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Criminal Minds has a very special episode coming up. The long-running CBS show has signed on Girl Meets World actor Ben Savage to guest star in the series. The actor’s hop from the Disney Channel to CBS is a pretty strange and fun one, but what’s even more intriguing is the character that he will be playing. Savage is signed on to play Jason Gideon, a character originally played by Mandy Patinkin on the series.
Savage is quite a bit younger than Patinkin, which may help you to guess where this special episode will be going. Fans of the show will get to head back to the early days of the BAU, where a young Gideon and Rossi both work. The story will be told through a set of flashbacks from the older Rossi’s perspective. During the episode, a new case will present itself that triggers memories of the days young Rossi worked with young Gideon. For whatever reason, Savage seems totally suited to play the character. Maybe it's the curly hair, but more likely it's the serious look both actors are able to pull off (despite the fact that Savage's most famous character is known for being kind of goofy).
The episode will be the first time that the character of Gideon has appeared onscreen since he left Criminal Minds at the end of Season 3. Obviously, since Patinkin left on less-than-great terms with the series (and has moved on to Homeland), actually having the actor back to play the role was out of the question. However, Criminal Minds writer Erica Messer tells TV Guide is a “love letter” to fans of the show.
Along with Ben Savage, Robert Dunne will also pop up in the flashback episode, playing the young version of Agent Rossi. We’ve seen Dunne once before on Criminal Minds. He appeared in a 2012 episode called “The Fallen,” during which the BAU was dealing with cases of burnt bodies showing up in Santa Monica. While there, Rossi realized one of the homeless men living on the streets was actually a man he served with in Vietnam.
It’ll still be some time before Savage makes his big Criminal Minds debut. The special flashback episode is expected to be the 13th of the season, which should hit the schedule after the winter hiatus. In the meantime, you can catch new Season 10 episodes, also featuring new character Agent Kate Callahan, on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET.