Sonja Flemming/CBS
Sandra Gonzalez
November 16, 2011 AT 09:07 PM EST

As Criminal Minds fans will recall, one of the most revealing Garcia eps, “Penelope,” taught us a lot about the BAU’s most colorful member. But tonight’s powerful episode, “Hope” — finds Garcia helping the gang locate her missing friend (Brigid Brannagh) — will show us a different aspect of the character, according to Kirsten Vangsness.

“It’s not like ‘Penelope,’ where you learned facts about her,” she says. “Everything you find out from this episode, you learn in terms of her behavior — how she handles herself under stress and how she handles herself when she has to do something that’s not in her wheelhouse. That makes it interesting.” That’s not to say there aren’t some interesting revelations. Viewers will learn that Garcia’s parents were looking for her the night they died in a car crash “because she was late for her curfew.” But as haunting as that is, Vangsness says she anticipates viewers being unsettled by something else: Guest star Jack Coleman.

“He’s the unsub, and he’s quite good at it,” she says. “And it’s not your straight, run-of-the-mill unsub. I mean, none of them really are, but him in particular….And it’s adorable because I don’t think he knows how creepy he is.”

But not too creepy to keep Garcia away from the action, she says. Just don’t look for her character to wield a gun. “I don’t think she would ever wield a gun,” Vangsness says. “But I can tell you that they made the Kevlar vest especially for Garcia — it has special curvy girl darts sew into it. It’s not boxy. It’s couture Kevlar. I think I’m going to wear it out. To dinner! Because it looks so good on me.”

Follow Sandra on Twitter: @EWSandraG

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