Season 11 of Chicago Fire premiered in September 2022, and it brought back a number of fan favorites to reprise their roles. Lauren German’s character, Leslie Shay, was abruptly written out of the program, and viewers have been left wondering why ever since her departure from the series years ago. To learn Shay’s fate, scroll below.
What Happened to Shay on ‘Chicago Fire’?
During the first season of Chicago Fire in 2012, paramedic Shay made her first appearance on the show. Despite being one of only a few of women on an otherwise all-male team, the fan-favorite character (who goes by her last name) seemed to have a promising future on the drama series.
Lauren’s character’s plot went through a major shift in the next season. Season 2’s penultimate episode, “Real Never Waits,” saw Shay get caught in a blaze and get hurt by falling debris. The episode ended on a cliffhanger, as it was later revealed that an arsonist had placed traps to kill first responders, leaving her fate uncertain.
On the third season premiere in 2014, it was revealed that Shay had passed away there. Ambulance 61’s door was painted with a dedication by her employees in her honor.
Is Shay Coming Back to ‘Chicago Fire’?
Once Lauren’s character died, she did pop up in several flashbacks, but it seemed like her time on the program was over for good. Several longstanding Chicago Fire watchers have wondered if the character may possibly return at some point in the future, even though it has been over a decade since she first appeared on the show.
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Later, showrunner Matt Olmstead admitted that the production team debated killing off another another character. They concluded that the loss of Shay would be the most significant. He recounted Lauren’s reaction to the news that her character was going to be killed off.
She was quite professional about it, he said in an interview with TV Line in September 2014, when the possibility of their relationship was first brought up. As a joke, she said that she was not going to miss the cold winters in Chicago. She was born and raised in the Golden State.
It was comforting to learn that she could laugh off the incident. The showrunner also mentioned that Lieutenant Kelly Severide has Discs with snippets of his finest experiences with Shay, raising the possibility that she could reappear in future flashbacks. Who knows, he said, when he might need to remember her, he might drop one in.
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