I often find myself in TV show limbo. You know, when you scroll through your entire Netflix homepage and absolutely nothing looks good. What do you turn to? One of my trusty fallbacks is Criminal Minds. Every few months, I’ll do a full rewatch, and it never fails to make me laugh, cry, and everything in between. Through my many viewings, I’ve developed some passionate opinions about most of the series regulars. So, I decided to do an official ranking and discuss what makes these FBI profilers so captivating.
*I will only be listing my top 7 out of the 16 series regulars*
- Seventh: Derek Morgan
Who do you call when you need a door kicked in? SSA Derek Morgan is an absolute warrior. The dramatic reveal of his painful childhood in season two provided so much insight into his character. It made me respect him and his ability to joke around and be lighthearted with the rest of the team, especially Penelope, who needed that playful banter more than anyone else. Plus, he named his child after Reid, so how can you not admire him at least a little bit?
- Sixth: Penelope Garcia
The heart and soul of the team. Without her, everything would fall apart. Penelope provides so much life and joy to the show, and I’m so glad she stayed on for all 15 seasons. She fully embraced her individuality and wore her heart on her sleeve. Many see her as the most emotionally vulnerable member of the team, but I beg to differ. Garcia continually sifts through endless horrific images and online activity to help others survive while still managing to make everyone smile.
- Fifth: Emily Prentiss
ICONIC. Emily knows six different languages and has a cat named Sergio; who wouldn’t want to be her friend? Initially portrayed as an outsider, Prentiss quickly formed deep bonds with every member of the BAU and constantly proved her loyalty to her team. She also faked her death, which is pretty chaotic and awesome.
- Fourth: JJ
My girl! JJ is maybe one of the most underappreciated characters ever. Her professional growth from the team’s Communication Liaison to Profiler to Acting Unit Chief was legendary. I would NOT want to be on her bad side. She would do anything to protect her loved ones from harm, my favorite example being when she shot Penelope’s shooter in the head through a glass door.
- Third: David Rossi
Yet another character I feel isn’t talked about enough. Rossi is much better than his predecessor, Gideon. There, I said it. Rossi is funny, intelligent, and provides some much-needed stability to the team. Not only was he a founder of the BAU, but he became a best-selling true-crime author who gave lectures all over the country. One of these lectures was at the university JJ was attending, ultimately convincing her to join the FBI. He gave us JJ! Pretty iconic, if you ask me.
- Second: Aaron Hotchner
Hotch, where do I begin? The show wasn’t the same after he left. Hotch was always meant to lead the team because he genuinely knew every one of them inside and out. The horrific death of his ex-wife remains one of the hardest episodes to watch. However, the growth he had as a father after this tragedy was beautiful.
- Dr. Spencer Reid
The man, the myth, the legend: Dr. Spencer Reid. He’s most people’s favorite character, and for good reason. The complete and utter TRAUMA the Criminal Minds writers put him through is unimaginable. He grew up with an absent father, a mentally ill mother (although she did the best she could and I loved how Jane Lynch portrayed her). He was bullied throughout high school, became addicted to drugs after being kidnapped, mourned his mentor’s death, the loss of several friends, and his true love was murdered in front of him the first time they were able to meet in person. Oh, and he also went to prison for several months after being framed for a crime he did not commit. Yeah, I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to forgive the writers. Despite all of this heartache, Reid remained the brilliant and compassionate dreamboat that we all fell in love with.