Fans of Criminal Minds finally have some closure on Thomas Gibson’s character, Aaron Hotchner, following the actor’s firing from the show in August.
But given how the CBS police procedural show revealed Hotch’s departure, there may be still some hope left. He was not wrote off completely, rather he was just “sent away” indicating that he might come back.
In Wednesday’s episode of the show’s season 12, it was revealed that Hotch wasn’t on special assignment. He was revealed to be enrolled in Witness Protection.
The episode showed Rossi (Joe Mantegna) breaking the news to the team near the beginning of “Elliott’s Pond.” The episode was directed by series veteran Matthew Gray Gubler (Dr. Spencer Reid). Rossi revealed that Hotch decided to leave the Behavioral Analysis Unit due to his son, Jack (Cade Owens).
Hotch entered the Witness Protection after Peter Lewis (Mr. Scratch) began stalking his son at a soccer game, per People. Now, note here that Hotch is pretty much alive and can still come back should the show lets him. Though it would require a lot of creative juice in bringing him again to the show, the fact that he can still come back remains.
The show can also call on another actor to portray the role. But given how Gibson already endeared himself to the fans, it would seem less likely. However, if the current trend of falling ratings continue. the option of bringing Gibson back to the show is still available and doable.
In order to protect his son, Hotch gave up his position as unit head at BAU. As long as Peter Lewis is alive, their lives will always be in danger, according to E! News. That is the main reason why Hotch entered themselves into the Witness Protection. He does not want his son to put in danger again.
Note that the show didn’t close its doors completely for Gibson as he can still come back should a reconciliation happen. The only reason why his character departed from the team is his fear on the serial killer being on the loose. If that would be neutralized, maybe fans can still see his return.
Criminal Minds airs Wednesdays, 9 pm on CBS.
Photo courtesy: @Crim_MindsCBS/Twitter