‘Criminal Minds: Evolution’: Luke and Penelope’s Dinner Date Might Not Be All That Happened Between Them, Kirsten Vangsness Hints

Criminal Minds: Evolution fans have long been wondering what came of Luke and Penelope’s dinner date. For those who do not remember, the rendezvous took place during the last episode of Criminal Minds. With the premiere of the new series, it is no surprise people are clamoring to find out more about what happened on that fateful night.

'Criminal Minds: Evolution' stars Adam Rodriguez as Luke Alvez and Kirsten Vangsness as Penelope Garcia
Adam Rodriguez as Luke Alvez and Kirsten Vangsness as Penelope Garcia | Michael Yarish/Paramount+ . © 2022 ABC Studios Inc. and CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved

Fortunately, showrunner Erica Messer has been willing to offer up a trail of breadcrumbs for the patient fans. Let’s take a closer look at what the new series has in store, shall we?

Luke and Penelope’s date

This is the main question that has been asked during the lead-up to the premiere of the new series. Fans are clamoring to find out more about Luke and Penelope’s big date. Are they going to become a couple? Will their connection continue to flourish?

Of course, there are some who are worried that the dinner date will be ignored once the new series begins.

Not to worry, though! Showrunner Erica Messer told TV Line they’d address their date in early on — but only subtly. Messer said that it would be clear from their first scene together how things unfolded, and fans are wondering what came of the dinner date.

Reddit fans even said they were hoping for a flashback to that date, as they were really hoping to see more of their relationship and how it progressed, as many fans love the idea of the two together.

Kirsten Vangsness hints there was more to Luke and Penelope than 1 date

Kirsten Vangsness also spoke with TV Line about the aftermath of Luke and Penelope’s date, noting that the first address of it was in an early episode of the limited series. The first acknowledgment of the date was Penelope telling a friend that “it was one dinner, three years ago.” Penelope also said that the two “thrive as frenemies,” seemingly implying they didn’t work as something more.

However, Vangsness reassured fans who might have been disappointed in how their relationship evolved. She told TV Line that it’s going to take some time to explain what “one dinner, three years ago” really meant and how it influenced the pair’s relationship. Vangness said that fans will “get some satisfaction” when it comes to the fan-favorite romance.

Vangness shared that, “between that satisfaction, there’s a whole other thing — there’s much other satisfaction — that no one including I would have called.” The Penelope actor continued to tease:

” … it is time … it is time for this to be happening. No one will be sad. You’ll think, ‘Aww, man…,’ and then, ‘Wait, what?’ And that’s the most I can tell you about it.”

‘Criminal Minds: Evolution’ explores characters’ interior lives

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‘Criminal Minds: Evolution’: Showrunner Says the Door is Open For Matthew Gray Gubler and Daniel Henney to Return

The Paramount+ revival is going to focus on aspects of the agents’ lives that we were not privy to before. This is great news for anyone who is hoping that Luke and Penelope are going to embark on a lasting romance.

The early episodes of the revival will be centered around the agents’ interior lives in a whole new way. In addition to learning more about Luke and Penelope, longtime fans of the show will be thrilled to find out that JJ’s interior life will also be explored on a much deeper level now.

We are going to learn more about her and her husband Will’s home life (not to mention the boudoir) than we have ever known before. This is great news for anyone who was looking to learn more about these BAU agents.

Criminal Minds: Evolution returns from its midseason finale to Paramount+ on January 12, 2023, and will continue weekly until the season finale on February 9, 2023.