The first two episodes of Criminal Minds: Evolution are here! In “Sicarius,” the team is still trying to decipher the connection between cases, Elias is determined to keep them off his tracks, and Penelope has a big decision to make.
The BAU’s Big Break (and the Thorn in Their Side)
JJ has to miss date night in order to complete the case. Will is understanding, but she says she can shuffle some things around. He doesn’t want her to. She promises she will make it up to him. In Quantico, everyone is preparing for their morning brief. This UnSub is following the same pattern as the RJ Gilcrest case. Luke has tried looking for an overlap between wives but has found nothing. Rossi suggests a toxic screening but they’re waiting for the results. They know they’re going to have to solve this case without all of their key players.
The Sullivans are brought in for questioning and the wife eventually confirms that the suspect has sent her husband a video, to which JJ responds by questioning him herself. The BAU isn’t getting anywhere with their profile as it stands, so JJ suggests they rework it and look into “bulls killing other bulls” they think they’ll get further.
One of the victim’s partners helps make a breakthrough in the case, talking about a previous experience the couple had shared with him that led to them finding somebody else because he “wasn’t good enough”.
Tara and Prentiss are back inside the shipping container going over the evidence they have when JJ says they need the whole team back in the office, they think they’ve got something. Rossi believes there’s more of a connection: they used the pandemic to connect online with each other. They want to apply the behavior to his followers, realizing they’re a network of killers.
Tara brings in Rebecca from the DOJ to help with their Bailey issue. They’ve found he claimed his way to the top by cutting costs and taking credit where it isn’t due. Rebecca promises to find out what she can, though there isn’t anything on the table currently. When she walks away, Prentiss immediately slaps Tara’s arm, accusing them of being together. Tara tries to blow it off but eventually caves; admitting they’ve been seeing each other for a few months. It isn’t her first time dating a woman, but it is her first time being happy. (and we love to see it!)
Rebecca drops a bomb on the BAU. Bailey knows where the money is and it’s not in serial killers. He can reorganize the BAU and bring in new leadership should he be able to prove the current one is wasteful. Prentiss thinks if they can use his logic against him by proving their current case is an act of domestic terrorism and shut down the network, they justify their jobs to keep them.
Puppet Master Elias
One of Elias’ prodigies, Robert, is preparing for … surgery? He taps the spine of the victim and opens up his back to reveal it. He seeks approval from Elias, who asks if he followed the rules. When he says yes, he gets to continue. But, after this killing, Elias wants him to take a pause.
Elias is in Georgia uncovering an underground bunker. He heads to get supplies for a “project” he’s working on. After ringing up his order, the cashier, Tawny, asks if he’d like to join their rewards program because he’s got a big order. He snaps and says he’s fine but takes notice of her dog Moose in the photos behind her. Before thanking her and leaving, he tells her network security and home security go hand in hand … but nothing beats a dog. (That’s totally not ominous, Elias.)
Elias calls Robert and tells him the police are on their way. There’s only one thing for him to do. Robert claims he can’t, but Elias promises to walk him through how to slit his throat.
At Tawny’s home, Elias waits outside, playing mouse with the dog. Elias has turned off the kill kits, so nobody knows where they are. Elias returns to his home where he places Moose’s collar inside his personal kill kit. He heads inside to his seemingly perfect life, where he has a big house, a wife, and kids.
Penelope’s Big Decision
Penelope is living her best life, working out, making a smoothie, and getting dressed. She meets with members of SOAR and they have a dance party before their scheduled meeting.
Penelope finishes her meeting and she gets a message from an anonymous account asking about her identity. They go on to tell her they know how SOAR was compromised, and they’re seeking revenge. She tracks their coordinates and tracks them to the Sullivans and RJ Gilcrest.
Penelope calls Rossi saying she needs to see him, handing him a hard drive of information. This is the second time they have pulled in her and they need her to help solve the case. Again. Penelope holds back her remarks, but Rossi pushes her. So, she asks if he’s gone to therapy since Crystal passed away. He immediately dismisses it, calling her “judgy.” He wants to grieve privately and wants others to respect that. She says she internalized trauma for all of her life and while she misses everyone; she doesn’t miss the work.
But she knows they can’t solve this case without her, she’s the best chance they have. So, Penelope reluctantly steps back into her position at the BAU.
Episodes will drop weekly through December 15 when the mid-season finale airs. They’ll pick back up on January 12 for the mid-season premiere, continuing until the finale on February 9.