Criminal Minds said goodbye to Thomas Gibson, its star who has been with the show since the beginning 12 years ago, by…not acknowledging his exit.
Gibson's last episode of Criminal Minds aired on CBS on Wednesday, Oct. 5 and there wasn't much fanfare. "Sick Day," the second episode of season 12, featured A.J. Cook's JJ predominately as she recounted the harrowing events of a case to her husband (Bill Stewart).
Meanwhile, Gibson's Aaron Hotchner and the rest of the Criminal Minds characters discussed the case and its impact on JJ. No big exit story for the character. Gibson took to Twitter on Thursday, Oct. 6, the day after his final episode aired.
"The outpouring of love and support is amazing and much appreciated by my family & me," he tweeted. "Thanks to all! #bestfansintheworld #ThankfulThursday"
The episode description for next week's episode, titled "Taboo," doesn't mention Gibson or his character: "The BAU welcomes back Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster) as they are called upon to investigate the disappearance of three women."Sherilyn Fenn will guest star as Gloria Barker.
Gibson was fired from Criminal Minds over the summer after an on-set altercation with a crewmember. According to Gibson, the cast was shooting a late night scene for the second episode and told writer-producer Virgil Williams that a line contradicted an earlier one. Gibson told People that Williams insisted the line be kept in, that it was necessary. After their conversation, Gibson said he told his fellow stars about the conversation when Williams entered the room they were in.
"He came into that room and started coming towards me. As he brushed past me, my foot came up and tapped him on the leg," Gibson said. "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."
Gibson was suspended and then dismissed following the altercation.
"Thomas Gibson has been dismissed from Criminal Minds," ABC Studios and CBS Studios, the production companies behind Criminal Minds, said in a statement when Gibson was fired. "Creative details for how the character's exit will be addressed in the show will be announced at a later date."
In the wake of his termination, CBS upped Paget Brewster from recurring cast member to series regular and added Damon Gupton to the cast. Before the start of season 12, CBS upped Aisha Tyler to series regular and Adam Rodriguez joined the cast.
"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," Gibson told People. "Maybe I'll do a comedy, or a play, or direct, or produce."
Criminal Minds airs Wednesdays, 9 p.m. on CBS.