The elite team of FBI profilers at the Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) in Criminal Minds hunts down the most-twisted criminals in the country and tries to stop them before they can attack again. One of the CBS show’s foundations is Thomas Gibson, who played the role of Aaron Hotchner. Also known as Hotch by his colleagues, Hotchner was the Unit Chief of the BAU. He lacked wit and humor, where people can seldom see him smile but he was loved for being firm and determined. In 2016, fans bid goodbye to one of the most fan-favorite characters of the police procedural series.

Special Agent Aaron Hotchner, BAU

Gibson started in “Criminal Minds” in 2005 as Supervisory Special Agent Aaron Hotchner, married to his high school sweetheart Haley (Meredith Monroe), whom he shared a son named Jack (Cade Owens). Hotch went through a lot because of his dedication to his job and losing his wife was one thing that broke him. After they were separated, serial killer George Foyet killed Haley in season 5 and two years after her death, he had a relationship with Beth Clemmons, a triathlon runner. However, he decided to break up with her when she had to go to Hong Kong for a job offer.

Following Shemar Moore’s exit in “Criminal Minds” in March 2016, Gibson had a physical altercation with one of the writers on the show in August 2016.

He later apologized in a statement and explained that the dispute stemmed from their “creative differences.” However, the producers announced the following day that Gibson’s contract has been cancelled. He was written off the show with the storyline that says he needed to enter the Witness Protection Program. Hotch had to do it when the famous serial killer Mr.

Scratch started stalking his son, Jack.

Will Hotch return?

It was then revealed in “Criminal Minds” season 12 episode 6 that Hotch is resigning as the Unit Chief of the BAU, where he requested Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster) to take over his post. Following Gibson’s departure, fans rallied behind him and even filed a petition to bring him back to the show.

A massive #NoHotchNoWatch has been circulating online with fans saying that the show is never the same without him. A lot of fans have stopped watching the show, which was proved through its declining ratings compared to the past seasons.

When “Criminal Minds” was renewed for season 13, many fans hoped that Hotch would decide to return to the BAU and resume his work. On the other hand, most of them vowed that they would still boycott the next installment if Gibson is not returning. After all, his character wasn’t killed and can easily make a comeback whenever the producers decide to. Gibson was not just a simple Aaron Hotchner, he was one of the biggest reasons why the popular show soared high for the last 12 years.