EXCLUSIVE: A decade ago, Criminal Minds executive producer/ showrunner Erica Messer landed her first staff writing job on the ABC spy drama Alias. During her two-season stint on the show, she wrote three episodes, all of them directed by Alias executive producer/director Ken Olin. Now the two get to work together again on an episode of a primetime drama written by Messer, this time with Olin in front of the camera: Actor-turned-director Olin is set to guest star in an upcoming episode of CBSCriminal Minds, which will shoot in  January and air in February. Fittingly, the episode will mark the drama directing debut of another actor venturing behind the camera, Criminal Minds star Thomas Gibson.

In the episode, the BAU travels to the Eastern Shore of Maryland to investigate the disappearance of two teenage girls. All roads lead to their father, Bruce (Olin), who despite his professed innocence looks more and more guilty with each turn. With time running out, the team uncovers a dark family secret that leads to a shocking conclusion. “I am beyond thrilled to have Ken Olin bring this character to life and can’t wait for Thomas to have a shot behind the camera,” Messer said.

This marks the first episodic gig for Olin since his role on ABC’s Brothers & Sisters, which he also executive produced and directed. He will now be in the hands of Gibson, who also directed two episodes of his previous hit series, multicamera comedy Dharma & Greg. “I look forward to working with Ken Olin whose work as an actor and director I have always admired,” Gibson said. As for his new gig as a Criminal Minds director, “it’s exciting to work with everyone on the show in this new capacity,” he said. “We have the greatest crew in the world and while my goal is to direct the best hour of television ever, I also look forward to getting our crew home to their families in time for dinner…!” On the directing front, Gibson, repped by Paradigm and Frontline Management, also is working on a short film based on a Tobias Wolff story.