Parts of the character's backstory were revealed in the latest episode, and it's hearbreaking.
Criminal Minds' Penelope Garcia, played by Kristen Vangsness, was thrown into the spotlight when she was working remotely from California where she was dealing with a family situation with her stepbrother.
As reported by Pop Culture, it was revealed at the start of the episode that Penelope had lost her parents to a drunk driver late one night.
The man responsible for the accident has spent years in jail for the crime, but is now up for parole. Penelope's stepbrother Carlos, played by Sebastian Sozzi, wants her to testify to keep him behind bars.
Their reunion seems sweet, with Carlos thanking his sister for sending flowers to her parents' grave on the anniversary of their deaths. He also expressed his pride at her working success.
Penelope is confused about the comment about the flowers, because she has never sent tulips to their graves.
As the episode rolls on, Penelope is seen sitting on a park bench reminscing about her parents. Through flashbacks, viewers see her getting a note from her parents saying that she was out too late and they were going to look for her.
Connecting the dots, it seemed that the night they had gone out to look for her had been the one on which they had died.
Later in the episode, she met the drunk man's sister, who revealed that it was him who was sending the tulips to her parents' graves. She also explains that it was an accident, and that her brother, Jesse, was deeply sorry.
Penelope is placed into such a difficult situation, because she wants to forgive Jesse, but Carlos wants her to testify against him. She decides to pay him a visit in prison.
Jesse apologizes to Penelope for what happened, and agreed that he certainly deserves to be in prison for the mistake.
She then gave her statement to the parole board. She opened up about that day, saying that it was the worst day of her life, but that holding a grudge against Jesse won't bring them back anyway.
Penelope requests that Jesse be released so that they can all move on with their lives.
After the parole hearing, she confesses to Carlos that it was her fault that their parents had been out so late the night that they had died. Carlos was brokenhearted, and tells her that he can't even look at her.
Penelope goes to visit her parents' graves at the end of the episode, and apologizes for having a part in their death.