Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster) and Derek Morgan (Shemar Moore) have a very easy friendship. They are comfortable enough around one another to flirt a bit and joke around, but there is another deeper layer to their relationship — an extremely strong bond developed over the past six seasons and was put to the test thanks to a traumatic event that played out over the last two seasons.
Here, we take a close look at how that relationship started and was ultimately forged by shocking and painful circumstances.
The Beginning: Trustworthy Partners
The relationship between Morgan and Prentiss began the way most friendships do — they started off as colleagues and then bonded over a shared interest (for these two, it was their mutual love of a certain author.)
Over the years, that friendship deepened as the two spent more time together, both on and off the clock. Eventually, Morgan began to think of Prentiss as his partner and she became one of the few people he truly trusted. And Prentiss — though her past prevented her from ever telling her friends the full truth — made Morgan a part of her life and began to think of him as family.
The Breaking Point: Prentiss’ Death
Things changed in season 6 when it was revealed that Prentiss had been keeping some secrets from the rest of the team. Morgan was angry when he learned of Prentiss’ past as Lauren Reynolds and felt a deep sense of betrayal when he realized she had kept quiet about her connection to Ian Doyle.
However, when Morgan found out that everything she did was to save the life of a child, he was very proud of her and told her so as she “died” in his arms. Prentiss’ faux death had a major impact on Morgan. He carried a lot of guilt over not being able to save her and he made it his mission in life to bring down her killer, Ian Doyle.
The Recovery: Reformed Trust
When Prentiss returned from the dead, her relationship with Morgan became even stronger. Surprisingly, Morgan was never angry with Prentiss for faking her death because he was simply relieved she was still alive.
That being said, it was hard for him when Prentiss joined the BAU again because he was worried that his concern for her would distract him in the field. After losing her once, Morgan could not handle the thought of going through that again, so Prentiss agreed to train with him in their off-hours to help him feel more comfortable about working with her again.
Morgan and Prentiss have worked together over the course of the season and in a recent episode, they finally got to a place where they could laugh about everything they had been through in the last year or so.
The Question: Potential Romance?
Though Prentiss and Morgan have only ever been friends on the show, was there something more planned for the agents?
In a deleted scene from the season 2 episode “Fear and Loathing,” Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) teased Morgan about his flirtation with Prentiss, stating that if he noticed something between them, then it must have been pretty obvious. Morgan told Reid that Prentiss was not the kind of girl who would go for him because she was smart enough to realize that he was not going to change his ways and settle down.
The scene was cut due to scheduling issues — the episode was meant to air before Reid’s abduction and therefore originally had a much lighter tone — but what was the intention of the scene?
Was this moment meant to spark a potential romance between Morgan and Prentiss that the writers chose not to pursue? Or was it supposed to serve the opposite purpose and debunk the idea that their flirtation was anything more than friendly banter between colleagues? What do you think?
(Image courtesy of CBS)