It's not a season finale of Chicago Fire unless it ends on a huge and often blazing cliffhanger, and Season 7 was no exception. There was a cliffhanger other than the fire in the mattress factory, though, and it had to do with Brett's decision to accept Chaplain Kyle's proposal despite some misgivings (and a crush on Casey). Now, Season 8 is adding a new paramedic, which raises the question: is Brett on her way out?
A new paramedic will join Chicago Fire Season 8 in a recurring capacity, and TVLine reports the newcomer will be "like Anderson Cooper minus a couple dozen IQ points." Now, on the one hand, Chicago Fire has had a lot of paramedic turnover over the years, some more temporary than others. There were brief replacements when Shay had to take a break and Dawson moved to working on truck rather than ambo, and Brett is currently the regular medic with the longest tenure, having joined in Season 3 and stuck around.
Under normal circumstances, it would feel more likely that the new paramedic is a trainee or a fill-in or something that wouldn't require either of the regular medics to take a break, but Season 7's ending with Brett engaged to Kyle raises the question of whether she could be around a lot less. Kyle had landed a great new job that would require him to move away from Chicago, and he wanted Brett to come with him.
Despite the fact that they'd broken up, he popped the big question, and she accepted after Casey had expressed a belief that they were good together. (Personally, I'm all for the possibility of a Brett/Casey romance being ended sooner rather than later, but only time will tell.)
Brett was already a runaway bride once, and she really didn't seem to accept the proposal for the right reasons, so I'd be surprised if she actually moves away with Kyle and stays away, but Chicago Fire could write her out for at least a little bit while she gives it a shot with Kyle.
At this point, we don't even know if the new character means one of the current paramedic slots will need to be vacated, but there are definitely major reasons to wonder if it means Brett taking a break.
Then again, maybe Foster is going to be out of the game. She was in danger at the end of the Season 7 finale, and Chicago Fire has killed off a paramedic in a cliffhanger before. Foster only joined the show last season, so it wouldn't be a blow as significant as the loss of Shay. Alternately, Foster could decide to give becoming a doctor a second shot.
The new character is described as "recurring," so Foster taking fewer shifts but still working sometimes as a paramedic could work. Dawson was able to still appear on the show after she went to the academy to become a firefighter; why not Foster, even if she's not romantically linked to a firefighter?
Neither Kara Killmer nor Annie Ilonzeh were among those revealed to be leaving the Chicago franchise ahead of the 2019-2020 TV season, although one of those departing as regulars will return for the season premiere. Hopefully more casting news will release soon so we can at least know who will play this new paramedic ahead of the Chicago Fire Season 8 premiere.