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What Has Mandy Patinkin Been Doing Since Leaving Criminal Minds?

Plenty of "Criminal Minds" fans were drawn to Mandy Patinkin's character, Jason Gideon, simply due to the show's first Unit Chief's backstory. Patinkin's take on the Behavioral Analysis Unit leader gave the character a unique vulnerability over the 47 episodes in which he was featured. That was one of the many reasons it was a tough blow for fans when the Chicago-born actor (via IMDb) decided to exit the show. No definite reason was ever given for why Patinkin left "Criminal Minds" after Season 2, other than the vague "creative differences" excuse. However, based on Patinkin's post-exodus remarks, it was suggested that he didn't enjoy the show's often-violent content.

Of course, Patinkin fans knew of his work before his short "Criminal Minds" stint. For many, their first taste came with his portrayal of the vengeful Spaniard, Inigo Montoya, in "The Princess Bride." It's still hard to see him without hearing the line, "Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die," repeat over and over in your head. After he subsequently tackled notable roles in such films as "Alien Nation" and "Dick Tracy," Patinkin stepped into to the TV drama world, including a 60-episode run on "Chicago Hope."

Patinkin was obviously still feeling the TV drama bug, as he continued on to "Criminal Minds." But, after his sudden departure, fans may have wondered what happened to Mandy Patinkin.

He took a tour on the indie film train

After gifting fans two seasons of Jason Gideon's emotional roller coaster in "Criminal Minds," Patinkin made his way back onto the big screen, taking small roles in multiple independent films. "Wish I Was Here," for example, starred and was directed by Zach Braff. Patinkin plays Gabe, the main character's father, who is battling cancer. Patinkin continued his indie film run with a part in "Ali and Nino," and took on the role of Mel Garner, a playwright/performer, in "Before You Know It." 

Patinkin also popped up in bigger studio films. In 2016, he joined Penelope Cruz and the rest of the cast in the film "The Queen of Spain," which was a sequel to filmmaker Fernando Trueba's 1998 "The Girl of Your Dreams." A year after "The Queen of Spain," Patinkin co-starred in "Wonder," which was based on a novel of the same name by R.J. Palacio. "Wonder" revolves around a young boy who has Treacher Collins syndrome and is entering public school for the first time. Patinkin plays Mr. Tushman, the principal of the boy's school.

Patinkin helped save the free world on multiple occasions

Of course, most fans consider Patinkin's role as Saul Berenson in "Homeland" has been his most significant gig since "Criminal Minds." The show was, for sure, one the best to come from Showtime, and arguably one of the best drama series, ever. Spanning 96 episodes over 8 Seasons, the Emmy Award-winning drama follows Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes), a CIA officer who simultaneously deals with the difficulties of bipolar disorder and thwarting terrorist plots. Patinkin plays Carrie's boss/mentor, who, as much as he cares about her, at times appears frustrated with the reckless agent. In fact, the duo's relationship emulates Carrie's mental condition, ranging anywhere from being practically enemies to being father/daughter.

The most fascinating part of Patinkin's Saul is how he painstakingly juggles his own multiple issues, such as a tumultuous marriage, his back-and-forth relationship with Carrie, and the monumental responsibility of helping save the free world. Patinkin's performance is something to behold, with fans finding it hard to take their eyes off of him every time Saul graced the screen. When the series ended, the finale kept the story open-ended, with Carrie becoming Saul's new mole inside Moscow's Kremlin. Fans can only hope there's a continuation of the story in the near future.

Patinkin gladly passed judgment, even if it wasn't legal

To many fans, TV is clearly where Mandy Patinkin now belongs. His recurring role in Paramount +'s "The Good Fight" proved once again that he can bring his own unique presence to every character he plays. During Season 5 of the legal drama, which was a spin-off of "The Good Wife, the actor appeared in nine episodes as an offbeat judge named Hal Wackner.

Deadline reported that after the fourth season of "The Good Fight" was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic, Patinkin stepped out of quarantine when the series continued for his first post-"Homeland" job. In his episodes of "The Good Fight," Hal Wackner opens a makeshift, non-legal court in the back of his copy store. The pseudo-court becomes a show that not only entertains the public but sways people's personal judgment. Despite the character's "decisions" not carrying any true legal repercussions, the legal team from Reddick, Boseman & Lockhart still find themselves battling out arguments in front of Judge Wackner.