‘Criminal Minds: Evolution’ Star A.J. Cook Reacts to Josh Stewart’s Departure: ‘I Miss Him Like Crazy’ (Exclusive)

When Criminal Minds: Evolution returns on June 6, the series will be without Josh Stewart, and A.J. Cook spoke to PopCulture.com about his departure. Stewart joined Criminal Minds as Detective William LaMontagne, Jr. in Season 2 and formed a relationship with Cook's JJ, later marrying and having two kids together. He recurred throughout the remainder of the show's original run and had a pretty big storyline in the first season of Evolution when Will had a cancer scare.

However, it was announced earlier this year that Stewart will not be returning for Criminal Minds: Evolution Season 2, meaning that fans will no longer be seeing JJ and Will moments. Cook told PopCulture that they all "miss him dearly, yet we support him wholeheartedly in his decision to not come back. I, of course, miss him like crazy because it's such a strong relationship that they have, and her family life is such a heart of the show to see that side."

(Photo: Monty Brinton / Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images Studios via Getty Images)

As for what the series will focus on in place of JJ and Will's relationship, Cook revealed that there is "so much going on that we hit the ground running, and there's enough awkward relationships to go around. We don't have time for a healthy one. It's sad. I mean, I was just as sad as all of the fans because I'm a fan of him, and I'm a fan of our relationship, too. I wish nothing but the best for him, and he's crushing it in life, and he knows that we are all here rooting for him and that we love him."

It will be hard to watch the series without Josh Stewart, but it sounds like he left for a good reason. It should be interesting to see how and if Criminal Minds: Evolution addresses his absence. There is also the possibility he could make a cameo later down the line if he's able to and if he wants to. Plus, if the series managed to grow Will and JJ's relationship during Criminal Minds' first run when he was just recurring, so it shouldn't be too hard to do the same.

Meanwhile, there is much to look forward to in the upcoming season of Evolution, with Voit in BAU's custody and the mysterious Gold Star in play. How that will go down will be both entertaining and nerve-wracking, and it all begins on Thursday, June 6 on Paramount+.