Sunday, March 18, 2007


Lets discuss Criminal Minds character Aaron Hotchner portrayed by Thomas Gibson. Any thoughts? :)


Anonymous said...

It's hard to say because seeing this picture, my only thoughts are what a handsome man Thomas Gibson is.

And of course, Hotch is great.

Anonymous said...

I think he is a very ambitious man with goals of being the FBI top dog one day. I think he is way too intense and an ulcer waiting to happen.

Anonymous said...

I love the sensitivity of Hotch, the way he cares about his family, his team, the victims. He tries to control his emotions but sometimes the feelings come through so clearly. That is when you understand the true depth of this character.

Anonymous said...

I like the character of Hotch. I like the relationship he has with Gideon. I think he is much more sensitive than we sometimes give him credit for.

Anonymous said...

I mentioned in a previous post how I thought the character Hotch has many layers. He is a family man, and he is certainly a mentor. He has a lot of trust in his agents, and lets them make their own mistakes, to a point.

I don’t feel he is driven enough to move up in the FBI. He does not take credit for things others do nor does he actively play politics (at least as we have seen). If he were actively pursuing the director job, he would seek jobs in the organization that would give him face time with those in charge. The BAU meets his needs to make a difference, but it does not put him in contact with the higher ranking agents.

What really seems to drive him is the reason he went to the FBI to begin with; to have more control at the front end of an investigation than being a prosecutor allows.

Anonymous said...

I think he is chased by demons from his past that we do not understand yet. I like his relationships with the other unit members. I wish he didn't always seem so sad.

Anonymous said...

I agree that he does have many layers. I think that we do not yet really understand them all. He certainly is a good leader and everyone on his team trusts him and looks to him for leadership and guidance.

Anonymous said...

I used to think that he had higher amibitions, like being the director of the FBI, but now I don't think so. He never puts himself first. It is always the team and the job.

In Sex, Birth, Death, he wrestled with his ambitions and in the end made the right decision to catch the serial killer, not to pander to the congresswoman. I admired him for that.

He also feels very deeply about his family and about his team. In Pshychodrama, he keeps looking at the video of Jack, his son, and had tears in his eyes because they found out that he has a health problem. When they catch the unsub, he is really harsh with him by not letting the EMT give the unsub a painkiller because the unsub killed a child.

In Lessons Learned he struggled with breaking national security to call Hailey to tell her not to go to the shopping center and with Morgan's urging made the right decision to call her. Someone said that he didn't give her much chance to answer the phone, but I think that he probably called her cell phone, as she was supposed to be either on her way to the shopping center or already there, and it was probably turned off and went straight into voice mail.

And in Revelation, he asked the team members what his worst qualities were to make the point that Reid was giving them a clue when he named Hotch as the person to kill and said that he always put himself first, etc. He wasn't put off by what they thought about him, he wanted to make the point and find Reid.

I agree that he tries to hide his emotions, but when they come through, you see a wonderful man with depth that he usually tries to hide.

I really do like Hotch and his suits and ties. He is a perfect foil to Gideon and his very casual attire. You need both to make a good team.

Elizabeth Bear said...

I adore Hotch. I think he's a fascinating character. Like most of the team, he's at first presented as a stereotype, but as you get to know him, you realize that the cliche could not be more wrong. Because the ambitious, buttoned-down, suit and tie FBi guy is the one who washes the blood off Elle's wall, the one who shows up to help Reid with his firearms qual, the one who is Gideon's partner and shoulder to cry on, and a thousand other scutwork jobs.

He's a caretaker.

And there's a heavy irony in that he finds it easier to caretake his co-workers than his own family.

lisaw918 said...

Bear: my turn...what you said :D

he finds it easier to caretake his co-workers than his own family

Because those are the problems he knows how to deal with. Hotch has that gift of turning his own nightmares into the power of empathy that Morgan was telling Reid about. Hotch hates his job once in a while (Psychodrama), or more than once in a while, but in the end, there isn't anything he'd rather do, otherwise he'd go back to prosecuting, or something that would let him spend more time at home. And his co-workers are his brothers in arms, and not only does he see it as his duty to take care of them, he feels it as a personal failure when something's wrong. I think his guilt over Elle is always there, otherwise he probably wouldn't have treated Prentiss like she had some kind of contagious disease after he found out she was joining the team. He even mentions Elle when he's interrogating Emily about her supposed political agenda. He's like a mother bird guarding a nest :D And it's such a funny image combined with his immaculate poise and stoicism. Which is why I love him to pieces. And Thomas Gibson plays it so expertly.

Elizabeth said...

