Warning: Spoilers for Chicago Fire Season 9, Episode 9 “Double Red.”
Chicago Fire is known to give audiences some shocking change-ups with its established cast, and the newest episode involved the surprising exit of its newbie paramedic, Gianna Mackey, as portrayed by Adriyan Rae. But will she be gone forever, or is there a chance for Mackey to return in some capacity? Fans will need to look to series creator and executive producer Derek Haas for answers of that nature, but he does have answers.
In the new episode, Mackey was offered a position at another firehouse that would allow her the opportunity for future advancement. After confessing to Cruz that she got distracted on calls when worrying about him, she decided to accept the offer and transfer houses. Derek Haas spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the reasoning behind Adriyan Rae’s exit, and if it would be the last time fans will see her in Firehouse 51:
It's always fun to introduce a new character who brings in new dynamics to the show, and we had fun bringing Mackey to life, especially with her connection to Cruz. Adriyan let us know she had some private reasons to leave Chicago. To hear that as a showrunner, you absolutely respect what an actor needs. All I can say is we love her and I know she's going to be great on some other series. And she left 51 on great terms, so there's a chance we could check in on her. We're always looking for something to boost up a crossover! I don't think we've seen the last of Mackey in Firehouse 51.
After the episode aired, Adriyan Rae took to Instagram to share her thoughts on her rather short journey with Chicago Fire and how grateful she is for the opportunity. Rae was clearly pretty new to the Chicago Fire family, as her character had only joined the firehouse at the beginning of the current season as a replacement for paramedic Emily Foster (Annie Ilonzeh),who left last season. Mackey was a paramedic on Ambulance 61 and grew up with firefighter Joe Cruz, which made for a fun dynamic, so hopefully this won't be the last time fans see Gianna Mackey. If Derek Haas is that optimistic about her returning in the future, then so are we.
Adriyan Rae’s departure from Chicago Fire marks only the latest EMT exit. While Annie Ilonzeh’s Emily Foster left at the end of Season 8 to become a doctor, Monica Raymund’s Gabby Dawson’s exit in Season 6 allowed for the character to seek employment in Puerto Rico after a heated argument with Jesse Spencer's Matt when it was revealed they couldn’t naturally conceive a child. The new departure probably has fans wondering who will be the next EMT for Ambulance 61, as well as how long they will last, and what kind of an impact they will make on the firehouse.
Chicago Fire has only aired about half of its episodes for Season 9 to this point, so Adriyan Rae's exit is unlike the previous two departures, which happened at the end of their respective seasons. As such, the NBC drama will presumably need to set up a whole new character and storyline halfway through its season, and we're pumped to see who will be joining Ambulance 61 next.