Dr. Spencer Reid, often called the “boy genius” by his colleagues, became a fan favorite not long after “Criminal Minds” first hit the air in 2005. Socially awkward, but endearingly so, Reid brought considerable brainpower to the Behavioral Analysis Unit. With an eidetic memory, incredible speed-reading skills, and an IQ of 187, he is in many ways a living encyclopedia, which comes in quite handy when a case involves the obscure and rare.
Even with his unofficial “part-time” status in later seasons, Reid had significant storylines over the course of the series. Various episodes focused on his relationship with his mother Diana (Jane Lynch) and his fears of inheriting her mental illness. Reid also had a couple of love interests, with his tragic relationship with Maeve Donovan (Beth Riesgraf) breaking viewers’ hearts. And who can forget his interactions with femme fatale Cat Adams (Aubrey Plaza)? Given his importance to the team, and to the series’ fans, his absences were noticed immediately.