Thursday, July 25, 2013

Exclusive: Esai Morales Joins Criminal Minds as New Section Chief

by Joyce Eng

The BAU has a new boss.

NYPD Blue and Caprica star Esai Morales has joined Criminal Minds as the new BAU section chief, has learned exclusively.

Morales will recur as Matt Cruz, a longtime FBI agent who gets promoted to work with the BAU and has a previous professional relationship with JJ (A.J. Cook) that will be revealed as the season progresses. Might they have worked together during...?

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  1. great casting! season 9 is shapping up to be a great one!

  2. With the exception of Rachel Nichols, I've never had a real big problem with the people CM has cast. However if they don't get their act together when it comes to the writing,it isn't going to matter a hill of beans who they've cast.

  3. I just hope he doesn`t get more screentime and story lines than Strauss had. The team does not need another member. There are already not enough scenes and stories for the 7 main characters.

  4. ITA about Strauss and it's why I was so glad when they killed her off.
    And to the fact that the original cast members have had to take a backseat to these so called special guest stars playing the part of the unsubs. It's quite obvious from the pilot and the earlier seasons that the emphasis was suppose to be on the team and the profiling and not the unsubs themselves, but sadly that somehow got all turned around.
    I did feel there was an improvement in season 8, but I hope we see an even bigger one come season 9

  5. I like the casting move. Esai Morales is a great choice. What worries me is that Hotch has been serving as acting Section Chief. Yes, he did that before but the current writers will take any excuse to put Hotch on the back burner and they got another one. I hope that doesn't happen the first two eps.

  6. I smell conflict ahoy!

    Could be interesting if wrote right. There's so much possibilities for JJs character if she ends up having a previous connection, especially if it wasn't a good relationship, or perhaps their knowing each other could cause JJ conflict with the others.

    I'm rather looking forward to see where season 9 is heading.

  7. I've mentioned this several times, but only because I see it as so important to the success of how the team is viewed, Hotch MUST stay the BOSS, and strong in his leadership. The ep's never have the umph without his strong command. I know all the characters deserve uber credits for their ever increasing skills, but Thomas Gibson is such a good actor, when he's given the really tough stuff he excells and brings the entire team along. (I don't think the fan base can ever forget him in the 100th ep.) He really deserved an emmy for that one.

  8. Hotch is still going to be the boss of the BAU, but his Matt Cruz dude will be the new section chief, taking over from Strauss. I wouldn't want Hotch to take over Strauss' role, because technically we would see less of him.

    I'm glad they're bringing in a new character. As much as I loved Strauss, I preferred her when she was a bitch, so I hope this guy brings some drama/conflict to the team, which the writers usually stay away from. But I also hope the redefine the role of the section chief, at times, it seemed that Strauss was only the top dog of the BAU and not the entire Quantico bureau division, surely she had other departments to deal with as well as the BAU, I hope that gets mentioned.

  9. I wonder if JJ's connection with him is going to play into that scenario where they talked about her going undercover. All I can say if she is put in a position where she'll once again have to lie to her team mates, or even worse spy on them or going to be pissed.

  10. Sorry,I meant to say I'm going to be pissed.

  11. I hope she does have to lie to them again or at least omit something about her past, as long as its explained and write well.

    I think it could be an interesting way to explore JJs personality evolvement. I know if I had to lie to my closest family, I'd feel stressed and probably come off a little snarky in compensation for the lying. So not only could it be a good way to explore JJ going undercover in relation to her connection to Cruz, but if it also explains why she was so easily allowed back into the BAU, why she chose to be a profiler and why she has hardened then I think it could be a tidy way to explain all of the changes and challenges that was overlooked by bringing JJ back at the same time as trying to wrap up Prentiss returning then leaving and bringing on Blake.

    For me, unless they completely screw Cruz' character and skip over a JJ story line in favour for other arcs or characters then, the introduction of a relationship between Cruz and JJ should be a great b line arc for season 9, I just wish I had more confidence in the writing as of late. I do think the show has steadily improved, but as far as JJ is concerned, I think the show has always missed opportunities which could have been great for the character.

