Most surprising Chicago Fire cast changes of 2022

CHICAGO FIRE -- "The Right Thing" Episode 1004 -- Pictured: Jimmy Nicholas as Chief Hawkins -- (Photo by: Adrian S. Burrows Sr./NBC)
CHICAGO FIRE -- "The Right Thing" Episode 1004 -- Pictured: Jimmy Nicholas as Chief Hawkins -- (Photo by: Adrian S. Burrows Sr./NBC) /

2022 has been an interesting year for Chicago Fire fans, and really the entire One Chicago fandom. While casting changes are nothing new to the franchise, there’s no denying that 2022 brought with it some of the most shocking and unexpected casting shakeups we’ve seen in recent years — perhaps in the history of the franchise.

While Chicago Med has been hit the hardest this year with so many cast members leaving the show, Chicago Fire has also featured some notable departures across the year. And what’s made the exits on Chicago Fire stand out so much this year has been the shocking nature in which they’ve unfolded.

There have been some major casting shakeups this year on Chicago Fire, but we have to confess we never saw these exits coming.

Chicago Fire cast changes that shocked us in 2022

  • Brett Dalton exits as Lieutenant Jason Pelham
  • Chris Mansa exits as Mason
  • Jimmy Nicholas exits as Chief Evan Hawkins

Let’s start with the first shocking exit 2022 brought with it: Brett Dalton. After being introduced in the seventh episode of season 10 to help fill the void left by Jesse Spencer’s exit, it seemed Dalton would be sticking around as Lieutenant Jason Pelham. However, he left the show almost as fast as he arrived with his exit coming after just nine episodes with the show.

Speaking of abrupt exits, Pelham wasn’t the only new addition introduced in season 10 who saw a swift and unexpected departure this year.

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When Chris Mansa joined the cast as Mason, it seemed like he’d be a part of the show’s future moving forward as 51’s newest hire. So imagine how surprised we were when he was unexpectedly written off the show in the season 11 premiere without so much as a proper goodbye with his exit unfolding off-camera.

Fortunately, the door was left open for both characters to return in the future. The same, sadly, cannot be said about this year’s final shocking departure.

When looking back at 2022, there is absolutely no denying this year’s biggest cast change came with the unexpected exit of Jimmy Nicholas as Chief Evan Hawkins in the third episode of season 11.

While we were prepared to lose someone in the episode, never did we anticipate it would be Chief Hawkins who would perish when 51 responded to a movie theater fire. This is because Hawkins was not a firefighter or active member of 51, so there was no reason for us to believe he’d even be in the line of danger.

Alas, Hawkins died a hero’s death and managed to shatter our hearts in the process with his departure.

Next. Who’s in, who’s out on Chicago Fire, Med and PD. dark

For the latest Chicago Fire season 11 spoilers and news, plus more on the entire series, follow the Chicago Fire category at One Chicago Center.