|“||I worked the case, Daddy, just like you said.||”|
— Jack in "100"
When Haley became pregnant with Jack, she and Hotch debated on what they should name their child. Hotch refused to use a name that was shared by a famous serial killer, thinking that it would be in some sort of honor for the criminal. Finally, they settled on Jack, ironically and was born on October 7, 2005.
On Criminal Minds
Jack's first appearance is in "The Fox", when his parents introduced him to the team as a newborn. After a handful of further appearances, he moves out of his childhood home in "In Name and Blood", Haley's relationship with Hotch having become severely strained over the last few months.
From then on, there are little glimpses of him throughout the show when his father visits him, like in "Seven Seconds", or when Hotch gets to watch some homemade videos he keeps with him, like in "Pleasure Is My Business". His first notable appearance in a while is in "Nameless, Faceless", when Hotch must say goodbye to him because his mother and him are being placed under witness protection, George Foyet having made it clear he intends to go after them to make Hotch suffer. His next appearance is again in video format, this time shown to Hotch by U.S. Marshal Sam Kassmeyer in the episode "Reckoner", and we learn his birthday is that day or a previous one.
In "100", he is seen with his mother in an unknown location when she gets tricked by Foyet, who is under the guise of a U.S. Marshal after killing Kassmeyer, into going back to their old home, where he is waiting for them. In his eagerness to make Hotch suffer, Foyet allows a lengthy phone call between Haley, Hotch, and Jack, and his father gets to tell him to "work the case", a code phrase for him to hide in a bin and wait for his dad to get him, which will be a fundamental factor to save his life. He is seen again in "The Slave of Duty", first at his mother's funeral and wake and later with his father at the condo where they are going to live together; in a couple of sequences it is revealed how much he misses his mother, and that he thinks his father is like Captain America, his favorite hero.
In "Devil's Night", Jack and Hotch debate on what costume the former should dress for Halloween, and Jack wants to be a superhero, but he isn't sure which one yet. By the end of the episode, he wears a black suit with a red tie, and when Hotch asks what kind of superhero he dressed up as, he replies, "I'm you, Daddy". In "25 to Life", Hotch calls Rossi to tell him that he won't be coming to work. Rossi later tells Strauss that it sounded like Hotch hasn't slept and that Jack had a bad night. Strauss says that it has been a year since Haley had been killed and that she is glad that Hotch spends time away from work to be with his son.
In "Out of the Light", it is revealed that Jack becomes a member of a pee-wee soccer team. In Painless", we learn that he has been bullied at school, but the teacher finds out and had the two separated. In "A Family Affair", after attending a triathlon that Hotch is one of the participating athletes in, he is finally introduced to Beth Clemmons, a woman who is Hotch's training partner for said triathlon and later becoming his girlfriend; both take a good liking to one another instantly. In "Fatal", he manages to get his third-grade class to have a field trip to the BAU headquarters to learn about profilers as part of their career day, something Hotch is initially concerned about in the wake of Foyet's murder of his mother. However, the trip commences without incident, and some students are impressed enough to express desire of becoming profilers someday.
In "Elliott's Pond", it is revealed that Jack was being actively stalked by an unsub that his father captured but later escaped from prison. As a result, both him and Hotch had to go into witness protection, and Hotch officially resigned from his position in the BAU, not wanting to further endanger his son.
- Cade Owens, the child actor who portrays Jack, took the role in the Season Three episode "In Name and Blood". Before this, an uncredited child played the part.
- He likes several superheroes, such as Captain America, which is said to have been inspired by his father ("100").
- He likes to play soccer ("The Slave of Duty", "Out of the Light").
- While he was in the first grade, he was judged to be capable of reading at a fourth-grade level ("Painless").
- He is a fan of Star Wars ("Boxed In", "A Place at the Table").
- He is good friends with JJ's eldest son Henry, with both of them sharing a liking of comic books ("The Storm").
- Jack currently holds the record of having the most appearances as a recurring character, with a total of 25 direct appearances (32 if mentions, references, or indirect appearances are counted). He is also the longest running recurring character on the show, appearing across eleven seasons.
- Season One
- Season Two
- Season Three
- Season Four
- "Pleasure Is My Business" (via recording)
- Season Five
- Season Six
- Season Seven
- Season Eight
- Season Nine
- Season Ten
- Season Eleven
- "Season Twelve"
- Season Thirteen
- "Wheels Up" (mentioned)