Mar 15 2012 12:21pm

Criminal Minds: Now This Is Romantic Suspense

Derek Morgan in Criminal MindsOn the one hand, there’s Kevin, offbeat computer geek, quite possibly the only man who can keep up with Penelope Garcia in terms of marrying nerdy know-how and creative quirk. On the other, there’s the impossibly cool Derek Morgan, brave and debonair enough to be out of anybody’s league. These two men share only two things; they both possess a Y chromosome and they both love Penelope Garcia.

So when Kevin approaches Morgan, we already know there can only be one topic of conversation. Kevin wants Morgan’s advice on how to propose to Garcia, in a scene that’s a fabulous study of contrast. Kevin, dressed in bright colors and crazy prints, is a frenetic burst of energy, popping with wild ideas for spectacular proposals. Morgan, dressed in classic dark neutrals, remains calm and steady, remains all business as he pays little attention to the questions Kevin slings his way. He doesn’t have time for this when there’s a case brewing.

Garcia and Kevin in Criminal MindsGarcia, the only thing these two men have in common, watches them both, but it’s Morgan she goes to with her questions. Why were Kevin and Morgan talking? Was Kevin talking about her? Morgan puts her off, but the way he looks at her speaks volumes. These still waters run way, way deep.

Both Morgan and Kevin describe their relationships with Garcia as “complicated” and Kevin admits he’s unable to figure out exactly what Morgan and Garcia have. Morgan doesn’t want to discuss things, with either Kevin or Garcia, despite her frequent and frantic phone calls. Desperate for answers from Morgan, Garcia fends off Kevin’s attentions. His affectionate gestures only rattle her more, and she doesn’t for a second buy his fib that the two men were discussing basketball. Garcia knows her Morgan better than to buy that.

At episode’s end, Morgan and Garcia don’t have to talk much at all. He knows that she’s figured Kevin’s angle out, and it’s sent her into a tailspin. Putting definitions on relationships changes them, she tells Morgan in a rush of words and emotions. People change, and they go away, and she doesn’t want that.  As always, Morgan is her rock, assuring her that Kevin is a good guy, despite her sputtered protests, and steps out of the scene upon Kevin’s arrival.

Here again, we see the difference between Garcia’s guys. Kevin doesn’t get why Garcia is upset at his proposal plans. Is she against marriage in general or marriage to him? She replies, flustered, that she’s not ready for marriage. Kevin informs her that he is ready, and stalks away, leaving Garcia utterly bewildered and alone. Or at least as alone as Garcia can be with Morgan in her life, and really, what are the odds of that?     


Anna C. Bowling considers writing historical romance the best way to travel through time and make the voices in her head pay rent. She welcomes visitors to her blog, Typing With Wet Nails and to follow her at Twitter.

Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
Heather Waters
1. HeatherWaters
Guh. Morgan is just the hottest. For that alone I'd be on Team Morgan because I'm shallow like that. But also, I mean, this is fiction, so Kevin is just too boring for me to actually root for. It'd be a million times interesting to see Garcia/Morgan happen someday.
Anna Bowling
2. AnnaBowling
@redline_, Team Morgan all the way here. Granted, Kevin could be argued as Garcia's male counterpart and they could have a lovably goofy wedding and raise oodles of little hackers in fun and funky ensembles, but where's the grounding? On the other hand, Morgan has always been there for Garcia, believed in her when she couldn't believe in herself, and I do want to see Garcia win the hot guy jackpot. Largely because for regular viewers, we know that, in Morgan's eyes, she's the most beautiful thing on the planet. Which may or may not have anything to do with the fact that a picture of the earth is her caller ID picture on his phone. Default image or not so subtle clue that she's his world? (Why yes, I am one of those shippers who scours the tiny things for clues, why do you ask?)
Catwoman Felisamorata
3. Catwoman
I can't remember exactly which season it was, but does anyone remember when Garcia was shot and nearly died? Morgan was absolutely devastated - much moreso than he was when Prentiss "died". In Garcia's case, his reaction was on a level of a man nearly losing the woman on whom his sun rises and sets every day. Then, there is their interaction after she is discharged from the hospital and comes home. No doubt about it - she IS his world. I suspect that Morgan is very relationship-shy because of what he does for a living. He's seen the toll it has taken on the relationships of his colleagues. He has also seen the toll it takes on Penelope when things get gruesome. Her softness/sweetness is Morgan's antidote to the darkness in which he exists in his job. Then, there's that whole "relationship with a colleague" thing goin' on. That said, Kevin is a sweet guy, but he and Penelope are entirely too much alike in too many ways for any relationship between them to ever work in the long run. I've always been on Team Morgan when it comes to the thing he and Penelope have between them. If they ever get past all of their self-imposed obstacles, Morgan and Penelope will heat up the screen to such a degree that all of our TVs will go into terminal meltdown. (In the interest of full disclosure - I've always been just a teeny bit in love with Shemar Moore.)
Anna Bowling
4. AnnaBowling
@Catwoman, I couldn't agree more. With a job like his, Morgan is going to be very careful about who he allows into his personal life. With Garcia, she's already there. The bond these two have shows itself time and again and it's something nobody else can share. He needs her softness and the strength within it, and her optimism to counteract the horrors he deals with on a daily basis. I remember how devastated he was when Garcia was shot, and the guilt he'd felt over having his phone turned off because he was in church at the time. She's part of him, and he of her.

