We don't expect to see Lauren German back on Chicago Fire for season 13

The character has been away from Firehouse 51 too long.
2017 Summer TCA Tour - Fox - Arrivals
2017 Summer TCA Tour - Fox - Arrivals / Alberto E. Rodriguez/GettyImages

Lauren German was a big part of Chicago Fire's initial success. Her performance as medic Leslie Shay lent a heaviness to the show, which has always tried to strike a balance between drama and moments of levity.

Unfortunately, the character's troubled history caught up with her in the season 2 finale. Shay was killed in the field, which means it's been ten seasons since German was last seen walking around 51. Could she return? Chicago PD's decision to bring back the late Alvin Olinksy (Elias Koteas) makes the concept less far-fetched than it may have seemed, say, a season ago.

Lauren German's character was killed in Fire season 2

Chicago Fire - Season Pilot
CHICAGO FIRE -- Season: Pilot -- Pictured: (l-r) Teri Reeves as Hallie, David Eigenberg as Christopher Hermann, Charlie Barnett as Peter Mills, Lauren German as Leslie Shay, Monica Raymund as Gabriella Dawson, Taylor Kinney as Kelly Severide, Jesse Spencer as Matthew Casey, Eamonn Walker as Battalion Chief Wallace Boden -- (Photo by: Sandro/NBC) /

Unfortunately, the chances of seeing Lauren German return as Leslie Shay are slim. On the surface, Shay and Olinksy occupy similar spaces in the One Chicago universe, but the latter character has been consistently referenced since he died. He's still relevant in the eyes of the fans and the IU members who worked alongside him.

Leslie Shay, on the other hand, predates most of the current 51 members. There are a couple vets who remember her, like Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney), but she's unknown to the generations that have come in over the last decade. She hasn't been mentioned, or paid tribute to in any recent episodes, either.

Shay barely has a connection to the current 51 roster

Chicago Fire - Season 12
CHICAGO FIRE -- "Under Pressure" Episode 12012 -- Pictured: (l-r) Taylor Kinney as Kelly Severide, Hanako Greensmith as Violet Mikami, Jocelyn Hudon as Novak, Joe Minoso as Joe Cruz -- (Photo by: Adrian S Burrows Sr/NBC) /

There's also the flashback episode. Chicago Fire season 3 opened with a lengthy flashback episode in which deceased characters like Shay and Andy Darden (Corey Sorenson) were brought back. The flashbacks were meant to show what 51 was like prior to the show, and pay tribute to Shay, who had died an episode earlier.

This is another way of saying that Chicago Fire can't use the flashback trick in season 13, because it already did it a decade earlier. The show could technically go the Chicago PD route and have Leslie Shay appear as a hallucination, but doing so, so soon after Olinksy, would feel like a blatant copy of the spinoff.

Barring some third, previously undiscussed option, Lauren German will not be returning to Chicago Fire anytime soon.

Next. MD. Every Chicago Fire medic who left the show. dark