Thomas Gibson has been one of biggest foundations on CBS’ police procedural series, Criminal Minds since it originally premiered in 2005. Unfortunately, the actor had a dispute with one of the show’s writers on an episode he was directing that led to his termination. He later issued a public apology and explained that their disagreement was due to their “creative differences.” Apparently, the incident broke the hearts of his fans who filed a petition, hoping to get him back on the show. Season 13 premiere had touched Aaron “Hotch” Hotchner’s story that put a closure to most fans’ desire to see him again.

Mr. Scratch’s end

“Criminal Minds” Season 13 Episode 1, titled “Wheels Up,” saw the FBI’s BAU (Behavioral Analysis Unit) team unfortunate car accident that was orchestrated by Peter Lewis or known as Mr. Scratch. Agent Stephen Walker (Damon Gupton) died in the crash (another cast shake-up) while Agent Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster) was missing, thanks to Scratch. The infamous serial killer was finally killed off when he fell from the collapsed structure at the warehouse where he kept Prentiss. Lewis was Hotch’s nemesis and the reason why the latter had to enter WITSEC or the Witness Protection Program with his son, Jack.

Will Aaron Hotchner ever return?

With Mr. Scratch’s demise on “Criminal Minds,” Hotch has no more reason to stay in WITSEC.

Following Agent Walker’s funeral, Prentiss told her beleaguered team that Aaron Hotchner and his son have left the Witness Protection Program but he will not rejoin the BAU. Instead, he will be a full-time dad on Jack, who lost his mother Haley Brooks (Meredith Monroe) when serial killer George Foyet (C. Thomas Howell) killed her in Season 5.

Prentiss’ news that the former BAU Unit Chief is no longer returning, fans were heartbroken once again although most of them still have high hopes to see him again on the show.

Declining ratings

“Criminal Minds” Season 1 was critically acclaimed with almost 20 million people that tuned in when it premiered in September 2005.

It continued to be consistent at least until Season 10 with almost 12 million viewers in October 2014. However, the producers started its insane cast rotation that catapulted the show’s ratings into jeopardy. Season 11 only had ten million when it debuted in September 2015 while Season 12 earned roughly nine million, where Thomas Gibson was fired after Episode 2. When Season 13 premiered last week, the show only earned seven million viewers, which is two million less compared to the previous season.

Gibson fans claim that the show’s failing ratings have something to do with the actor’s termination. Many of them have started the infamous #NoHotchNoWatch on Twitter to support the actor. As what they said, they will only help “Criminal Minds” retract its good ratings if Hotch returns to the BAU.