Chicago Fire Stars Look Back At Monica Raymund's Departure And Other Former Cast Members After 200 Episodes

Chicago Fire is fast approaching a milestone that few TV shows are ever able to hit: the 200th episode. Showrunner Derek Haas already previewed some life-changing decisions that are on the way, and the latest episode revealed that major change is on the way for Casey… and the whole show, if Fire delivers on the big reveal. While fans still have some time to wait to find out exactly what happens, stars Joe Minoso, Christian Stolte, and David Eigenberg have shared their thoughts on the departures of major characters over 200 episodes, including Monica Raymund as Gabby Dawson.

Joe Minoso (Joe Cruz), Christian Stolte (Mouch), and David Eigenberg (Herrmann) spoke with CinemaBlend and other outlets in celebration of the 200th episode, which had already finished filming by the time they talked about what has happened over the past ten seasons. When asked what they would tell their ten-year-ago selves now, David Eigenberg piped up that he “would still have as much anxiety performing in the pilot as I do doing Episode 200,” and Christian Stolte chimed in to bring up some stars they had to say goodbye to, saying:

I would have told myself 'Don't get too attached to Charlie [Barnett] or Yuri [Sardarov] or Lauren [German].

Chicago Fire has welcomed and then lost a number of characters over the years, particularly when it comes to paramedics. Christian Stolte brought up Lauren German, who played the iconic Leslie Shay for two seasons before being tragically killed off in the Season 3 premiere. Charlie Barnett played firefighter Peter Mills before Mills left Chicago toward the end of Season 3, and the loss of Yuri Sardarov as Otis is still fresh after his tragic death in the Season 8 premiere. All three were series regulars starting in the pilot, so their departures are particularly memorable. 

Joe Minoso agreed with Christian Stolte’s comment about their former co-stars, and elaborated both on their time with those three stars and what it was like to lose them:

That's a great point. It's weird kind of because as an actor, somehow you develop these relationships and they cross with your real life, and like they inform each other, and specifically Charlie and Yuri, I think for the three of us. I mean, Lauren was a whirling dervish all her own. That woman was an experience unlike any other and she was such a tremendous asset to the show. I think another one of the people that was instrumental in kind of building the energy that our show has, and I don't think we would have gotten away with being as raucous as we are and were, without her. But Yuri and Charlie, you know, the five of us, sat in that tiny little cramped truck for three years together.

It’s almost hard to believe that Shay was only around as a regular for the first two seasons, considering the legacy she left behind. But, as Joe Minoso pointed out, Charlie Barnett’s Mills and Yuri Sardarov’s Otis were geared up along with the rest of the actors who played firefighters. That meant bonding in cramped quarters along with Minoso’s Cruz, Christian Stolte’s Mouch, and David Eigenberg’s Herrmann. Eigenberg chimed in to mention that there was “no heat” and “no air conditioning” in the back of that truck, which is no small deal for a show that films in Chicago. Minoso continued:

No heat, no air conditioning, not even a pad on the bench. And it was the best time of my life. I've never laughed harder. I've never experienced more joy at a job than in those three years in that truck, and so to lose them the way we did was brutal. I mean, brutal, and it's so hard, and it's so great to see Charlie getting back in the game and he exploded all over the place and I'm sure it's only a matter of time for Yuri to be in the exact same boat.

Looking back at those days after 200 episodes shows that the experiences in the back of the truck were more than a little memorable. And as Joe Minoso pointed out, Charlie Barnett didn’t just fade away after leaving Chicago Fire. He joined the cast of Netflix’s You for Season 2, then appeared in the Arrowverse as a memorable character, and most recently returned to NBC for Ordinary Joe. Lauren German of course went on to star in Lucifer, and Joe Minoso has faith that Yuri Sardarov will be just as successful. But what about Monica Raymund, whose departure as Gabby Dawson was one of the biggest game-changers of the entire series? Christian Stolte made sure to mention her:

Let me throw this out there too so she doesn't go unmentioned. In the case of Monica Raymund, I was kind of surprised that she stayed as long as she did, because that woman is an entire universe of creativity waiting to happen. She's ambitious and she's got the chops and the know-how and the artistic vision to do whatever the hell she wants. And so again, I'm surprised she hung out as long as she did, and she's out there kicking ass as well.

Monica Raymund exited Chicago Fire as a series regular at the end of Season 6, but dropped back in for a cameo in the Season 7 premiere to give Dawson a proper exit (and a little bit of closure for Casey). She then returned for an episode of Season 8 to reveal that maybe Dawsey wasn’t so dead for Casey after all at that point, but Raymund quickly moved on to star in her own series on Starz, where she has also directed. She has directed elsewhere in the Dick Wolf universe too, with credits for Law & Order: SVU and FBI. According to Christian Stolte, fans are lucky they got Dawson for as long as they did! 

Joe Minoso agreed with Christian Stolte’s comments about Monica Raymund, and summed up her journey post-Chicago Fire pretty well, saying:

Yeah, it surprises no one that Monica is currently the star of and directing in her own series. That's exactly where we knew she'd be because she's just that talented and that motivated and focused.

Unlike the characters played by Lauren German and Yuri Sardarov, Monica Raymund’s Gabby Dawson wasn’t killed off in her exit from Chicago Fire, so there’s always the possibility that she returns. Then again, if Jesse Spencer leaves as Casey in the 200th episode, as seems likely, that would mean Dawson’s closest tie to 51 would no longer be there. Still, it would be nice to see her again, whether in Season 10 or beyond. Or even Charlie Barnett as Mills, even though Mills has been gone since Season 3!

Find out what the 200th episode of Chicago Fire has in store for the characters on Wednesday, October 20 at 9 p.m. ET on NBC, between Chicago Med at 8 p.m. ET and Chicago P.D. at 10 p.m. ET. The episode seems like it will be a game-changer whether or not it’s Casey’s swan song, so don’t miss it!

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).