Tonight’s episode of Criminal Minds marks the fourth time star Matthew Gray Gubler has stepped behind the camera for the show — and he’s happy to report that these days, he’s quite comfortable sitting in the director’s chair.
“It sounds like I’m cocky — I’m not a cocky fella — but they’ve all been really easy in that I like directing and I know what I’m doing, so it’s great,” says Gubler.
And he enjoys the process even more when in the chance to do something unique with his episode — as he did in this one, which features the team on the tail of a killer with strange “ritualistic” tendencies. “The ones before have been off the beaten path and worked. So [this time] we had even more opportunity to be unique, which made it fun,” says Gubler, who will direct another episode later this season.
Tonight’s episode is also a Reid-heavy hour that will focus largely on his interactions with his mysterious geneticist girlfriend, who was introduced earlier this season. So far, we know that the pen pals have grown close, but have never met face to face. However, that could change very soon, Gubler teases. “In the one I directed, she expresses her desire to meet face to face, which is a frightening prospect for good ol’ Reid,” he says. “I don’t want to give too much away, but you may or may not [see her]. Some mystery may be revealed in this episode.”
For Gubler, the real pleasure of the storyline has been getting to see a new side of a character who he has played for nearly a decade. “It’s been great to explore and see Reid in situations you normally don’t see him in. And in [episode] 12, the writer’s sole intention was to see Reid in a way you’ve never seen before,” he says. “So it’s been a challenge and a fun time.”