Yes, there is a dangerous serious killer — many of them — on the loose in the final season of Criminal Minds, but the answers that fans want most is about a surprise love triangle that emerged at the end of Season 14. J.J. (A.J. Cook) confessed that she loved Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) at gun point, but it was unclear what that confession truly meant, especially since J.J. is allegedly happily married with two kids already.
The Season 15 premiere picks up three months after that fateful confession, and things aren’t exactly great between the longtime friends. Criminal Minds executive producer Erica Messer teased to TV Guide ahead of the season that things are messy when we first pick up with J.J. and Reid in the opener.
“They’re not in a great place because they haven’t really discussed it, and the ramifications of that [confession]. We didn’t want to play six months of awkwardness with them, so we sort of allude to it,” Messer revealed. However, answers will come before the end of the two-hour premiere. Neither of them are pleased with how things are going to go, and circumstances force them to have to deal with the sticky situation head-on.
“In the second hour of the premiere, they have a very honest conversation about how much they miss how they were and what they were before J.J.’s confession. And I think it’s a beautiful, honest … portrayal of them and their relationship,” Messer said.
It turns out that fans weren’t the only ones with questions about what J.J’s confession meant. The writers were split on the show, and so were the actors — even when playing the scene.
“Even in working with AJ and Matthew, one of them thought she absolutely meant [the confession] and one of them thought she didn’t. She just said what you have to say,” Messer said. “In this interesting dynamic, it’s a little muddy, but J.J. will tell him [the truth] in that second hour.”
Messer wants fans to be prepared for an emotional moment between the pair, no matter what the outcome is, so make sure you have your tissues ready.
“It’s all complicated,” Messer teased. “I think it’s kind of a beautiful way to celebrate their relationship.” Oh, it looks like we’re already getting teary-eyed.
Criminal Minds returns on Wednesday, Jan. 8 at 9/8c on CBS.
(Disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS)