Emily Foster (Annie Ilonzeh) was poised to become a main character on Chicago Fire. She was introduced as a replacement for Gabby Dawson (Monica Raymund) in season 7, and quickly set up as someone who was going to play opposite the established personalities on the show.
Then, seemingly out of nowhere, she was gone. She left the show the following season, and has not appeared onscreen since. What happened? Well, that’s what we’re here to find out.
Here’s what you need to know about Emily Foster’s exit from Chicago Fire.
Is Emily Foster coming back to Chicago Fire?
Foster had become a key player by the time season 8 rolled around, and the finale, which saw her make a plea to return to medical school, hinted at some interesting developments. By all accounts, there was supposed to be more to Foster’s medical school subplot, but COVID-19 cut the season short, which unintentionally left things on a cliffhanger.
By the time season 9 rolled around, Foster was nowhere to be found. There was no discernible reason for the character’s departure onscreen, like death or transfer, so the next likely cause is behind the scenes.
The actress who plays Foster, Annie Ilonzeh, signed a contract with APA, or the Agency for Performing Arts, after season 8 wrapped. According to Deadline, she signed her Chicago Fire contract with her previous agency, and when the transfer was made, an extension was not arranged.
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In short, it looks as though the cause for the character’s exit was the actor’s contract dispute. It’s a shame, given her popularity with fans, and the sudden axing of a storyline that seemed to have a lot of dramatic potential.
It’s always possible that Foster could return for a cameo, as her predecessor, Dawson did, but given that two seasons have passed since she was last mentioned, the odds are slim. In contrast to Dawson, who had a direct tie to Casey (Jesse Spencer), there isn’t really a tie that would justify Foster’s comeback.
Ilonzeh is set to appear in the upcoming TV series Getaway.
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