Season 6 ended with Gibson's character Hotch helping "bury" Prentiss (Paget Brewster). However, she's still very alive -- something the team isn't aware of -- and Brewster and A.J. Cook will rejoin the cast full-time for Season 7 (Wed., Sept. 21, 9PM ET on CBS). All that deception comes back to bite Hotch, Gibson said.
"The sh-- sort of hits the fan because they're back in some ways," Gibson said about Brewster and Cook's return to the series. "Paget, as far as the rest of the team is concerned, we had lost her. There's some good stuff to play as a result of everybody getting back together, which is cool."
It wasn't just the fans who are excited to have Brewster and Cook back on the show -- Gibson said the cast is psyched too.
"It feels like a family reunion -- everybody is in the right place," Gibson said.
Let's talk 'Criminal Minds' -- A.J. is back! Paget's back!
Yeah I know, it's really fantastic. It was very strange -- we were all in a very strange place last year, given these directives that came down from some corporate directive place. We were all mystified at the prospect of losing A.J. and Paget. I think our fans were more than mystified, they were pretty pissed off and they let it be known. It's the power of the media, let it be known that it was not OK. I think they realized they really shouldn't have messed with a good thing. They had brought Rachel [Nichols] on in the meantime. It seems like every decision they made, somebody had to pay for it. I'm hoping that Rachel's going to be back this season. I know that there's some interesting stuff to be explore with her character. She's doing fine, she's working all the time. We miss her, she was an instant part of the family, but it's really great to have everybody back where they belong. It feels like a family reunion -- everybody is in the right place. Because -- kind of ironically -- because there was so much interesting stuff around Paget's departure and how that happened -- and A.J.'s as well -- reintegrating them into the cast makes for good TV too.
You mentioned the fans, do you have anything you want to say to the fans? It's one of the most passionate fan bases I've seen around lately.
It is amazing. I've been doing chats and I've got a growing Twitter following. I started tweeting a couple of years ago. We've got incredibly passionate fans who really do love the show and who are very invested in these characters and I think did not take kindly to their show being messed around with and let it be known. They let it be known with insistence and volume. Fortunately, whoever it was that was listening, the message got through.
What's next for Hotch?
I've got some stuff to deal with in the beginning few episodes. When the unit chief says somebody is dead and you bury them, and the unit chief then says "I couldn't tell any of you that she wasn't dead," you might bring up some trust issues. Some of that stuff has to get dealt with and it does get dealt with. Shemar Moore's character, Derek Morgan, has some issues with the fact that he feels betrayed. My point to him is, "Look, it was what we had to do to save her life. I'm sorry if it wasn't exactly what you wanted, but get over it!" I think at that point there's going to be a little bit of rebuilding in some of the relationships to reestablish the trust that had been previously established. I've got some interesting stuff to play to try and keep the ball in the air as far as my home life and my work life go. Taking care of my son and also trying to sort of move on beyond having lost my wife a few years ago. It's good stuff to play and I think that this season, especially this far into the run of a show, you have the opportunity to do a little bit more in-depth exploration into the characters, and I think that's where we're heading this year.
You've talked about this in the past, but your character is sort of humorless. Will that change?
I think he has an excellent sense of humor, he's just simply -- there's not enough time in his FBI day for a lot of frivolity. I think he does actually have a sense of humor, it's just a matter of kind of rediscovering it. I think he smiles a lot on the inside. [Laughs] I'm not being completely glib -- just a little bit maybe -- but I think he definitely does appreciate everybody else's humor, I think he needs to lighten up a little bit, that's for sure.
You guys have had a ton of a famous faces come and go. I just caught Jane Lynch's episode in a rerun. Do you have a favorite guest star?
Jane Lynch. They don't get any better than that. We've been very lucky; we have great casting people. The show at this point, people do want to do it! Kathryn Joosten said to me the other night, "Bring me on as an old lady serial killer!" I said "Sure!" Jamie Kennedy made an amazing appearance a couple of years ago as a serial killer who was chopping up his victims and adding them to the chili he was feeding the people searching for victims. It's all pretty twisted stuff and there's a certain appeal to it and people don't seem to get enough of it, which is a little disturbing.
So what else is coming up?
We're shooting one right now, it sort of takes place in Tornado Alley in Kansas, where there are lots and lots of tornadoes in which this killer is striking. The tornadoes sort of play into his psychopathology. It's a pretty twisted one too, twisted twister aspect of serial killing is explored in this particular episode.
'Criminal Minds' Season 7 premieres Wed., Sept. 21, 9PM ET on CBS
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