Peter Mills left Chicago Fire suddenly. He decided that he was going to move to North Carolina to open a restaurant with his family in season 3, and he was never heard from again. This was tough on fans who had grown fond of the character, and there’s always been a contingency who thought he might return to the 51 at some point.
It’s been a long time since Mills step foot inside of the firehouse, so it would definitely be interesting to see him interact with the characters who were around when he was part of the team. That being said, we’re doubtful that Mills, and the actor who plays him, Charlie Barnett, will be returning for season 12.
Is Peter Mills returning to Chicago Fire?
For starters, season 3 was almost a decade ago. The character doesn’t mean as much to some viewers as he used to, and that’s not even getting into the fact that he would be seeing people who weren’t even part of the 51 team back then. He doesn’t know Violet (Hanako Greensmith) or Gallo (Alberto Rosende), so the emotional payoff would be limited.
There’s also the fact that Barnett has moved on from the show after a lengthy period of having a hard time doing so. “[The show] was a behemoth that I never really saw coming. I was thankful to be a part of it,” he told Digital Spy. “I really was sad to be let go. It broke me for quite a long time.”
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The actor went on to tell the outlet that he eventually got over the shock of being written out of the show, and was ultimately thankful for the career opportunities he was able to take as a result. “It was a blessing in disguise, and they all told me that,” he recalled. “You never really see that in life, in general. You never see the bad moments becoming the good. It wouldn’t be. It wouldn’t be what it was, I think, if you did recognize it for what it is in the moment. So I’m thankful.”
Given the complicated circumstances in which Barnett left, we imagine that a cameo so long after the fact would lack the impact that a cameo would have in say, season 6 or 7.
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