Criminal Minds Season 12 has not fared well. Fans had already dropped off at the end of last season due to Shemar Moore’s decision to walk away, but the decision by CBS and ABC to fire Thomas Gibson has led to a complete boycott. Now the addition of another new face has started yet another round of angry posts from fans.
Criminal Minds has faced a boycott, as fans continually tweet #StillMissingHotch and #NoHotchNoWatch for Season 12. The boycott is all in support of Gibson, who many fans feel was removed unfairly from the show. What the fans didn’t realize was that a new character would be introduced that some viewers consider a replacement.
The replacement happened in the midseason finale on December 7. Prentiss told her team that the BAU needed help in dealing with Mr. Scratch, the man who is currently targeting Hotch and his son Jack, meaning the two have gone into hiding and Hotch has left the BAU behind. She decided to call in a favor from her Interpol connections, and that is where the new character has been thrown into the mix. It’s time to meet SSA Stephen Walker.
Walker isn’t the first new face in Criminal Minds Season 12. Adam Rodriguez came into the show at the start of the season to replace Shemar Moore’s Derek Morgan. While fans weren’t entirely happy about Moore’s exit, they could accept that it was his choice and move on. There were worries that the show would be canceled because of it, but at least fans were willing to give Rodriguez a chance.
The same can’t be said for the newest addition, Walker, who is played by Damon Gupton. This is clearly someone to replace the missing Hotch. The problem for fans is that Dr. Spencer Reid, played by Matthew Grey Gubler, has stated that he wants to take a step back from being in the BAU. Reid’s mother suffers from dementia, and Reid has admitted that his head isn’t fully in the game.
It’s unclear just how little Reid will be in the rest of Criminal Minds Season 12. What is clear is that for at least one episode it looks like the show will be without another core member of the team. Can the show survive with two newbies and a chief that not everyone likes? Prentiss took over, and while fans were elated, they don’t like her latest position.
Fans took to the Criminal Minds official Facebook page and to Twitter to complain about the decision. They make it clear that nobody will replace Hotch and that the new characters are just taking time away from the favorites.
Rodriguez and Gupton are not the only new faces to see a backlash or hatred from fans. There have been plenty of attempts to replace Prentiss after she left, but fans instantly took a dislike to them. Even bringing in a big name like Jennifer Love Hewitt didn’t settle the fans, and Hewitt decided to leave after a year on the show.
That being said, there are still plenty of fans who are going to give the new faces a chance. Some fans acknowledge that there are two sides to Gibson’s story, and we may not know everything that has happened, as the International Business Times reports. CBS and ABC must have had a reason to agree to fire him, despite Criminal Minds bosses deciding to only suspend him for two weeks.
While Gupton’s Walker has been introduced, fans haven’t had the chance to see what he can do just yet. That will be left for the New Year as Criminal Minds Season 12 aired its winter finale last night.
What do you think about the new Criminal Minds Season 12 faces? Love them or hate them? Have your say in the comments below.
[Featured Image by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]