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Felicity Huffman Teases Her ‘Criminal Minds’ Debut: Gideon’s Ex Jill Will ‘Air Her Dirty Laundry’

Felicity Huffman Previews Criminal Minds Debut
Michael Yarish/Paramount+

Felicity Huffman is ready for her Criminal Minds: Evolution debut — but she’s warning fans that her character, Dr. Jill Gideon, isn’t initially happy to be part of the team.

“I can tell you that she was deeply involved at the beginning of the BAU,” Huffman, 61, told TVLine on Tuesday, July 9, of her character, explaining that Jill and her late ex-husband, Jason Gideon (Mandy Patinkin), were the “pioneers” of the team alongside Dave Rossi (Joe Mantegna).

The actress teased that although Jill and Gideon divorced “because it wasn’t working,” they “stayed friends” and Jill “even kept being his therapist.”

Huffman explained that when Gideon was killed by an Unsub during season 10 of Criminal Minds, which aired in 2015, that’s when Jill said, “OK, I’m done, I’m out.” She noted that Jill “just couldn’t be around it” anymore.

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Once Gideon died, Jill stepped away from all-things related to the Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) and tried to detach from the world of serial killers. However, in the Thursday, July 11, episode of Criminal Minds: Evolution (which is also known as season 17 of Criminal Minds), Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster) will call on Jill for her expertise.

“She likes Prentiss. They have a deep history,” Huffman said of the interaction. “But initially, it’s that knock you never want to get. You’re like, ‘Oh, I do not want you at my door, because it cannot be good news. I am not answering it no matter what.”

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Once Prentiss explains that Rossi and Gideon’s “Controllable Variables on Emerging Teenage Psychopathy” outline — which is essentially a guide to how one can become a serial killer — was not destroyed, Jill changes her tune.

Huffman revealed that although Jill feels a “sense of personal responsibility” to get the documents back, she said the therapist will be “kicking and screaming” the whole way.

On a personal level, Huffman said that Jill and Gideon’s past with Rossi won’t stay buried as the season continues. “Jill airs her dirty laundry in front of sort of everybody,” she confirmed. “But particularly with [Rossi].”

Felicity Huffman Previews Criminal Minds Debut
Michael Yarish/Paramount+

Mantegna, 76, hinted at the team turmoil, saying, “There’s a lot of ground we dig up, a lot of backstory to be told, involving Jill, my character, Gideon’s character, and with the rest of the people on the team.”

The actor added that Rossi responds to Prentiss enlisting Jill’s help with a sarcastic feeling of “ecstatic delight.”

Us Weekly confirmed in April that Huffman will guest star as Gideon’s ex-wife, who was described as a “brilliant biological psychiatrist.”

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Showrunner Erica Messer told TVLine that Jill’s presence on season 2 of Criminal Minds: Evolution was a long time coming. In fact, Gideon’s ex-wife was initially described in more detail for the show’s 2005 pilot.

“It never made it to air, but there was this idea that Gideon’s ex was his therapist,” Messer recalled. “So it’s been stuck in my mind for a long time, ‘Oh, that thing exists,’ and I always felt like it’d be a fun nod to the fans who’ve been watching a long time — hey, we have this really deep pull! — but it also works if you never knew Gideon, because you’re learning it through the eyes of Rossi and everyone else who knew Gideon.”

Huffman makes her debut as Criminal Minds: Evolution’s Dr. Jill Gideon on Paramount+ Thursday, July 11.

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