Think you know what to expect from tonight’s two-part CRIMINAL MINDS season finale that doesn’t just feature the exit of long-time agent Emily Prentiss [Paget Brewster], but a wedding and a hostage situation to boot?! Well, think again! Or at least that’s the message series star Thomas Gibson wanted to pass along to fans during an exclusive one-on-one with theTVaddict.com in which he previewed tonight’s finale, his character’s complicated relationship status and why we have yet to see his former DHARMA & GREG co-star guest on the series. See for yourself, after the jump.
Tonight’s episode hasn’t just been super-sized to back-to-back episodes, but includes a handful of fantastic guest stars including Tricia Helfer, Nicholas Brendon and Sebastian Roché. Is it safe to say that tonight’s season ender may go down as CRIMINAL MINDS’ biggest to date?
Thomas Gibson: Well it may be in terms of quantity yes. Qualitatively it’s also going to be very exciting. I believe it may be the first time we’ve done a season ending two-parter and it’s a great kind of arc for this particular kind of story with surprises that I don’t think anyone’s seen coming. There are a lot of teases floating out there and all I can really say is that if you think you know what’s going to happen iI can assure you that you don’t.
There has been an awful lot of speculation online as to who will be walking down the aisle during tonight’s finale. Do you think fans will be surprised by which characters are tying the knot?
I don’t know! I suppose they’ve got a one in seven chance of figuring it out but I’m not sure. It will be interesting given what happens in the lead up. It will make sense in retrospect but it might be a surprise if you asked the audience half way through tonight’s two-parter who was going to end up having this wedding, I don’t necessarily think that you’d get too many correct answers.
Adding to tonight’s drama is Prentiss’ exit. Is it nice to know that showrunner Erica Messer has gone on record to say that Paget Brewster’s character isn’t being killed off so that the door will remain open for the occasional pop in?
Yes, exactly. We are kind of still a little sick about Paget’s decision but we love her and I hope that she can come back as often as possible. Paget’s character is great and she’s a wonderful person, we’ll miss everything about her.
Over the course of seven seasons CRIMINAL MINDS has seen a remarkable number of big name guest stars. Do you often find yourself suggesting guest actors to the writers?
Oh sure. It’s just a matter of matching up actor with part and schedule, but if I happen to know that somebody is around and looking for something to do I will try and suggest it. But often times if you know an actor is available they may not be available by the time that they can find the right script. It’s hard and usually it’s much more likely that you hear about a great part and you go so-and-so would be perfect for this and then you find out that they’re not available. That said, sometimes it does work out.
One person it hasn’t quite worked out for is your former DHARMA & GREG co-star Jenna Elfman. Has that ever come up?
Yeah, in fact we ended up doing TWO AND A HALF MEN not to long ago. But yeah, it hasn’t happened yet and I don’t know how much longer we’ll be around and I know she’s doing a new show this year so it may not happen next season, but we’ll see.
Since you just opened that door, how many more seasons do you see CRIMINAL MINDS going for? The show still performs remarkably well in the ratings seven season in.
It does. Nobody thought that this show had much life in it at the very beginning. I think the network’s expectations were modest, I think the critics expectations were ruthless yet here we are chugging away. It’s kind of a testament to how good this concept is, how good this particular group works together and how great our writing is. I don’t know, it could go on for a long time. we’ll see. As long as it continues to be interesting I think you’ll get people tuning in and we’ll get this group continue to make them.
Is there anything in particular you’d like to see the writers explore in terms of your character next season?
I think Hotch is going to have a stand-up career this year! I think it will be a really kind of interesting twist from what people have come to expect from him. [On a more serious note] There are lots of things I would actually like to continue, first and foremost, the developments this season with Bellamy Young’s character [Hotchner's new love interest] and to see how that integrates further into Hotch’s life at home and certainly his life on the job.
Were you at all nervous about introducing a new love interest for Hotchner following the death of his ex-wife Haley?
I sat down with the writers this year and we kind of mapped it out because you want it to happen in a really nice organic way. There are challenges, Hotch and [son] Jack have been through so much. Also Is Beth [Bellamy Young] ready for some of the things that happen when you get involved with someone who works in. There are interesting questions that we’ll be dealing with next year.
Has there been any talk of bringing on a new actress to replace the departing Paget Brewster?
I think that’s really a question for Erica [CRIMINAL MINDS showrunner Erica Messer]. Certainly everyone has moments of speculation, but it don’t think there have been any plans set in stone.
And finally, since tonight is the big CRIMINAL MINDS finale, we have to ask as to what type of note the episode ends on?
I think that for us there’s certainly going to be questions that are left unanswered but for us, for once, we’re going to leave the season with a much sort of happier feeling than we usually do. It will be nice I think.
CRIMINAL MINDS airs Wednesdays at 9PM on ABC (CTV Two in Canada)