The long-running procedural drama Criminal Minds has seen a more than fair amount of cast turnover in its 15 seasons. However, there is one fan-favorite cast member who has stood the test of time: Matthew Gray Gubler.
Criminal Minds premiered on CBS in 2005, and its seasons had many ups and downs as they followed the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit. Given its impressive run, the series was bound to see a variety of different cast lineups as the characters chase down “unsubs” and deal with challenges in their own personal lives.
Matthew Gray Gubler played the young cerebral prodigy Dr. Spencer Reid. Joining the BAU at the young age of 22, Dr. Reid has an eidetic memory, which essentially means his memory not only exceeds ability, but also accuracy. He is the resident genius in the Behavior Analysis Unit and his quick logical calculations were incredibly beneficial to the team in almost every episode. Definitely weird, fans found his social awkwardness endearing, though the series hinted at, but never confirmed, some mental disorders Reid might have.
In short: why would you? Matthew Gray Gubler starred in more episodes than any other cast member and was an original main cast member from the very first episode. One could mention Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness) as a comparison for her, but she was only recurring in Season 1, she didn’t move up to the main cast until Season 2, making her one less starring episode than Gubler. .
Matthew Gray Gubler grew to love his character and was also able to stretch other creative muscles while directing 12 episodes over the course of the show’s extensive run. Though he won’t be returning for the limited series revival of the show, he’s not out of ill will toward the character or the series. He explained in a 2020 interview that although the series was in his life for 15 years, it was “kind of beautiful” rather than sad at the end.
Fifteen years is a long time to play a character. Fortunately, Matthew Gray Gubler’s Dr. Spencer Reid was so adored that audiences never grew tired of him, and neither did he. Since the closure of Criminal Minds, Gubler has gone through many new projects, including guest starring on Hulu’s Dollface and publishing a children’s book Rumple Buttercup: A Story of Bananas, Belonging, and Being Yourself.
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