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Chicago Fire Season 9: What’s next for Annie Ilonzeh’s Emily Foster?

Chicago Fire Season 8 left us with the future of one of 51’s own in limbo. Is Emily Foster going to leave the team in Chicago Fire Season 9?

While much of the Chicago Fire Season 8 finale was focused on Capp, who had been injured on the job, there was a side storyline that won’t get a resolution until Chicago Fire Season 9. It’s all about Emily Foster. Is Annie Ilonzeh leaving the series?

Caution: There are some spoilers from the Chicago Fire Season 8 finale in this post.

The Season 8 finale was certainly not the one that was originally planned. Derek Haas shared a while ago that there had been three episodes left to film when production was shut down due to the novel coronavirus. It’s possible those episodes will be the first three of Season 9, but no confirmation just yet. It’s going to depend on the current topics when the show is filming again. However, there’s one storyline that will need to be wrapped however it’s meant to be quickly.

Ilonzeh’s character, Emily Foster, decided to reapply for med school. This wasn’t all that surprising considering the storylines throughout the season. At the end of the penultimate episode, Will Halstead commented on how she’d missed her calling as a doctor, foreshadowing her decision to reapply.

Of course, Brett wasn’t happy about the decision. It means she loses her partner, but there’s no guarantee that Foster will get into the program. She’s already been kicked out of it once.

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Setting Foster up for failure in Chicago Fire Season 9?

One option that the show could be setting up for is for Foster to fail. Her actions when she was last in med school led to her being kicked out. She thought her chances were over, but she is a changed woman. She has proven her ability to be part of a team and learned many personal skills as a paramedic. While she thinks it’s time to go back to med school doesn’t mean the school will.

Setting Foster up to fail would be a shame, but it would also be real. There are no guarantees in life. While we want happy stories for our characters, the writers have to remain true to the types of decisions that would be made in life.

Alternatively, Foster could get the acceptance letter but decide to turn it down. She could get a call that leads to a life being saved in a way that would have been impossible if she was in the hospital.

Chicago Fire Seasons 1-7
It looks like neither is going to happen. Derek Haas posted a goodbye message to Ilonzeh, saying that he hopes Emily Foster will be back at some point before the end. TVLine also reports that the character isn’t returning for Chicago Fire Season 9.

No need for Annie Ilonzeh to say goodbye

Something to point out is that Emily Foster going to med school doesn’t mean that we lose the character completely. This could be a chance for Annie Ilonzeh to head to another show in the One Chicago franchise. She could move onto Chicago Med, allowing Ilonzeh to pop up on Fire now and then through crossovers.

Another option would be to do something similar to Station 19. Ben Warren has set up a response unit that allows for surgery within the field when necessary. He has a traveling OR, which is something Chicago Fire Season 9 could set up.

Either way, there are ways to keep Emily Foster within the show. This would allow for friendships with Brett, Stella, and the others to continue.

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What do you think about Foster possibly leaving Firehouse 51? Do you think Annie Ilonzeh will leave Chicago Fire? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Chicago Fire Season 9 can’t start filming yet but is confirmed. Catch up on Season 8 on Hulu.