Why Some Criminal Minds Fans Love Rossi But Hate Gideon

Why Some Criminal Minds Fans Love Rossi But Hate Gideon
Table Of Content


Criminal Minds is one of the most popular crime drama shows on television. It follows a group of criminal profilers in the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit as they use psychological profiling to track down dangerous serial killers and criminals. The show has a huge and dedicated fanbase who love theorizing about cases and analyzing the characters.

Like with any fandom, there are always characters who some fans love and others really dislike or even hate. Two of the main characters who tend to get more divisive reactions from fans are David Rossi and Jason Gideon.

David Rossi's Character

David Rossi, played by Joe Mantegna, joined the BAU team in season 3 after Gideon's departure. He was one of the founding members of the BAU and came out of retirement to return to the unit.

Rossi is known for his experience, Italian heritage, appreciation of fine food and wine, and three marriages. He often acts as the father figure and mentor to the other profilers on the team. Some of his strengths are his interrogation skills, ability to crack tough cases, and providing stability to the team.

However, Rossi can also be arrogant, old-school, and set in his ways. He can clash with other team members, especially younger ones like Reid or Garcia, if they challenge his methods. Rossi has had to learn to be more open-minded and flexible since originally founding the BAU.

Why Fans Love Rossi

There are many reasons David Rossi has become a fan-favorite character over the seasons:

  • His experience and legendary status in the BAU provides wisdom and perspective to the team
  • He acts as a mentor for younger team members like Reid and Seaver
  • Rossi re-opened cold cases that still haunted him and brought closure to families
  • He values family and traditions as seen through cooking Italian meals for the team
  • Rossi provides stability and structure after Gideon's abrupt departure
  • He has entertaining quirks like his love of fine wines and spirits

Rossi's character development from stubborn legend to more open-minded team player has endeared him to many fans over the years. His friendship with Hotch and Garcia, and mentorship of Reid, make him a beloved part of the BAU family.

Why Some Fans Dislike Rossi

However, Rossi is not universally loved by all Criminal Minds fans. Here are some common critiques of his character:

  • He can come across as arrogant and dismissive of other team members' perspectives
  • His old-school methods aren't always effective anymore and he clashes with the younger profilers
  • Rossi didn't always take advantage of opportunities for character growth and development
  • He can lack empathy and warmth in his interpersonal relationships
  • Some fans think three failed marriages makes him poorly suited for relationship advice

While Rossi has plenty of admirable traits, he can occasionally butt heads with other characters and fans. His stubbornness and arrogance early on alienated some viewers. However, over time he has evolved into a more sympathetic character.

Jason Gideon's Character

Jason Gideon, played brilliantly by Mandy Patinkin, was the BAU's Senior Supervisory Special Agent before his abrupt departure in season 3. He was widely considered one of the most brilliant criminal profilers in the FBI.

Gideon had an eidetic memory, immense knowledge of psychology, and genius-level IQ. He excelled at getting into the minds of serial killers and understanding their motives. Gideon focused intensely on saving lives above all else.

However, the harrowing cases took their toll on Gideon over the years. He struggled with PTSD, nervous breakdowns, and became increasingly unstable. Gideon was left jittery and paranoid by the time he left the BAU.

Why Fans Love Gideon

During his time leading the BAU, Gideon gained a strong fan following. Here are some of the reasons fans connected with him:

  • His brilliant mind and profiling skills made him fascinating to watch
  • Gideon cared deeply about understanding killers' motives to prevent further murders
  • He acted as a father figure and mentor to the young Dr. Spencer Reid
  • Gideon had strong morals and drive to save innocent lives
  • His struggle with PTSD and trauma from the job made him sympathetic
  • Mandy Patinkin's acting brought Gideon to life memorably

For many fans, Gideon was the anchor of the early seasons. His obsession with getting into killers' heads and tragic downfall made him a compelling character.

Why Some Fans Dislike Gideon

However, Gideon is also divisive among a portion of the Criminal Minds fandom. Some common criticisms of his character include:

  • His abrupt exit from the show in season 3 felt unsuitable for the character
  • Gideon acted selfishly and left the BAU in the lurch after his departure
  • His PTSD and issues compromised his abilities as a profiler
  • He seemed to become pretentious and elitist over time
  • Gideon didn't show warmth or teamwork skills with most members besides Reid

While undoubtedly a skilled profiler, Gideon’s flaws and sudden departure disappointed some fans who wanted a proper exit for such a major character. The mystery around why he left still confuses many viewers.

Reasons for Division Among Fans

The differences in how fans view Rossi and Gideon comes down to several key factors:

Departures From the Show

How each character left the show greatly impacted fans' perceptions. Rossi returned to the BAU to replace the beloved Gideon after his sudden departure. This led to some initial unfair blame and hostility from fans toward Rossi for 'replacing' Gideon.

Meanwhile, Gideon's unexplained exit in season 3 left many fans feeling betrayed. They didn't get closure or a proper farewell for such a pivotal character. This still confuses many viewers on re-watches.

Morality and Ethics

Gideon was viewed by fans as the epitome of morality and duty on the show. When his PTSD compromised this image, it disappointed fans who wanted him to remain strong. Rossi's looser ethics and arrogance weren't as easily accepted.

Teamwork and Leadership

As the BAU's original leader, Gideon was integral to the show's early seasons and cases. His bond with Reid and strict leadership style set the tone. Rossi's clashing leadership approach didn't land the same for some fans.

Actor Portrayals

Both Mandy Patinkin and Joe Mantegna brought gravitas and charisma to their roles. However, Patinkin's emotional portrayal of Gideon really resonated with viewers. Mantegna had the challenging task of stepping in mid-show to replace a beloved character.


David Rossi and Jason Gideon represent two of the BAU's most legendary profilers. Both characters have strengths and flaws that resonate differently with viewers. Their popularity comes down to factors like leadership style, morals, teamwork ability and how they left the show.

While Gideon is remembered for his complex characterization and sudden exit, Rossi grew into a new leadership role over time. There are great arguments on both sides about which character best represents the spirit of the BAU. At the end of the day, Criminal Minds wouldn't have been the same without the rich contributions of both Rossi and Gideon.

The show's ability to spark such debate within its passionate fanbase demonstrates the compelling nature of the characters. Even if you passionately love one and dislike the other, that shows how fully realized they both were on the show.


Why did Jason Gideon leave Criminal Minds?

Gideon's departure after season 3 was never fully explained on the show. It is hinted that the harrowing cases took a severe mental toll, leading to his PTSD and breakdown. Gideon felt he could no longer effectively lead the BAU team, so he abruptly resigned.

Did Rossi replace Gideon on Criminal Minds?

Yes, after Gideon unexpectedly resigned in season 3, David Rossi was brought back to the BAU from retirement to take over Gideon's role as Senior Supervisory Special Agent and lead the team. This cast change was difficult for fans initially.

Why do some fans dislike Rossi?

Some common critiques of Rossi's character are his arrogance, clashing leadership style compared to Gideon, and lack of warmth in some relationships. His old-school ways led to disagreements with younger team members. Replacing a beloved character also unfairly biased some fans.

What are David Rossi's best qualities?

Fans appreciate Rossi's experience, mentorship of younger agents, re-opening cold cases, valuing family traditions, and providing stability after Gideon's exit. His character growth into a more open-minded team player has redeemed him over time.

Why was Gideon such a memorable character?

Gideon's brilliant profiling skills, complex PTSD storyline, and dedication to understanding killers made him fascinating to watch. His role as a mentor to Reid and the BAU's original leader established him as a cornerstone of the early seasons.

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