The upcoming Paramount+ procedural reunites the team after the original series, Criminal Minds, signed off after a 15-season run on CBS in February 2020. The streaming service released the official trailer for Criminal Minds: Evolution, and in it, the BAU has a lot to contend with as they go up against a pandemic-influenced serial killer, Elias Volt (played by Zach Gilford), who is far more dangerous than any unsub they've faced.
"All my years as a profiler, I studied killers. But I never studied what a pandemic would do to them," Rossi (Joe Mantegna) says in the two-minute trailer. "They couldn't move, they couldn't hunt. So they started communicating to become better predators."
As they piece together how this killer, Elias, was responsible for 16 deaths (and counting), they come to realize that the "connected cases" aren't simply that -- "this is a serial-killing network," Prentiss (Paget Brewster) concludes. To make matters more dangerous, JJ (A.J. Cook) comes to the conclusion that the unsub "isn't textbook."
Coming up empty, they turn to a trusted source, Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness), who, in the series finale, had left the BAU for less gruesome pastures. And it doesn't take long for Garcia to pick up right where she left off as she settles into her old digs at BAU headquarters.
"This is the biggest case we've ever had," Rossi warns, but they may be getting played, as Prentiss comes to the realization: "He's been setting us up this whole time." As Rossi begins to spiral, the BAU remains steadfast as a unit as Prentiss promises (and possibly also the show too): "No, this isn't over. We're just getting started."
Kicking off on Thanksgiving, the reunion series picks up after the events of the final episode, set deep into the pandemic and its effect on the team members. In the update, the FBI’s elite team of criminal profilers come up against their greatest threat yet, an unsub who has used the pandemic to build a network of other serial killers. As the world opens back up and the network goes operational, the team must hunt them down, one murder at a time.
Watch the trailer for Criminal Minds: Evolution below.
The first two episodes of Criminal Minds: Evolution premiere Thanksgiving Day, with subsequent episodes dropping every Thursday on Paramount+ until the midseason finale Dec. 15. The series returns for the back half Jan. 12, before wrapping up Feb.9. A special broadcast of the first episode will air Thanksgiving Day at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.