Thomas Gibson is out of Criminal Minds for good. However, last season’s cliffhanger did open a new arc that will launch the BAU in a hunt for escaped serial killers. How will the show deal with Aaron Hotchner’s departure? Will a notorious foe kill him in Criminal Minds season 12?

At this point, nothing is certain. Given that the summer is almost ending, Gibson would have had a few episodes already filmed. The show would have to say goodbye to the character sometime in the middle of the season.

Long-time fans would know that departure of characters from Criminal Minds isn’t something new. The list is long, starting with Lola Glaudini, and then Mandy Patinkin, Paget Brewster, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Jennifer Love Hewitt, and most recently, Shemar Moore.

Most of these characters said goodbye in a manner that there’s still chance for return. Case in point is Brewster, who had a number of guest appearances since leaving. Even Patinkin, though killed in a recent season, left alive and well.

Will this practice change in Gibson’s case? Will the story push Mr. Scratch to kill him in an epic showdown?

Criminal Minds season 12 and Hotch’s exit

Anything is possible, although it is a pretty morbid idea to kill the character off. Still, it’s important to note that Hotch has been there since the beginning and the BAU is his life. It would take a very good reason for him to leave the Bureau.

Hence, unless the writers think of a better option that will justify Hotch leaving, then killing him is also logical.

According to PopSugar, CBS and ABC Studios did reveal that the show will tackle Hotchner’s departure towards the later part of season 12.

For his part, Thomas Gibson joined Twitter to air his sentiments on ABC’s recent action.

His very first tweet revealed that he was disapoointed by the decision. He then went on to say that he joined the social media site to stay connected with fans and directly talk with each other.

Despite the controversy surrounding Gibson’s firing, it can’t be denied that Hotch was a big part of shaping the show. Fans watched him start a family, had his heart broken, and put the worst of the worst behind bars. His character deserves a graceful exit, so hopefully fans at least get to see that.

Check back with us for more updates on Criminal Minds season 12.