Emily Prentiss
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Biography for
Emily Prentiss (Character)
from "Criminal Minds" (2005)

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FBI BAU Supervisory Special Agent Emily Prentiss was played by Paget Brewster. Her mother used to be an ambassador in various Arab and Eastern European countries. Therefore, she is fluent in Arabic and can speak some Russian and Spanish as well. In season 4, episode "Cold Comfort" it is revealed that Emily Prentiss was born on October 12, making her a Libra.

She joins the BAU in season 2, upon the departure of Agent Greenaway (Lola Glaudini). Her arrival surprises both Hotchner (Thomas Gibson) and Gideon (Mandy Patinkin), as neither of them signed off on her transfer. She insists that her parents haven't pulled strings for her. It is later revealed that it was Chief Erin Strauss (Jayne Atkinson) who put her on the team, hoping to use her in order to gain inside information against Hotchner. However, Prentiss becomes loyal to the team and, instead of betraying Hotch, she prefers to tend her resignation in the beginning of season three. Fortunately, Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness) puts her departure on hold and keeps her in the system, until eventually Hotch persuades her to stay on the team.

Later in the season, we learn that Emily graduated from Garfield High, class of 1989, and dressed like a Goth or Emo chick with tall spikey black hair, black clothing, and black lipstick.

In season four Emily is informed that a friend of hers, Matthew Benton, whom she knew from Italy when she was a young teenager, has died. She asks the team to help her investigate his death as she believes he was murdered along with two other men in an exorcism. At one point, Rossi takes Emily aside and asks her whats going on. She replies that she moved around a lot and fitting in was hard and that's all a 15 year old girl wants. She says that at that age, you'll do almost anything to fit in, to which Rossi guesses correctly that she got pregnant. Matthew helped her find a doctor to get an abortion against the advice of their priest and then walekd her into the church when they got back. Emily says, "Matthew saved my life" but that was when he started to question religion and his parents (and Emily) blamed Emily.

Emily lives alone with her cat, Sergio. Not much is known about her personal life, but according to herself, she can go very wild on her free time and enjoys Sin to Win weekends in Atlantic City. She can also beat Las Vegas-born Reid at poker. In season 5, episode 18, there appears to be some attraction between Emily and Special Agent Mick Rawson (Matt Ryan), but that doesn't go anywhere.

It should be noted that in Season 5, Episode 8 ("Outfoxed"), Emily is interviewing Carl Arnold (A.K.A. " The Fox"). In order to obtain more information about Arnold's admirer, Emily has to flirt with him. Afterward, Emily reports to Hotch that "getting intimate with a killer is...so different." This implies that Emily has never done this sort of thing before, though we learn in Season 6, Episode 17, that Emily has, in fact, done something like this before.

In earlier seasons, Prentiss was said to have once worked for Interpol. In season 6, it is revealed that Prentiss used to work for the CIA. A number of countries offered the best and brightest to create a task force that would profile terrorists. The CIA sent Emily for the task force under the name of Lauren Reynolds. She was involved in the profiling of a very dangerous criminal, IRA terrorist Ian Doyle (Timothy V. Murphy). When an old colleague from the Interpol announces her that Doyle escaped from prison and got off grid, Emily fears for her own safety. And for good reason, as Doyle soon starts hunting down and killing her Interpol friends. Emily knows she is Doyle's final target, yet she prefers not to say anything to the rest of the team, in order to protect them.

Nevertheless, in season 6, episode 17 ("Valhalla"), the team gets involved in Doyle's case anyway, since Doyle and his band start brutally murdering families of former secret agents, only to scare Prentiss. As the team is about to discover her personal involvement in the case, Prentiss leaves behind her badge and gun and goes off grid, trying to hunt down Doyle on her own. However, he captures her first.

In season 6, episode 18 ("Lauren"), while she is held captive and being tortured by Doyle, we learn why he hates her so much: it turns out that, while she was working as an undercover "Interpol" agent, Emily/"Lauren" actually seduced Doyle and had a romantic relationship with him in order to "get inside his head" which makes Morgan mad when he finds out since he knew this woman for five years but knows nothing about her. Doyle even proposed to her, giving her a Gimmel ring which the bride and husband to be wear and then at the wedding are put together and lets her on to his biggest secret: his 5-year-old son, Declan.

