One Chicago’s 6 best sibling relationships

CHICAGO MED -- "When To Let Go" Episode 402 -- Pictured: (l-r) Jesse Lee Soffer as Jay Halstead, Nick Gehlfuss as Will Halstead -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Morris/NBC)
CHICAGO MED -- "When To Let Go" Episode 402 -- Pictured: (l-r) Jesse Lee Soffer as Jay Halstead, Nick Gehlfuss as Will Halstead -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Morris/NBC) /
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One Chicago
CHICAGO FIRE — “An Even Bigger Surprise” Episode 603 — Pictured: (l-r) Jeff Lima as Leon, Joe Minoso as Joe Cruz — (Photo by: Elizabeth Morris/NBC) /

4. Joe and Leon Cruz

Not many siblings would go to great lengths to free their brother from a gang, but that’s exactly what Joe Cruz (Joe Minoso) did in another of our favorite One Chicago sibling relationships.

In Chicago Fire season 1, we were introduced to Cruz’s younger brother Leon (Jeff Lima) in a rather explosive way: he had been wounded during a gang shootout. Making a spur-of-the-moment decision, Cruz takes his brother to Truck 81 and drives him to the hospital rather than wait for an ambulance to arrive.

This goes against protocol, but all Cruz can think about is his brother and saving his life. And driving him to the hospital in the fire truck was just the start of Cruz’s attempts to get Leon away from the gang he had become caught up in—a crusade that put him in terrible danger himself and made him make decisions he’ll never forget.

Cruz tries several times to get his Leon out of the gang during Chicago Fire season 1, all of which fail. In “Merry Christmas, Etc.” the story reaches a breaking point. Cruz hears gunshots inside a burning building and goes running in with the intention of saving the lives of the inhabitants. But to his surprise, they’re members of the Kings gang that Leon is affiliated with.

When he finds the Kings’ leader Flaco (José Antonio García), Cruz makes another instinctual decision but a much more terrible one—he leaves Flaco to die in the fire. The guilt is soon eating away at him and when Cruz informs Matthew Casey (Jesse Spencer), he’s forced to choose between turning himself in or resigning. Luckily, Cruz is able to keep his job and keep out of trouble himself.

Leon’s life turns around briefly, as he even goes to college, but in Chicago Fire season 2, the brothers’ relationship takes another turn. Against his older brother’s wishes, Leon partners up with Hank Voight’s (Jason Beghe) Intelligence Unit to help take down Flaco’s replacement. Leon is able to help close the case, but at the cost of his future—he, too, has to leave Chicago for his own safety.

Luckily, he came back in “An Even Bigger Surprise” to help celebrate Joe’s birthday, and seems like he’s doing great!

Not many siblings would be willing to risk their own life and freedom, but the relationship between Joe and Leon Cruz is an exception. Joe put everything he had at risk to get Leon away from the gang life and set him on the straight and narrow. Leon managed to repay this debt by staying out of trouble and getting his life back on track. One Chicago told a great redemption story with the Cruz brothers.