| Aaron Hotchner Biography: |
- Aaron "Hotch" Hotchner is the head of the BAU Team. His story revolves around balancing his family life and career. He was the only married team member through the middle of Season Three. At the beginning of Season Three, Haley has had enough of Hotch choosing career over his family, so she leaves and files for divorce. Their young son, Jack (who was born in Season 1) lives primarily with his mother, Haley, in the family home after their divorce. Hotch moves into an apartment. Prior to joining the BAU, he was a lawyer, a prosecutor and at one point, SWAT. He sometimes teaches hostage situations and negotiations. He is silent, smiles very little and shares little of his personal life. Like the others, as Season 2 came around, we learned more about Hotch and some of his family life.
- In Season One, we met Hotch's younger brother, Sean (then 25) in the episode "The Tribe."
- Hotch was abused, which is revealed to us in Season 1, Episode 8. He is talking to a serial killer and tells him that not all people who are abused grow up to be serial killers. He tells him that some grow up to catch the killers. He was referring to himself. This may be the reason why Hotch never smiles and has no sense of humor.
- As of Season 3, Hotch's professional and personal lives didn't mesh well. With Gideon having resigned from the BAU, Hotch stepped up and filled the role vacated by Gideon. He slowly became the father figure for the rest of the team that Gideon was. For the most part, Hotch still kept his personal life out of work. He revealed Haley had filed for divorce and in a rare conversation, shared his feelings about his failed marriage with Rossi (3.18 "The Crossing"). Hotch works late regularly as he has nobody to go home to. Haley served Hotch with a divorce petition in episode 3.11 "Birthright". In episode, 3.14 "Damaged", at the end of the day, Hotch signed the divorce papers, giving Haley an uncontested divorce. In the episode "Damaged", we saw a very different side of Hotch. Hotch's anger and frustration over his divorce, and what he lost because he put his job first, put him and Reid in a dangerous situation. It also showed Hotch short-tempered with everyone around him. He is known to smile rarely and have a limited sense of humor.
- In Season Four, Hotch and the newest serial killer, The Reaper, didn't hit it off. The Reaper told Hotch to stop hunting him, he didn't so this put Hotch's family in jeopardy, and possibly his team. While Hotch cried when six people died after he refused The Reaper's request, he knew The Reaper would continue to kill whether Hotch hunted him or not. In the season finale, the Reaper was waiting for Hotch when he returned home from a case.
- In Season Five, Hotch survived repeated knife wounds from The Reaper. As the man was still on the loose, Hotch's ex. wife, Haley, and their son, were put into Witness Protection. While Haley wasn't happy about it, she went to keep their son safe. Unfortunately, The Reaper got to the U.S. Marshall and got to Haley, drawing her out and back home. With Hotch on the phone, Haley reminded Hotch of their love and life together and how she wanted Jack to know he used to laugh. The Reaper killed Haley before they hung up. Hotch showed up at his home, fearing for his son and ex. wife (he had just found her, dead, in their bedroom), Hotch fought with and killed the Reaper for taking the only woman he'd ever loved. Hotch ran through his house and found his young son, unharmed, in his hiding spot in Hotch's old office. Hotch buried his best friend, the love of his life and had the option to return to work or retire, Hotch chose to not retire, especially after a conversation with his sister-in-law, Haley's sister, that Haley would not have wanted Hotch to retire. Even in death, Haley still knew how much his job meant to him and putting away bad people. She made the ultimate sacrifice for her ex. husband and son.
| SEASON 1 HIGHLIGHTS|
- Episode 1x06 "LDSK" Hotch and Reid are held hostage by the unsub. Hotch gains the trust of the unsub by belittling Reid for not making his shooting qualifications. He is able to get Reid his 2nd gun so Reid can take out the unsub. In the end, Reid tries to hand back Hotch's weapon and Hotch gives it to Reid and tells him as far as he is concerned he passed his qualifications.