There are so many reasons that I love Hotch and him washing the blood off Elle's wall is one of them.

I love the way that he "mothers" the other characters - he understands them and he knows what they need from him. He took on the guilt over Elle - when it was Gideon who called the press conference. And he let the others criticise him in Revelations, without challenging anything they said, because he needed them to understand the point he was making.

I think Thomas Gibson does a wonderful job with Hotch. You see emotion flicker across his face and immediately understand the deeper feelings within Hotch that he will not allow himself to express.

Hotch reassures Gideon and holds him up, and he connects with Reid in a very different way to the other characters. A superbly written and played role.

I would like to see Hotch really lose it at some point. I can see him as the kind of man who actually only loses his temper properly once every ten years or so, because he is so afraid of being completely out of control.


Elizabeth Bear said...


Yes, I agree, it would be interesting to see Hotch really lose his temper. Mostly because it would be interesting to see what it would take to push him that far.

We've seen hints of his vindictive side (in Psychodrama or Riding the Lightning), and I'm really looking forward to learning more about his background, and getting the hints we've seen sorted out.

Lisa, I love the image of Hotch as a mother bird. It's so true.

On the surface, Hotch seems like he should be, you know, the father figure of the group. And he's so the mom. *g*

Elizabeth said...

Elizabeth Bear said
Yes, I agree, it would be interesting to see Hotch really lose his temper. Mostly because it would be interesting to see what it would take to push him that far.

I wonder - just what would push Hotch over the edge? I do wonder if Tobias had still been alive at the end of Revelations whether Hotch would have lost it with him. But I think it is more likely that maybe Hotch would only break if he was alone with nobody else to see it.


Anonymous said...

I was never a huge fan of Hotch's until I bought the first season and watched it a million times and I realized how much I LOVED this character. I realy would like to see an extension on the whole whether or not he was abused as a child, and I love that he has a family because it shows us a different kind of struggle that these characters and the real BAU have to face. I like his interaction with the other characters as well, I really want to see him talk to Reid about the struggles since he had such an integral part in Revelations. He takes so much heat and I feel sorry for him. I would like to see more about his family, the episode where he's watching his son walk on his ?blackberry? is so touching. I want to see his character come undone, like in the one ep where he gets choked and Gideon's like loosen your tie for once in your life. He's so tense I would like to see him vulnerable.

Anonymous said...

hotch is a cool guy

Anonymous said...

I love Hotch, I think he has so many different levels to him, even some we havne't yet got to explore. How he manges to be a family man, yet work the job he does is amazing. I know he's a fictional character, but its amazing, because there are people out there like him.

Basically, I say bravo to the writers and bravo to Thomas, as they have both managed to create a character that really captures you.

Also, he's hot too, so that definetly helps! :P
(Sorry, crazed fangirl moment!)

Anonymous said...

I think he is the character that I have the hardest time figuring out. Without knowing his full past story I have a hard time sometimes trying to figure out or predicting what his reactions to situations is going to be.

Elizabeth Bear said...

Oh, the other thing I adore about Hotch is his absolute integrity. That's a rare thing, and I love him for it.

He tells the mother in Blood Hungry that he wouldn't clean up the blood, and when it comes down to it... he won't cover for Elle.

slashgirl said...

I've watched CM since the beginning (I was intrigued with the commercials and that TG and MP were both in it). The first few eps, I was getting to know the characters, but after LDSK, I definitely liked Hotch but I think it was Derailed that made me a Hotch girl, through and through. When they're talking to Reid, just before he goes on the train, and Reid asks that at least one of them look like they're going to see him again, it is Hotch who says "See you when you get back," almost instantly. He was the only one who said anything. It brought home for me that he really DOES care about his team.

People who watch the show only casually, see someone whom they say is stiff and unfeeling. I say they're not watching the show very well at all if that's what they take away from his character. He's so very much not that--as Eliz. B. says, he's the caretaker ("Mom") of the team. And Thomas Gibson does a wonderful job with this character--he often does more with a look or gesture than some do with a page of dialogue.

From seemingly little things (like the scene in Derailed) to the big things, like washing the blood off Elle's walls to putting his ego on the shelf in Revelations, allowing the others to criticise him to prove Reid was sending them a message--he looks after his team as best he can and the team members.

I find it interesting that so many people see him as ambitious and wanting, say, to be the FBI director one day. It's interesting because I don't think we've ever heard, or seen any indication from Hotch himself that he is that ambitious. It's always other people saying that to him--Broken Mirror and Sex, Birth, Death come to mind. He may have ambitions, but as SBD proved, he IS willing to play outside the political "rules" if it is necessary.

