It’s been six years since Criminal Minds viewers first delved into Morgan’s dark past as a victim of sexual abuse, and in tonight’s episode, he’s forced to face it once again.
In “Restoration,” the BAU finds itself in Morgan’s old Chicago neighborhood on the trail of an unsub who is targeting middle-aged men and may have a connection to Carl Buford, the man who molested Morgan as a child. “I am proud of [the episode] as far as what I got to do as an actor but I’m more proud of what the [episode] represents — the subject matter and…just the delicacy of what we were portraying,” Shemar Moore says.
From the start of the series, Moore says it was important that his character — an opinionated, kick-down-the-door-type alpha male — be more than one-note. “Early on I told the writers and producers, I don’t want to just be the tough black guy who muscles people around and kicks down doors and talks tough. I want him to come off as Superman, but let’s find [his flaws],” he said. And “Profiler Profiled,” the second season episode which revealed Morgan’s then-secret past, did exactly that. In the end, Buford was sent to prison, but Morgan will come face-to-face with him again in tonight’s episode. And the results will show exactly how far Morgan has come, Moore previews.
“This time around it was fun to see Morgan play chess with Buford,” he says. “It was [Morgan's] chance to say, ‘You have hurt me, [but] I’m a grown man and this is my closure.”
But while Morgan’s been able to move past his troubles, the episode will find him meeting some victims who weren’t so lucky, leading to a shocking move. “His whole life he’s just been trying to get closure for himself…[but he realizes ] that there are others who may not be able to get where he’s gotten, he has to take that next step.”
Criminal Minds airs tonight on CBS. See a preview below.