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The Rossi Plot Hole In Criminal Minds That Bothers Fans

Like most network procedurals, Criminal Minds saw a lot of turnover in its cast throughout the 15 seasons it was on the air. Originally, Broadway legend and Homeland star Mandy Patinkin headlined the series as Jason Gideon, the Supervisory Special Agent of the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit. But after just over two seasons, he abruptly exited the show (and didn't mince words as to why). For season 3, the CBS show replaced Gideon with a new BAU leader and Patinkin with a new anchor for the series: David Rossi, played by Tony-winning actor Joe Mantegna.

Rossi was a BAU member before retiring to write bestselling books and make a killing on the speaking circuit — but after Gideon left, Rossi came out of retirement and rejoined his old squad. His motivations for coming back were related to an unsolved case that ate away at his consciousness for decades, but while he wasn't working on that, he helped the team track down their "unsubs" — unknown subjects — of the week.

Though Rossi's long history with the BAU provided Criminal Minds with some well-developed narrative threads, it also got the show caught up in a big plot hole. While watching the series finale, a fan on Reddit noticed an inconsistency in both Rossi's backstory and the history of the BAU as a whole.

Decades ago, Rossi stashed a gun on the BAU's private jet

The series finale of Criminal Minds sees the BAU team tracking down an unsub nicknamed "the Chameleon," due to the fact that he, erm, cuts off his victim's faces and is particularly skilled at going undercover thanks to the use of clever disguises.

After the Chameleon (real name: Everett Lynch, played by Michael Mosley) successfully evades capture multiple times, the BAU team tracks him down to the airport, where he's holding Rossi's ex-wife hostage at gunpoint and is preparing to make a getaway on the BAU's private jet. Rossi offers him a better deal: He'll trade places with his ex-wife, as there's no way anybody will shoot down the jet with Rossi inside. He sweetens the deal by declaring himself unarmed, stating, "My gun's in my car." Everett takes Rossi up on the offer, handcuffing the senior agent and taking him aboard the jet.

As Everett prepares to take off, the team watches on in horror, unsure of what to do. When a team member cries out that they need a plan, Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster) declares, "And we have one. It started 20 years ago when David Rossi and Jason Gideon submitted their first requisition for a private jet. There are things none of you know about that jet." 

We then cut back to the plane, where Rossi has freed himself from his handcuffs ... and retrieved a gun from a secret compartment where he'd presumably stashed it years ago. 

It's a thrilling twist, especially for the final episode, as it calls back to the show's deep lore. However, as Reddit user u/definitelyvirgo pointed out, there's a huge continuity problem with this scene.

Rossi once claimed he knew nothing about the BAU's jet, let alone the gun hidden on board

In a truly ironic twist, the moment that set up this rip in the fabric of Criminal Minds' plot occurred during Rossi's very first appearance on the show. The season 3 episode "About Face" introduces viewers to the un-retired agent and sends him on his first assignment. The team is hunting down a serial killer in Dallas, which means they need to hop in the jet that Rossi himself allegedly requisitioned and had outfitted with secret compartments back before he left the squad.

In a thread titled "Rossi plot hole SEASON 15 SPOILER," Redditer u/definitelyvirgo draws attention to something important about Rossi's reaction to seeing the jet: "When Hotch tells everyone to go to the jet, Rossi is confused and doesn't know the BAU has a jet."

To be more specific, when the topic is broached on the season 3, Rossi replies, "The jet?" Hotchner (Thomas Gibson) says, "We have a jet now," to which Rossi says, "Are you serious?"

Rossi's reaction to the jet he supposedly got for the team is one of positive befuddlement. Either he had a major moment of temporary amnesia, or the show wanted to write a little "things sure have changed since you were last here" banter and forgot about the details later when they needed a deus ex machina on the series finale.

Whether Rossi blanked on his previous jet acquisition or the show simply goofed on the character's backstory, the important thing is the situation got remedied just in time for the senior agent to take down one last unsub before the final credits rolled on Criminal Minds.