Penelope Garcia says goodbye in #CriminalMindsfinale

CRIMINAL MINDS came to an end on February 19 with a two-hour series finale and cast members were sad to see Penelope Garcia leave. Here is everything you need to know about why she is making an exit from the series.

PUBLISHED: 09:40, Thu, Feb 20, 2020 | UPDATED: 09:57, Thu, Feb 20, 2020

This two-hour finale marks the end of an era for Criminal Minds and a total of 324 episodes have aired so far. The long-running crime drama on CBS included an unexpected retirement party for Penelope Garcia (played by Kirsten Vangsness). For those who are keen to find out what happened - here is everything you need to know.

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At the start of the episode it seemed BAU boss David Rossi (Joe Mantegna) would retire from the field.

But what was meant to be a retirement bash for him turned into an emotional farewell for Garcia.

Penelope, the technical analyst for the FBI, announced she was moving on to pastures new to work for a non-profit organisation nearby.

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The party guests all toasted Garcia as she makes a heartfelt speech and thanked her friends for reminding her there was good in the world.

READ MORE: Criminal Minds season 16 release date: Will there be another series?

Criminal Minds: Garcia's leaving speechCriminal Minds: Penelope Garcia leaving the series (Image: CBS)

Criminal Minds: Penelope Garcia makes a toastCriminal Minds: Penelope Garcia's leaving speech (Image: CBS)

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The Criminal Minds Twitter account included a clip of her farewell speech in which she is seen with tears in her eyes.

They quoted the last lines of her speech, during which she said: “Thank you for letting me be a part of this for so long and thank you for reminding me that there is an infinite amount of heroism and kindness in the world, no matter how bleak it seems.”

The post ended with: “Thank you for an incredible 15 seasons, #CriminalMinds family”.

Executive producer Erica Messer spoke to ETonline.com about the series ending and why it made sense for Garcia to leave.

Criminal Minds: The rest of the team raise a glassCriminal Minds: Garcia's colleagues at the party (Image: CBS)

Criminal Minds: Penelope Garcia at workCriminal Minds: Penelope Garcia as a technical analyst (Image: CBS)

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