Jason Gideon, the former Senior Supervisory Special Agent for the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU). criminal thoughtsShe wasn’t always popular with fans. However, many would probably agree that the circumstances surrounding his death on the show were somewhat unusual. Mandy Patinkin, the actor behind Gideon, left criminal thoughts in Season 3, but his character’s death didn’t happen until Season 10 — and fans didn’t even get to see Gideon’s final moments. Was it really necessary to bring his name back just to kill him? criminal thoughts Executive producer Erica Messer once explained why it had to happen.
Patinkin’s sudden departure came early in Season 3. On the show, Gideon left the BAU due to the trauma he suffered after his girlfriend was murdered by prolific serial killer Frank Breitkopf (Keith Carradine). In real life, Patinkin quit criminal thoughts because he wasn’t comfortable with the dark subject matter and violent nature of the show. In an interview with New York Magazine, the actor even called criminal thoughts the “biggest public mistake” of his career.
“I thought it would be something completely different. I never thought they would kill and rape all these women every night, every day, week after week, year after year,” he said. “It was very destructive to my soul and personality. After that, I didn’t think I would ever work in television again.”
Even after Gideon left the BAU, his peers continued to remember him fondly. That was especially true for David Rossi (Joe Mantegna), Gideon’s former partner and best friend when he and Gideon founded BAU together in the ’70s. David took over for Gideon when he left and he helped investigate Gideon’s death in criminal thoughts season 10
In the episode “Nelson’s Sparrow,” Gideon was found dead (off-screen) at his home. He was killed by Donnie Mallick (Arye Gross), who kidnapped women in one of Rossi and Gideon’s first BAU cases. Patinkin never reprized his role, but the episode featured flashbacks with Ben Savage playing young Gideon and Robert Dunne playing young Rossi.
So why criminal thoughts decide to kill Gideon years after he left the BAU? According to Messer, his death is the only case that is “important enough” to justify looking back at the beginnings of the BAU. At the same time, it was a way of “honoring” Gideon and looking at the bigger picture of his life up until his death.
“Because it’s this character that we haven’t seen in ages but we’ll see where it all started with him, it just felt right to see where it all ends for him,” Messer told TVGuide in 2015 . “We don’t kill our heroes very often. … But it felt like after 10 years these are things that happen to agents who have worked together for a long time. Your friends even die on duty.”
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About Gideon’s death and Patinkin’s feelings criminal thoughtsthe character is unlikely to appear in Paramount+’s revival of the series, Criminal Thoughts: Evolution. However, Savage returned as a vision of young Gideon in the original series finale; It’s possible the revival could involve something similar.
Criminal Thoughts: Evolution Stars Mantegna, AJ Cook, Kirsten Vangsness, Aisha Tyler, Adam Rodriguez and Paget Brewster in their original roles. The show follows BAU profilers as they investigate an UnSub who has been building a serial killer network during the pandemic.
criminal thoughts can be streamed on Paramount+. Criminal Thoughts: Evolution Premieres Thanksgiving Day, November 24, on Paramount+.