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#OneChicago Characters Who Need to Return — Including Two Who Are Dead

Since the #OneChicago franchise launched in 2012 with the series premiere of Chicago Fire, plenty of stars have bid adieu to the Windy City — and several of them have also come back for a visit.

Among the alums who’ve checked back in following their exits are Chicago Fire’s Jesse Spencer and Monica Raymund, Chicago Med’s Yaya DaCosta and Torrey DeVitto, and Chicago P.D.’s Brian Geraghty. But there’s many others who have stayed away for far too long, leaving viewers to wonder what their characters are up to now. We can’t help craving closure, especially for people like Med’s Dr. Connor Rhodes and P.D.’s Jay Halstead, who left under dramatic circumstances or with many loose ends that need tying up.

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Then there’s the fan favorites whom we lost in far more permanent fashion, but that’s not stopping us from imagining up a dream scenario under which we could see two fallen Fire vets again. (However, we had a far more difficult time coming up with a plausible way that P.D.’s Olinsky could rise again, but feel free to hit the comments with your ideas!)

Below, TVLine presents our wish list of 10 #OneChicago characters that we’d like to see return to the franchise. (Before you get up in arms, we did not include Gabby Dawson because nothing can top her last visit to Chicago. Unless she wanted to surprise us by… well, see Slide #9.)

Antonio Dawson, Chicago P.D.

Antonio Dawson, Chicago P.D.
Antonio Dawson, Chicago P.D.

Last Appearance: Season 6, Episode 22

When Monica Raymund briefly returned to Chicago Fire in 2019, Gabby Dawson gave viewers a welcome update on her brother Antonio, revealing that he’s doing well and working with her organization’s crisis response team in the Bahamas. But we’d like to see Jon Seda in the flesh on P.D., so that Antonio’s former Intelligence colleagues can witness for themselves just how far he has come in his drug recovery.

Connor Rhodes, Chicago Med

Connor Rhodes, Chicago Med
Connor Rhodes, Chicago Med

Last Appearance: Season 5, Episode 1

Since Colin Donnell’s character exited the hospital in 2019 in dramatic fashion to likely go work at the Mayo Clinic, we’ve heard nary a peep about how the doctor is doing. Given the traumatic note he left on — his ex-girlfriend Ava admitted to killing his father, then took her own life in front of him! — a check-in feels appropriate. Plus, the charismatic Donnell, who was a fan favorite, told TVLine in 2022 that it would “be fun to revisit” the character and that there’s “still some stuff left to explore” with Connor.

Emily Foster, Chicago Fire

Emily Foster, Chicago Fire
Emily Foster, Chicago Fire

Last Appearance: Season 8, Episode 20

Annie Ilonzeh’s paramedic announced that she was leaving the firehouse to return to medical school, so she could, theoretically, resurface as a doctor on Chicago Med. (Gaffney always seems to be in need of new docs.) Or perhaps Firehouse 51’s ambulance could cross paths with her at another Windy City hospital while dropping off a patient.

Erin Lindsay, Chicago P.D.

Erin Lindsay, Chicago P.D.
Erin Lindsay, Chicago P.D.

Last Appearance: Season 4, Episode 23

The abrupt departure of Sophia Bush’s character left us with a lot of unanswered questions that still plague us to this day: Did Lindsay take that job with the FBI’s counter-terrorism unit in New York City? How does she feel about her ex-boyfriend Halstead, whom she left without a goodbye? And where do things stand with her and Voight, who was a surrogate father to her?

It’s unlikely that Bush will return to the series given the conditions under which she left (“I was miserable,” she said during Refinery 29’s Unstyled podcast), but we still long for closure for Lindsay and her relationships back in Chicago.

Jay Halstead, Chicago P.D.

Jay Halstead, Chicago P.D.
Jay Halstead, Chicago P.D.

Last Appearance: Season 10, Episode 3

Compared to others on this list, it hasn’t been too long since we last saw Jesse Lee Soffer. But with Tracy Spiridakos set to exit the NBC cop drama as Hailey Upton later this season, Halstead’s return would give much-needed resolution to the “Upstead” relationship rollercoaster that fans have been on ever since Halstead left his wife behind to work abroad.

Jeff Clarke, Chicago Med

Jeff Clarke, Chicago Med
Jeff Clarke, Chicago Med

Last Episode: Season 2, Episode 22

After getting his start as a firefighter on Chicago Fire, Jeff Hephner transitioned to Chicago Med, where his character pursued medicine and won us over as Natalie Manning’s boyfriend. Alas, Clarke left to work in emergency medicine in Maui, but maybe he’s tired of the gorgeous Hawaiian views and wants to transfer back to the Windy City? (Yeah, we didn’t think so.)

Leslie Shay, Chicago Fire

Leslie Shay, Chicago Fire
Leslie Shay, Chicago Fire

Last Appearance: Season 2, Episode 22

It’s been a decade since Lauren German’s beloved paramedic died, and we’re still not over it. While the death, obviously, makes it impossible for her to come back in the present, flashbacks are a possibility. In fact, an episode about the early days of the original Firehouse 51 crew would also allow for other families faces to return, like…

Brian “Otis” Zvonecek, Chicago Fire

Brian “Otis” Zvonecek, Chicago Fire
Brian “Otis” Zvonecek, Chicago Fire

Last Appearance: Season 8, Episode 1

Admit it, you’re really into our flashback episode idea now that you realize it means we’d get to see Shay and Yuri Sardarov’s sweet Otis again!

Peter Mills, Chicago Fire

Peter Mills, Chicago Fire
Peter Mills, Chicago Fire

Last Appearance: Season 3, Episode 20

There have been more episodes without Peter Mills than with him, and yet, the affable Charlie Barnett is still at the top of our wish list of comebacks. The firefighter left the Windy City on a positive note to open a restaurant in North Carolina with his family, so the firehouse would no doubt welcome him back with open arms. And should he return back together with his ex-girlfriend Gabby Dawson, for whom he was still harboring feelings when he left Chicago, well, that would certainly be an interesting twist! (Sorry, “Dawsey” ‘shippers, Casey is taken.)

“We have joked about building our own little Chicago spinoff, where Dawson and Mills find their way to Puerto Rico and start their own firehouse down there,” Barnett previously told TVLine.

Sarah Reese, Chicago Med

Sarah Reese, Chicago Med
Sarah Reese, Chicago Med

Last Appearance: Season 4, Episode 1

Five seasons ago, Dr. Charles’ former protégé (played by Rachel DiPillo) left the hospital, feeling betrayed by her mentor after he almost let her serial-killer father die. Has Sarah forgiven Charles? What choice words might she have for him after all these years? Let Sarah and Charles come face-to-face and hash things out!

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