“We were shooting a scene late one night when I went to Virgil and told him there was a line that I thought contradicted an earlier line,” Thomas Gibson told People magazine about his July 26 discussion with writer-producer Virgil Williams. “He said, ‘Sorry, it’s necessary, and I absolutely have to have it.’ ” He went on to say that he returned to set and started telling others about their interaction.
“[Virgil] came into that room and started coming towards me,” he added. “As he brushed past me, my foot came up and tapped him on the leg. If I hadn’t moved, he would have run into me. We had some choice words, for which I apologized the next day, and that was it. It was over. We shot the scene, I went home – and I never got to go back.”
Thomas will appear in the first two episodes of season 12, but CBS has not yet revealed the “creative details” for the character’s exit. We know that Paget Brewster, who portrayed Emily Prentiss, is returning to the show, now as a series regular. At the time, Thomas released a statement saying he had put his “heart and soul” into the show for 12 years, and that he was thankful for the team he had met.
“It seems like they’re trying to erase me from the show. That hurts. But I’m using this time to be with my kids, and I look forward to what’s next,” he told People. “Maybe I’ll do a comedy, or a play, or direct, or produce. My pride and reputation are hurt, but in the end I know the good work is what people will remember. I just need more opportunities to do good work and be a good guy.”
Season 12 of Criminal Minds premieres Sept. 28 on CBS.