Chicago Fire spoilers: Is Joe Cruz leaving Chicago Fire?

CHICAGO FIRE -- "A White Knuckle Panic" Episode 915 -- Pictured: Joe Minoso as Joe Cruz -- (Photo by: Lori Allen/NBC)
CHICAGO FIRE -- "A White Knuckle Panic" Episode 915 -- Pictured: Joe Minoso as Joe Cruz -- (Photo by: Lori Allen/NBC) /

Chicago Fire has a tendency to end its seasons with the lives of at least a few characters hanging in the balance and season 9 was no different!

Leading up to the final moments of the finale, it was starting to look as though Chicago Fire season 9 was going to chart its own course in tapping into more relationship and personal storyline cliffhangers with possible career changes looming and major personal decisions to be made.

However, we should have known better as the writers managed to once again leave us speechless with a season-ending cliffhanger that has left us wondering if we could perhaps be saying goodbye to a member of 51 when Chicago Fire season 10 arrives this fall. 

** Warning: The following post contains spoilers from the Chicago Fire season 9 finale **

Is Joe Cruz leaving Chicago Fire?

As Chicago Fire season 9 came to an end, Squad responded to a call of an overturned boat in Lake Michigan leading them to perform an underwater rescue.

After suiting up in their scuba gear, Severide (Taylor Kinney), Cruz (Joe Minoso), Capp (Randy Flagler) and Tony (Anthony Ferraris) took to the waters and made their way into the overturned boat. The first part of their rescue efforts seemed to go smoothly in that the team was able to locate the trapped victim, but that’s when things took what could prove to be a deadly turn for the worst.

Before Squad could get the victim out of the overturned boat, the boat collapsed on top of them resulting in their escape route being blocked. As if things couldn’t get any worse, the team’s oxygen tanks had run out of air and the water was quickly rising.

In the final moments of the finale, the water rises above their heads just as the episode fades to black leaving the fate of the four Squad members very much up in the air. So what does the finale mean for the future of the members of Squad, particularly, Joe Cruz?

Considering that where we left Cruz in the final moments of the season, there is understandably a lot of fear among fans that Cruz could be leaving the show. While 51 has a pretty solid track record for making it out of life-threatening situations, 51 has not been without its fair share of loss over the years.

Because of the season’s cliffhanger, it’s hard to determine whether Cruz is leaving Chicago Fire, but if we had to make an educated guess our money is on Cruz surviving the ordeal. While the writers could throw us an unexpected curveball, it feels like there are more stories to be told for Cruz and we don’t even want to entertain the idea of Cruz not getting the chance to meet his unborn child.

Is Joe Minoso leaving Chicago Fire?

Given the way in which Chicago Fire season 9 ended with Cruz’s life hanging in the balance, it’s unclear whether the storyline was introduced as a possible exit storyline for actor Joe Minoso.

We don’t currently know the status of Minoso’s contract with the show and it’s not uncommon for writers to leave the fate of characters up in the air on contract years just in case a particular member of the cast chooses not to return. That said, a post-finale Instagram post from Minoso might hold the clue to his future with the show.

Following the finale, Minoso shared a behind-the-scenes photo from set taken during the filming of the finale sequence. In the caption, he thanked the crew for the “remarkable experience” in cheering season 9. He then closed the caption by noting that he would “see you all in season 10… HOPEFULLY.”

While the caption is a direct nod to Cruz’s fate being left up in the air, the playful way in which he teases fans seems to suggest he’s hoping to be back and therefore not looking to exit the show. Now that we know Minoso is on board and interested in being part of season 10, it will all come down to the direction the writers choose to go in and whether they’ll allow Cruz to live to see another day.

We’ll have to wait to see how things play out and it’s likely we won’t know more about Minoso’s future on the show until closer to the start of production on Chicago Fire season 10. For now, we’ll remain optimistic that no news is good news as we can’t imagine Chicago Fire without Cruz or Minoso.

Next. Is Chicago Fire renewed for season 10?. dark

For the latest Chicago Fire season 9 spoilers and news, plus more on the entire series, follow the Chicago Fire category at One Chicago Center.