  12. The guy looks interesting, but I'm still too pissed over the loss of Strauss to welcome him with open arms. I hope we'll see some conflict between the new Section Chief of the BAU and the team. Aside from Rossi and Prentiss every character replacement has sucked in the past (So far Blake is too much in the background to shine, though she has potencial, if the writers will finally decide to do their jobs properly.)
    I also don't think this so called connection with JJ will do any good. JJ has been thrown into our faces often enough over the last season. I really like the A.J. Cook, but JJ is becoming annoying. Sometimes less is more.

  13. Personally I don't think AJC has had anymore screen time than any of the other profilers have been given over the 8 years nor has she become annoying. I think that her screen time has been equalled to the others since her return, after all she used to disappear for half an episode, so I get why people think she's more present now.

    I do think she has changed, but I don't think it's that big of a change as some people seem to think, there is still elements of old JJ, but shes in a new role so its understandable that she changes, and I do think that the writers have struggled to adapt to writing JJ as a profiler, but thought that season 8 improved her character from season 7.

    I am looking forwards to see what they have in store or JJ in season 9, but I am wary of how they're going to write the story line. I don't think these writers excel in balancing stories between the characters and they've yet to properly create an arc around JJ (for me hit and run was more about Will or even Prentiss, her other centric episodes Usually end up about other characters and even when they do create an episode like All That Remains - still a favourite- it wasn't really a JJ episode there was still a lot of team centric parts to the episode, sure she was at the centre and we heard her talk about her sister, but not much was really learnt or happened to JJ which was followed up on).

    I so much want her relationship with the new section chief to be wrote well and pulled off well. I think it has a lot of possibilities and could straighten out some issues people seem to have with the new JJ. I like the look of the new actor coming into the show, he's someone that I've seen in loads of things but never really heard of before. I will miss Strauss, but I'm intrigued to see the new season.

  14. Since this seems to be a JJ moment here, sorry but I don't agree with the last commentator that JJ hasn't changed much..Are we watching the same show. Where has the JJ of the JJ ep gone? They are trying far too hard to make her a Prentiss-like personality, which is going over like a lead ballon. She's become a cardboard figure, and I really liked her prior to her profiler life, so this is not about bashing a non-favorite. They would have done better to keep the Blake character the tough profiler and still allowed JJ to stay the softer negotiator on the team even as a profiler.

    I am such a long time CM fan, that the less then subtle material is annoying to say the least. It just seems that the writer's are struggling and I'm beginning to wonder how much these guys are being influenced by the actors who want to try out new things to expand their repetoires knowing that CM won't be around too much longer. To them I would say, keep them out of the creative writing room, and other then letting them tweek here and there, stay true to what CM WAS, and should still be - intelligent, creative, and dynamic with wonderful subtle humor, and of course, great profilers catching unsubs. I'm hoping these back stories that they are so selling will remain just that-back stories with profiling and downing unsubs staying the primary focus.

  15. I absolutely 100% agree with Anon at 6.20 am above. JJ went off to the Pentagon after the great episode "JJ" and came back another person entirely and one not likeable at all. I get that AJ Cook wanted character development and a new role in the show but it has fallen very very short. I hope the writers get her character back on track in S9 but somehow I doubt it. I dread the 200th episode - the writers do not do backstories well and I really wish they wouldn't even try to do them. I know some fans want to know more about the history of the characters but they'd be better off sticking to fanfiction for this. CM should be first and foremost about the crimes and the profiling and the personal stuff and the backstories should be limited to a mention at the start or end of the show. The writers really should focus on getting the core premise of the show as good as they can and stop making it a soap opera style drama.

  16. JJ was never a favorite of mines, but I was fond of her in the earlier seasons. Now I just plain don't like her.
    I disagree with much of the way they write JJ nowadays and the way AJ plays her,but at the same time I can't exactly say I don't understand why, bc I think I do.

    In AJ Cook's mind the JJ she played in the earlier season had been deemed irrelevant by the powers to be and was gotten rid of.
    So understandable the actress and the writers are just trying to make sure no one ever again sees JJ as being irrelevant.
    Sadly, at least for me, in doing so they've pretty much turned her into a Mary Sue.


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