- Episode 1x07 "The Fox" Although off-screen, Hotch's wife gave birth to their son. In the beginning, Haley brought the baby to his work so they could introduce him to the team.
- Episode 1x08 "Natural Born Killer", it is implied that Hotch suffered from abuse as a child at the hands of his father. When the unsub makes a comment about Hotch saying that some abused children grow up to be killers, Hotch replies, "And others grow up to catch them." Though it is never officially confirmed that this is the case, it does explain a lot about Hotch's character.
- Episode 1x11 "Blood Hungry" While driving the unsubs mother, Mary Mays, to locate a missing 7 year old boy, Hotch engaged her in personal conversation to distract her from where they were going. He revealed that his mother went to Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia and that she was from Virginia.
- Episode 1x13 "Poison" While interviewing the unsub, Hotch reveals that he is a lawyer and is a current ABA member. At the end of the episode, JJ asks him how he chose the BAU from among all the other departments. He tells her that he prosecuted dozens of cases and by the time they reached his desk, it always felt too late and he wanted to stop them before they got to his desk. Even though it doesn't really answer her question, he says that he's still trying to figure it out.
- Episode 1x15 "Unfinished Business" At the end of this episode, Elle comments that the agent assisting on the case has no family and hasn't seen his kids in years. Hotch responds that divorce is not uncommon in the BAU. She wants to know why he didn't find it weird that they are all available whenever he calls for assistance. She asks Hotch how he manages to balance work and family. He says, "When I'm with them, I try to focus 100% of my attention there. When I'm with you guys, I try to do the same thing. It's about priorities, Elle, it's about setting them and keeping them...it's hard. This job will eat you up if you let it." When she asks how to do that, he says, "Find a way not to let it."
- Episode 1x16 "The Tribe" We learn that Hotch has a younger brother, Sean, 25. Sean visits Hotch at his office to tell him he won't be attending Law school, but working under a chef in New York. Sean and Hotch exchange words and Sean leaves. At the end of the episode, Hotch shows up at the place where Sean works and gives him a business card of an agent in NY and tells Sean to call on him if he ever needs anything. They mend the fences and Hotch stays to eat with Sean.
- Episode 1x17 "A Real Rain" When Hotch and Gideon were first paired up, one of their first cases was to catch an unsub in Iowa who murdered 2 teenage boys. Guns drawn, Hotch and Gideon confronted the unsub, only to have him pull a gun on them and aim it at Hotch. Rather than shooting the unsub, Hotch talked him down. When the case went to trial, the unsub was acquitted and it wasn't until he killed his 3rd victim, a 12 year old boy, that they got him. In this episode, Hotch and Gideon were faced with a similar circumstance when they tried to talk Marvin Doyle down. When Doyle aimed his gun at Gideon, Hotch shot and killed him.
- Episode 1x19 "Machismo" We learn that it is Hotch's birthday. His wife and sister-in-law plan a birthday feast for him. He comes down the stairs with a fussy baby Jack, to see the celebration, the phone rings and Haley hands it to him and tells him it's his wife; it's Gideon. He takes the phone and leaves the room but comes back to let her know he needs to go and she tells him fine, she's not mad. Despite that, it bothers Hotch through the beginning of the episode that he left after what they'd done for him.
- Episode 1x22 "The Fisher King (1)" Hotch reads "Reflections" his 1987 Junior Year High School Yearbook. He tells Haley how the day he got it, it was the end of junior year and he was walking down the hall when he accidentally walked into a theater club rehearsal. It was when he first saw her and knew right then that he wanted to marry her. He looked her up that night and knew he had to meet her. He joined the theater club the next day and ended up being in the school play Gilbert & Sullivan's "Pirates of Penzance" as "the worst fourth pirate in history."
| SEASON 2 HIGHLIGHTS|
- Episode 2x04 "Psychodrama" Hotch's wife shows up at his office as he's getting ready to leave for a case. She lets him know he missed a key doctor's appointment for medical tests for their son, who has a treatable condition and he'll be okay. Haley reminds him he promised to be there for them and she does not want him to wake up one day in a strange city and not know his own son. Hotch is also very emotionally active in the case. He is very sensitive when he learns that the UnSub killed a child. He also shot the UnSub and tells the medic that the UnSub killed a boy and is not to be given any pain killers.
