According to Deadline, Kirsten Vangsness and A.J. Cook, who play Garcia and Jareau, respectively, in the series, may not be returning for season 13. The actresses have reportedly not yet signed the contract since they are seeking for pay parity with their co-stars Joe Mantegna and Matthew Gray Gubler. The rest of the cast members, including Aisha Tyler, Paget Brewster, Adam Rodriguez and Damon Gupton, will all remain as series regulars.
If Vangsness and Cook will not be able to settle their problems with CBS and the showrunners, their characters will of course be removed from the storyline as well. Garcia and Jareau’s absence will affect Reid (Gubler) more than the other members of the squad. Among the agents, they are his closest confidantes. Garcia even sacrificed her job to aid Reid last season. Jareau, on the other hand, was a huge presence in Reid’s life when he was imprisoned.
Meanwhile, the new season is expected to reveal the fates of Rossi (Mantegna), Prentiss (Brewster) and Lewis (Tyler) after they were involved in an accident during last season’s finale.
Showrunner Erica Messer told TV Guide that the writers have yet to discuss about the said plot. She admitted, though, that she would not want to see a character dying in the series.
“Again, I certainly hope so. I love this group. If I’ve learned anything in all these 13 years it’s you can’t truly prepare for anything. [Laughs] So I can’t say yay or nay to that. I don’t have all the control there, but I certainly hope so. I love the whole gang. I certainly hope we know by June 5 when our writers’ room starts back up. We can’t really move forward until we know the answer to all those questions,” the EP shared.
“Criminal Minds” season 13 is rumored to return in September.