Criminal Minds season 12 kicked off the long-running crime procedural with the comeback of familiar faces and appearance of new ones. However, it seems this is not enough to compensate for the loss of a pivotal character in the series– Aaron Hotchner, played by Thomas Gibson.
CBS fired Thomas Gibson before Criminal Minds season 12 due to an argument that turned physical between Gibson and writer and co-producer Virgil Williams. According to sources, the long-timer kicked Williams on the leg. No injuries were reported, however, the show opted to remove him from the show instead of a suspension.
Gibson was also said to have been physically violent during previous seasons and in other shows he’s worked on. But to date, no one has filed any case or specifically accused the actor of physical harassment. In addition, prior to the dismissal, Gibson has also been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.
Hotchner on Criminal Minds Season 12 Episode 5
Despite all these claims, Gibson has earned the respect and admiration of fans while playing the character of Hotcher. Better known as Hotch, Gibson’s role is the Chief of the Behavioral Analysis Unit of the FBI. He portrays a cool, semi-stoic character with a certain darkness to him. He is well-cherished by his team and by fans everywhere.
Gibson has been a key player in the series since its pilot episode in September 2005. Unsurprisingly so, after his dismissal, the show has experienced a drop in ratings and is currently under scrutiny for the removal of Hotch. His fans have even started the #NoHotchNoWatch protest in social media. The campaign’s objective is to boycott the show until it brings back Hotch.
Speculations have surfaced that because of these, Hotch character might be brought back. Since his role has not been completely written off, bringing him back to the show is not an impossibility.
While no mention from CBS about his return, rumor is that he will have some sort of participation in episode 5. Entitled Elliot’s Pond, showcasing the newly formed Anti-terrorist Squad with Prentiss, Alvez, Rossi and JJ on board.
According to Cartermatt, the episode will be written by Erica Messer and is directed by star Matthew Gray Gubler. The combination of the two has always promised an interesting topic. This is probably where the rumors of Hotch’ return came from.
However, as earlier mentioned, CBS has mentioned nothing about Gibson’s return to the show. We’ll just have to wait and see until episode 5 airs on November 9 at CBS and CBS All Access.