Criminal Minds has seen several cast changes over its seven-year run, and though Mandy Patinkin was not the first actor to leave the series, his exit sent shockwaves through the fan base and shocked his cast mates.
As Jason Gideon, Patinkin was the show's leading man and one of
the most well-known cast members at the start of the series. For the first two seasons, Gideon
was the wise man of the group, the one who had seen and done it all. His fellow team members
often looked to Gideon for insight into the cases, drawing on his vast experience in the science of
After Patinkin's departure, Joe Mantegna's David Rossi was brought in to partially fill
Gideon's shoes, at least as the team member with the most experience.