When Does Jason Gideon Die in “Criminal Minds”? In Which Episode is Gideon’s Death Revealed?



In the captivating series, “Criminal Minds,” the character of Jason Gideon portrayed by Mandy Patinkin, discontinued his contract with the directors in season 3. Later on, the character dies in Season 10, Episode 13, titled “Nelson’s Sparrow.” This article explores Jason Gideon’s death off-screen on “Criminal Minds.”


Mandel Bruce Patinkin

November 30, 1952 (age 71)

Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Education University of Kansas
Juilliard School
  • Actor
  • singer
Years active 1974–present
Known for Homeland
The Princess Bride
Sunday in the Park with George
Kathryn Grody

(m. 1980)

Children 2

Who is Jason Gideon in “Criminal Minds”?

Mandel Bruce Patinkin portrayed the role of Jason Gideon in “Criminal Minds,”  born on November 30, 1952. He was a prominent American actor and singer personality. He was well-recognized for his work in musical theatre, television, and film. He had collaborated with Stephen Sondheim and Andrew Lloyd Webber and came to the public eye.

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He received various awards like the Tony Award, a Primetime Emmy Award, and nominations including seven Drama Desk Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, and a Screen Actors Guild Award. He portrayed the roles of different characters in various movies and series such as Dr. Jeffrey Geiger in Chicago Hope (1994–2000), SSA Jason Gideon in the CBS crime-drama series Criminal Minds (2005–2007), and Saul Berenson in the Showtime drama series Homeland (2011–2020).

when does gideon die criminal minds

Why Did Mandy Patinkin Leave “Criminal Minds” After Season 2?

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Mandy Patinkin performed the role of Jason Gideon in “Criminal Minds.” He left the series because of changes made in the plot. A lot of his beloved fans were disappointed with his departure in season 3, episode 2, “In Name And Blood.” The director has made several changes and wrote the plot in more creative manner which will take place for the further installments of “Criminal Minds.”

The producers replaced his role and discontinued his contract of performing the role of Jason Gideon. It impacts the filming of the further installments as per the planning because of the change in storyline and his beloved fans who loved his on-screen presence. Explore, Cameron Boyce’s tragic death in his sleep.

How Did Nelson’s Sparrow” Offer More Time With Jason Gideon?

The director took so much time in figuring out a way to give audiences more time with the character so that they all do not lose their interest till the end. Later on, he molds the scenarios to go back to the late ’70s in Gideon’s early days in the BAU. The role was taken by Ben Savage as young Jason.

Additionally, flashbacks were also introduced to flesh out Gideon’s connection to Donnie Mallick so that Jason Gideon’s character portrayal was easily replaced with another cast member. Before proceeding further, take a look at the sudden death of Juan Gabriel.

How did Jason Gideon die on ‘Criminal Minds’?

Mandy disliked being on the show, leading to years of speculation about a possible return. However, these hopes were shattered when the remaining BAU members learned that Gideon had been killed off-screen by another serial killer, Donnie Mallick (Ayre Gross), in Season 10.

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In the heartbreaking episode “Nelson’s Sparrow,” the BAU investigates the death of their former mentor. Gideon is found shot to death in the same cabin where he had spent previous season. Erica said, “Having it be this character, who we haven’t seen in forever but we’re going to see where it started with him, it just felt right to see where it all ends for him… It felt like a really nice way of honoring Gideon. We don’t kill off our heroes very often.”

She added, “All of our fans who’ve been watching for 10 years, all of us who’ve been working here 10 years, and the actors who’ve been living these characters for 10 years — it was like, ‘Let’s give them some real drama. When it hits home, it doesn’t get more real than that.”

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when does gideon die criminal minds

Will Mandy Patinkin Return to Play Jason Gideon in the Future?

It is clearly said that Mandy Patinkin will not be returning to play Jason Gideon in the future because of the discontinuation of the contract. The fate of Jason Gideon was revealed in season 10. Meanwhile, he left the “Criminal Minds” during the filming of season 3. The showrunners manage the plot by making significant changes.

However, due to the character’s popularity, Mandy Patinkin is still remembered by the audience as he portrayed the role of Jason by representing his whole emotions with great effort to a large extent. Check, Lynja Cooking’s cause of death. What led to Lynja Cooking’s untimely demise?


To sum up everything, Jason Gideon’s death in “Criminal Minds” occurs off-screen and is revealed in Season 10, Episode 13, “Nelson’s Sparrow.” His murder by serial killer Donnie Mallick affects the BAU team.

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