Fans are likely still reeling from the news of Thomas Gibson’s abrupt departure. However, could Criminal Minds Season 12 already be moving on so soon with his replacement?

It seems only yesterday when the scuffle between the actor and a writer/producer went public. At the time, he attended anger management classes to address the situation. However, the latest altercation proved to be his undoing. His earlier suspension led to his summary removal from the show. The timing could not be more inopportune as production is underway for Criminal Minds Season 12. Thus, the question emerged of whether the crime drama series could move forward without SSA Aaron Hotchner. Yet it would seem there is no choice but to do so, hence the hard task of figuring out how to deal with his exit from the storyline.

In light of recent events, Criminal Minds Season 12 could welcome two more series regulars. Moreover, Hotchner’s successor might be one of them. Thus, a plan seems to be in place, although details of who and what their roles would be are unknown to date. Given the stature of his role, it would be safe to imagine an actor right about the same age as Gibson. The new additions come after the casting of actor Adam Rodriguez as Shemar Moore’s replacement. Aisha Tyler also got her promotion as series regular. Paget Brewster reprises her role as Emily Prentiss as well, according to TV Line.

Actress Kirsten Vangsness shared secrets about what to expect from the series prior to the recent Gibson fiasco. At the time, her spoiler hinted at the likely significance of Mr. Scratch. Unlike previous characters whose stories left room for their possible return, Hotchner’s case is certainly different. Thus, the option to kill off his character while harsh might be necessary. Would it be at the hands of one of his foremost adversaries? Then again, anything is possible and writers might be able to give him a graceful exit considering his contribution to Criminal Minds.