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To Watch Tonight: Mandy Patinkin's Awkward Finale on ‘Criminal Minds’

Photo: Getty Images

So tonight is the season premiere of CBS's semi-hit Criminal Minds, which means we're also nearing the finale for Mandy Patinkin's tenure on Criminal Minds. You may recall that the temperamental actor refused to show up to the set of his program when shooting began on the new season back in July, and eventually quit the show entirely, citing "creative differences." (In a hilarious move, the person who winkingly told reporters that "'creative differences' is a euphemism for 'personal issues'" was not some unnamed insider but the president of CBS Entertainment.)

But Patinkin, who is being replaced by Joe Mantegna, returned to shoot a finale for his character, Jason Gideon. We're sure that wasn't awkward at all. ("Uh, hey everyone, I left you all in the lurch and doomed the show, but I just wanted to come back to say good-bye!")

Tonight's episode is a holdover from last season — a case set on a college campus that was reportedly pulled owing to similarities to the Virginia Tech massacre. So it's unclear whether this is Patinkin's swan song or whether that happens next week. But whenever it does happen, how will Patinkin go out? Certainly in our dreams it's with a full song-and-dance number, but given the grimness of Criminal Minds, it's more likely he's facing a grisly decapitation. Luckily, Joe Mantegna is on the case!

Earlier: Mandy Patinkin Goes AWOL From ‘Criminal Minds’
Oh, Mandy, You Came and You Quit Your TV Show Without an Explanation