honestly though, hotch has had no story for the past like… few seasons???
Personal interpretation, but imo, Hotch’s arc with the reaper and haley and jack would have reached it’s full potential and been said and done with, after Hotch moved on with somebody else and was happy, hence the stuff Haley asked him to do/be when on the phone with him before she died. His healing and happiness would have ended the arc, it would have shown that he had created an effective work/life balance (what broke him and haley up to start with) and it would show that Foyet had not broken him, because Hotch could be happy and move on with somebody else.
A wrench was thrown in the works when Bellamy Young got her job on Scandal, not anybody’s fault, and tbh considering the fact that having her be there but not be there like Reid’s mom is would have completely stagnated the plot the exact same way as it has having written her out, i’m not overtly fussed by them writing her out, we’d have just gotten a total cop out the other way and i’m not a fan.
But the fact stands that after writing her out, they haven’t come up with anything for Hotch at all. They have rehashed and rehashed the Haley thing, and yes, that’s always going to be in his life, but it sure as hell isn’t going to be the only thing in his life. With the absence of a figure like Strauss, minor conflict about his position as leader is even taken away. Strauss always kept them in line, you can say any justifiable comments about the presence of her own motives, but the only time she stepped out of her bounds was when she asked Emily for dirt. All other things she did were appropriate actions, because Hotch and the team’s actions are not ones they’d get away with and she was their boss.
Nowadays they yell at the senate, yell at serious committees and whatever intelligence agency that was in 200, and play it off like they’d get away with it when it reality, best case scenario they’d all be reassigned, or worse case some kind of government body would try to limit BAU funding or try to wreck them totally.
Basically, we’ve had nothing good from hotch since, oh, season seven? Maybe 8 if we’re feeling generous. The 2 minutes of angst at the end of Mr Scratch do not count, that’s not a plot, that’s a shock value twist, especially if Hotch can get away from any issues about it by A) apparently being really generous on his report of the incident and B) low key threatening that dude who called him on it (over a season later with 0 references to it inbetween), then it’s not a story, its’s a reference.
Maybe they were going to give him something else this season, we don’t know, but Thomas Gibson’s best contributions to CM as of late have been his directing, which always end up being some of the few episodes of this show with actual artful cinematography, and to be honest, that’s actually what i’m going to miss most at this point. Hotch hasn’t been a major irreplaceable figure in this show for seasons now, anybody in a suit could rattle off the commands he does because nothing is personal with him anymore. They gave up writing him material.
so really the #nohotchnowatch hashtag confounds me because really and honestly hotch hasn’t been a serious part of this show for literal years.