'Criminal Minds' Without Thomas Gibson: How Will Hotch Be Written Off The Show? Could He Return?

Kim McLendon

Criminal Minds Episode 4 has been a dreaded event for Thomas Gibson fans, many of which are boycotting the series anyway, due to the firing of Gibson. The #NoHotchNoWatch movement has spread through the fan base, and even those still watching are beginning to consider joining the boycott.

Yesterday, Thomas Gibson fans seemed more determined than ever to do whatever it takes to get the attention of CBS and Criminal Minds. They are planning weekly Twitter fests and protests, as they boycott and support Gibson on Twitter.

— Kirsten Toogood (@canuckhotchfan) October 27, 2016

— Rene (@PackCMBucky) October 27, 2016

Thomas Gibson's character "Hotch" was not even mentioned in Episode 4 of Criminal Minds. Episode 2 was also previously rumored to feature Agent Aaron Hotchner's demise. There was no mention he would be leaving, even though Episode 2 was Aaron Hotchner's final episode. In Episode 3, it was briefly mentioned that Hotch was suddenly called away on some temporary duty assignment.

Thomas Gibson complained that he was being "erased" from Criminal Minds, a show that has consumed him for 12 years according to the Inquisitr. Is this going to be like Teen Wolf Season 6, where some supernatural force makes the entire cast forget the main character ever lived? It would seem so, judging from Episode 4, "Keeper."

Thomas Gibson, a faithful 12-year veteran of Criminal Minds who appeared in all 256 episodes, was fired from Criminal Minds shortly after filming began for Season 12. The firing was fallout from an altercation with a writer that allegedly turned mildly violent. Gibson now describes his kicking of the writer as more of an inadvertent accident than an attack, but a nasty verbal altercation followed.

Criminal Minds' Thomas Gibson's fans now refuse to watch the show they previously loved. It is sad and painful for them as they wondered if Hotch would be brutally killed or just permanently reassigned. It has been variously speculated that Hotchner would be Killed off in episodes 2, 4, or 6.

Thomas Gibson fans find the wait like slow torture. Those still watching complain that it is not the same show without Gibson. Not only that but rumors that Gibson will be brought back, only to be murdered on screen aren't exactly anything they would care to see either.

Criminal Minds fans who really like Thomas Gibson could feel as if they are the ones being punished, especially if they feel that any time they watch the show, they could see their favorite character die. Of course, some TV shows are like that. It happens to The Walking Dead fans all the time, but Criminal Minds is not like The Walking Dead.

— Brenda S. V. (@TachibiWorld) October 17, 2016

— Meagan Rose (@Pagets_Wife) October 16, 2016

Thomas Gibson's character Hotch survived Episode 2 and 4 so perhaps writers have some wiggle room for Gibson's return at a later date, should Criminal Minds producers have a change of heart. Fans have set up boycotts and protests hoping to bring Gibson back to the show.

Criminal Minds star Matthew Gray Gubler directed Episode 6, with Erica Messer as the writer. Gubler is known for his ability to handle sensitive issues more delicately and tastefully. Some spoiler writers suspect that Hotchner will hang on until Episode 6 "Elliott's Pond" when fellow actor Gubler and occasional director can handle his ultimate survival or death with tact at least.

Thomas Gibson fans should remember, though, that the program is filmed far in advance of airing. It is probable that the first dozen or so episodes have already been filmed. The first 11 episodes have been titled, and their writers and director are listed on various websites.

— Criminal Minds (@Criminal_Quotes) October 21, 2016

Jane Lynch will return to Criminal Minds in Episode 11 according to TV Guide. Lynch portrays Dr. Spencer Reid's mother. Reid is Matthew Gray Gubler's character so that episode will have special significance to both Lynch fans and Gubler fans. It seems doubtful that writers would choose that tender episode for a serial killer to brutally murder agent Hotchner.

Criminal Minds' Thomas Gibson is supported by tens of thousands, perhaps even millions of fans. They hope against hope that the producers will cave, and allow Hotch to somehow survive, and eventually return to their favorite show. Even if Aaron Hotchner were to die, it is always possible to return, since Paget Brewster's character Emily Prentiss managed to return from the grave in a previous season.


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'Criminal Minds' Matthew Gray Gubler: Is He Really Like Dr. Spencer Reid?

'Criminal Minds' Season 12 Adds Adam Rodriguez: More Casting Changes And Plot Shifts Throughout The Season [Spoilers]

Will Thomas Gibson's character, Hotch, be murdered by a serial killer? Will he eventually be allowed to return? Fans are caught in the crossfire and don't really appreciate it very much apparently. While ratings for the premiere were quite low at 8.92 million, the ratings for the ill-fated Episode 2 "Sick Day" were only 7.26 million. Episode 3, "Taboo," which had no spoiler warnings of Hotchner's death received 8.4 million viewers.

Should Criminal Minds take this to mean that perhaps viewers don't want to see Thomas Gibson's character Hotch die?

[Featured Image by Francois Durand/Getty Images]