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Chicago Fire David Eigenberg Christopher Herrmann Annie Ilonzeh Emily Foster Daniel Kyri Darren Ritter NBC

It has been a while since Chicago Fire fans had a chance to see new episodes. The One Chicago drama signed off earlier this year in mid-April with an unofficial finale that did better in the ratings than expected. One big update that came out ahead of the impending Season 9 concerned star Annie Ilonzeh not returning as paramedic Emily Foster. So how will Chicago Fire be handling Foster’s absence?

Upon its return, Chicago Fire will have jumped a few months forward in time, so Season 9 will start off with characters who have already dealt with Foster leaving and had time to move on from it. The good news is that it will not be one of those situations where a character leaves a show and is never spoken of ever again. Speaking to how Chicago Fire will address Foster not being around, creator Derek Haas told TVLine:

Foster has gone off to medical school at Northwestern. We will hear some updates about how she’s doing as the season progresses.

It sounds as though Chicago Fire will indeed keep viewers updated on how things are going with Foster, who will no doubt be struggling to get through medical school. CinemaBlend’s Laura Hurley had suggested that the One Chicago franchise should send Foster over to Chicago Med, which seems like a smart move if that would work out schedule-wise. Keeping Foster in the conversation on Chicago Fire, even sporadically, could help make that transition eventually occur, and it would make sense for the franchise to keep her within the fabric of the show for that reason.

Of course, that is just speculation. Interestingly enough, Chicago Med had to temporarily post-pone production on its upcoming season due to a positive COVID test. Thankfully, Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D. did not get impacted by the situation. As for how Chicago Fire will move forward with Foster’s storyline, it sounds like One Chicago fans will need to stay tuned to Season 9 with their ears as much as their eyes.

It is a concept viewers have had to get used to with Monica Raymund’s Gabriela “Gabby” Dawson, who has remained an integral member of the cast despite Raymund exiting the series a couple of years ago. That probably helped make her return last season on Chicago Fire a smoother ride storytelling-wise. Raymund has left the door open for her to eventually return, so could Foster make her way back, too?

For now, it sounds like updates are the best thing that Chicago Fire can offer fans. While Foster will not be around in the flesh for Season 9, Chicago Fire had added a series regular to its ranks. After being a recurring player, actor Daniel Kyri will enter Season 9 as a series regular, which should mean fans will see a lot more of Darren Ritter next season.

How will Brett make it through without one of her closest friends? Fire's showrunner Derek Haas previously teased how last season’s finale will change Brett in the upcoming season. I would guess that Brett will be the main line of information keeping viewers up to date on Foster’s progress. Find out if I am right when Chicago Fire joins this fall’s schedule, with Season 9 premiering on Wednesday, November 11, at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.

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