If there is one thing that the One Chicago shows are becoming known for, it’s finales that set up the exits of beloved characters.
Across the franchise’s many seasons, the finales have been used to lay the groundwork for character exits at the top of the next season or bid farewell to characters in the closing hour of the season. This trend continued with the 2023 One Chicago finales, all of which left the futures of several main characters up in the air.
Chicago Med seemed to hint that Will Halstead was leaving Med for good. Chicago Fire teased the possible death of Mouch and left the whereabouts of Severide up in the air, leaving Kidd heading out of town to track him down. Finally, Chicago PD left Ruzek’s life handing in the balance after he was shot in the chest in the epic conclusion to the undercover storyline from the season.
While these stories were designed to create conversations among the audiences and leave fans guessing all summer long, there is at least one One Chicago actor we know definitely won’t be returning as a series regular next season: Nick Gehlfuss.
Why is Nick Gehlfuss leaving Chicago Med?
In the Chicago Med season 8 finale, Will hands in his resignation after taking full responsibility for his and Grace’s decision to sabotage OR 2.0 during Jack’s presentation after Jack refused to pull the tech which they had proven to be unreliable and at fault for a patient’s death. After walking away from Med, Will hops on a flight and heads out to Seattle where he is reunited with Natalie.
The reason for Will’s exit is made very clear in the episode, but why exactly did Nick Gehlfuss choose to leave the show? As it turns out, the answer was quite simple: he simply felt as though he could take the character as far as he could.
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Speaking with Variety following the Chicago Med finale, Gehlfuss revealed that he felt it was time to finally move on from the character hinting that he’s looking for some variety in his career and is ready to explore new opportunities after eight years on the show.
"“It was a difficult decision, but ultimately, I felt I’d taken Dr. Halstead as far as I can go with him. I think that comes down to a creative part of you, or the energy or spirit you have that you’re either built for a very long time with one person or not,” Gehlfuss tells Variety. “I am attracted to the profession for the variety in it, and eight years is a long time. It’s two college degrees! I’m joking now that I basically have a doctorate in television.”"
As for what Gelhfuss would like to do now that his time on Chicago Med is coming to an end? Well, it seems he has his eyes on a totally different genre.
"“I’d love to be a cowboy,” he revealed. “I’d love to get outdoors. I love being outside. Ultimately, I want to develop new, different characters. It was a real gift to be able to explore one character for eight years. TV allows that possibility of course, and so I look forward to doing so again.”"
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