Mandy Patinkin by Tony Barson/WireImage.com
Mandygate just gets weirder and weirder.

My moles at Criminal Minds have just confirmed for me exclusively that disgraced cranky-pants Mandy Patinkin will be returning to the show this fall after all - but only for one episode (airing Oct. 3), so as to provide some closure for his Gideon character. Strange as that may sound, though, that isn't the really odd part: He'll only be in one scene, and he'll essentially be the only one in it.

Why? Well, duh! My spies tell me that no one in the cast wanted to work opposite him again after he brought production to a standstill by pulling a no-show without even calling in (cough, cough) sick. What's more, Minds' producers were forced to use a special crew to shoot the pariah's scene because the show's regular staff refused to be on set with him.

Except possibly to Patinkin, who seems to live in his own world, the backlash against him isn't entirely a surprise. Last month, costar Shemar Moore raked him over the coals at press tour. "I don't like that he did this the way he did this," the former soap stud said. "I don't think it's right. He left us hanging... no warning, no nothing. We all showed up to work on Day 1, and he didn't.

"He needs to take responsibility for his actions," Moore continued, "[and] just acknowledge us, because it's an ensemble, it's a team.... We just want the courtesy and the respect that we deserve. And we felt like if he had given us that initially, this would be much easier to deal with. He essentially just slapped us in the face."

As such, what will transpire in Mandy's final scene on the show? The onetime Chicago Hope firestarter gets in a car and drives away, a new bridge burning in his rearview mirror.

For the latest details on Patinkin's Minds successor, Joe Mantegna, read Mitovich's TNMT blog.