Criminal Minds

Zach Gilford Discusses Returning to Criminal Minds: Evolution for Season 17

Criminal Minds: Evolution season 17 premieres June 6 on Paramount+.

Zach Gilford Reveals the One Part He Hates Most About His Killer Role on 'Criminal  Minds: Evolution' - Parade

At the end of Criminal Minds: Evolution last season, Elias Voit (Zach Gilford) was officially apprehended by the FBI for his involvement in killing Deputy Director Bailey. We learn that there’s something known as “Gold Star” and that, apparently, Voit and Bailey are the only ones that know what it is. Gilford’s storyline seemed to be pretty wrapped up last season, but it was eventually announced that he would be returning as the prolific killer.

Gilford joined the cast of Criminal Minds when it was officially moved to Paramount+ more than three years ago. He discussed retuning to the series in season 17 with Comicbook and what his conversations with showrunner Erica Messer looked like. Additionally, Gilford is set to make his directorial debut on this season of the show, something that’s become commonplace for the cast every season.

Gilford explains that Messer and company “really” liked him, so they decided not to kill him and instead bring him back for more episodes. Though he wasn’t consulted about what his storyline would look like this season, he was up for anything.

Zach Gilford Reveals the One Part He Hates Most About His Killer Role on 'Criminal  Minds: Evolution' - Parade

“Well, they were twofold. One was halfway through last season, she said to me, ‘I don’t know what we’re gonna do next season, but we really like you. So we’re not gonna kill you.’ And I said, ‘yeah!’ And then when they actually asked me that, I said, ‘of course, I’ll do anything.’ You know, she didn’t really consult me about the storylines, but I was really excited. I was really happy with how it turned out and they planted the seed of this Gold Star thing at the end of last season. And, due to the network that Voit had created, he’s got a lot of information that the BAU and any sort of law enforcement doesn’t have. So it’s kind of his ace in the hole or whatever the expression is. It’s his Trump card and he can use it and he uses it to his advantage. And as always, he tries to manipulate everyone in every situation to kind of get what he wants and what he wants obviously is to get out of prison and get his family back. And, as we all know, he’s smarter than everyone. So he works the system well.”

This season will see the BAU trying to get to the bottom of Gold Star once and for all but, per the synopsis, “as the conspiracy unfolds, the Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) is met with an unexpected complication when serial killer Elias Voit negotiates a deal that transfers him to federal custody in the BAU’s own backyard. The team faces its biggest threat yet and cannot emerge unscathed from the mind-bending consequences.”

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