Kevin is a sweet guy and he's going to be great for somebody, but he and Garcia are too similar to fit together, IMO. Team Morgan for the win. The genetically perfect offspring of Derek Morgan and Penelope Garcia inhabit my dreams.
5. CK
If it was anyone but Morgan, I would be sooo Team Kevin. He's adorkable. But this shippers heart belongs to Team Morgan. Garcia/Morgan rocks in so many levels that... swoon. LOL.
Anna Bowling
6. AnnaBowling
@CK, I'm with you. Kevin is adorkable to the nth degree, and he's going to be fabulous for some lucky woman. I wanted to give Kevin a good chance, but the sheer Morgan-ness of Morgan was too strong. Garcia/Morgan is flat out right.
Lana Baker
7. lanalucy
I love Nick Brendon, and could wish for more Garcia/Kevin interaction, so we could learn more about how their relationship works, I am not necessarily a fan of the two of them getting permanent. That said, I have NEVER seen the Garcia/Morgan relationship as even the tiniest bit romantic, in the romantic love sense of the word. Deep abiding love, yes. Immense respect, yes. In love or sexual? Not. Some girls need a rock, and Morgan is that for Garcia, but it's hard for a girl to have a rock with whom she is also in love. For some girls, this might work, but I think Garcia needs to have Morgan be unwaveringly on her side and yet unwaveringly honest when necessary.
Vanessa Ouadi
8. Lafka
Right there with lanalucy! I would LOVE to see a romantic relationship develop between Morgan and Garcia _ they're my favorite characters in Criminal Minds, they're both adorable and funny and gorgeous, and oh my god they would fit so well together! But I've never seen a glimpse of physical/romantical attraction between them. I think, yes, they mean everything to oneanother, but pretty much like very very close friends or brother and sister. They tease each other, they kid, they are always there for each other, and they are deeply affected when something bad happens to one of them (Morgan devastated when Penelope is shot, Garcia down right terrified whenever scenarists lead us to believe Morgan could be dead, generally because of a big bomb explosion). But, isn't it what would a brother and sister do if they get along well? I've never detected any inch of sexual/romantic ambiguity between the two of them _ and how I've looked for it!
Anna Bowling
9. AnnaBowling
@Lanalucy, a closer look into how Kevin/Garcia works would be very, very interesting, and Nick Brendon does a fantastic job. Double points because he has an identical twin who is also an actor; how surreal would a double Kevin dream sequence be? If the other guy were anybody but Morgan, I'd be shaking sparkly pompoms for Kevin to get the girl. For a long time, I didn't see a romantic component to the Morgan/Garcia relationship either -recent convert here- so I can definitely see the argument for a nonromantic slant on things.

