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‘Criminal Minds’: Exec. Producer Reveals Why [Spoiler] Got Killed Off

Thu, January 29, 2015 10:00am EDT by 21 Comments
Criminal Minds Gideon Death
CBS

If you’re like us, you’re still reeling from that major death on the Jan. 28 episode of ‘Criminal Minds.’ But, did (spoiler) have to die?

There was a Criminal Minds tragedy on the Jan. 28 episode, and, according to the series’ show runner, the death had to happen. We’ve got all the scoop as to what lead up to the upsetting moment. Warning: Serious spoilers ahead!

‘Criminal Minds’: Gideon’s Dead, But Why?

Though he hadn’t actually been on the show in a tangible sense for over seven years, it was officially the end of the road for Gideon (Mandy Patinkin) on Criminal Minds.

Within the first few moments of the Jan. 28 episode, it had been discovered that the once leader had been shot dead inside his own cabin, leaving his former BAU colleagues– and his son– mournfully scratching their heads. Before his untimely demise, though, Gideon was able to leave a clue for the BAU, which lead us to a 1970s flashback featuring a young Gideon (played, delightfully, by guest star Ben Savage).

So, what lead the series to definitively kill off a character that hasn’t appeared on the show for so many years? And what does it mean for the series future?

“You’re seeing [Gideon’s] whole life as an FBI agent and the personal side of having a child he wanted to have but maybe wasn’t as good of a dad as he wanted to be,” executive producer Erica Messer told TV Guide. “It felt like after 10 years, these are things that do happen to agents who have worked together for a long time. Their friends die, even in the line of duty.”

So, What Now?

Moving forward, will Gideon’s death affect the other characters? “It’s a really lovely continuation and then it becomes one of those things that the characters add to their layers,” Erica said. “They’ve seen deaths of colleagues. It makes you look at the job differently. I love how Hotch (Thomas Gibson) and Rossi (Joe Mantegna) had such a nice moment at the end. They didn’t say anything about murder for once.”

One good thing that came out of Gideon’s death was the fact that Ben got to play him in a flashback. Even though present day Gideon is no more, could we see Ben reprise him in his younger days?

“He was so good– I think it’s certainly something that excites all of us,” Erica said. “You won’t see him again in Season 10, but it’s something we’re considering for the future.”

We like the sound of that!

What did you think of Gideon’s death? Are you sad to see him go?

— Casey Mink