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Spoilers ahead for the Chicago Fire episode of the three-show "Infection" crossover on NBC.
Nobody is busier in Chicago Fire's Firehouse 51 than the paramedics who have to tend to the injured and unwell people of the Windy City, and Annie Ilonzeh's Emily Foster has been one half of 51's paramedic team ever since Gabby Dawson's departure in Season 7. Originally, though, Foster intended to be a doctor rather than an EMT. Now, after everything she's been through and the wild "Infection" crossover between Chicago Fire, Med, and P.D., will Foster change her mind about working as a paramedic?
As viewers undoubtedly remember, Foster became a paramedic after she was kicked out of med school for cheating on her boards, although she ultimately made the decision to continue as a paramedic with Firehouse 51. That said, she was on her last nerve in 51 prior to Brett's return, and she was seriously shaken up after she and Brett encountered the deadly "Infection" bacteria in the field. She's been through a lot.
Annie Ilonzeh, who has become a key part of the cast since joining in Season 7, addressed whether Foster's decision to stay a paramedic rather than return to med school would stick. CinemaBlend's Adrienne Jones attended the One Chicago press day, and when she asked Ilonzeh whether Foster's happiness as a paramedic could change, Ilonzeh said this:
She's really in the pocket and I think this is where I'm supposed to be. Initially, in Season 1, with her getting offered to go back to med school, that was a pivotal moment for her and it could have been a major turning point if it would've went the other way. But, having such an honorable offer and turning that down, I think really solidified that this is where I'm going to be. And, then, on top of everything, family and Boden and Brett, this is where you're supposed to be. 51 is literally a family. I think it's solid at this point. I think it's fun to play with the obstacles of that, you know? Still second guessing yourself no matter what, it's super relatable; everybody gets that. So, that would be fun to play with, but she does know that 51 is her family.
Considering the One Chicago crossover had already filmed when Annie Ilonzeh spoke about Foster's future as a paramedic, it's probably safe to say that Foster isn't going anywhere. Maybe all she needed to recover from the scares of the crossover was a few gallons of antibacterial soap!
The differences between Foster dealing with the infection by wanting to thoroughly wash her skin and Brett coping by hitting up the candy cabinet actually made for one of the relatively few laughs of an episode introducing a deadly bacteria with the potential to kill a whole lot of people in Chicago.
That's not to say that Foster won't second guess herself in the future on Chicago Fire, and it's hard to blame her. She and Brett make life-and-death decisions on a daily basis; even if viewers aren't dealing with that kind of pressure, who can't relate to a little self-doubt now and again? She and Brett do have a very strong bond, as evidenced by Foster and Kidd's decision to go retrieve Brett from Indiana. It fortunately didn't come to kidnapping, but Kidd at least didn't seem unwilling!
The close-knit nature of the first responders at Firehouse 51 actually raised the stakes for the Fire episode of the One Chicago crossover, in my book. The firefighters and paramedics weren't just watching coworkers race into situations even deadlier than usual; these were surrogate family members.
Casey and Brett didn't spend time making eyes at each other, as the romantic subplot belonged to Kidd and Severide, who managed to drop a dreamy line about a future involving their kids and grandkids. Way to go, Severide!