‘Criminal Minds’: New Photo Seemingly Confirms Matthew Gray Gubler’s Absence From Revival

by Taylor Cunningham

It’s official—Despite all hopes that he was planning a surprise appearance, Matthew Gray Gubler is not returning to Criminal Minds.

The FBI crime drama is coming back to the TV screen after a two-year hiatus. And filming has kicked off with several of the original cast members.

Paget Brewster, Joe Mantegna, Kirsten Vangsness, Adam Rodriguez, A.J. Cook, and Aisha Tyler have all confirmed that they’re starring in the revival set to hit Paramount+. But unfortunately, Gubler and Daniel Henney both opted out of the project.

Henney has a good excuse for declining his role. He’s currently starring on Amazon Prime’s The Wheel Of Time. But Gubler didn’t have a conflict standing in his way. According to Deadline, he simply wanted to retire from the series because “he was ready to move on after playing Spencer Reid for 15 years.”

However, fans weren’t quick to accept his decision. Despite the cast, creator, and network saying that he was not reprising his role, people were holding out hope that he would make a surprise reappearance. But we have bad news for those specific people. Matthew Gray Gubler was just spotted dining out. And he was far away from the set that’s currently hosting his Criminal Minds friends.

On August 14th, a fan by the name of Portia Walker stumbled upon the actor while eating at a Louisianna restaurant. And she posted a picture to prove it.

“Met Matthew Gray Gubler today in New Orleans,” she wrote alongside a smiling photo. “And can I just say that he is the sweetest. Me: ‘I love you in Criminal Minds!’ Matthew: ‘I love you in this restaurant!'”

‘Criminal Minds’ Season 16 is Currently Filming

Obviously, the Tweet doesn’t prove that Reid will never return to the B.A.U. As long as fans love the revival as much as they loved the original, the series could stand to run for years. And watching the show may make Gubler sentimental. So, maybe he’ll cave and star in a few episodes.

But with or without the cunning psychiatric mind, the rest of the characters will likely be able to hold the story on their own. And according to an official synopsis, that story sounds just as interesting as seasons past, but with a bit of a twist.

When Season 16 picks back up, the team will still be working on the same types of cases. However, a specific serial killer will make them work much harder than they have in the past. Instead of working on a case-of-the-week basis, they’ll be busy profiling one specific serial killer for the entire season.

The unsub is apparently a mastermind who built a legion of murderous followers while society was in COVID lockdowns. When people begin returning to their normal lives, those killers start making their moves, and the team will have to try tracking each of them down with the hopes of using them to locate their leader.