Rick Dunkle (RD): Hey all! Rick here. Messer's logging in now then we can get started!
Erica Messer (ECM): Hello Everybody!
RD: That was much faster than I expected!
CrimMindsFans: I was wondering, was Will originally supposed to die but then you decided to let him live to make the ending happy?
ECM: We DID consider that VERY early on because of the drama of it, but when we knew we were losing Paget, there's only so much sadness we can take!
ReidKnits: Will Rossi and Strauss be a couple now, or are they just hookin' up?
RD: I don't think they'll ever actually be a couple. He's been there done that three times.
RD: And I think they've been hooking up for a while.
wheelsup4demily: Erica! Thank you for giving fans perhaps the best season finale yet! It was perfect! Also, you pretty much pleased all the various shippers! Was that intentional?
ECM: Wheelsup! Thank you all for watching and knowing you liked it means everything. Those moments were for all of you shippers -- and some here that can't play favorites! We all secretly wish for some of those match-ups :)
swon: OMG Rick Dunkle and Erica Messer, that was the most amazing finale EVER!!!! You must have known that writing Emily saying "it's a date" and them dancing would cause fans wanting Hotch and her together into a tizzy! Did you do it on purpose?
ECM: Dunkle and I had so much fun figuring out the bookends of this one -- the fun loving start to 723 "Hit" and then the bittersweet ending to "Run." We ALL loved the dancing and smiled huge hoping it would go over big with all of you! Glad it did! And yes, the last words out of Prentiss' mouth "It's a date" was TOTALLY ON PURPOSE!!!!
BethM1992: How much did you love writing the Doctor Who convention scene?
RD: Hahaha. There was a moment at one point where we were possibly going to lose that scene and I fought hard for us to keep it. It helped that it was one of Director Michael Lange's favorite scenes, too, because he's as big a nerd as me. The original version was much more elaborate (read much more expensive) and I have to give a huge thanks and props to line producer Harry and production designer Vincent who found a way to make it work in a streamline edition. Very happy with how it turned out! And Garcia as her own version of Matt Smith? How could you go wrong!?!?
jojo831: How was it to work with little Mehkai? He's soooo cute!!! Was he a good actor?
ECM: He's so adorable and watching him with both AJ and Josh was really sweet. AJ would whisper him his lines then he would whisper them back… it was TOO CUTE!
samiam: Great episode!!! Kept me on the edge of my seat. Was it hard to find the perfect words for Emily to say at the end?
ECM: Thanks! Glad you liked it! It was really hard to figure out what she'd say and think, but then this thing happened where I remembered something I'd heard at the beginning of the season… about every ending also being a beginning and it just clicked. it was too perfect… and adding the "I'd like to think that's true" was for Paget and all of us…
Mellie: How did you come up for the idea of the UnSubs? What made you come up with a female as the dominant partner in a bank robbery?
ECM: We wanted Izzy to be the "evil" Prentiss. She was working as a ghost for years but doing bad things. Then having her be the one who threatens Henry just seemed right -- and then that kick-ass fight was born!
RD: Also, I do work for two women… so it's not that far of a stretch to think of females in a dominant position!
ECM: Ricky Dunkle. You're funny.
travismom: When and where can we hear more from Lilly? The song and voice at the end were great. We want more!
ECM: Hi Travis Mom! We miss you! Lily has recorded her album but it's getting mixed now so stay tuned for more! You can buy the single "As it Seems" on iTunes right now!
RD: You can follow her on twitter for updates: @lily_kershaw And she has a facebook fan page now, too.
iloveemily: Hey guys, please help a desperate Prentiss fan here. I know it's too soon to ask this but please try to answer it: next season, even though we're not going to see Prentiss anymore, will we at least hear about her? I mean, do you intend to have someone on the team mention her once in a while so we'll know where she's at and if they are still in touch with her? PLEEEEASE!!!?!!?!?!
ECM: Absolutely, she will always be a part of our family and we'll mention her, if we can't see her. It's something I talked to Paget about. She will still be in the team's lives and we will absolutely let that be known!
alext-cm: Man can’t wait for season eight! Do you guys know what the them will be for next season! :D
ECM: All of the writers are taking a break and we'll gather back in a couple of weeks to discuss all of this and more! We can't wait for season 8 either!
clarissa: I'm so happy CM got gangbuster ratings for the finale! Do you feel it's as under-appreciated and under-promoted like we do; but somehow it keeps rising to the top in spite of the networks & critics?
ECM: We've always felt like the Little Engine That Could. I read that story to my kids recently and it was amazing how CM paralleled it! Our fans are so loyal, it helps us keep going.
