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In season 5 of Criminal Minds, Hotchner comes under some scrutiny from the Bureau so he persuades Morgan to sort of switch roles with him; Morgan would lead the team at least temporarily. I remember Morgan acted like he was in charge for maybe one episode but then soon, Hotchner is back in his usual role.

When did Hotchner take back over the team?

  • He realized that Hotchner was really better qualified and cut out for the job. While Morgan was completely capable, there were responsibilities and aspects that he just didn't want. EDIT: I just realized the question said "when" and not "why". Durp... – sanpaco Aug 23 '16 at 22:13
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Episode 10 of Season 5 (The Slave of Duty) is when Hotch is temporarily absent

While Agent Hotchner takes a leave of absence to contemplate his future with the BAU, the team is called to investigate a home invasion case in Nashville without him

He's back by Episode 12 (The Uncanny Valley).

Out of Universe

The absence was part of Thomas Gibson's suspension when he allegedly pushed assistant director Ian Woolf and had to attend anger management classes but remained on the show.

  • When Hotchner takes over again, is there any acknowledgement in the dialogue? Something like "hey, I'm glad you're back, you're in charge again, ok?" or something? – RedCaio Aug 23 '16 at 17:56
  • I don't recall but Morgan only took over on the condition that he gave the role up when Hotch returned. – Paulie_D Aug 23 '16 at 18:06

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