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The Character Criminal Minds Fans Think Was Most Important To The Team

Although each member of the Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) is vital to catching an "unsub" in every episode of "Criminal Minds," some team members have always seemed to hold a little more weight to fans at certain times during the show. Spencer Reid's (Matthew Gray Gubler) incredible intellect and analysis has kept the team on track when the unsub has tried to throw them off, Derek Morgan's (Shemar Moore) quick decision-making has saved the lives of multiple team members, and David Rossi's (Joe Mantegna) psychology background and experience talking to famed serial killers like Ted Bundy has given him instincts to lead the BAU to conclusions about certain unsubs. Needless to say, every member has their contribution on a relatively equal playing field.

However, fans have been debating who was significantly more important to the team for some time since "Criminal Minds" aired its last episode in February of 2020. With no confirmed date yet for a potential Season 16 of the show on Paramount+ despite the rumors, it would be interesting to see who would return and therefore remain among the most important people in the BAU. Here's who fans think was most important to the BAU, and who would continue to be that way if they were to return with the show in a possible Season 16.

Fans think Aaron Hotchner is the most important BAU member

According to a recent thread on Reddit, fans seem to agree that Aaron "Hotch" Hotchner (Thomas Gibson) is ultimately the most important member of the BAU. Redditor u/kellynguyen16 started the conversation noting just how much they miss Hotch and pointing out his role as a sort of big brother within the team — an anchor. He is grim but he cares, and on multiple occasions, he puts his own personal situations aside to help both Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness) and JJ Jareau (A. J. Cook).

Multiple fans jumped to agree, including u/Austerellis who also noted Hotch's role as an anchor for the team. "Agree. He was the last anchor of the show," they wrote. "When he leaves, the rest of the cast seems less functional. Too much cast turnover will do that." u/MixedandNappy continued that everything changed for them when Aaron Hotchner left, as they added characters and the team dynamic was changed.

As we already know, Gibson was fired from "Criminal Minds" after an altercation in August of 2016, where he was initially suspended but then ultimately let go by ABC and CBS studios. Redditors u/ncnhjm and u/pookymulder935 wrote that they think this was a poor decision from the show, as most fans viewed it in a lesser light after Gibson's exit. It is unclear if CBS or Paramount+ would ever let Gibson return to "Criminal Minds" for a possible Season 16, although if not, many fans will certainly be missing one of their favorites.