Chicago Fire has a reputation for delivering cliffhangers at the ends of seasons that can be quite literally killer, and the final episode of Season 9 concluded with a grand total of four characters' lives in very real jeopardy. Between the circumstances that mean the survival of the entire Squad is far from guaranteed and Fire's history of killing off major characters in premieres, it's time to consider whether somebody is doomed when Season 10 premieres – and whether that would be a good thing.
For fans who still aren't over the deaths of Leslie Shay back in the Season 3 premiere and Otis in the gruesome Season 8 premiere, the possibility of another Firehouse 51 hero biting the dust is probably painful to even consider, but there's also the question of whether Fire went so far in raising the stakes that it would be unrealistic – or at least missing payoff of those high stakes – if everybody emerges just fine. Read on for a look at where their fates stand, and what their individual odds are of survival!
What Happened In The Season 9 Finale
The Season 9 finale of Chicago Fire ended on a doozy of a cliffhanger, but not the usual kind with firefighters at risk of burning to death or being overwhelmed by smoke inhalation. All four members of Squad 3 donned their scuba suits for a water rescue, when they had to enter a flipped boat beneath as it was slowly sinking. The rescue took too long, and their air tanks were all exhausted... unfortunately while they were still trapped under the boat, and the sinking sped up with all of them gasping at the little remaining air.
So, Severide, Cruz, Capp, and Tony all ended the season quite possibly moments away from drowning. And with the Squad members on the scene all trapped, there is nobody left who could perform a CFD water rescue unless a Squad from another firehouse shows up, or Casey and Co. go above and beyond, in the Season 10 premiere. Still, it's pretty unlikely that Chicago Fire will kill off four characters in one fell swoop, so let's now take a look at each character, why he might live, and why he might die since Fire hasn't released any helpful casting new like Chicago Med to resolve a cliffhanger.
Why He Might Live: Severide has been one of the biggest characters on Chicago Fire from the very beginning, and short of Taylor Kinney deciding to leave, it's hard to imagine Fire killing him off. Plus, Severide and Stella just got engaged at the end of Season 9, so his death would cut that story off early. And yes, Stella did become a lieutenant at the end of Season 9 and needs a spot at 51 if Miranda Rae Mayo is going to stick around, but Stella couldn't become Squad lieutenant anyway.
Why He Might Die: I can't rule out Taylor Kinney deciding to leave, as he wouldn't be the first lead character to make the choice to depart, although Fire didn't kill off Monica Raymund's Gabby Dawson. At this point, Severide is one of my wild card guesses as the death, dependent entirely on Kinney. Fire spent the second half of Season 9 developing Joe Minoso's Cruz further and expanding his personal story, so it's possible that he's being set up to take more of the spotlight following the death of Severide. I don't think Severide is dying, but I can't 100% rule him out.
Why He Might Live: Like Severide, Cruz has been around from the very beginning, and the last couple of seasons have gone a long way in giving Cruz meaty storylines that seemingly set up a long future. As of the end of Season 9, he was expecting a baby with Chloe, and things were going pretty well for him, despite some bumps in the road. An active Firehouse 51 hero as a brand new parent with a newborn is something that hasn't really been explored before, so this would be some fresh territory for a show ten years in. Long live Cruz, I say!
Why He Might Die: Cruz is actually my other wild card in this situation. While all of the expansion of Cruz's storyline in Season 9 might have been setting him up for even more spotlight in the future – or at least some more Cruz-centric stories – it also could have been to build him up and make the heartbreak of his death all the more tragic. Dying just as he's about to become a father? Super sad! And killing off Cruz would be the biggest death Fire could deliver from this cliffhanger without killing off Severide. While I don't necessarily think that Cruz is doomed, I'm still not ready to declare him 100% safe.
Why He Might Live: Capp is a reliable source of two pretty essential things on Chicago Fire: heroics as a member of Squad 3 (even if more in the background compared to Severide and Cruz) and comic relief. He's part of major storylines sometimes, and even sustained a serious injury at the end of Season 8. Plus, he has a girlfriend named Mazie! (According to him, anyway.) Would Fire kill him off after just dropping the news that he has a girlfriend who may or may not actually exist?
Why He Might Die: Considering some past Chicago Fire deaths, I think Fire absolutely could kill him off after just dropping the news of a maybe-real girlfriend. Mazie existing would make his death more tragic, but Fire wouldn't be totally thrown off course if he died after the Season 9 cliffhanger. Otis was a bigger character, and the One Chicago world kept turning after his death. Capp is probably the third biggest character in Squad (sorry, Tony), so him dying would pack a punch and deliver payoff without turning Fire upside down to start Season 10.
Why He Might Live: Is Tony the biggest character on Chicago Fire history? Maybe not, but Fire needs some background characters who are familiar faces, and Tony has been around for a long time. Fire also hasn't given him the kind of character development that his death would be really heartbreaking. Seriously, Tony might be safe from dying because he's just not a big enough character to pay off on the cliffhanger.
Why He Might Die: That said, killing off Tony would be sad enough, and Fire might not want to get Season 10 off to a heartbreaking start with lasting consequences, like what happened with Otis. It would allow Fire to pay off on the cliffhanger rather than copping out, without dealing a crippling emotional blow. I'd say that his odds of survival are a little worse than Capp's, but neither man is safe from a watery grave.
Nobody Could Die
Let's not overlook the fact that it's entirely possible that Chicago Fire could return and perform a miraculous rescue to get Severide, Cruz, Capp, and Tony all out of their watery crisis without killing any of them off! Sure, everybody surviving might not deliver on what seemed to be a deadly situation that would end at least one of them, and my head says somebody should die, but my heart says to let them all live!
On the flip side, it's possible that more than one could die, or at the very least some of them suffer some medical consequences to this ordeal. Hey, maybe it'll open the door for a Chicago Med crossover, depending on Med's time jump situation!
Unfortunately, at this point we can only wait and hope for the best-case scenario. Chicago Fire returns to NBC for Season 10 on Wednesday, September 22 at 9 p.m. ET, between the Season 7 premiere of Chicago Med at 8 p.m. ET and the Season 9 premiere of Chicago P.D. (about which I have many questions) at 10 p.m. ET. If you want to relive the Fire Season 9 finale cliffhanger (or any that came before), you can find the full series so far streaming on Peacock!