- Episode 2x10 "Lessons Learned" At the end, Hotch and Morgan are headed to the grand opening of the USA Mall to intercede an act of terrorism. Hotch remembers that Haley was taking Jack there for pictures. Worried, Hotch tells Morgan, and then goes to call Haley but decides not to call because it would breach security and he would lose his job. Morgan says that if Hotch loses Haley and Jack he won't have a life or job. Hotch ends up calling Haley's cell, but no one answers. The team gets to the mall and stops the terrorists. When Hotch gets home, Haley informs him she decided not to go as she wanted him to be there for Jack's pictures.
- Episode 2x19 "Ashes and Dust": We learn that Hotch's father had died of cancer and had several affairs.
| SEASON 3 HIGHLIGHTS|
- Episode 3x01 "Doubt" We don't see a lot of Hotch but he makes a call to allow the unsub to go free and meet with a young girl. They know it's a risk, but they need evidence against the unsub and have no hard evidence to link him to the crimes. The scene goes wrong when a girl approaches the unsub and lures him to private area and begs him to kill her. When he refuses due to all the security cameras around, she stabs him and kills him. When Prentiss and Morgan come running up to help, she stabs and kills herself; leaving two dead. When they return to the BAU, Hotch is called into Section Chief Erin Strauss's office, she holds him accountable for the death of the young girl and suspends him without pay for two weeks. His parting comment to her is "always a pleasure ma'am" and he leaves.
- Episode 3x02 "In Birth and Death" After having been suspended from the BAU for 2 weeks, Hotch decides to transfer to another unit with his wife's complete blessing so he can be home more with her and their son, Jack. Hotch is conflicted with doing a job he is good at and being a husband and father. Garcia manipulates things so Hotch's transfer gets stalled in the system and gets Hotch brought back into the pending case by handing him a file and telling him she was following orders. After receiving a call at home, Hotch and his wife exchange words as she is upset and wants him to be home more. She didn't answer the call and then walked out of the room taking her purse (and cell phone) with her. Later, Hotch makes the decision to join the team on their case as it was pointed out to him that his transfer isn't in the "system" yet and he's still bound to the BAU. Hotch pulls Prentiss back in as she had resigned and he is aware that Section Chief Erin Strauss, was trying to get her to turn evidence in against him but didn't. Together they join the rest of the team, minus Gideon, in Milwaukee to solve this crime. Hotch ends up being the one to disarm the unsub's seven year old son, who had gotten a hold of Morgan's gun from Prentiss. He tells Erin Strauss that the team needs to be left intact and that what makes her think he would ever consider leaving the BAU; but first he needs to talk with his wife, Haley. Upon returning home, Hotch discovers his wife has left him and taken their young son with her.
- Episode 3x03 "Scared to Death" Hotch has to lead the team, minus Gideon for the first time. He and the team head to Portland, Oregon. The unsub killed people with their fears. Hotch and the team race to find him. He comes head to head with the unsub who tells him "many people go into law enforcement to face the fear that they won't be able to save everyone each time." Hotch manages to save the life of the last victim after deciphering what the unsub had said. In the end, he has an intense, personal moment with Morgan when he admits his wife left him and she may not be coming back.
- Episode 3x04 "Children of the Dark" Once again, Hotch proves that he can successfully lead the team, despite Gideon's departure. He keeps the team on task and focused. The turning point for him comes when he questions why he was able to talk the "unsub off the ledge" so quickly this time only to find out the unsub provided his "hostage", a young teenage boy, with a gun to return home and kill their abusive foster parents. While the episode wasn't about him, he had key roles throughout.