RD: I think the fan base is a huge part of that… I think twitter and facebook and tumblr help us immensely… Criminal Minds has one of the highest online/interactive presences of any series out there right now and that's thanks to you. And with the addition of CM_SetReport and the Erica Meredith, Haben Merker, Travis Braun videos, and @garcia_bau there's just so much we can do on our own. And get ready for even more next year...
Nataliee: What was the mood like on set on the last day?
ECM: Bittersweet. There were some tears, but a LOT of laughs because we had our Gubbie Awards and the first Talent Show and it just reinforced how great this group of people are together. On screen and off. In front of the camera and behind it -- just the most amazing people.
RD: Personally, I think every season should end with Shemar on a tight rope!
ECM: You're right! It should!
ECM: You're right! It should!
jojo831: I'm a little confused as to what's going on with Kevin and Garcia, did they break up since she turned down the proposal? But yet they still danced together at the wedding? And who's the girl he’s been with??
RD: The girl Kevin was with is CSU Tech Gina Garcia played by Gina Garcia-Sharp. Gina was our casting associate seasons one and two and has appeared as Gina every season I think since the Elle days!
ECM: We're trying to play the reality of Kevin's rejection. He wasn't ready to jump back into the relationship because his heart's a bit broken but they are so good together… and when the city is under attack, he needs to be near our sweet Garcia. They will be figuring out how to move forward given all of this and dancing together broke that ice for us.
RD: She also happens to be one of Kirsten's best friends, so the idea of having Nicky playing around with her and have Kirsten witness it was too awesome to avoid!
RD: "Are you comparing us to POTUS?" One of my favorite lines from ECM!
ECM: Thanks, Dunks.
laurenreynoldsisdead: That finale was, I think, the best ever! I loved it. I was just wondering but where was JJ's father?
RD: Who says she doesn't have two mothers?
ECM: Hey laurenreynoldsisdead! thanks! I talked to AJ about it and we decided he passed away. My two moms!
Ella_GB: What was the greatest challenge writing this episode?
ECM: Keeping it at budget. Oh wait...
ECM: Seriously, figuring out a way to say "see ya later" [NOT GOODBYE} to Prentiss.
derekandemilylove4ever: Emily never got to have a proper goodbye with the team. We never got to see the reactions of JJ, Garcia, Reid, Rossi to the news that she`ll be leaving. Will we get to see the whole teams reactions & their goodbye`s in season 8?
ECM: There were no words that could define a proper goodbye, so we opted for the AMAZING LILY KERSHAW song and the dance. We also felt like you can't top a funeral as a goodbye and we've already been there and done that with Prentiss!
cheetah_breath: Incredible season finale! Were Prentiss' references to the house and the "cracks in the foundation" a metaphor for her own situation?
ECM: Hi cheetoh breath!!
RD: In the opening scene between Morgan and Prentiss when Prentiss asks, "Am I crazy to walk away?" and Morgan responds, "What's your gut telling you?" Insert Messer for Morgan and Paget for Prentiss. We miss her so much already.
erica1021: I NEED to know your thoughts about Morgan and Prentiss?!?!? Is the love that I have always believed to be there actually there?!
ECM: erica1021!!!! Hello! I've always believed Prentiss has a special connection with all of the team, but there's something extra with Morgan. They've always got one another's back in the field and that translates into real life (of the characters) too. It was a BIG DEAL when we shot the dance. I said to Paget, who should Prentiss be dancing with as we end the show and it seemed like Morgan would be the best fit mainly because it bookended the season so well. In the premiere, he was the last to know she was alive and in the finale he's the first to know she's leaving.
RD: Don't worry, in 5-10 years when Prentiss shows up for the series finale with her beautiful mocha baby, we'll finally know the truth.
ECM: RD has lost his mind! It's official!
RD: It must be the meds
crimminds19: Describe season seven in one word.
ECM: Season 7 in one word… FUN! I want to know what you guys think?
ECM: I like that RD made up a new word!
AWreck: To Rick and Erica...thank you for such an amazing season finale. I've never experienced so many emotions watching a tv show. It still today has me feeling so many emotions. The cast and crew and everyone involved should be (and I know is) very proud. Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!!!
ECM: That's so kind, AWreck! Thank YOU ALL!
RD: Thanks! Hard to believe the season is over already. It’s been a fun ride. See you all in the fall!
ECM: Thank each and every one of you for supporting CM this season! Stay tuned to CM Set Report for updates! Have a great summer and we'll chat with you all later! Goodnight! Be well!