The Season 13 finale of Criminal Minds brought the series to its 299th episode, and left the life of a fan-favorite character in jeopardy. So, with the fate of the show still very much up-in-the air, here’s evidence on why it should be “wheels up” on Season 14 (and that iconic 300 episode milestone).

First things first, this show has (much like its characters) has overcome a lot in its 13 seasons. Seriously, taking one whole minute to reflect,  characters on this series have: shockingly left (Gideon), been placed in witness protection (Hotch), died (Emily), left to go be with their families (Morgan), came back (Emily, again), actually died (Stephen) and that’s just a quick off-the-dome rundown.

This all has obviously caused some IRL casting shake-ups, but it feels like the show has finally re-found its groove. Alvez (Adam Rodriguez), Tara (Aisha Tyler) and Simmons (Daniel Henney) have really stepped into their own and made the team feel whole again. There’s still witty banter. Drinks after tough cases. Putting their careers (and let’s be honest, lives) on the line for each other, but this season the chemistry among the squad felt truly genuine.

All of this is to say that this season of Criminal Minds felt particular strong. While the finale isn’t the first time we’ve been introduced to an un-sub who puts the life of one of our agents in jeopardy. Looking at you, Scratch, Foyet and Doyle. But it is the first time in while that we’ve actually cared — and that’s because there’s a real sense of camaraderie on the team. Also, with Season 14 still very much TBD, a real sense of urgency among fans.

As a quick refresher, the finale introduced us to The Messiah. He’s the leader of a cult that essentially recruits would-be serial killers, initiates them by burning off their fingertips (#casual), and then orders them to kill people. Yes, this is all par for the course on the show, but what makes this important is that by the episode’s end, our OG BabyGirl, Garcia, has been kidnapped by the cult. As if that wasn’t enough, Reid (who is still coming to terms with the whole “being released from prison thing”) is given a v shitty ultimatum: release The Messiah/join the cult…or that’s a wrap on Garcia.

Naturally the screen faded to black with a nice “To be continued…” leaving us fans wondering what’s going to happen next, and with no word on the renewal, it looks like we’ll be wondering (and blogging about it) for a while.