How was Chicago Fire season 8 for Emily Foster?
As we continue to look back on Chicago Fire season 8, we’re breaking down the season for each of the show’s characters.
Did your favorite character have a good season or a bad season? What were their strong points and were there any weaknesses? Was the character affected by the show’s writing, or vice versa? Where could they go from here?
Check out our detailed character breakdown, and let us know your thoughts on how this season was for each character in the comments.
In this article, we’re profiling Emily Foster (Annie Ilonzeh).
What happened in Chicago Fire season 8 for Emily Foster
Where her first season focused largely on Foster’s personal life, season 8 kept her busy as a paramedic. She helped Sylvie Brett (Kara Killmer) deal with overdoses in the “Infection” crossover, and also stood by her partner when Investigating possible wrongdoing in the episode “Badlands.”
Personally, her biggest development was moving into Brett and Joe Cruz’s (Joe Minoso) apartment as their new roommate.
But an old theme from last season was also revisited: Foster’s skills as a doctor, and if she would want to use them again. After getting complimented on yet another procedure she did in the field, she began to consider returning to medical school at Northwestern. The season ended with Foster attending her medical school interview; the day after the finale aired, NBC announced that Annie Ilonzeh would not be returning next season.
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What Chicago Fire season 8 means for Emily Foster
It’s kind of irrelevant to talk about Foster’s progression as a character, given that she’s no longer a part of Chicago Fire. Once Annie Ilonzeh departed the show, the question became what is it about Foster that wasn’t worth keeping around?
The circumstances of Ilonzeh’s departure are still kind of ambiguous; she didn’t say anything about wanting to leave, so the presumption is that the producers chose not to renew her contract, akin to what we saw with several One Chicago stars last season. So what about Foster made them feel that they needed to go in a different direction, especially after just two seasons?
It feels like this was something that was brewing for awhile, because the show chose to go back to a plot point it had already brought up in season 7. Foster got a second chance to re-enroll in med school then, and turned it down in what was supposed to be the sign that she was officially a part of Firehouse 51. Then three-quarters of a season later, she’s considering it again; that’s a quick change, and the logic she expressed in the show felt like the writers were rushing to come up with an explanation.
To be fair, she was a good character but she didn’t quite pop off the screen. But to go the other way, that’s also because we didn’t know a ton about her aside from her being bisexual. If more time had been spent developing her friendships outside Brett (remember those cool scenes she had with Severide last season?) and more of her personality aside from “apparent party girl,” maybe she’d have that staying power. So this seems like something that could have been better on both sides, and when the writers couldn’t figure out how to fix it this season, they wrote out the character instead.
Our Chicago Fire season 9 prognosis for Emily Foster
Why are we looking ahead to next season for a departed character? Because there’s the chance that she may not be departed just yet. Remember that this season ended several episodes ahead of schedule; was Foster’s planned exit that scene of her walking away from Northwestern with Brett? Or was there something else Derek Haas wanted to do with her after that?
If it’s the latter, she could pop up when the new season starts for an official farewell, similar to how Chicago Med brought back characters this season because it didn’t give them an actual exit story. It depends on how the writers are able to re-shuffle their stories when production starts up again. They might want to bring Foster back but not have time, and she’ll end up getting some kind of an Antonio-type goodbye where someone just mentions that she left.
Even after that, there is always the possibility that she resurfaces on Chicago Med. She’ll need to do a residency, after all, and she could either do that someplace else or end up staying in Chicago.
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