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Why Did Mandy Patinkin Leave Criminal Minds After Season 2?

Mandy Patinkin Leave "Criminal Minds" After Season 2
Mandy Patinkin Leave "Criminal Minds" After Season 2(credit: Looper)

Mandy Patinkin played FBI Special Agent Jason Gideon on Criminal Minds until well into season 2, but the acclaimed actor left the crime drama for a variety of reasons. Only a few of Criminal Minds’ initial stars survived until the season 15 finale, giving the procedural series, which originally aired from 2005 to 2020, a reputation for its rotating cast.

Regardless of the early exit of many key members of the cast and figures, such as Aaron Hotchner, played by Thomas Gibson, and Derek Morgan, played by Shemar Moore, Gideon’s absence from Criminal Minds had an instant and observable impact on the program.

Criminal Minds’ lead actor when it initially debuted was Mandy Patinkin, who is most remembered for performing Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride. The extended absence of Criminal Minds’ leading man at the beginning of season 2 showed the ephemerality of the BAU Agents, even though Lola Glaudini, who played Ellie Greenaway, left the show earlier in the same year. 

Mandy Patinkin played FBI Special Agent Jason Gideon on Criminal Minds

Mandy Patinkin played FBI Special Agent Jason Gideon on Criminal Minds (credit: Screen Rant)

Why Mandy Patinkin Actually Left Criminal Minds

According to Distractify, Mandy Patinkin’s character Jason Gideon left the program because of mental health problems following the murder of his lover. He doesn’t have a lot of nice memories of his on-screen character now that Patinkin has gone on. In reality, he believed it to be an error.

Patinkin revealed his true feelings about his character on “Criminal Minds” and the program as a whole in a 2012 interview with New York Magazine. The decision to undertake “Criminal Minds” in the first place, he admitted, was his “worst public error ever.”

He added, “It seemed unusual to me, in my opinion. I never imagined that they would rape and kill all of these women every day, every week, and year after year. My soul and my personality were severely damaged by it. I assumed I would never again be able to work on television after that.”

The reason for Patinkin’s departure from “Criminal Minds” was creative differences. Patinkin would be aware of the brutality in the show and its underlying messages the next time he took on a part similar to it. He found the role of Saul Berenson in Showtime’s “Homeland” to be a refreshing shift.

The reason for Patinkin's departure from "Criminal Minds" was creative differences

The reason for Patinkin’s departure from “Criminal Minds” was creative differences(credit: woman and home magazine)

Later, the “Criminal Minds” star expressed regret for his abrupt departure

Mandy Patinkin, however, changed his position after publishing his article in The New Yorker for a year. He also stated that he should not have used such harsh language in public. He confessed, “I behaved abominably,” to New York Times Magazine. When the second interview rolled around, news had spread that Patinkin had abruptly quit Criminal Minds. He merely ceased to arrive at work.

And since Patinkin thought it was appropriate to criticize the show, a few of the cast members decided to offer their commentary. The actor, according to one of the executive producers, was “the father who just never comes home after going out for a carton of milk.”

Patinkin was tremendously challenging to deal with, director Ashlee Lapine said in response to the New York Times. Surprisingly, she said, “He’s not neurotic.” He is a myope. He would become so engrossed in his job and was also portraying an obsessive, which goes hand in hand.

Mandy Patinkin has become more conscious of how his roles affect others

In his lengthy acting career, Mandy Patinkin has been in four television shows. In addition to “Homeland” and “Criminal Minds,” he also starred in “Dead Like Me” and “Chicago Hope,” according to IMDb. Sadly, his employment in those programs was short-lived.

Before “Criminal Minds,” Patinkin starred in “Chicago Hope,” which was canceled in 2000 after six seasons. However, he gave it up in 1995 as he was confident that was what he wanted. Patinkin told New York Magazine in 2012 that he rarely got to see his 2 kids because they were so little and because he and his wife Kathryn Grody were performing sixteen-hour days. After two seasons, “Dead Like Me” was discontinued in 2004.

Mandy Patinkin has become more conscious of how his roles affect others

Mandy Patinkin has become more conscious of how his roles affect others(credit: Rolling stone)

As Patinkin develops in his work, he is aware that he must uphold his principles. When asked about the violence in “Homeland,” Patinkin said that because the show’s message is very different from that of “Criminal Minds,” he feels more at ease watching it.

“I’m not evaluating the flavor,” he declared. “But I’m worried about the outcome. These programs serve as bedtime stories for viewers all across the world. You shouldn’t be fantasizing about this. A program like “Homeland” is the cure. It questions why violence is even necessary in the first place.”

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