Criminal Minds returns tonight for season 8 with a new addition to the BAU team and a case that they have seen before. Big Love's Jeanne Tripplehorn joins the cast tonight as linguistics expert Alex Blake and it won't be smooth sailing to begin with. Spoilers ahead.
Blake has been working for the FBI since she was in her mid-twenties, but thanks to an incident a while ago she has been sidelined. This incident involved Strauss (Jayne Atkinson) and is a source of conflict between Blake and Strauss all these years later. Strauss let Blake take the blame for a case that went bad and because of this her career stalled.
Alongside her work for the FBI, Blake is also a linguistics professor at Georgetown and it is through her academic work that she is already friends with one of the BAU team. Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) has also guest-lectured at Georgetown and so knows Blake from here and the two get along rather well. This is purely in a non-romantic sense as Blake has a boyfriend and Reid will be getting a separate love interest this season.
Hotch (Thomas Gibson) and Rossi (Joe Mantegna) also know Blake prior to her new role and this isn't the first case that Blake will be working with the team. However, this will be the first time that Morgan (Shemar Moore) and Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness) are meeting Blake as they have both been working in London over the summer (where they also hung out with Emily).
The team will head to Texas after a prisoner escapes, this is no ordinary escape and the team is called in because he appears to be a serial killer known as The Silencer, a name given thanks to his method of sewing his victim's mouths shut. As you can see from the sneak peek the prisoner wasn't known to them as being the The Silencer, how he left the scene of his escape points to this theory. This season will introduce an un-sub who will be featuring throughout the season and Erica Messer told TV Guide that "We're calling him The Replicator, unofficially. We'll probably see him five or six times."
Are you looking forward to meeting the new team member?
Watch a sneak peek for tonight's Criminal Minds episode "The Silencer" below and check out photos from the episode here.