In just over two days, the most mysterious episode of “Criminal Minds” in some time will air in “Taboo,” and we say that just because it feels like there is something that CBS is not telling us about what is coming.
Sure, we do know that this episode marks the return of Paget Brewster as Emily Prentiss, and there is some excitement around that. Yet, at the same time the promo (extended version below) does not give you a tremendous sense of the story, and the synopsis is hardly more informative: “The BAU welcomes back Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster) as they are called upon to investigate the disappearance of three women.”
One way or another, the writers have to figure out a way to explain Thomas Gibson’s absence from the show. Maybe you can make an excuse for it in this past episode by saying that it filmed before he was fired. In “Taboo,” it’s hard to do that anymore. The original plan was to just write him out for a couple of episodes, and that is not possible anymore.
The crux of how they write Hotch out boils down to this: This is not a man who would give up on his team easily. We’ve seen him effectively give up much of a life and a family outside of the BAU for the sake of being the best at the job that he can be. He’s worked long hours, stayed with people in their time of need, and been a leader above and beyond anything you could hope for if you were one of these people. Effectively, what we’re trying to say here is that this is a guy who we don’t see leaving the team willingly. Therefore, the signs point to him either being killed off or incapacitated in some other way.
Think about this for a minute: Can you think of a single reason why Hotch would leave the team that makes sense for him, other than he legitimately feared that if he stayed, their lives would be in jeopardy? If they do somehow leave him alive, that gives hope that maybe Gibson could return down the road. If he’s dead, that should make it all the clearer what the future does / does not hold for him.
Want to get some further news right now on “Criminal Minds” and Gibson’s exit? Then head over here to see what he had to say on social media following this past episode. (Photo: CBS.)