Criminal Minds this Wednesday revealed why we won’t be seeing Thomas Gibson in the role of Aaron Hotchner again, in the wake of the original cast member being fired in mid-August from the CBS series.
At the top of this week’s episode, which was directed by cast member Matthew Gray Gubler, Rossi rounded up the troops to break the news: Hotch has not been on “special assignment” for the past few weeks after all.
Rather, that story was used as a cover, while an investigation was conducted into Peter Lewis aka Mr. Scratch’s stalking of Hotch’s son Jack, first at a soccer game. The FBI’s first recourse of course was to supply around-the-clock surveillance, but when Scratch later showed up at Jack’s school, Hotch decided to enter himself and his son in Witness Protection. Meaning, his colleagues likely will never be in touch with him again (though come on — we know they are a resourceful bunch).
What’s more, resolved to never put his son in danger again, Hotch tendered his resignation from the FBI. (In a TVLine poll conducted shortly after it was announced that Gibson had been fired after 11 seasons, in the wake of an on-set altercation with a writer/producer, 30 percent of you said Hotch would “quit to focus on family.” I’d call that a match.)
As his last bit of business with the Bureau, Hotch made a final request, that Prentiss be named the new bureau chief — a position she eventually accepted, at episode’s end, after a nudge from JJ and Reid.
“Thank the universe for silver linings,” as Garcia put it? Or was no exit storyline acceptable? Comment away….