‘Criminal Minds’ Veteran Hotch: Thomas Gibson Drives From Texas To Charleston In Birthday Trek [Opinion]

Criminal Minds veteran Thomas Gibson, who portrayed Hotch for over 11 years, celebrated his birthday and Independence Day on a road trip with his son. The actor was born on July 3, in Charleston South Carolina so what better way to celebrate his birthday than to make that long road trip through the lovely South United States by car.

Thomas Gibson was the longest running BAU Unit Chief on Criminal Minds and he was a part of Criminal Minds from the very first episode. The role of Unit Chief, and to some extent Criminal Minds, was created for and centered around Mandy Patinkin.

Criminal Minds debuted in 2005 with Mandy Patinkin who portrayed Jason Gideon as the chief, while Thomas Gibson portrayed SSA Aaron Hotchner. Matthew Gray Gubler, Shemar Moore, Kirsten Vangsness, A.J. Cook, and Lola Glaudini rounded out the cast of the first Criminal Minds episodes.

After Criminal Minds Season 2, Mandy Patinkin simply did not show up for Season 3. The New York Times quotes the executive producer at the time.

“[Mandy Patinkin was] like the father who goes out for a carton of milk and then just never comes home.”

Thomas Gibson rose to the occasion as what fans consider the real BAU Unit Chief. While producers were afraid Criminal Minds could not continue successfully without Mandy Patinkin, fan favorite Thomas Gibson was perfect for the job as Aaron Hotchner, or simply Hotch.

On Criminal Minds, Thomas Gibson was already a fan favorite, beloved in previous roles, most notably as Greg on Dharma and Greg. Thomas was more than just an adequate substitute. Gibson was the perfect BAU Unit Chief.

Thomas Gibson was incredibly loyal to Criminal Minds. Thomas never missed a single episode for more than 11 seasons. Cast members came and went, but early in Season 12, Gibson was terminated due to an alleged altercation with Co-Executive Producer Virgil Williams over a single line that Thomas said was not consistent with the continuing plot.

Criminal Minds stayed on track for 11 years, perhaps largely because Thomas Gibson was watchful of scripts, ensuring that the plot stayed on track. Now ratings are down, and the show is floundering in the absence of both Thomas Gibson and Shemar Moore, who left the show at nearly the same time as Gibson.

Now, Criminal Minds veteran Thomas Gibson is touring the Southern United States with his son in celebration of his birthday. It’s been almost a year since the actor was dismissed from Criminal Minds.

Thomas Gibson is a Charleston South Carolina native, who grew up on the lovely beaches near the historic city. Thomas apparently drove from his San Antonio Texas residence to his childhood home in Charleston South Carolina. It is a trip the traditional Southern gentleman makes frequently, and often with his children.

The Criminal Minds cast, like everyone in America, has their own special tradition for celebrating the Fourth of July. Matthew Gray Gubler tweeted that he always makes a point of eating 35 hot dogs every July 4. Why 35? He didn’t say.

Criminal Minds Veteran Thomas Gibson likes to go home to Charleston for holidays and his birthday, which is the day before Independence Day. Charleston is a city of beaches and lovely antebellum homes, but it is also a modern city.

Charleston South Carolina home town of Thomas Gibson
Charleston South Carolina by Sean Pavone Shutterstock

Charleston’s long expansive bridges are perhaps one of the most memorable things about the city, especially when driving, but the architecture, landscape, beaches, waterways, and especially the people are also indelibly etched in the memories of all Charleston residents and visitors.

Charleston South Carlina over the Ashley River
Charleston South Carlina over the Ashley River [Image by Sean Pavone/Shutterstock]

Are Criminal Minds friends on the mind of Thomas Gibson? If so, Thomas hasn’t mentioned it in his posts and seems most often to reflect on his children, pets, and the beauty of nature, especially the Southern Beaches and landscape.

Thomas Gibson shares several photos on Instagram, including a really delicious looking box of doughnuts decorated for the Fourth of July. Though it is hard to tell without looking at the box lid, they appear to be Krispy Kreme Donuts. The Krispy Kreme donut is a longtime favorite in the South.

When in Rome

A post shared by @thomasgibsonofficial on

When u get to spend ur birthday driving through the south with ur son who’s mostly sleeping or watching GoT… #wafflehouse

A post shared by @thomasgibsonofficial on

The heading on Thomas Gibson’s post says the picture was posted from Sullivan’s Island, which is very near Charleston and part of Charleston County.

Veteran Criminal Minds actor Thomas Gibson has three children: James Parker, Travis Carter, and Agatha Marie. Gibson is enjoying his time with them while they are young and have plenty of time to spend with their dad. It is a good time to enjoy the sun and the breakers on frequent beach trips with the growing children.

Thomas Gibson, like the city he grew up in, has a way of etching himself on the memories of viewers. Criminal Minds is certainly not the same without him. Criminal Minds ratings have dropped and fans complain the show just isn’t the same without this Southern gentleman.

Hotch fans at #NoHotchNoWatch say Aaron Hotchner is worth fighting for. They continue to protest ABC and CBS dismissing Thomas Gibson From Criminal Minds on Twitter every Wednesday night.


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Criminal Minds fans continue to miss Thomas Gibson and Hotch fans protest his dismissal from Criminal Minds at #NoHotchNoWatch on Twitter.

[Featured Image by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]