According to a recent thread on Reddit, fans seem to agree that Aaron “Hotch” Hotchner (Thomas Gibson) is ultimately the most important member of the BAU. Redditor u/kellynguyen16 started the conversation noting just how much they miss Hotch and pointing out his role as a sort of big brother within the team — an anchor. He is grim but he cares, and on multiple occasions, he puts his own personal situations aside to help both Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness) and JJ Jareau (A. J. Cook).
Multiple fans jumped to agree, including u/Austerellis who also noted Hotch’s role as an anchor for the team. “Agree. He was the last anchor of the show,” they wrote. “When he leaves, the rest of the cast seems less functional. Too much cast turnover will do that.” u/MixedandNappy continued that everything changed for them when Aaron Hotchner left, as they added characters and the team dynamic was changed.
As we already know, Gibson was fired from “Criminal Minds” after an altercation in August of 2016, where he was initially suspended but then ultimately let go by ABC and CBS studios. Redditors u/ncnhjm and u/pookymulder935 wrote that they think this was a poor decision from the show, as most fans viewed it in a lesser light after Gibson’s exit. It is unclear if CBS or Paramount+ would ever let Gibson return to “Criminal Minds” for a possible Season 16, although if not, many fans will certainly be missing one of their favorites.