Chicago Fire dished out lots of personnel changes in the season 12 premiere. The firefighting drama brought back Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney), say goodbye to Blake Gallo (Alberto Rosende), and set up the departure of Sylvie Brett (Kara Killmer). It seems like that would be enough to power the first leg of the season, but it looks like there's more drama to come.
The promo for Chicago Fire season 12, episode 2 was released shortly after the premiere, and it got fans understandably worried about the future of one of the show's most beloved characters: Joe Cruz (Joe Minoso).
Cruz wasn't featured too much in the season premiere, but it looks as though things get tense between him and Severide in the second episode.
The promo shows the two veterans getting into an argument, and voiceover provides additional context regarding Cruz's feelings towards Severide. "For three months I covered for him," Cruz explains. "And he's back, barking orders."
The real kicker comes when Cruz says, point blank:
""I'm tired of feeling disrespected. It's time for me to leave 51.""
Nobody saw this coming, and fans took to social media to voice their concern over what the show would look like without the reliable Cruz. Especially after losing so many series mainstays.
There were some fans who felt that the suddenness of Cruz's announcement is suspicious, and that the character will ultimately decide to stay after squaring things with Severide.
This would obviously be best case scenario, as the 51 is already struggling to find firefighters to fill up its ranks!
While Cruz's statement was definitely concerning, there is some evidence to support the idea that he will be able to squash his beef with Severide and continue to be an invaluable part of the team.
During a recent interview with TV Guide, Chicago Fire showrunner Andrea Newman highlighted the characters who play the biggest role in season 12, and Cruz just so happened to be one of the names mentioned:
""Cruz kind of falls in the same category as Ritter in terms of their loyalties being tested, and there will be challenges for him going forward in terms of dynamics, but he's obviously very much the heart of the firehouse.""
We really hope the character continues to be the heart of the firehouse moving forward!