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'Criminal Minds: Evolution' Says Goodbye to a Cast Member

Adam Rodriguez, A.J. Cook, Kirsten Vangsness,, Paget Brewster, and Joe Mantegna

The good news for the new season of Criminal Minds: Evolution is that all the major cast members are returning, including Adam Rodriguez as Luke Alvez, A.J. Cook as Jennifer ‘JJ’ Jareau, Kirsten Vangsness as Penelope Garcia, Paget Brewster as Emily Prentiss, Aisha Tyler as Dr. Tara Lewis, Joe Mantegna as David Rossi, and even last season’s big bad Zach Gilford as the now-imprisoned serial killer Elias Voit.

The sad news is Josh Stewart, who recurred in the role of NOPD detective William LaMontagne Jr. and JJ's husband, announced on X that "sadly, my days of playing Will LaMontagne Jr. are over. You guys have been the absolute best."

A.J. Cook and Josh Stewart<p>Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS</p>
A.J. Cook and Josh Stewart

Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS

Will was first introduced in the second season of Criminal Minds when he and JJ met while she was in New Orleans on a case where the BAU was assisting local law enforcement. He’s appeared each season since as their romance blossomed, culminating in their wedding in Season 7, which took place at David Rossi’s home in the season finale.

Related: There's a New Big Bad When Criminal Minds: Evolution Returns for Season 2

Josh Stewart<p>Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic</p>
Josh Stewart

Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

Stewart was back for Season 1 of Criminal Minds: Evolution and played a bigger role than in previous seasons when Will’s storyline included a cancer diagnosis.

According to TV Line, the plot was inspired by Cook’s real-life marriage.

“It’s based on a true-life illness that we wanted to honor,” showrunner Erica Messer told TVLine. “We wanted to plant that seed now.”

Related: The 100 Best Quotes from Criminal Minds

In the end, it turned out that Will was dealing with a thyroid issue, but Messer teased, “next [season], hopefully, he’s going to be OK.” Then she said, “He’s not necessarily out of the woods forever.”

So, whether or not that means that JJ will be a widow with two young sons in Season 2 of Evolution remains to be seen.

Season 1 of Criminal Minds: Evolution is now streaming on Paramount+

Next, Kirsten Vangsness on the Return of Criminal Minds and the 'Evolution' and 'Deliciousness' of Garcia and Luke's Relationship