‘Criminal Minds’ Premiere Title ‘Wheels Up’ Fuels #NoHotchNoWatch Ire [Opinion]

The Criminal Minds premiere, titled “Wheels Up,” airs tonight at 10 p.m. This Wednesday is the end of a countdown that started a week ago.

Have Criminal Minds fans been counting down the days until they could see the premiere? It’s possible Matthew Gray Gubler’s fans are, but in another camp, a certain protest group has been counting the days to their massive Twitter party. For the past seven days, a countdown to blast off has appeared under the hashtag #NoHotchNoWatch.

The #NoHotchNoWatch protest of Criminal Minds Season 13 has been highly planned and anticipated. As Criminal Minds begins Season 13 without Thomas Gibson, #NoHotchNoWatch is planning a huge Twitter party for the exact time slot.

The Criminal Minds episode “Wheels Up” will air Wednesday night, and that title has inflamed the already growing annoyance of Thomas Gibson fans who support #NoHotchNoWatch. Are Criminal Minds writers throwing shade? Are they taunting Thomas Gibson fans? The title choice is fueling the scorn of #NoHotchNoWatch.

Thomas Gibson may not have written the famous catchphrase “wheels up,” but Thomas made that catchphrase iconic.

Can Criminal Minds still use the phrase? Sure they can, legally speaking. Should they? Only if it is their goal to further antagonize their former fans at #NoHotchNoWatch and other Thomas Gibson fans still watching the show.

Criminal Minds writers can claim credit for the phrase, and certainly, Thomas Gibson doesn’t own any sort of copyright of the words “wheels up.” Still, “wheels up” is a catchphrase strongly associated with Thomas Gibson’s character Hotch.

Arnold Schwarzenegger doesn’t legally own the words “Hasta la vista, baby,” but those words are powerfully associated with Arnold Schwarzenegger’s role as the Terminator. Few remember which writer came up with the phrase “Hasta la vista, baby.” However, for the record, those into trivia can note the honor goes to William Wisher, according to Esquire. Who knew?

Calling Criminal Minds premiere for Season 13 “Wheels Up” is annoying to #NoHotchNoWatch. Anyone else saying “wheels up” on Criminal Minds is inflammatory to Thomas Gibson fans as well.

Thomas Gibson always said “wheels up” on Criminal Minds. When anyone else says “wheels up,” it just sounds annoying, like when people who aren’t Arnold Schwarzenegger say “Hasta la vista, baby.” It’s just not the same.

As neat as it is to know Arnold Schwarzenegger’s famous line was written by William Wisher, it isn’t that easy to remember.

Even though William Wisher used the phrase long before he gave that famous line to Arnold Schwarzenegger, it’s likely people will forget the Esquire story soon, while Arnold Schwarzenegger is the one who immortalized those words.

While Thomas Gibson is known for saying “wheels up,” Thomas Gibson’s dismissal made TV Series Finale say “demo ratings down” by 22.45 percent for Criminal Minds Season 12.

Thomas Gibson of Criminal Minds
Thomas Gibson of Criminal Minds by Peter Kramer Getty

Thomas Gibson’s publically announced firing made some of the most hardcore fans of Criminal Minds form #NoHotchNoWatch. It also made about one-fifth of their viewers say “Hasta la vista, baby” to Criminal Minds.

When Shemar Moore’s character, Morgan, decided to leave the BAU after the Episode 18, of Season 11, Shemar landed on the new crime drama S.W.A.T. Criminal Minds fans missed Moore. Thomas Gibson’s last episode on Criminal Minds was Season 12 Episode 2, and it was just too much for many fans.

Summer breaks and Shemar Moore’s cameo visits notwithstanding, that is about half a dozen episodes from the departure of Shemar Moore’s character to Thomas Gibson’s exit as Hotch if anyone is counting.

Shemar Moore made a cameo in the Criminal Minds Season 12 Finale since his departure, but a cameo in one episode last season is not the same as being part of the team. Shemar has not completely given up his role on Criminal Minds, but Moore is only planning a few small cameos this season since he will be busy starring in S.W.A.T.

Thomas Gibson of Criminal Minds
Thomas Gibson of Criminal Minds A by Kathy Hutchins Shutterstock.


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Shemar Moore wisely spread his parachute to land in the new police drama S.W.A.T. Criminal Minds showrunner Erica Messer, similarly, will be involved with ABC’s Paradise Falls in addition to Criminal Minds, according to Deadline.

Criminal Minds and #NoHotchNoWatch continue to feud, over the treatment of Thomas Gibson, but is taunting Gibson’s fans wise in the face of falling ratings?

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