Criminal Minds: Evolution is a significant leap forward in the Criminal Minds timeline, with its first episode taking place three years after the original show’s series finale (via AV club). The gap resembles the actual amount of time elapsed between two productions. Criminal Minds Season 15 concluded with its February 2020 finale, while Criminal Minds: Evolution premiered in November 2022 (via IMDb). Overall, it was a transitional period of just over two and a half years.
Of course, the reasons for the time jump run deeper than just a reflection of how much time has passed between two shows. The main storyline of “Criminal Minds: Evolution” sees the BAU team living a post-COVID life and, most importantly, discovering that a network of serial killers was covertly operating during the early years of the pandemic. This premise requires a time jump as the events of the original “Criminal Minds” came to an end somewhere in the 2019 universe.
All in all, a three-year time jump is a decent middle ground for Criminal Minds: Evolution. The story hasn’t gone so far ahead that viewers won’t recognize the series, but enough time has passed to revive the status quo. While this may be the next chapter of Criminal Minds that fans know and love, viewers may be caught off guard by how much has changed between the new series and the classic.
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