrote her off last season, it was so disappointing and then such good news when they brought her back), but she really stepped it up in the season 7 finale as her family was put in danger. JJ was not only put through the emotional ringer, she also had quite the fight sequence with Izzy with Henry in danger.

Another positive of this finale was that it addressed the Kevin-Garcia issue. It began with Garcia leaving the sci-fi convention to avoid him, but it ended with them dancing together at JJ and Will’s wedding. It was real progress and a nice moment to see in that final scene.

Speaking of JJ and Will’s wedding, those two were perfect in the finale, from Will getting her out of bed in the morning in the first scene, to JJ telling him to ask her again, and finally, their wedding. They’ve been so good together since they first met, and this was a long time coming. Also, you have to love that AJ Cook’s son plays her character’s son on the show.

Then there was the case of the episode. It was unsurprising that the first hour ended with the explosion—after seeing it in the promos, it was likely that’s what would happen—nor was it surprising that it was unclear if Will had been in the bank at the time (though you knew he wouldn’t die with the wedding coming at the end). However, that didn’t take away from the episode, nor did the fact that Izzy’s partner was a hostage—and Matthew, who seemed suspicious, especially if you’ve seen enough procedural dramas.

Overall, this was a strong finale, and it also did what a finale should do: close some doors but leave others open and hint at what could come next year. It also showcased one of the aspects of the show that makes it as good as it is: the team dynamic. The family element is always there, and that was certainly clear in this episode—during the case and during the wedding at the end.

What did you think of the Criminal Minds season 7 finale, episodes 23 “Hit” and 24 “Run”?

Photo Source: TV.com

© Meredith Jacobs 2012

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College graduate, television fanatic, writer.

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