We were warned that the next seasons of NBC’s One Chicago dramas would bring some cast shakeups, but nothing could have prepared audiences for the Chicago Med season 8 finale which saw yet another original cast member leave the series in a shocking twist.
We’d say spoiler alert, but the cat has been let out of the bag that Nick Gehlfuss is leaving NBC’s medical drama after eight seasons as a series regular on the show. This means the One Chicago franchise has lost both Halstead brothers within the span of a few months and in the same season.
Following the season 8 finale, Gelhfuss confirmed his exit in a number of post-mortems including an interview with TVLine in which he revealed he made the decision to leave the show months ago and notified the creative team of the decision so they could craft an exit storyline for Halstead. As Gehlfuss told TVLine:
"Well, it was a difficult decision, but I felt, maybe like a few months ago, that I was getting to the point of taking Dr. Halstead as far as I could go with him. A difficult decision because, of course, I have for the last eight years grown with a fantastic group of people, and they have become a family, they really have. We use that word a lot, but it’s the only one that makes sense, and it’s also a community of artists. And so, I’ve laid roots in this town. Chicago was never on my radar, and it’s become home. So it’s difficult to think about leaving something that’s so comfortable… [When] an actor gets involved in this profession, we’re attracted by the variety, and eight years is a long time with one character, and I felt as if I went as far as I could go with him, and that was that, really."
So now that we know Halstead is indeed leaving, how did the show write off the character of Will Halstead?
Why did Halstead leave Chicago Med?
In the Chicago Med season 8 finale, Will uncovered that OR 2.0 was faulty and decided to take matters into his own hands in order to prevent the technology from killing any more patients.
Upon discovering the glitch in OR 2.0’s tech and its involvement in the death of his patient, Will, Grace, and Crockett attempt to get Jack Dayton to pull the tech. When Jack refuses to take action, Will and Grace sabotage OR 2.0 during Jack’s hernia repair which results in the tech being sidelined as investors pull out.
After the incident, Will goes to see Goodwin to take full responsibility and to hand in his resignation from Med knowing Jack will want a fall guy. While Will has almost walked away several times in the past, this one sticks and Will ends up leaving the Windy City after a string of emotional goodbyes.
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Following his exit, Will flies to Seattle where he reunited with his ex-fiancée Natalie Manning and her son Owen. It’s hinted that the pair are finally going to get their happy ending as Will is going to stay with them in Seattle, with the episode ending as they walk off together into their new life.
For the latest Chicago Med spoilers and news, plus more on the entire series, follow the Chicago Med category at One Chicago Center.