I agree with both Elizabeths--it would be interesting to see Hotch really lose it, because I honestly don't think we have. (And might I add, I don't think I'd want to be the one he lost it with...) It would be very interesting to see what would make him lose it.

I am really hoping that they will give us more of Hotch's backstory--I want to know what's contributed to makeing him the man he is.

And the fact that he's so damned good looking is just a bonus. Really! *G*

Anonymous said...

When you mentioned the cleaning up of blood you reminded me of the last scene in FK2 when he went to Elle's and cleaned her walls. I felt like he was trying to clean away the guilt he felt for sending her home. It was a moving scene.

lisaw918 said...

I felt like he was trying to clean away the guilt he felt for sending her home.

Oh, definitely. It's an absolution, washing away his sins. And then it fades out to the credits. It takes my breath away every time.

I agree that it's always other people telling Hotch he's ruthlessly ambitious, and I think it's his strong leadership, his inflexible integrity and -- on the surface -- unfeeling demeanor that make people outside his inner circle think he's striving for the Director's office. For instance, the fact that he won't cover for Elle: he would arrest her if he could. He's not keeping her secret out of loyalty to her, but because he has no proof, and that unwillingness to compromise his integrity or his job can (and is, we've seen) be mistaken for "stepping on" others to get to the top. But the team knows him better, although he cultivates that Boss persona pretty assiduously. But...he lets it crack when necessary. And if what the unsub in "Broken Mirror" said affected Hotch at all, it was only to plant doubts about his team's faith in him in his mind (which we don't know). He is quick to feel that he's to blame for what happened to Elle, for her shooting and her switch to the Dark Side of the Force. And he's obsessively concerned with Gideon's mental state. I think part of his devotion to the mother bird role is his deep-seated fear of not being a reliable safety net for his team members, of not being there when they need him.

Anonymous said...

Hotch is such a complex character, I am always amazed at him. I don't understand how anyone says he is unfeeling or static, to me he is very, very dynamic. Sure, he doesn't smile much (but when he does he lights up the camera!), but in reality most of them don't smile all that much (except Garcia, bless her little heart).

I think he's got a story to tell yet, and it will come out in a bang. I do want to know if he has a past as well (from "Natural Born Killer" ending).

He cares very much for his team, often so much so that he puts their needs above his own. He is there for all of the characters, as others have said - the gun qual. training, little words of wisdom or courage, cleaning up Elle's home, etc.

I really enjoy Hotch and I love the mystery as well as the security that he brings to the team. He's very unique, as are all of the characters, and brings something very special to the CM set.

Anonymous said...

I think one of the common denominators in all the characters is guilt and Hotch has guilty written all over his face. He has so much responsibility and there are going to be missteps and then he is responsible. He has a shrew of a wife that makes sure he always feels guilty and he carries secrets from his past that seem to sadden him. Very troubled soul this one is.

Anonymous said...

It broke me to tears. Actual tears watching him roll up his sleeves and scrub the wall in Elle's apartment. Only he would have even thought to do that for her. And the look on his face was enough to make the Pope cry.

Anonymous said...

"Let me count the ways"...I can't! TOO MANY. Of course, Hotch is my favorite. Part of that is probably because of the "mystery" behind his life, which we get moments shared at times. I think he is much more complex than shown so far, but we will get to know more as episodes escalate. HOPE SO ANYHOW!

Anonymous said...

I really like the character Hotch. To me, his look and demeanor epitomizes the typical
FBI agent.....always wearing a suit and tie, shades, blank expression. LOL! I love his take charge nature and he knows how to get people to do what he wants. He's a true leader. I like the way he uses his skills to reach an unsub and figure out the unsubs next move.

Although I really love the character, I would like to see what Hotch is like if he really let his hair down. Wear a pair of jeans, smile more, tell a joke or two. He also appears to be untrusting of people's motives....the way he gave Prentiss a hard time when she showed up for her first day of work. I think there's so much about him that he internalizes and doesn't let anyone in.....even with his wife.

I would also like to see him be a little more physical. Morgan can't do it all. Other than that, he's a great leader and profiler, and definitely an asset on the team. I think he will go far in his career and he seems to be driven to do just that.

Anonymous said...