Doyle then asked "Lauren" to get out of the business of weapons dealing and raise his son to be a "warrior" like him. "Lauren" replies saying that she would do a lot of things for him, but that was not one. We later learn in this episode that no one but Emily knew about Declan and that the North Koreans did not even use Declan against him until two years into his incarceration when they showed him pictures of Declan and his legal guardian shot to death. The North Koreans eventually learned about him because Interpol rejected the task force's profile saying they needed more information about Doyle.

Emily tells Doyle there is something he doesn't know about the photos. She had relocated Declan and Louise but Interpol wanted more dirt on Doyle to break him. Doyle asks if that's why she put him in the file but she said "No I wouldn't let him be a pawn, the things they would have done to him to get you to talk. But I knew even if I didn't cooperate, they were gonna find him, eventually. So I had to...I had to end his suffering before it could begin." She goes on to say that she put Declan in the profile after the pictures were taken. Doyle doesn't believe her saying, "You don't know when those pictures were taken. You don't know that." Emily responds saying, "Yes, I do. I'm the one holding the gun." She asks Doyle if he wanted to know what the last thing Declan said to her and she says that Declan told her that "I look pretty good for a dead kid, didn't I" and then he got on the plane and she never saw him again. Doyle confused asks if Declan is alive to which Emily replies "Just because I held a gun to him, doesn't mean I shot him. I only had to make you and the North Koreans believe he was dead."

Meanwhile, the BAU, helped by their old colleague and friend J.J. (A.J. Cook), who now works for the Pentagon, have discovered the location where Doyle holds Prentiss. They also see the pictures of Declan and his guardian looking dead but recognize the shiny, bitten to the stub fingernails of Emily. When they surround the building where Prentiss is, Doyle unsuccessfully tries to get Declan's location from Emily. At one point Emily gets a chokehold on Doyle and laughs saying, "I beat you Ian...before you even got out of North Korea. I beat you because I gave Declan his life back." They fight, Emily smacking him with a board three times and then drops it to find the gun he had dropped earlier when she elbowed him in the stomach, but he stabs her with a wooden stake. He says, "Where is he? Where's Declan? Emily, tell me, tell me. Where is he? Emily, tell me where he is." To which Emily, says "No..." But the team is closing in and Doyle barely has the time to run away before Morgan barges in.

Morgan, who had been upset with how Emily got her profile of Ian Doyle and not knowing anything about her, consoles her and begs her to stay with him but Emily asks him to let her go. However, Morgan won't let her. Morgan says to Emily, "I know why you did all this. I know what you did for Declan. I am so proud of you. Do you understand that? I proud of you because you are my friend and you are my partner" after Later, in the hospital, J.J. somberly announces the team that Emily never made it off the table. She then steps outside the waiting room and speaks with Hotch. What JJ has said is unknown, but Hotch replied "I don't know."

A few days later however, in a caf in Paris, France, J.J. meets a mysterious woman with shiny, bitten fingernails, aka none other than Emily Prentiss, and gives her passports for three different countries, as well as a bank account number to keep her comfortable. JJ goes on to say, "Good luck" which implies that this is Prentiss's ok to hunt down Doyle and keep Declan safe.

Paget Brewster returns to the BAU in the season 7 premiere, as the team is going through an investigation by the Bureau into their investigation of Doyle. It is in this same episode that Emily rejoins the team. However, she struggles to regain the trust of Reid and Morgan. The two were devastated by the loss of their co-worker and friend, but are able to forgive her. Emily places a bid on a house in the city, believing that she would not be the high bidder. However, she finds out that she does get the house. During an inspection of the house, Emily tells Morgan that she does not think the house is a good fit because it has a horizontal crack in the foundation.

In the Season 7 finale, Emily races against time to save Will LaMontagne, Jr., JJ's boyfriend. Emily is able to stop the bomb that is threatening the city, as well as her friend, but she is not able to combat the desire to leave the BAU any longer. At the LaMontagne/Jareau wedding, Emily ends her career at the BAU by dancing with all of the members of the team.


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