@Lafka, my take is that we haven't seen it yet. Normally, the sexual component comes into many modern relationships earlier, but this is a slow burn, taking its time to simmer and have both parties be absolutely sure before that other factor comes into play. It's only this season that I've jumped on boad ship myself, but now I find it difficult to imagine Morgan or Garcia being completely happy or this connected to anyone else, romantic or otherwise. For those who don't see a romantic Morgan/Garcia pairing in the cards, what sorts of characters would you like to see each of them paired with, and how do you think the other would respond?
Vanessa Ouadi
10. Lafka
@AnnaBowling _ Even in the recent episodes, I fail to see any romantic or sexual tension between these two. I mean, when Garcia freaks out when she thinks she may have slept with Morgan, Derek reacts with his rather usual calm and reassuring self. Same thing here, I haven't felt that Morgan was particularly hurt or worried about Kevin proposing to Garcia _ he's concerned for Penelope, sure, because it's quite big news, but I didn't see him being put offbalance as would a potential lover be. So I'm really unsure about that.
But, don't get me wrong, I'd be DELIGHTED if they paired together! They function so well together, it's heart-melting! But, truth be told, I'm not sure either of them is ready to get involved in a serious, life-time basis, romantic relationship. Given their past and what they have to deal with every day, they seem to be more on a "take what comes" ground rather than willing to build a real something with anyone. Which is too bad, because really, they'd make a great couple, and they would be wonderful parents (either together or separetly, BTW).
Anna Bowling
11. AnnaBowling
@Lafka, heart-melting is a perfect description for how these two fit together, and I'm right there with you in not being sure either of them is ready for a serious life long committment at this time, with anybody. My original take on these two, and if a successful romance between Morgan and Garcia didn't happen, I would happily accept this outcome, was that they would fit into the heterosexual life partner mold. Not quite siblings, but not quite lovers. They're their own thing. I could be okay with that, and if romantic/marriage partners entered the picture, they would need to understand the places Morgan and Garcia occupy in each other's lives. "Take what comes" does feel like a good description of the relationship as we see it now, and given what they both bring home at the end of a day, I do see it as a natural outcome for them to come together at some point. A romance that grows into a marriage would be my first choice, but if not, then lifetime whatever-they-are-now is an acceptable second choice.

Very much agree that they'd make fabulous parents, either together or separately.
12. Jennifer R
I like Morgan and Garcia, but they...aren't romantic like that. So I don't think it's going to happen.

I am disappointed at Penelope's freakout. Mostly because uh...(and I say this as a Not A Wedding Person...really....) I'd love to see what she'd wear to get married. Or what she'd make other people wear at the wedding.
13. IvoryRhapsody
Morgan and Garcia = NO. Their relationship is fine the way it is. I don't get why girls want her to get the hunk guy just because they can relate to her. I mean, yeah it's cute but their relationship isn't suppose to go beyond the boundaries of just really close friends. :/ If they wanted to pair Morgan with her, why bring up Kevin in the episode where she says "Everything happens for a reason." He was suppose to happen so she could find the person for her. And I cannot see Morgan and Garcia smooching it up, looking at each other with love buring in their eyes...I just can't. It looks so so so wrong. I prefer no relationships within the team as it just makes things more complicated and less fun. If the writers put that in there, I'll be skipping each scene because it's just a couple that's cute but not suppose to happen.
14. Fan
After taking a break from Criminal Minds for a while (i've skipped a few seasons), after watching this episode, I want to see more!

I love the Morgan + Garcia interactions and I totally ship for this couple. I can't imagine the writers pairing the couple on screen (it would be too cheesy), but I can imagine them pairing off screen. And then it would be a guessing game between the audience and the rest of the BAU about whether or not Morgan + Garcia are together.

I really think that Morgan wants the best for Garcia and clearly cares for her because he tells her that Kevin is a good guy. But to me, it's Garcia that has issues in the Kevin/Garcia relationship when she declines Kevin's proposal because 'she didn't want things to change.' But Morgan makes it feel like it's Kevin that has the issues in the relationship, and not Garcia! Obviously, he blew her off during the episode because Garcia had a decision to make and she had to do it with her heart and not because Morgan told her too. The episode 'Lucky' comes to mind.
I also think that it's cute that Garcia is harassing Morgan and not Kevin, to tell her what is going on. Does this mean that Garcia trusts Morgan more than her boyfriend?

What I don't understand is the part in this episode, where Kevin is coming up with ideas on how to propose to Garcia to Morgan, who is ignoring him - all the while, the music in the background of the scene is quite scary to me. Morgan has a straight face throughout this scene except to lift his eyebrow at some of the suggestions. Could the music be compensating for his lack of emotions during this scene? He is after all, an FBI profiler, so he hides his emotions well. But it doesn't mean that he is not feeling anything.

