Leslie Shay (Lauren German) was a troubled character from the start. She struggled to put the past behind her, and when she did, further complications arose due to traumatic experiences on the job. That being said, Shay was an integral part of the Chicago Fire formula, and her subplots often provided the most drama.
Her departure in season 2 was shocking due to how sudden it was, but it served as a reminder of how dangerous being a first responder can be, regardless of what’s going on in the lives of the men and women who do it for a living.
Is Shay coming back to Chicago Fire?
Predictably, Shay will not be coming back to Chicago Fire in season 12. The character died after being caught in a partial building collapse, making it impossible for her to return outside of a flashback sequence. And, as we’ve stated before, the show hasn’t relied on flashbacks since season 3.
Generally, Chicago Fire is a show that prefers to look forward, and commemorate fallen characters by referencing them or paying tribute to them in some present tense manner. The writers across the One Chicago universe have avoided flashbacks in recent seasons, and barring some major changes, this format will stay the same in the upcoming season.
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Ultimately, it’s for the best. Shay’s death was so tragic, and the emotional tailspin it sent her friend Severide (Taylor Kinney) was so crucial to the overall arc of the character, and his role within the show, that bringing her back from the dead would undo a lot of that. Things are precarious as it is with Severide, given that we don’t know whether he will be returning.
That said, we wouldn’t mind a reference to Shay, which would be the most logical coming from Severide. Not only due to the fact that they were close, but the fact that several of the 51 team were not around when Shay died.
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