Criminal Minds: Episode 12.04 Review – Can the show survive without Hotch?

Tonight is our first episode of “Criminal Minds” without Hotch and even though we haven’t seen any of it yet, we know this is going to be strange, much like it was when Shemar Moore left the show. Hotch is the rock on this team and to take him away, we just don’t really know how this show is going to continue. That being said, “NCIS” recently lost Michael Weatherly who was one of the major stars of that series and the show seems to be continuing on without too much of a bump, so let’s see what “Criminal Minds” has for us without our Hotch.

Hotch is not a man that would ever walk away from his job, not for his family, not for his friends, not even for himself, so knowing that he’s going to be leaving the team tonight, we are worried that he’s going to be leaving in a body bag. Not the way that we want to see him go out, but we just don’t have a good feeling about it.

We did learn more about Luke tonight – he’s a man in love with his dog. There doesn’t seem to be a woman in his life, but he’s pretty happy going on walks with his dog and giving her home made meals. He seems like a good guy and one that we wouldn’t mind seeing have a little romance happen with later in the season.

Paget Brewster is back as Emily, saying that she’s only in while Hotch is on special assignment – is there really going to be no resolution on Hotch’s exit tonight? We do have to say that we enjoyed the conversation between Luke and Emily as they got to know each other, not in a romantic way, but there’s a nice understanding there… better then whatever is going on between Garcia and Luke which just seems like a lot of angry tension.

With the fans already knowing that Hotch is gone from the show, we assume that they decided not to address it right away so that we could see the new team working together and get used to the group before the fan storm starts. Really it’s a bit of a disservice to the fans to stretch this out. We’ve already had to face the facts that Hotch is no longer part of the show, but leaving us hanging as to how he’s going out… not really the way to gain viewer support. Episode grade: C+