The one thing about Criminal Minds that lags far behind everything else is the writing, a problem clearly evident in the season premiere. The story of Emily's return and Doyle's death is framed around a Senate hearing, one that is completely lifeless. The senator questions, the agent answers, the senator pokes, the agent parries. It's all straightforward and bland, and without the threat of anything bad happening. Do the writers actually think it's dramatic when everyone knows nothing will happen in the end?
The Doyle plot isn't much better either. The writers hastily throw together a plot about Doyle's sons and some enemies he has, blend in the computer magic machine, and out pops a generic story about vengeance--from the BAU and Doyle's other enemies. Now that the team is back together, hopefully the writers stop trying to force these kind of dead-end episodes.