Well, I hope for season 8, there will be more romance between Morgan and Garcia. I'm looking forward to it :)
19. 2cheb
Derek and Penelope would be a tragedy. What a mismatch. And the fact that all of you can believe a hunk like him would go for her as more than a little sister or amusing oddball is also telling. I'm furious with the writers for playing to your sick fantasies; them getting "together" is the one thing that will make me turn off "Criminal Minds" forever.
20. Thit Poulsen
I would really like to see Garcia and Morgan get together. I dont know if its just because shes like my favorite character ever and they have this really great chemistry already or if its just because im a sucker for the less obvious relationships. Someone like Morgan would never be paired with someone like Garcia in most regular shows/books/films etc, but i feel like it would be a nice change.
Garcia is smart, capable, caring, colorful, optimistic and allround a beautiful soul. Morgan is cool, collected, smart and caring when appropriate. i completely ship these two.
As for those of you who have mentioned they could be siblings i completely disagree with that statement. They flirt too much for it to a sibling-like relationship. Theres clearly also too much attraction between the two of them for it to be remotely sibling-like. (i also think its completely misplaced to say that its a 'sick fantasy' for them to get together, simply because you dont agree with the idea..o_o)
Someone said that most people want this because we can relate to Garcia when it comes to this whole deal. While that may be true to some extent, i feel that its a much to broad generalization. Its not like i would have originally seen JJ with Will either. They were such a surprise for me when that happened. Why should it be any different with morgan and garcia? I dont see the difference. i just dont.

I feel like they would make a brilliant couple because theyre so close and they trust each other completely. theyre worried sick about each other when something happens to the other and they flirt every single episode. Morgan has pretty much always been single and Kevin and Garcia are not only too alike for it to work out in the long run, but theyre also just a much too boring couple. I mean theyre predictable. Relationships shouldnt be predictable no matter how well the people in the relationship would appear to match together.

This is my opinion at least. Anyone is welcome to their own but if you could express your opinions without insulting those with a different opinion than your own then that would be terrific.
21. wheatlandy
I just don't get it-this referrance to bro/sis. Either I'm terrible at understanding human relations, or some folks out there are in real need of therapy. My reading is that in the first 3+ years of CM there was every reason to believe that M & G were end game and that love would conquer all. But the hotstuff has evolved into a "really good friends" senario. Frankly however I am uncertain as to reasons why, but I'm guessing that a lot of stuff is happening behind the production
lines that cloud our visions. (Actors and fans do influence producers) Now tell me if my guess is off or not; CM is coming to an end sooner perhaps then we think therefore- Shemar is jocking to look the head honcho (Hotch wanna-be) and to position himself for his future career - he needs to play down the lover type. Maybe a spin-off is in the works. Perhaps, after all this time that team spirit is eroding and competition is raising it's ugly head. And if it did need to involve romance, would he not need Ms. Perfect for that "self-absorbed gigantic ego". I think the producers and writers are sweating it out (or perhaps that's past tense) trying to figure out how they are going to satisfy the thousands that saw Morgan and Garcia as the real thing. Even now after the cool down, I still see them as the better match. Kevin just is not enough man for Garcia and two hackers don't make a right. That common denominator would never be enough to satify Garcia's vibrant personality. I just hope they don't end up making her the literal "dead duck" to solve their story delimma.
23. SheilaSchnauzies
Fabulous site! I loved reading everyone's comments! Wanted to let you know, you might be interested in checking out the two fan pages I have - Penelope Garcia's Closet is at and "Dear Derek Morgan" is at All of you guys are welcome to come by and comment! Thanks so much!
24. MH
I've never thought there was even the remote possibility of Morgan and Garcia getting together. If it happens, it will the writers catering to fanfic fantasies versus anything that's a realistic development. I agree they both love each other very deeply. On Garcia's end, I think it's love for a man, best friend, and a hot guy she knows is way out of her league that pays a lot of attention to her. On Morgan's end, I think it's love for a best friend who has been the single biggest constant in his turbulent life, someone he would literally give his own heart to if she needed a transplant, but not someone he is sexually attracted to. Whenever he "flirts" with her it reminds me of when my guy friends would throw an ugly girl a bone because she was nice and it would build her confidence up. Garcia is great, but I just think it's too much of a stretch. It would be different if their actual chemistry worked in a man-woman way but it just seems fake.
Post a comment