Did CHICAGO FIRE Kill Off the Wrong Character?


*Warning: Spoilers about the premiere of CHICAGO FIRE below

If you read my Show Whisperer post a little while ago, you know how shocked/stunned/saddened I am over the the death of Leslie Shay on CHICAGO FIRE. Not only am I all those emotions but I’m confused from a TV critic’s perspective. I say that because Shay was the most intriguing character and the character we knew the least about on the show. I didn’t say I wanted this new season to be the season of Shay just to say something or because I’m tired of the other characters. I said that because the little arcs the Lauren German was given, she knocked out of the park and I wanted her to have a real 10-episode plus arc that would give more information into her character.

I understand that the show is called CHICAGO FIRE so they need as many firefighters as possible but I don’t understand why killing off one them wasn’t the path the writers took. A squad member or one of the fighters from truck 81 would have been just as impactful as Shay’s death. I understand how the fallout from Shay’s death is going to lead to some great plots for Severide and Dawson but I just think that the plots that could have happened involving Shay should have outweighed what the writers can do with her death.

We knew the least about Shay compared to the other main characters (which I identify as: Severide, Casey, Dawson and maybe the Chief and Mills) and I was looking forward to the episodes where they unraveled her backstory more. Plus in a show that is so male dominated it was nice to have a character that not only was not interested in men but would call them on their crap. Shay brought new and different storylines because there was never the plan B of just putting her in a relationship with one of the male characters. I wonder if that was one of the reasons that caused her to be chosen as the big death. The only time female characters are introduced is to a be love interest for a short time. Which is shocking because the best, most stable female/male relationship on the show was Severide and Shay (sorry, Dawson and Casey your relationship has given me whiplash for seasons).

I just don’t get this creative move, TV Addicts! I understand why they couldn’t kill off Dawson (Casey has been through enough and shouldn’t have to lose another girlfriend) or Casey or Severide or the Chief and I even get Miles. But that is where my understanding ends. There are 5 plus firefighters that would have caused just as much drama from their death. I’ve read interviews with the showrunners and it kind of seemed like they just threw a dart at the wall in picking Shay. And because of this we, the viewers, are left without the most interesting character on the show.

Can someone, anyone explain to me why this was the best move? Sound off below to defend Shay’s death or try your hand at explaining it to me.

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  • megriffin2

    I agree! Honestly this was so enraging, I don’t even want to watch the show anymore.

  • Michele MacKay

    I’m 100% with you Kelly. I’ve read many interviews with the showrunner and many more comments, and no matter how I look at it, it just seems like a very stupid move. The showrunner themselves said of Shay “Any kind of reluctance we had was because she brought so much to the show and gave us so many great story lines.” And yet they sacrificed a great character that could’ve given them great stories for seasons to come for one story that has pissed off so many fans and will only last for maybe 6-10 episodes. It’s like sacrificing your queen to take a pawn. Add to that Shay being the third female regular/recurring character they killed off versus zero men in a mostly male cast, and the relationship between Shay and Severide being the heart and soul of the show, and the friendship between a straight man and a gay woman being something fresh and special, and there is just no sense to it. For me, killing Shay killed the show. It’s a shame, because Chicago Fire was my favorite show the last two years, but I have to let it go. It would only piss me off even more if I tried to keep watching it. Why should I care if they expand Molly’s or Casey gives Dawson a big fat diamond ring or Severide starts womanizing again? I just don’t, because all I care about is that they killed off Shay for no good reason.