Mandy Patinkin played FBI Special Agent Jason Gideon on Criminal Minds until he quit the series shortly after the second season, but the renowned actor had his reasons for leaving the crime drama.
The procedural series, which initially aired from 2005 to 2020, was renowned for its changing cast, since only a few of Criminal Minds’ original stars remained until season 15’s conclusion. While many important cast members and characters, like as Thomas Gibson’s Aaron Hotchner and Shemar Moore’s Derek Morgan, left the show early, Gideon’s departure from Criminal Minds had an immediate impact on the show.
When Criminal Minds started, Mandy Patinkin, widely known for his portrayal as Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride, starred as the series’ lead actor. While Patinkin was not the first major cast member to quit Criminal Minds, as Lola Glaudini departed as Ellie Greenaway at the start of season 2, the rapid departure of the top-billed actor highlighted the transience of the BAU Agents very early on.
View this post on Instagram
After finishing a significant plot with serial murderer Frank Breitkopf (Keith Carradine) in season 2, Jason Gideon left Criminal Minds’ BAU permanently in episode 2 of season 3.
The stated explanation given for Gideon’s resignation from Criminal Minds was “creative differences,” but subsequent interviews with the actor suggested he had a strong distaste to the show’s “disturbing content.” Patinkin told New York Magazine in 2012, about five years after he left Criminal Minds, that joining the crime drama was the “greatest public mistake” he had ever made.
Shortly before the third season of Criminal Minds, Patinkin left the show because he believed the subject matter was “damaging to [his] spirit and personality.” The actor Jason Gideon elaborated that he was unaware that Criminal Minds would feature the killings and rapes of women “every week, year after year,” and that the extreme brutality had a devastating effect on his life.
Due to His Mental Health, Mandy Patinkin Left the Regular Criminal Minds Cast.
Criminal Minds’ Jason Gideon sits in his office and reads a file. Criminal Minds’ creators were stunned by Patinkin’s departure, and the actor himself feared he would never work in television again. A few years later, the actor from The Princess Bride was cast with Claire Danes in Homeland, a series he felt was “the antidote” to Criminal Minds since it questioned the necessity of violence in the first place. The actor then told the New York Times magazine that he “acted abhorrently” when he left the cast of Criminal Minds, which correlates with rumours that the Criminal Minds character Gideon went “AWOL” following season 2 of the show. Patinkin disclosed that he sent letters of apology to the rest of the Criminal Minds cast, but insisted that his leave was necessary for his health.
While Mandy Patinkin’s final Criminal Minds episode aired early in season 3, Jason Gideon would continue to appear on the series. In season 10 of Criminal Minds, the BAU determined that Gideon was assassinated by an unsub he had originally targeted in 1978, essentially eliminating any possibility of Patinkin making a cameo.
This episode contains flashbacks to a young Gideon, portrayed by Ben Savage, and a young David Rossi, who replaced Mandy Patinkin’s character in season 3 of Criminal Minds. In addition to several other cast members, such as Thomas Gibson, who left Criminal Minds prematurely, Mandy Patinkin’s Jason Gideon appeared in the series finale via flashbacks to scenes from the first few seasons.
Why Gideon is Unlikely to Return for the Criminal Minds Reboot
It was announced that Criminal Minds would return to television screens for its sixteenth season. Some Criminal Minds cast members have been confirmed to return, while others, like Gideon, have not. In Criminal Minds season 10 episode 13, “Nelson’s Sparrow,” Donnie Mallick murders Gideon offscreen. As a result, his return for the following season is unlikely. The character appears in a number of flashbacks during the series.
However, these were typically viewed through the perspective of Spencer Reid, as Gideon was his mentor. To the dismay of fans, it has been revealed that Matthew Gray Gubler’s Spencer Reid will not return for Criminal Minds season 16. Since Reid is not returning, it seems unlikely that Jason Gideon will appear in flashback form. Mandy Patinkin has neither confirmed nor denied that he will appear in the Criminal Minds revival. Therefore, it is prudent to maintain a “never say never” mentality. However, given his dislike to the substance of the show, it is quite unlikely.