Some fans of the show are expressing concern about a recent romantic pairing.
The popular CBS police procedural Criminal Minds recently renewed on Paramount+ with a new 16th season. The new home has significantly changed the series.
Its creators have moved away from the standard procedural format and have incorporated a main storyline that spans the entire season, allowing the characters to swear and do other things that are ok for a streaming platform but wouldn't fly on network TV.
Moreover, the beloved character Penelope Garcia may finally have a long-deserved romantic storyline.
However, some fans are concerned that this could negatively impact her character.
In the current season, the profilers are hunting for Sicarius, the mastermind of a network of serial killers. Vigilante Tyler Green is helping them. Despite being a suspected serial killer himself, Green shares valuable information with Garcia. As a result, the two grow closer. In episode six, Garcia and Tyler finally drop their act and kiss. However, fans hated this development.
The reason fans are against Garcia being paired up with Tyler is not that they want Garcia to remain sad and lonely forever but because it appears to compromise her character and render her previous actions pointless.
Garcia is known for her compassion and dedication, having spent considerable time with support groups and knowing firsthand how easily criminals can escape justice on legal technicalities. However, hooking up with a key witness jeopardises the most important investigation in the team's history.
Fans no longer recognise Garcia that they have come to know and love and accuse the show's writers of changing her personality to fit this new, rather questionable narrative.
Despite Emily Prentiss' urging for Garcia to end her inappropriate relationship with Tyler Green to save the investigation, Garcia refused. This decision has angered fans even more, as they believe that Garcia's character is being compromised and that the original Garcia would have prioritised the investigation. Many viewers believe that Luke Alvez would have been a much better romantic partner for Garcia and hope he returns to the show soon.
Although Garcia and Green seem to have great chemistry and look good together, their relationship is not possible while they are in the midst of a major investigation. Fans want the couple to put their relationship on hold and resume it once the investigation is over. This would allow Garcia to focus on her job and remain true to her character while making the eventual reconciliation between the two more meaningful.