Criminal minds Spencer Reid’s (Matthew Gray-Gubler) drug addiction arc just dropped, and many viewers are wondering why. An original member of the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) in the series, the character was known for his intelligence. But, Reid’s life was no walk in the park; while all characters on Criminal minds has been through a lot, he has probably had the most traumatic experiences of them all.
Throughout its 15-season arc on Criminal minds, Reid was in several near-death experiences. One of the most memorable instances happened quite early on in Season 2, Episode 15, titled “Revelations.” In it, psychotic serial killer, Tobias Hankel (James Van Der Beek) kidnaps Reid and tortures and drugs him for two days straight until the BAU saves him. While Reid survived, he developed an addiction to Dilaudid – a narcotic painkiller. Reid’s personal struggle unfolded, but was mostly a subplot until he suddenly came clean at the end of Season 3.
Although he showed Reid that he was overcoming his addiction, the whole narrative wasn’t properly addressed. In fact, there were a handful of episodes that mentioned his personal struggle, and even they only vaguely referenced it. There is no clear reason why Criminal minds did not follow up on the setup regarding Reid’s drug addiction, other than claims that Gubler personally requested the plot be dropped. There’s also speculation that Reid was an integral part of the BAU, and moving forward with the aforementioned arc would have kept him out of the role as an FBI agent. Without his involvement, most Criminal minds‘ cases would have been difficult to solve.
Gubler said in an interview that Reid has “suspicion of schizophrenia‘, and so if the show needed an excuse to keep him from helping the BAU, they could have easily made the character take a sanity break. Instead, making him a drug addict caused some storytelling issues on Criminal minds. As well as distracting Reid from actively doing his job, there would also be complications with keeping his job, as his addiction could also have seen him suspended, or even fired outright. As previously mentioned, Reid was important to the BAU; many of the team’s cases were solved thanks to his intelligence that it would be a huge loss if he had at least been suspended from the FBI.
Paramount + Criminal mindsThe revival is currently in development. But, at this point, it’s unclear if Gubler will reprise his role as Reid. Most of the actor’s co-stars have already signed up for the reboot, but Gubler has yet to officially board the project. If he joins, it’s likely they’ll never revisit Reid’s drug addiction arc again, but he’s curious how BAU will function without him.
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Why Criminal Minds Dropped Reid’s Drug Addiction Story – GameSpot
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