Who went kablooey? That's the question that's been raging all summer long for you Criminal Minds fans (my email inbox proves it), after the SUV of a series regular was blown up in the season finale.
While I don't want to know the straight-up answer (what fun would that be?) I do have a couple of hints and a theory about whose SUV went boom and some dish from Matthew Gray Gubler (you know him, you know love him...Dr. Spencer Reid!) about what's in store when the series returns Sept. 24 on CBS. Click in for the goods!
Previously on Criminal Minds (a refresher):
Who's Safe? You can officially eliminate Garcia from the list of possible SUV-explosion victims. Kirsten Vangsness herself told me: "If you shoot a girl during the season, you probably don't blow her up." True dat.
Who Blew Up? I get the feeling that Thomas Gibson's Hotchner might not be so safe. See, I asked Kirsten if we'd be seeing any more of Nicholas Brendon as her hacker boyfriend, Kevin Lynch, and she told me, "Yes, I think so, but before that, we have a very interesting arc with a gorgeous hunk-a-ma-lot named Thomas Gibson. We spend a lot of time at first dealing with his issues." Ruh-roh.
So if Hotch is the victim, those first episodes back could most definitely deal with his injuries, physical rehabilitation and physical trauma, I suspect Agent Kate Joyner (Sienna Guillory) may be a goner, which can't be good for the man's psyche, seeing as how she looks exactly like his ex, Haley Hotchner (Meredith Monroe).
Monsters in the Closet: We will learn a terrifying secret from Reid's childhood that explains why he's so attracted to serial killers. According to Matthew Gray Gubler: "I just read an episode that has an incredibly dark history for Reid. He had a terrible thing that happened in his childhood that comes out, causing delayed nightmares. It explains why he's so attracted to serial killers. The last page, I was like, it all makes sense. It's super dark...like cable-style dark. I'm sure the fans will hate it, and I'll love it."
Ooh, I think I know! Is Dexter Morgan his brother?
Dylan Always Was the Bad Boy: According to Gubler, the secrets of Reid's childhood are revealed in part because of a Beverly Hills, 90210 alum. "They're everywhere these days!" Gubler told me. "We have an episode where Luke Perry plays a psychotic polygamist cult leader. I'm always getting held hostage by teen idols—first James Van Der Beek was a guest star and held Reid hostage, and this time it's Luke Perry. I actually saw Scott Baio out front, and I swear he looked at me. I want George Michael to hold me hostage in season eight." Hee. I love this guy. And suffice to say, Perry's character sets off Reid's nightmares, which lead him back into his very scary past.
Crossover? Supergirl Pauley Perrette, who plays Abby on NCIS (another CBS procedural), and Kirsten Vangsness told me they've been pitching their respective bosses on a Criminal Minds-NCIS crossover. According to Pauley, "We're itching for a crossover episode using our two characters. These two, Abby and Garcia, have been friends forever. We want to say that we went to school together, and we're best friends. We really want it to happen." Fans, should the producers make it so? Post your take in the comments, along with your prediction on whose SUV exploded...
Season four of Criminal Minds premieres Sept. 24 at 9 p.m. on CBS. If you're using the American version of E! Online you can use the premiere reminders tool at the right to put that date and time in your personal calendar. (International users, we're working on a solution for you. Hang tight.)
—Reporting by Jennifer Godwin