‘Criminal Minds’: Hotch Once Crossed the Line When It Came to a Recurring Villain

by Chase Thomas

“Criminal Minds” was an iconic show on CBS for fifteen seasons on the network. One of the reasons it soared for as long as it did was because of the electric cast of characters that folks loved. A big change early on for the podcast was when Agent Gideon left and Agent Hotch took over. Fans’ favorite seasons occurred during this era. However, there was one time when Agent Hotch crossed the line when it came to a recurring villain.

It all had to do with The Reaper. The Reaper was perhaps the biggest villain throughout the show’s run in its entirety. He was a serial killer that began in Boston but stopped after agreeing to a secret deal with the FBI over a decade prior. That all changes when the agent responsible for the deal passes away. Instead, Hotch and The Reaper go at it throughout Seasons 4 and 5.

Ultimately, though, it ends with George Foyet, who was The Reaper, targeting Hotch’s family. After finally catching him at his own home, Hotch cannot control himself and beats the serial killer to death after what he had done to his family.

It was a sad and terrifying culmination of one of the biggest storylines on the program.

Joe Mantegna on ‘Criminal Minds’

Along with Agent Hotch, Joe Mantegna was also a big-time character for many years on “Criminal Minds”. He replaced Agent Gideon after Season 2 as the veteran in the BAU. However, his role could not have been more different. Mantegna was more of a veteran assistant, while Gideon ran the BAU. He worked with Hotch and the rest of the team to make sure everyone was OK.

Mantegna told CBS on “Criminal Minds”, “It was actually what I was looking for and I’m glad it worked out.” He continued, “The trick is to find something that has legs and I loved doing it. I was one of the guys and I wanted it that way. I came in season three and I thought this was a tremendous ensemble. Each one had the strength to carry an episode on their own. Their characters were strong. I’m not campaigning to lead the parade. I wanted to be the older curmudgeon who mixed it up and rocked the boat every once in a while.”

He really loved working on the show for over a decade. Part of what made Mantegna want to stay on the show for as long as he did was the cast of characters he got to work with each day. He believed in the show and loved who he worked with. So he stayed on.

Mantegna is also reportedly returning to the revival on Paramount+. You can watch “Criminal Minds” on Paramount+.