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Criminal Minds Fans Agree This Character Had The Worst Exit

It's rare for a long-running show to not go through some significant casting changes as it gets deeper into its run. "Criminal Minds" was no exception to this, but it was also a show that suffered a big casting change fairly early into its time on the air. The character of Jason Gideon (Mandy Patinkin) left "Criminal Minds" early into the show's third season. Mandy Patinkin's departure was, understandably, a major blow to the series, though, it didn't prove to be a fatal one. It wouldn't be the show's only major cast departure either, as stars like Thomas Gibson (Aaron Hotchner), Shemar Moore (Derek Morgan), and Lola Glaudini (Elle Greenaway) all either left or were forced out of "Criminal Minds" over the course of its 15 seasons.

However, some characters' exits have a certain level of controversy associated with them, either because their endings felt too sudden or fans feel like the manner in which they went out betrayed the core of who their characters were presented to be. Once again, "Criminal Minds" has been embroiled in this type of controversy as well, due to the way certain actors left the show. Thanks to a recent poll, however, fans have revealed which "Criminal Minds" character exit is the show's absolute worst.

Criminal Minds fans hate Hotch's exit

Over on the r/criminalminds subreddit, u/LordCoke-16 asked fans which of the show's characters had the worst exit, with the provided choices being Gideon, Hotchner, and Greenaway. Hotchner easily won the poll, scoring 422 votes, while Gideon and Greenaway scored 191 votes and 205 votes, respectively. In the thread, fans justified their picks, with the top comment coming from u/klc__, who wrote, "I think Hotchners was the worst due to it being so nonchalant. But I will never forgive them for killing Gideon off in later seasons. Completely unnecessary."

Elsewhere, u/t_a_r_t agreed with this assessment, saying, "Hotch's exit was so ... mealy-mouthed? No stomach to do the character justice or even to tell the actor to eff off. It would have made some sense if there was a possibility of Gibson coming back, but that never seemed remotely [like] an intention CBS had."

After Gibson's "Criminal Minds" firing, Hotchner was written out of the show, and it is explained in the series that the character had to enter Witness Protection because a serial killer was targeting his son. This all happened off-screen, so no formal goodbyes were had, and it's clear that fans are still a little bitter over that. Of course, in this case, Gibson's departure was a sudden thing, and the "Criminal Minds" writers likely didn't have the time to come up with anything else, as television shows are made at an incredibly fast pace.