Criminal Minds

Cliff Lipson/CBS

This show's so good it's...Criminal.

Okay, that was a pretty lame pun, but it's still true. Over the course of the past season, Criminal Minds has turned into just about our fave procedural on the air. So, now that the strike's over and Criminal's genius writers' minds are back at work, it seems a good time to check in with the show's bosses, Ed Bernero and Charles S. Carroll, to get answers to your fan questions about what's in store for the gang, in particular Reid, Hotch, Garcia and that new guy, Rossi.

Read on to find out who's off the junk, who's getting busy and what else is in store for the show when it returns in April...

How are you doing as things ramp up again? Do you foresee any complications? Have you found all of your writers in whatever corners of the world they were in?
Ed Bernero:  
Yeah, everybody's back. This is Ed speaking, by the way. I'm the one with the real Chicago-y accent. Charles is much more cosmopolitan than me. Everybody's back, and we are planning on being up and shooting by Thurs., Feb. 21. Unlike some of these other shows, we always kind of planned for the strike to end. In a lot of ways for us, it's like we went home on a Friday and came back on a Monday, and we're just ready to go.
Charles Carroll:  We're going to have seven new episodes to finish out this season, and I think that's probably one more than the other shows will be able to do.

Fab. Do you guys mind answering some fan Q's?
E.B.:  Anything you want to ask. Go for it.

Nicholas Brendon

Albert L. Ortega/WireImage.com

Mala05: What are the chances of seeing Nick Brendon again?
E.B.:
  Kevin Lynch, that's Nick's character's name, is going to be in the first episode back. You will see a little Kevin-Garcia action. It's going to be really fun.

Leo32: Joe Mantegna's character (David Rossi) is not connecting with the rest of group. He seems shifty. Is there anything he's hiding in his past that we should be wary of, or can we trust him with the gang?
E.B.: 
It's not something to be wary of, but the very first episode back is going to go a long way from solving that problem. Rossi has a difficult time trusting and came out of a place where everybody worked alone. So, he needs to kind of learn how to trust this family.

Joe Mantegna, Criminal Minds

Cliff Lipson/CBS

Natalie: Do you think Joe Mantegna will be back next year? Did you plan the character as a continuing character?
E.B.: 
Yeah, absolutely he'll be back. We love Joe.
C.C.:  He's great to work with.

C3May: Whatever happened with Reid's drug addiction? Did it just suddenly go away?
E.B.: 
Let me put it this way: It was something we thought on a drawing board was a better idea than it became. I don't think that the format of the show really supported following Reid's character around being drug addicted. I think that it ultimately was a better idea theoretically than it ended up being in practice. So, I think we just kind of...he got better.
C.C.:  We just say he's sober now.

Thomas Gibson, Criminal Minds

Cliff Lipson/CBS

Jenna: What's going to happen with Hotch and his estranged wife? And are we going to see more of that?
E.B.:
There's going to be more of Hotch's marriage, which is not going to go well. Well, what we want to show is a bit of the price that the people who do these jobs have to pay for doing it. Some of the price is sometimes a broken home. It's unbelievable that all these questions are actually going to be addressed in the first episode back.

Speaking of broken homes and breaking things, I personally have to fast-forward through all the scenes where all the victims are being victimized because I just can't watch. I know it's meant to be gruesome so it's effective, but a lot of the critics have taken that and sort of run with it as being the only part of the show that's worth addressing. Do you ever find yourself concerned with those scenes?
E.B.: 
Yeah, we actually are very concerned about those scenes. There's a lot of discussion that goes into how much we want to include, how much is actually necessary, and I think, frankly, sometimes we've gone too far in our depiction of things. It's pretty much a razor's edge over really portraying what's happening out there and still being responsible. It's a constant struggle to know just exactly where that line is.
C.C.:  There's a lot of discussion among us about the level of violence in the show, we're trying to figure out how to address that. I think if you make a show about these horrible crimes, you kind of want to show the effects on the victims and the family's victims.

Ringo Starr

Eddie Malluk/WireImage.com

Finally, I know you guys are pretty close with your fans, is there anything you want to say to them after the strike or just going forward?
C.C.:
  Come back!
E.B.:  I just thank them, as usual, for their patience and for their unbelievable support. We have the most incredible group of fans I've ever seen. They are so engaged and supportive, and I'm just glad we're back making the show for everybody. By the way, Ringo Starr met Joe Mantegna the other night at the Grammys, and he loves Criminal Minds. It's his favorite show. 

Dude, a Beatle watches your show.
E.B.:
  How cool are we? 

Pretty freakin' cool! Got more Q's, wishes and wants for the last seven episodes of Criminal Minds season three? Post 'em in Comments!

—With reporting by Jennifer Godwin

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