Out of approximately 1,200 votes, half of the Redditors voted for Gideon, with Alex coming in second, and Kate in third. Gideon, played by Mandy Patinkin, was the senior profiler on the team for the first two seasons before Patinkin left the show and was replaced by Joe Mantegna as Rossi. Alex (Jeanne Tripplehorn), meanwhile, came in Season 8 after Emily (Paget Brewster) left and stayed for two seasons. Kate (Jennifer Love Hewitt) then replaced Alex in Season 10, before leaving at the end of the season — evidently, not every fan wanted her gone, as a few commenters argued in her favor.
However, Gideon got the most love in the comments, with fans voicing a particular interest in seeing him teamed up with Rossi, as they were once best friends who founded the BAU together. User u/ExpressIsland211 wrote a vivid description of how they imagined the potential dynamic: “Gideon and Rossi being the two exasperated parents to a team of grown up children (minus Hotch who’s like the uptight eldest sibling). Gideon is the wine mom who grounds them and likes sitting on a porch and looking at birds while Rossi is the cool vodka aunt with 3 failed marriages and hella cash money.” User u/Padamson96 agreed, saying, “The idea of an older Gideon and an older Rossi working together is so great it’s almost sinful.”
The only time the two characters are together in the series comes in Season 10 when the team finds out Gideon has been murdered. The episode gives a peek into Rossi and Gideon’s history through several flashbacks of their early days working together. One fan, user u/mr_mini_doxie, commented that they’d love to see more scenes of their younger selves. In a way, that’s probably more likely than Patinkin coming anywhere near “Criminal Minds” ever again.