Shemar Moore’s departure from Criminal Minds left a void in the series that was difficult to fill, and many fans criticized the actor’s decision, but the actor had an underlying reason for this choice.
For 15 seasons, Criminal Minds told the story of a group of criminal profilers who worked for the FBI. As is often the case with a series that’s on the air for 15 seasons, the cast went through some significant changes. That included the season 11 exit of Shemar Moore, who played Supervisory Special Agent Derek Morgan. After being a main cast member for 11 seasons, his departure from the series came as a surprise to fans. But there was a good reason why he made this decision.
Criminal Minds focused on the Behavior Analysis Unit, part of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime. It was established in 1985 to bring a level of knowledge and experience to investigate immediate threats or acts of violence. Originally directed by Jason Gideon by Mandy Patinkin, the television version of BAU traveled across the United States providing operational support to a variety of cases involving unusual subject matter.
As a long-time member of the BAU, Shemar Morgan was an integral part of the overall team. He formed a particularly strong bond with a technical analyst named Penélope García. Although she was not a field agent, Garcia worked from a central location, offering technical support and investigative skills second to none. Garcia and Morgan shared an emotional intimacy that was incredibly engaging. His ongoing pranks were definitely a highlight of Criminal Minds.
The Garcia/Morgan relationship was a big part of why Criminal Minds fans were dismayed when Shemar Moore left the series and Derek Morgan was dropped in 2017. Shemar Moore left Criminal Minds wanting to explore new opportunities and focus on her personal life.. After 11 seasons on Criminal Minds, Moore was ready to take some time to relax with his family and his dogs, something he hadn’t been able to do for a while.
Season 11 was the last for the actor and it gave him some great episodes. In Season 11, Episode 16, Morgan had visions of his father, who was played by Danny Glover. It was the first time fans had seen Hank Morgan portrayed in such a way. The downside of the episode was that Morgan had been kidnapped and the BAU had to rescue him. This incident made Derek realize that he needed to get away from life at BAU. It was actually a solid sendoff for the character.
Moore made appearances in seasons 12 and 13, briefly bringing Derek Morgan back into the world of Criminal Minds. But season 11 was the end of her run as a main character. Morgan never appeared again in the final two seasons of the series, leaving fans hopeful that his life turned out the way he wanted it to.
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Criminal Minds: The real reason actor Shemar Moore left the series
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