Neal Caffrey

What Happened to Reid on Criminal Minds

Is it not intriguing how a character can disappear from a beloved TV show, leaving fans dangling in the winds of uncertainty?

In the case of the popular series, Criminal Minds, viewers are left speculating about the absence of a key character, Dr. Spencer Reid, portrayed by Matthew Gray Gubler.

What Happened To Reid On Criminal Minds

The show’s creators explain his absence by stating he’s involved in a case, kept away by the whims of the new boss, Deputy Director Bailey. Yet, the ambiguity surrounding Reid’s future on the show creates a compelling mystery outside the scripted crimes, beckoning fans to uncover the truth.

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Will Reid return or has he vanished into the ether of unfulfilled character arcs? The answer remains elusive, enticing fans to stay tuned for future developments.

Key Takeaways

  • Reid’s character development and resilience were shaped by personal challenges and traumatic experiences, including his upbringing with a mentally ill mother.
  • Major turning points in Reid’s journey include his arrest on drug possession charges, time in prison (including solitary confinement), and an ongoing storyline involving his mother.
  • Reid has struggled with addiction to the prescription painkiller Dilaudid, which stemmed from being shot, but his determination to overcome it is evident in his journey to sobriety.
  • Reid’s arrest and imprisonment saga in Mexico for murder and drug charges had a significant impact on the BAU team, who worked tirelessly to clear his name without notifying their superiors.

Reid’s Initial Character Development

Reids Initial Character Development

Reid’s character, known for his genius-level IQ and extensive knowledge in various fields, initially developed through a combination of personal challenges and traumatic experiences, shaping his unique personality and social awkwardness.

Matthew Gray Gubler’s portrayal of Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds brought to life this Supervisory Special Agent’s brilliance and complexities. Part of the Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU), Reid’s slight obsessive-compulsive disorder and struggle with social cues are attributed to his upbringing with a mentally ill mother.

His initial character development is deeply tied to these experiences, illustrating how personal adversity can foster exceptional abilities. Reid’s mother’s condition, particularly, had a profound impact on him, instilling a resilience and determination that made him an invaluable asset to the BAU.

Major Turning Points for Reid

Major Turning Points For Reid

In the ever-evolving narrative of Criminal Minds, significant turning points for Spencer Reid have reshaped not only his character, but also the dynamics within the BAU team.

Reid’s arrest on charges of drug possession marks a pivotal moment in his character development. His time in prison, particularly his experience in solitary confinement, pushes him to his limits, further deepening his character’s complexity.

The ongoing storyline involving Reid’s mother serves as a significant personal challenge for him, influencing his actions and decisions within the BAU. Despite these trials, Reid remains a key figure in the BAU.

His role as a Supervisory Special Agent is central to the team’s functioning, underlining his resilience and adaptability.

These events represent crucial stages in Spencer Reid’s journey, significantly impacting the narrative of Criminal Minds.

Reid’s Struggle With Addiction

Reids Struggle With Addiction

While enduring these tests of character and resilience, a vital element to consider is the struggle Spencer Reid faced against addiction to Dilaudid, a prescription painkiller. Stemming from when Reid was shot, his struggle with addiction became a significant plotline in Criminal Minds.

Despite numerous trips to Mexico and bouts of absence from the BAU, Reid’s determination to overcome his affliction is evident. Each time Reid remembers his dark past, he uses it as a stepping stone to recovery rather than a stumbling block. His journey to sobriety, though marred by setbacks, is a testament to his resilience.

The storyline, while harrowing, paints a raw picture of addiction, illuminating its complexities. Today, Reid is still with the BAU, continuing his fight against addiction.

The Arrest and Imprisonment Saga

The Arrest And Imprisonment Saga

Shifting gears to another critical juncture in Spencer Reid’s life, the saga of his arrest and imprisonment serves as a dramatic turn in the series, testing his resilience and the unity of the BAU team in profound ways.

Reid’s arrest in Mexico, for the murder of Rosa, an intent to distribute drugs, is a shocking twist in ‘Criminal Minds’.

  1. Reid’s arrest sends shockwaves through the BAU team, testing their unity and resolve.
  2. Despite the obstacles, the team works tirelessly for Reid’s release from prison.
  3. The team fights to clear Reid’s name without notifying their superiors, adding a layer of risk to their actions.
  4. In the Criminal Minds Reboot, the impact of Reid’s imprisonment saga continues to be felt, adding tension and suspense to the narrative.

Reid’s Departure From the Show

Reids Departure From The Show

Matthew Gray Gubler’s decision to step away from ‘Criminal Minds’ signified a significant shift in the show’s dynamic. His absence added a layer of uncertainty and tension to the narrative.

Reid’s departure from the show left the BAU team grappling with new challenges, forcing other characters to step up. Showrunner Erica Messer explained that Reid went away due to a case, thus leaving room for a potential return. This cleverly crafted ambiguity keeps the audience hooked, even in the absence of Reid’s beloved character.

Interestingly, episode 69, ‘Elephants Memory’ foreshadowed Reid’s departure with its exploration of Reid’s relationships with Maeve Donovan and Diana Reid.

Gubler’s exit, therefore, isn’t just a loss but a creative chance to weave new narratives in ‘Criminal Minds’.


As the poignant narrative of Reid’s journey unfurls, fans share his triumphs and tribulations. His departure from the show leaves a void that’s palpable, yet his legacy continues to resonate.

Amidst the chaos of the BAU, his absence is a stark reminder of the complexity of his character. Ultimately, fans remain hopeful, longing for the return of the beloved Dr. Reid. After all, it’s his unique charm that truly breathed life into Criminal Minds.

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