It’s not exactly secret why we wouldn’t see Thomas Gibson (Aaron Hotchner) in Criminal Minds Season 12. The very publicized physical altercation between Gibson and a producer led to the actor being suspended and later fired from the show. But this does not mean fans would just accept his departure like that.
There are quite a number of petitions to boycott the show. Two main characters—Gibson and Shemar Moore (Derek Morgan)—are not going to be part of Season 12 anymore. That left many to wonder whether there will be a chance we will get to see these two ever again.
It’s not easy to write off Hotch’s character in Criminal Minds
It doesn’t take a genius to know that writing off Gibson’s character in Criminal Minds Season 12 won’t be easy. Showrunner Erica Messer revealed that he was supposed to be a big part of the next season, but they now have to adjust accordingly. However, everyone is determined to move on from what happened and to give fans the best possible stories there are.
Since it’s impossible for the show to write him off diplomatically (meaning, Gibson doing a few episodes), Messer and her team decided to have him enter the witness protection program. This is believable for fans since Hotch wants to protect his son, Jack, from Mr. Scratch. Gibson’s character, after all, he has always been a good father.
There were discussions of killing off Gibson’s character. He can die in a car crash just like anybody else in reality. But in the end, Messer decided it would be better if fans can remember Gibson as someone who had to leave his job to be a good father to Jack. This allowed the show and the fans to say goodbye to Hotch, in a way, Messer said.
Can we expect Gibson back?
Sadly, there is no possibility in the near future of Gibson returning to the show, Messer said. This is not part of any discussion right now. Given the circumstances of his being kicked out of the show, this is expected and understandable, in a way.
Maybe it’s best to just treat this the way fans accepted Mandy Patinkin’s (Jason Gideon) abrupt decision to depart the show back in Season 2. Criminal Minds will go on, and we just have to let these character move on, too.
— ahlam (@ahlam_1_9_9_3) January 23, 2017