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09/27/2012 04:42 am ET Updated Sep 27, 2012

'Criminal Minds' Premiere: Jeanne Tripplehorn Joins Team, To Penelope's Dismay (VIDEO)

With Paget Brewster gone, "Criminal Minds" introduced Jeanne Tripplehorn as her replacement Alex Blake. An FBI linguistics expert, Alex' skills were immediately put to the test in the eight season premiere, when an inmate who hasn't spoken in the eight years of his incarceration escaped after an accident in an ambulance.

He continued killing, leaving clues by writing phrases and sticking them inside his victims' sewn-shut mouths. Alex was able to deduce that the phrasing was oral, and specifically from a region of Texas. From there, they were able to first identify who the assailant was -- he was a John Doe -- and ultimately what he was after: peace and quiet.

Deaf as a child, he'd received a hearing implant that was apparently amplifying his hearing above normal levels. When he was captured and told there was no alternative but to put him back in prison, he killed himself instead.

Alex's skills were instrumental in his capture, but she and Penelope certainly got off on the wrong foot. Mainly because Penelope was talking about her -- before the two met -- when Alex came up behind her. So at the end of the hour, Penelope asked if they could start over and re-introduced herself.

The cases continue every Wednesday on "Criminal Minds" at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.

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