- Episode 3x05 "Seven Seconds" Hotch and the BAU team work against the clock to find six year old Katie Jacobs who disappeared in a mall. Hotch interviews the father and has to ask him personal questions about having an affair or marital difficulties. Hotch realizes it was personal when they find the young girl's necklace, which turns out to be 24K gold with real diamonds. He is able to pin it down to the Uncle after Reid and Morgan find the girl had been wetting the bed and had a disfigured doll in her room. Prentiss also noticed that the Uncle knew more about Katie than his own son. Hotch and Prentiss badger the Uncle in questioning until the Uncle admits he'd been molesting his niece. Hotch is the one who finds Katie, tied up in a cupboard, not breathing. He proceeds to give her CPR, and she wakes up after some time. In the end, Hotch shows up where his estranged wife, Haley, and son Jack are staying and begs for 5 minutes alone with his son. It was a touching moment for Hotch as he sat there and watched his toddler sleep.
- Episode 3x06 "About Face" Hotch led the team with the new/returning addition, David Rossi. Although Hotch is the supervisor and in charge, Rossi did his own thing and undermined the team's efforts and did things his way. Hotch confronted Rossi and although it worked out, Hotch told Rossi that he had created the Unit the way it was formed and he had nothing left to prove. Rossi pointed out that Hotch said there was no "I" in team yet none of them knew that Hotch was separated from his wife and child except him. Hotch told him that was his personal life and it was different from a case.
- Episode 3x11 "Birthright" In the beginning of the episode, Hotch notices JJ's unusual behavior and talks to her. He tells her because of her similarity to the victims, it's okay for her to lose it. At the end of the episode, Hotch agreed to go out for a beer with the team. As they were heading out, he was served with papers and when questioned by Prentiss, he told the team that Haley had filed for divorce.
- Episode 3x14 "Damaged" Hotch appeared to be wound tighter than his tie and a little off his game. Hotch and Reid went to interview a death row inmate in Connecticut.Prior to the interview, JJ called Hotch to let him know his estranged wife was trying to find him but Hotch assured her it was personal and he'd deal with it when he returned. He allowed an interview with death row inmate, Chester, to go on to long so that Hotch and Reid were left unattended by guards and without weapons for 13 minutes. Chester announced his intention to kill Hotch and Reid so he wouldn't die the following week in the chair. Hotch used some of his tension and pent up frustration to taunt the inmate and set up for a fist fight but Reid defused the inmate first. While removing his tie, it was shown that Hotch no longer wears his wedding ring. During the drive back with Reid, Hotch apologized to Reid for antagonizing the inmate and admitted that Haley wanted Hotch to sign uncontested divorce papers so save them money on lawyers. Hotch said what he wanted, he could not have. In the end, he signed the divorce papers. The closeup on the divorce papers reveals that he and Haley were married in 2000 in Langley, Virginia, putting his age when he was married at around 30 (using the age revealed in Fisher King Part 1).
- Episode 3x15 "A Higher Power" Hotch asked Rossi to get things started with the new case as he needed one personal day to go see Jack. He said to Rossi that he may have lost Haley but he wasn't losing Jack. Even though Jack might not be old enough to understand, he felt the need to see and explain that he would always be there for his son. Hotch ended up joining the team a day later and at the end of the episode, Rossi asked Hotch how things went. Hotch explained to Jack that although he wouldn't be there all the time, he would always be there for Jack. Jack's response was everything would be alright. Rossi said that Jack was as smart as his father.
