For 11 seasons, Shemar Moore has been holding it down on network TV as Agent Derek Morgan on Criminal Minds. And, poof, now he's gone.
Morgan said his goodbyes in last night's episode, "A Beautiful Disaster," which was the end of a three-episode ode to Derek. He decided to resign his position with the unit to spend more time with his family. With good reason: Morgan survived a kidnapping and his wife was almost killed, which was probably the last straw since he endured so much during his time with the unit.
There's no rancor; Moore loved his time as Morgan.
"I'm leaving to see what else I'm capable of," Moore told TV Line.
Fans loved his time as Morgan, too. One of the things they'll miss the most is the flirtatious and teasing relationship Morgan had with one of his co-workers he called "Baby Girl;" shippers were dubbed Baby Girl Nation. (Kirsten Vangsness, who plays tech analyst Penelope Garcia, co-wrote Morgan's last episode.) Morgan was the everyman on the team, albeit with a wicked shot, more training than most and 12-pack abs. He was relatable, which is one of the reasons fans identified with him.
There's hope yet (minor spoiler alert if you haven't watched yet): Morgan does not die. So, in the tradition of others who have left longtime roles on longtime shows -- this one has more than 250 episodes -- he probably won't say no to a return engagement. He didn't say no when The Young and the Restless came calling again, so there's precedent.
"Even though they're finishing the season an agent down," exec producer Erica Messer wrote in a letter on CBS.com, "they'll keep up the fight because the BAU wouldn't have it any other way."