‘Criminal Minds’: How Paget Brewster’s Character Easily Could’ve Ended Up Behind Bars

by Megan Molseed

Each episode of the hit crime series Criminal Minds focused on some of the most shocking criminals many of us could even imagine. The core characters on the hit CBS drama are part of a fictional Behavioural Analysis Team that works to profile some of the evilest and cunning murderous minds we have seen on television to date. The team’s hard work certainly takes down some pretty terrible bad guys.

But, what if one of these “good guy” profilers had to make some “bad guy” choices to capture some of these villains? Or, what about when they make some not-so-legal choices to help one of their own? Well, Criminal Minds fans know that Paget Brewster’s character, Emily Prentiss has found herself in such a position more than once. One of her moves, in fact, would very likely land Prentiss in jail in real life.

Sometimes the ‘Criminal Minds’ Agents Blur the Lines In Order To Do the Most Good

Paget Brewster’s Criminal Minds character, Emily Prentiss is no doubt one of the popular show’s strongest players. Prentiss speaks multiple languages and works all over the globe. Prentiss is dedicated to her job as a Behavioural Analysis expert for the FBI so there’s no question she does things by the book. Well, most of the time. However, there are a few moments throughout the series when the Criminal Minds character finds herself in compromising positions. Positions that lead her to some decidedly illegal choices; and ones that could be construed as ones that would test her integrity on the job.

However, it is in the hit crime drama’s thirteenth season episode titled Annihilator where Brewster’s character takes it a little too far; committing her most illegal act during the show’s fifteen-season run. In this episode, Matthew Gray Gubler’s character, the lovable Spencer Reid, visits Emily Prentiss at her home. At this point in the series, Prentiss is considering leaving the Behavior Analysis Unit (BAU) team to return to her Interpol assignment.

Prentiss Does What She Needs To Do To Help Reid

During the episode, the two BAU agents discuss the matter at hand. However, as they talk, Criminal Mind viewers begin to understand a previous plotline. A storyline where Prentiss deleted some important messages that should have remained on the record. At the time, the agent was working to help get Reid out of jail. During this plotline, the two agents have conversations that legally should have been left for the record. However, Prentiss deletes the conversations. She does this because she believes Reid’s chances for release would be higher if these recordings were no longer available to be used as evidence.

Of course, an FBI agent deciding to delete messages, purposely destroying evidence is highly illegal. And, in real life, Prentiss would most likely face some major consequences for this move. But, thankfully, Criminal Minds operates in a fictional world. And, Prentiss’s choice likely did, in fact, save Reid from incarceration. So, it probably wouldn’t have worked out so well in the real BAU. However, we are thankful that Prentiss made the decisions that she did.