I remember the first time I ever watched an episode of "Criminal Minds." It was the summer before my freshman year of high school and I found the first few seasons on some random website. I was hooked. Now, this show has been a part of my life for five years. It's insane. Recently, the news dropped that "Criminal Minds" would come to an end after a final 15th season with 10 episodes. I have loved every minute of this crazy, spooky, thrilling, and emotional journey. Every season is made up of complex characters that make the show so great...
1. Aaron Hotchner
Hotch teaches us that no matter what, the key to being a good leader is to be just, fair, honest, and always willing to be there for your team. He also makes the BAU a family. We miss you, Hotch.
2. Emily Prentiss
Emily teaches us how to trust. She grows so much throughout the series, and after a run in with a former undercover enemy, she really starts to grasp the fact that the BAU has her back. She can trust them because they love her and care about her. She is also a major badass and I love her.
3. Stephen Walker
Walker is lighthearted and funny, but he's also so wise. He always makes time for the team. He teaches us that spending time with the people you love is one of the best things that you can do. I miss him...
4. Kate Callahan
Kate teaches us that showing people how you feel doesn't make you weak. It makes you strong. She is so full of energy and life and is never afraid to let people know what is on her mind.
5. Spencer Reid
Spencer Reid teaches us how to be strong. He never seems to get a break... like... ever. By relying on his team, his family, he is able to get through some of the hardest things imaginable. He is so precious. I've loved watching him grow.
6. Tara Lewis
Tara teaches us that one of the most badass and beautiful things that you can do in this life is to be true to yourself. She comes into the BAU and brings this light. I'm obsessed with her and you should be, too.
7. Jason Gideon
Gideon teaches us to follow our heart and our gut. His affinity for his team, his quirky love for birds, and his intuition make him one of the most memorable characters. We're just gonna forget about how he ghosted the BAU for this post, lol... and just focus on the good stuff.
8. David Rossi
Rossi teaches us to keep your friends and family close to your heart. He is always going out of his way to make sure people are OK, but he does it in such a lighthearted way that people miss it. His team is a part of his family and he doesn't see them any other way. There is nothing Rossi wouldn't do for them. He also throws AMAZING parties.
9. Matt Simmons
Simmons teaches us that putting your all into something pays off. He has a family, and puts his all into that. He joined the BAU and brought people together, putting his all into that. Simmons is a hard working, family loving cutie who deserves the whole world.
10. Alex Blake
Blake teaches us how to forgive. She and Erin Strauss had some beef. You don't need to be a linguist to know that. But she always managed to put her job and her team first, before any of the drama from the past. Blake is also a superb listener. We stan.
11. Erin Strauss
Strauss teaches us that your past doesn't define you and that every new day is an opportunity to start over. She worked hard and was good at her job, but she had her vices, as everyone does. She didn't let them define her, though. Miss you, Strauss. You were quite the toughie but you grew on us in the end.
12. Luke Alvez
Luke teaches us that stepping out of our comfort zone can lead to some of the best experiences in the world. He's the newbie and told Garcia he didn't share his personal life with his co-workers. It didn't take long for him to start settling in and feeling like another vital addition to the family within the BAU. All it took was a leap. He's too good ugh.
13. Jennifer Jareau
JJ teaches us to never ever ever lose hope. JJ had a major shift in career, fell in love, had a son, got married, got tortured, lost her sister, and on top of all of that she still persevered. The always had hope, even in her darkest moments. She will always be one of my favorite characters because of this.
14. Derek Morgan
Derek teaches us that one of the best things that you can do for the people you love is to simply remind them that you are there for them. He told Emily she should trust him. He told Reid to hang in there. He told Hotch things would be OK. He reminded Penelope of her worth. He is constantly a voice in the back of the team's mind, telling them that they matter and that he's there for them.
15. Penelope Garcia
Garica teaches us that no matter what, there are people somewhere in this world that care about you. They could be hundreds of miles away, typing away on a computer or sitting next to you on an airplane. She also teaches us that happiness can be found anywhere and to never stop loving others. Garcia is my fav. LOVE her.
Thank you, "Criminal Minds." Thank you, BAU. Thank you for letting us join you on this journey.