'Chicago Med' Season 8 (George Burns Jr/NBC)

'Chicago Med' Loses Yet Another Original Cast Member in Season 8 Finale: 'It Was Time'


Chicago Med fans are coming out of the May 24 Season 8 finale a day late and two doctors short. Yet another original cast member of the hit NBC medical drama has left the show, but in a new interview, the gone-but-not-forgotten actor says he's leaving the door open for a potential return. Warning: Spoilers ahead for 'Chicago Med' Season 8!

While Chicago Med has been renewed for a ninth season, multiple original cast members have officially put the series in the rearview mirror. Brian Tee, who starred as the Windy City trauma center's Dr. Ethan Choi since 2015, departed the show earlier this season. And in the May 24 finale, leading man Nick Gehlfuss bid an emotional farewell to his character Dr. Will Halstead. In an interview with Deadline, Gehlfuss called his decision to leave after eight seasons a "difficult" one, and teased that Halstead's return remains a "possibility."

"An actor is attracted to the profession for variety and I suppose it was time for me to try something different," Gehlfuss told Deadline. "People have been saying, 'You're off to bigger and better things.' I'm not saying that; that's not the goal. I'm trained to do many different things and there were certain muscles I wasn't using, and I didn't want those to atrophy."

(George Burns Jr/NBC)

Longtime viewers will be pleased to know that Gehlfuss' Dr. Will Halstead had a fairytale ending, reuniting with his soulmate Dr. Natalie Manning (played by fan-favorite Torrey DeVitto, who returned to the show for Halstead's goodbye). Halstead even embraced Natalie's son Owen after years of indecision over becoming a stepfather.


"I have no negative feelings about this departure as an actor or character and that's what makes it so hard," Gehlfuss explained, adding that he nearly broke down while filming that heart-wrenching airport scene. "During the last day of shooting, it was really hard to keep my composure. I didn't think I was gonna make it through the scene that I had to do without wailing, but I did. These people are family."

(George Burns Jr/NBC)

Gehlfuss revealed that he decided to leave Chicago Med when his contract came up for renewal, citing his character's complete arc as the main reason for his departure.

"This year was going to be the last year of my second contract, so I was going to have to make a decision about starting a new one or not. A few months ago, I made that decision. It was important to me to let everyone know as soon as I could in advance so that the writers could figure out storyline and I could have time to make that transition away from all these 8 year relationships. It was a difficult decision but I felt I had taken Dr. Halstead as far as I could take him."

When asked whether he would reappear in the One Chicago franchise, Gehlfuss said that he and the writers intentionally left the door open for Dr. Halstead's return:


"We've actually talked about that and that was part of the decision in how we exited Will. I wanted that to be the case, but of course I would have been okay with whatever the writers felt necessary for the story. So I'm glad that they preserve that possibility. They said outright, 'You know, we'd be happy to have you come back whenever you want.' And it's really touching."

"While Will Halstead is leaving, One Chicago is not," Gehlfuss said, addressing the show's fans. "Enjoy the seasons to come."

Chicago Med Season 9 will premiere this fall on NBC.

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