CBS show “Criminal Minds” finally wrote off Aaron “Hotch” Hotchner in this week’s Season 12 episode.

David Rossi (Joe Mantegna) revealed that Thomas Gibson’s character, who was on a temporary assignment for the FBI Director, wasn’t actually on any assignment. Rather, the assignment was used as a cover while the FBI were busy investigating the notorious mind-controlling serial killer known as Mr. Scratch/Peter Lewis (Bodi Elfman).

Turns out that Mr. Scratch was stalking Hotch’s son Jack (Cade Owens). He first showed up at his son’s soccer game and later at his school. The FBI first put Jack and Hotch under surveillance with a team protecting the duo 24 hours every day. But it was clear that the serial killer is after his son so the two entered into the Witness Protection Program. This meant that no one from the team can contact Hotch or his son ever again.

Worse still, Hotch resigned from the bureau because he never wanted to put his son’s life in danger again. Given that serial killers often target FBI agents’ families; this is a smart move on the character’s part.

However, before parting ways with the FBI, the former Unit Chief of the Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) recommended that none other than Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster) take his place. Prentiss, with a little persuasion from friends Jennifer “J.J.” Jareau (A.J. Cook) and Dr. Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler), finally accepted the promotion.

Several fans had guessed that Prentiss would replace Hotch. Some even thought that Rossi would take Gibson’s role due to seniority.

While Prentiss’ return is welcome, many fans are still upset that Thomas Gibson was abruptly fired after he had an on-set altercation with a “Criminal Minds” writer and producer. This year has seen two important cast members leave the show – Gibson and Shemar Moore.

“Criminal Minds” Season 12 airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST on CBS.

Criminal Minds Did you think Hotch’s exit made sense in “Criminal Minds” Season 12? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. The CBS series airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST. Photo: CBS