The first UnSub to influence multiple storylines, the Reaper struck a devil’s bargain with Tom Shaunessy (James Handy), an old friend of Hotchner’s. After the Reaper went on a killing streak years earlier, going as far as posing as surviving victim George Foyet, he goes dormant, honoring his end of the deal. When Shaunessy dies (of natural causes), the Reaper begins killing again and offers Hotch the same deal: “Stop hunting me and I’ll stop hunting [my victims].” Hotch refuses to deal, and Foyet eludes the BAU, proceeding to make it personal.
Foyet gets the drop on Hotch in his apartment, deliberately stabbing to mutilate before dumping Hotch at a nearby hospital with Morgan’s name. After using a past UnSub as a pawn, Foyet proceeds to stalk Haley (Meredith Monroe) and Jack (Cade Owens), Hotch’s ex-wife and son, who had gone into hiding when their contact information was stolen. Foyet murders Haley after letting her say a tearful goodbye to Hotch on the phone.
Hotch confronts Foyet in the house he once shared with Haley. After a brutal hand-to-hand fight, Hotch beats Foyet to death with his bare hands, even after Foyet “surrenders”. (The word is in quotes because Foyet grinned as he said it, gloating in his certainty that Hotch would let him live.) In his rage over Haley’s death and the continuing threat to Jack, Hotch doesn’t stop until Morgan physically pulls him from the corpse. Hotch then retrieves Jack from his hiding place in Hotch’s old home office, beginning his time as a single parent.
From then on, Hotch has to find a balance between work and home. He finds unexpected help from Haley’s sister Jessica (Molly Baker) and father Roy Brooks (Ed Asner), who both look after Jack when Hotch is called out of town for cases.
One would think that dying would be enough to stop Foyet, but no.
When Hotch is suddenly hospitalized with complications from the mutilating wounds, he’s visited by both Foyet and Haley’s ghosts while unconscious. The three attend a “night at the movies”, where clips of Hotch’s past are playing on the big screen, from his relationship with Haley to a more recent relationship with Beth Clemmons (Bellamy Young), an art dealer. He gives Hotch a surprising piece of good advice: “loosen up a little bit. Would it kill you to smile?” At the end of the night, Foyet bids Haley and Hotch goodnight says he’s going “downtown”, taking an escalator down from street level (a clever indicator that he’s now in Hell).
Foyet also appears to Reid in the aftermath of a showdown with another UnSub. Like Hotch before, Reid is rendered unconscious and Foyet is one of several ghosts that visit Reid in his twilight state.
C. Thomas Howell has been in acting in various roles since his first appearance in “E.T.” in 1982, and he brings every nuance and ounce of experience to his roles. He expertly swings between the “victim” and the killer, then as “guardian demon” to two different profilers.
(link to next UnSub here soon)