To me, Hotch is definitely the loving father. Stern when he has to be, but even when reprimanding Reid for shooting off rockets in the office (they all knew better) he laughs about it, and actually compliments the "skill." I can just see my dad "You kow you're not allowed to throw things in the house" followed immediately by "Good shot."
I can't wait until we get more backstory, was he abused, he's certainly very protective of the people around him. He's so certain he knows what's right for his brother, then realizes he can't make those choices for him, he protects him the only way he can, by providing a safety net and letting him fly.
He has no tolerance for deception -this shows strongly when he thinks Emily is talking to the congresswoman in SBD.
He says he has no sense of humor - his first thought of his flaws - but it does come out, remember The Tribe "You sound like a fortune cookie," but when the team shows up he quotes the same proverb.
When he's talking to Elle, "You know what you did, and you need to be hinest with yourself," I wonder if he's thinking about when he shot the killer in Real Rain. Did he shoot when he didn't have to? He knows what living with your choices means.
He's respectful of his teammates even when he is in bully/drill sergeant mode. He'll give orders, pull rank, but he's never insulting or cruel.
He and the rest of the team, are so in tune, I love in Big Game, Agent Franks is being stubborn, "I've looked through the files," he just steps back and let's JJ do her thing, a simple look and a nods and she jumps in and flirts her way into the file room. Sex as a weapon, not exactly P.C. police work, but you use every tool available to you. I have to wonder though, if that's the kind of thing that makes JJ call him a bully, but you know that he would have set Morgan on a woman if the situation were reversed.
I love seeing him with his family. He married his high school sweetheart and they've been together for twenty years. It's obvious that he loves Hayley and she loves him. Yes, she hates that his job takes him away from her, but she knows how important it is to him. She'll never love it, but she tolerates it, because it's who he is. I truly hope the writers never decide to use marital strife as a plot device, a little bickering, a little unhappiness maybe, but she and Jack are truly the most important things in his life, it would destroy him if he lost them.
I think he has thought about moving above the BAU, but not until he's done there. I think one day he'll wake up and realize he doesn't belong in the director's office, that a step up isn't always a step forward, on the other hand, he definitely has the skills and the drive to make it in a higher position. He'll see to much, do too much, out and out age, and when he does, he'll rise not fall.


lisaw918 said...

He has no tolerance for deception

You're so right there. In "Profiler, Profiled" he gets madder and madder as they uncover more and more bits of Morgan's past, and he even says to Gideon that they can't put up with secrets. Which seems like kind of a ridiculous line, in spite of the fact that, as Morgan says, they all practically live together; everyone has secrets. Sometimes they're not particularly important or interesting, but there are always secrets. And I'm glad Gideon called him on that; if it had been anyone else, I would have been annoyed, but Gideon has the right to outright contradict him :)

Sex as a weapon, not exactly P.C. police work, but you use every tool available to you. [...] you know that he would have set Morgan on a woman if the situation were reversed.

I also love that little nod in acceptance of her tactics and getting the job done :) The Big Game/Revelations really endeared J.J. to me once and for all. And Hotch is so funny. He would definitely sic Morgan on a female detective who was being uncooperative :D

Anonymous said...

I like him. He is so different at home then we see him on his job. I like that fact that he has a family, and we can see that soft spot. I like "Ashes and Dust" as we saw more of that on the episode.

Anonymous said...

I just started watching the show and already I love Hotch to pieces. I hate to ask this, but my curiosity is killing me: Does Hotchner's family die? Someone informed me that they did- is this true?!

Criminal Minds Fan said...

Glad that you found the show and welcome to the blog. Hotch's family is alive and well. :)

Anonymous said...

he's my favorite, I know that much. his character is constantly concerned with the needs of others and therefore puts his own needs last, which is something I can identify with. a lot of people look at his surface and think he is this unfeeling person, but the truth is he's probably the most emphathetic character around...he's just that much better at hiding his true emotion. I think that I can identify with his character more so than the rest, and this is why he is my favorite.


Anonymous said...

Hotch's ability to get the job done is an awsome example of "lead by example". This trait really shines in "Natural Born Killers". The killer gets the jump on Hotch and chokes him until he pisses on himself. Once the Unsub is apprehended Hotch does not change his underwear...he simply lets it dry and keeping doing his job. Don't understand that one but gotta respect him.

Unknown said...

i like hotch and i cant believe in the end of series 5 he might get killed being as theres a random man in his apartment :(:( i liked him aswell n now i gotta wait for agess :(

Anonymous said...

I am not really understanding Hotch's character in season 5... He was extremely fragile in ep 1, clearly PTSD in ep 2, but quite "normal" in ep 3... Any thoughts? Yes, he is complex, but he does not seem coherent at all in this season...

Anonymous said...

Hotch's ability to keep focus on the task at hand is amazing. At he beginning of one episode; he accidently staple his left testicle to his leg. Not only does he not seek medical attention...but proceeds with assisting his team in catching the UNSUB and finally succumbing to the pain and passes out while on plane on the way home. That's what you call putting the team and mission first.