Kidnap, trauma and a female serial killer: 'Criminal Minds' season 14 has it all, says Kirsten Vangsness as she dishes on the intense season premiere

Kirsten Vangsness, who plays Penelope Garcia on the CBS crime drama, has a lot to say about what to expect from the new season after the shocker finale in the previous one


                            Kidnap, trauma and a female serial killer: 'Criminal Minds' season 14 has it all, says Kirsten Vangsness as she dishes on the intense season premiere

'Criminal Minds' is back for the 14th season and from the looks of it, it is the best one so far! While the show left us with a huge cliffhanger in April, little did we know that it would come back with a cure. FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) favorites Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness) and Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) were abducted by a mass murderer with little to no hope of survival. These two are badasses in their own right but this time, the bad guy really got them. This shocker of an episode was followed with the news of a season renewal in May and we all breathed a little easy.

Although they still haven't been rescued, there's no need to worry about them, reveals actor Kirsten Vangsness in an interview with MEAWW. "I would say for sure that I wouldn't worry about us coming back because we are four episodes in and we are still there," says Vangsness reassuringly.

While the two heroes are trapped, the BAU team suspects their abductor to be 'The Strangler', who will leave no stone unturned to hurt them. They must dig deep into their past and figure out how to get him. Vangsness predicts that it will be an insanely exciting season premiere. "It really is an intense and scary season premiere. What will be even more exciting to see is how it affects them as people and what goes on with them afterward. I think it makes for a fun arc for the show,"  she says.

Kirsten Vangsness as Penelope Garcia, the tech genius in the BAU. (WikiFandom)
Kirsten Vangsness as Penelope Garcia, the tech genius in the BAU. (WikiFandom)

The premiere will also give us another chance to meet Special Agent Owen Quinn, played by James Urbaniak. For those of you who don't remember, Quinn was a notable character in last season's finale 'Believer'. He quit his FBI gig to chase after 'The Strangler'. He was pretty unsuccessful and got himself locked up in a crate after a series of unfortunate events. He was the cry for help that got Garcia and Reid in trouble. He was a suspect for the murders as well. Who knows what he will bring to the table this season. Karen David is also returning as Special Agent Mary Meadows who had been shot last season. 



 

This season will let us in on the depth of the characters, especially our quirky tech genius. "The writers were very smart about it, so you won't be left with where Garcia is but there are some aftershocks that happen. I think we are gonna explore some trauma. It gets scarier when it's over so they explore how PTSD affects her and some of the ways that it affects her is she has some very Un-Garcia moments for sure in the season premiere," Vangsness says.

The show has been renewed for 15 episodes so far and co-incidentally the season premiere also celebrates their 300th-anniversary episode.

"It really is amazing!" says Vangsness looking back at the journey. In fact, she actually started off as just a one-off appearance on the show. "I was so appreciative when I got the job in the first episode and  then came the 2nd and 3rd episode and I was suddenly a regular and I remember getting the call saying, 'you guys got picked up again' and that was cool...but then it happened again for the next season and I was like 'Woah that's neat'," she laughs and adds: "And I am still amazed when we open up the script and I am in it."



 

She also teases that Benjamin David Merva aka The Messiah may be an ongoing threat this season. Played by Michael Hogan, we also think there's a fair chance he is the mass murderer our friends are looking for - after all, his modus operandi was strangling his victims to death as his followers watched. "I don't know yet. For the most part, we clear things up in that first episode but sometimes we think its over but it's not. I'm endlessly surprised, myself by the callbacks so who knows?" she says. There's also a fair chance that the show will give us its first big and in-depth female serial killer. "I know typically we do more dudes.. just because. This time though, I'm 90 percent sure we have a female one, but I'm not sure what they do," she says, leaving us hoping.

'Criminal Minds' season 14 premieres on Wednesday, October 3 at 10/9c on CBS.