Prepare to bid farewell to one of "Chicago Fire" main characters. Following the cliffhanger in the season 2 finale that left the fate of all members of Firehouse 51, except for Chief Boden (Eamonn Walker), up in the air, showrunner Matt Olmstead says one familiar face won't return to the show in the upcoming season 3.
"Not everybody makes it out of that building," he says of a huge explosion that went off inside a warehouse when the team was in the middle of a search and rescue, "and then certainly what people deal with in terms of the loss of whomever that character is, that's definitely what we're dealing with in the first episode and beyond."
Dishing on the season opener that will take off where the second season finale left off, star Yuri Sardarov reveals, "In the episode, they're going to use a dramatic device that we've never used before on Fire to show the repercussions and why what happened happened. I just got the script. I've read it three times now and I've cried every single time." He goes on teasing the heartwrenching episode, "There will be many tears at the end of it."
Sardarov assures fans that it's not his character Otis which will be killed off, saying, "I'm very happy that I get to come back. It's exciting." The actor, however, claims that he's left in the dark about his character's storyline in the future, sharing, "I went and had lunch with [co-creator] Derek Haas. I walked into the writer's room and they had the board with the story lines for the entire season, and my name was the only name blacked out."
While the show has featured several deaths in the past, this one will hit the hardest, according to Olmstead. He explains to TV Guide, "In the pilot, there was a death of a character that you knew for about 30 seconds. This will be the death of a character that you're much more invested in. It's this family that takes a hit, and how do you come back from it? It's been done before, but not to this extent. ... The loss of a main character is a big deal."
He adds that the accident "does shake things up within the house in terms of who's doing what, because there are also injuries from that collapse," but on the positive side the tragic loss "brings Severide (Taylor Kinney) and Casey (Jesse Spencer) together." Olmstead additionally says the team's loss means the arrival of a new face "to ultimately fill in the role of the character that's not going to make it."
Sardarov chimes in, "They do such an incredible job of finding the right actors to fit into the show. There hasn't been a single person guest star or regular that hasn't become a part of our family so it's just exciting to start to bring in different x factors and see how they fit. I know that whoever they bring is really going to relate to us very well and they're going to fit whatever holes are present."
"Chicago Fire" season 3 premieres Tuesday, September 23 at 10/9c on NBC.