- Episode 3x18 "The Crossing" Hotch and Rossi presented at a conference in Boston. They were asked to profile a woman who had killed her husband and confessed. During the course of reviewing the case, Hotch opened up to Rossi about the end of his marriage. He admitted he'd given his all to his job, his son and his marriage. Rossi said something had to give and Haley had reached her breaking point. Hotch said between he and Rossi they had four failed marriages so they should be experts. At the end of the episode, Rossi stopped and watched Hotch continue working, with no evidence he had planned on going home.
| SEASON 4 HIGHLIGHTS|
- Episode 4x01 "Mayhem" The SUV Hotch and SSA Kate Joyner are about to enter is the subject of a car bombing, related to the seemingly random shootings in 3x20 "Lo-Fi." The explosion leaves Hotch with "acute acoustic trauma" in his right ear and shrapnel in his leg, but the extent of his injuries are minor compared to Kate's. She is bleeding from her spine and paralyzed from the waist down. When Kate tells Hotch that no one is coming to save them - because of their own orders - he tries to get a bystander, Sam, to help carry her. They are unable to move her as Hotch loses his hold on the "bleeder." Eventually Morgan comes to Hotch's aid but ends up leaving to chase down the bomber, Sam. An ambulance driven by a supposedly rebellious EMT arrives to help Hotch. The EMT explains he couldn't listen to their cries for help and crossed the line but his partner wouldn't. Hotch ends up driving while the EMT remains in the back of the ambulance tending to Kate. The EMT tells Hotch which hospital to go to. Upon their arrival at the hospital, they have trouble getting to the hospital - it's closed down by Secret Service because of an unnamed VIP patient who is undergoing surgery. When they do get in, Kate immediately goes into surgery, and Hotch collapses in the ER. After the removal of the shrapnel in his leg, Hotch refuses further treatment, instead summoning the team to figure out the terrorists' next move. They realize that the intended target all along was the VIP in the hospital and the ambulance Hotch drove in is carrying a bomb. The BAU heads down to the garage and discover the Secret Service agents dead in the elevator. Morgan has taken the ambulance off to a safe spot where nobody will be injured from the bomb blast. Hotch and the rest of the team surround the terrorist. Instead of trying to talk the unsub - who turns out to be the EMT - down, Hotch watches as the unsub slices his own throat. Unable to fly due to his ear injuries, Hotch needs to drive back and Morgan drives him back. Hotch tells Morgan his actions were stupid but that he will put in a recommendation for Morgan to head up the NY branch of the FBI "if [he] wants it". Hotch tells Morgan that he has and always will trust Morgan with his life. He asks Morgan if he can say the same thing. Hotch looks at the SUV and asks Morgan if he still wants to drive.
- Episode 4x02 "The Angel Maker" Hotch continues to suffer from the injuries to his ears. He admits to the doctor that the ringing isn't fun, however the pain when he's around loud noises is unbearable. Hotch convinces the doctor to allow him to return to duty, with the promise that he will stay away from anything to do with loud noises as it could cause permanent hearing loss. However, he later proves what a lousy patient he is. Hotch gets on board the jet and flies with the team. Morgan notices Hotch's discomfort and questions whether Hotch was cleared to fly. Later, while exhuming the body of The Angel Maker, Hotch grabs his ears in pain, as the sound of the equipment is too much for him to handle. However, he waves off Prentiss's offer of help. The team is concerned over his apparent discomfort. During the showdown with Chloe Kelcher, the sheriff, who is standing next to Hotch, shoots Chloe. The sound of the blast from the gun causes Hotch to collapse to his knees, writhing and holding his head, while Rossi attempts to keep him upright. In the final scene, the sheriff's girlfriend hands Hotch a batch of homemade brownies for the flight home; the sheriff tells him that perhaps "you have to sit with the past" to move on from it. Finally listening to the doctor's advice, Hotch gives the brownies to Prentiss for the flight home, grabs his bag and says he's driving back. Rossi pointedly tells Hotch what a nice drive it is from Ohio to Quantico, how great the scenery is, and perhaps Hotch should "stretch out" the drive for a day or two. Hotch nods his head in agreement, then watches the team leave.
