Top 10 Penelope and Derek Moments on Criminal Minds
Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Penelope & Derek Moments on Criminal Minds.
For this list, we’ll be looking at the times Penelope Garcia and Derek Morgan were friendship goals. Since this list will include major plot points, a spoiler warning is now in effect.
What’s your favorite Penelope and Derek moment? Let us know in the comments.
#10: The Shower
Garcia wakes up after a night of excessive drinking and hears the shower running, assuming it’s her boyfriend Kevin. But then he shows up at her front door with an apology for last night’s fight. Cue a freshly showered Derek Morgan casually strolling in wearing a towel. Not remembering the night’s events, Garcia fears something sexual went down between them. For the rest of the episode, she’s not her usual flirty self. And like a true friend, Derek picks up on it. After the team gets home, he finally confronts her and clears things. She’s relieved to know that the “purity” of their platonic relationship is still intact. They’d make a cute couple but, like Garcia, we like them just the way they are.
#9: Morgan’s New Office
“The Eyes Have It”
When Morgan returns from his first case as acting Unit Chief for the BAU, Garcia has quite the surprise for him. Now, we can’t give Garcia all the credit for this one since it was JJ’s idea. But Garcia was the “man on the ground” for this mission. Plus, she added her personal touch with a hidden fun zone, and of course, a framed selfie. Morgan is genuinely taken aback by it all, and you can tell he loves it. It’s just what he needed to feel secure in his new role.
#8: Morgan Comforts Garcia
A case in the isolated town of Franklin, Alaska is a particularly harrowing one for Garcia. She rarely goes out into the field with the team. But when she does, Garcia proves that she’s capable of her own brand of heroism. When she sees the unsub with a recently stabbed victim, she surprises everyone (especially herself) by running toward the scene. Garcia wouldn’t let the man die alone, no matter how dangerous the situation. Naturally, she’s shaken by what happened. But Derek is there to dry her tears, and remind her that, though she may be evolving, she’ll always be her optimistic self.
#7: The First Time They Meet
Penelope and Derek’s flirtatious banter began early on in the series. The first time we see them interact is in the show’s first episode, and their friendly rapport is already established. But the actual moment the two meet comes later. In season three, the team revisits a case from years before. In a flashback, we get a short scene with Morgan trying to get the new girl’s attention, but he doesn’t know her name. This is the inception of “baby girl,” just one of many pet names between the two.
#6: A Rare Fight
Being a profiler, and a very close friend, Derek knows when Penelope is “off”. She tells him that a handsome stranger just asked for her number. She’s unsure about the whole thing, and Derek gives her some sound advice. But when Penelope rebuffs the stranger’s advances, Derek makes the mistake of insinuating that something was clearly wrong with the guy. He didn’t mean it in the way she thought. But…he could have worded it better. Penelope changes her mind and meets up with him, but the date turns out to be a setup and ends with the man shooting her. Thankfully, the wound wasn’t fatal. And Derek’s right there with her throughout the whole ordeal as her personal bodyguard.
#5: Derek Helps Penelope Cope with PTSD
A new case involving Floyd Feylinn Ferell triggers Penelope’s memory of the near fatal shooting she experienced. It was Ferell’s original case that the team was working on when it all happened. Penelope is on edge and reeling from PTSD. Derek comes back to the BAU to see what he can do to help. Just his presence makes her feel better. Words aren’t necessary when it comes to the love between Penelope and Derek. It’s an emotional moment between two best friends reuniting when one of them is in need.
#4: Derek Says Goodbye to Garcia
“A Beautiful Disaster”
Remember when we said their reunion was emotional? Well, their goodbye is ten times as tear jerking. In the show’s 11th season, Derek Morgan decides to leave the BAU. We don’t blame him, considering he’d just gone through a traumatic situation that could’ve ended his life. Plus, the arrival of his son Hank makes this high stakes job much less desirable. Derek has more than one tearful scene with his BAU family, but it hits differently with his “baby girl.” Goodbyes are hard, but for these two it’s more of a “see you later.” Penelope is Hank’s godmother after all, a role she’d already excelled at with JJ’s son Henry.
#3: OG — Original Garcia
Garcia goes way out of her comfort zone to fill JJ’s role as the BAU’s Communications Liaison, even changing her quirky style. There’s no denying that she’s brilliant, well-organized, and always looking out for her team. But she’s doing two very stressful jobs at once. Understandably, she gets overwhelmed by being pulled in all directions, knowing lives are at stake. So, it’s Derek to the rescue! He pops in and reminds her of her own badassery, telling her to play to her strengths. Taking out those contacts and getting back to her original self effectively leads the team to the killer. OG is where she needs to be.
#2: God-Given Solace
This season four episode definitely lives up to its name. While on a case in New York, Morgan realizes he needs to drive an ambulance containing a bomb far enough away to avoid any casualties when it goes off. Against her pleas to not put his life at risk, Garcia gives him directions to an area he can safely ditch the ambulance. She’s also tasked with jamming the cell phone lines so the unsub can’t detonate the bomb. Garcia often saves the day with her expert tech skills. But here, what she really gave Morgan was the comfort of her voice.
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
Don’t Put Garcia on Speaker, “Children of the Dark”
Garcia? Behave? Never.
Flirting in French, “Empty Planet”
Their Love Has No Language Barriers
Rewrap or Unwrap?, “Perennials”
Garcia Gets Distracted by Morgan’s Abs
Meeting About Inappropriate Office Behavior, “The Black Queen”
Not Everyone Appreciates Their Colorful Banter
Garcia Gets Real with Morgan, “The Company”
Morgan’s Ego Gets in the Way of a Case & Garcia Isn’t Having It
#1: Their First “I Love You”
It’s hard to remember a time when Penelope Garcia and Derek Morgan didn’t love each other. But the two actually say it out loud for the first time in season three. After she’s shot by Jason Clark Battle, Derek appoints himself Penelope’s personal bodyguard while the unsub is still on the loose. He posts up at her apartment, ready to take out whoever tries to hurt her. Before she goes to bed, Derek says those three magic words. Of course, the feeling is mutual. It’s the quintessential Morgan and Garcia scene.