- Episode 4x04 "Paradise" During the case, when JJ apologizes for giving Reid and Hotch an early morning wake up call, Hotch casually says it was no problem, he "wasn't sleeping." During the canvass of Sherwood, he interviews "Rick Dreyton", manager of the Crest Cottages; later in the investigation, the team realizes that "Dreyton" was actually Floyd Hansen, the Unsub. On the drive to rescue Ian and Abby Corbin, Hotch regretfully says he should have taken his own advice and gotten some rest. Even though the team rescues the Corbins, and Hansen is flattened by a semi, Hotch is obviously guilt-ridden that he failed to see through Hansen's act.
| SEASON 5 HIGHLIGHTS|
- In Season 5 episode 1 "Nameless, Faceless" It shows that in Season four the last episode The Reaper appears as Hotch enters his bedroom and pours himself wine when he turns to face his arch Nemesis The Reaper (George Foyett) in his apartment they have a fade to black as The Reaper shoots giving the viewers the illusion Hotch has been shot. They Continue this in Season 5 starting on another case when Hotch doesn't show up for work. The team feels its normal considering how they were on a long hour ed mission the night before. They all call Hotch and figuring he's aslee but Prentiss goes to check. She walks in the unlocked apartment to find blood on the floor but no Hotch. She knew she couldn't inform the whole team cause their focus would be more on Hotch then on the case they were on at the time. She called Garcia to tell her to check the ER's but to not tell anyone else about this and then calls Reid to inform him of why she wouldn't return to him. In that episode the teams solves the case and immediately go to the hospital to find Hotch had been dropped off hours prior to the situation. Prentiss in the mean time snooped around the apartment to look for stolen objects. Hotch had confirmed 9 stabbed wounds the the stomach and told them the story as they profiled him. He also found out his family was in danger as The Reaper would be looking for them so they are taken in as protective custody with Marshall Sam.
Episode 4 Season 5 "Cradle to the grave" Hotch resigns as team leader temporarily and Derek Morgan has to step in because of Strauss questioning his every move and The Reaper watching them.
- Episode 9 season 5 "100" This is the episode that forever changes Hotch. In this episode The Reaper finds and injures Sam, the U.S Marshall assigned to protect Hotch's family. Meanwhile Foyett gets Haley's number from Sam's cell, calls Haley and makes her believe he is a good guy and convinces her to get a new cell and not to try to call anyone. He convinces her that both Sam and Hotch are dead. He gives her a location to meet (which we later find out is the house she shared with Hotch) and then when he is parked outside of the house Hotch calls Foyett. He tries to talk Foyett into to stopping his plans but Haley lets him in before Hotch has a chance. Foyett allows Haley and Jack to contact Hotch while he is sitting in the living room. Trying to at least protect his son, Hotch tells Jack to work the case with him and Jack runs off. Elsewhere, the team is tapped into the conversation and hears Haley tell Hotch to promise her to tell Jack how they met, how he used to make her laugh and that Jack needs to know his father wasn't always so serious. Hotch hears 3 shots over the phone and knows Foyett has killed Haley. Hotch gets there and he is both angry and scared as he goes in. He searches the house and finds Haley's body has been dragged up and is lying beside the bed. Hotch sees Foyett's shoes behind the drapery and fires his weapon. Foyette falls to the ground, but he is wearing a bullet proof vest, so the two men fight, and during the fight, they end up in the dining room. Hotch kills Foyett and then races upstairs to find Jack. Hotch remembers working in his office at home and hearing a knock in a small window storage seat. When he opened the case, Jack said, "I'm working the case with you daddy." Praying for the best, Hotch opens the storage chest and Jack is lying there, alive and tells his father he worked the case. Hotch picks Jack up and tells him he loves him, then hands him over to the safe hands of JJ. He then runs down the hall to his old bedroom, picks up Haley's lifeless body and cradles her in his arms, crying.
- Episode 10 Season 5 "The Slave of Duty" at Haley's Funeral the team is called on another mission. Meanwhile Strauss offers Hotch a "retirement program", a way out. He considers the options but Haley's sister wants to help raise her nephew for Hotch and Haley so Hotch decides to decline Chief Strauss' offer and returns to his previous role of Unit Chief.
| SEASON 6 HIGHLIGHTS|
| SEASON 7 HIGHLIGHTS|