Another paramedic down! Adriyan Rae, who joined Chicago Fire at the start of season 9, will not be returning as a series regular.
The actress, who portrays Gianna Mackey on the NBC drama took to Instagram following the Wednesday, March 17, episode to say goodbye to the show.
“[ Chicago fire ] though it’s coming to an unexpected end, this journey has been nothing short of extraordinary. I have learned sooo many valuable lessons, gone through acting Olympics and come out stronger, and most importantly, met & made so many amazing friends,” the Vagrant Queen alum captioned a slideshow of photos from the procedural. “Thank you to every director, producer, crew member, cast member, transpo, catering, Dick Wolf, and the whole camp. EVERYONE INVOLVED IN ANY CAPACITY! You’ve been amazing and you’re so appreciated. I am forever grateful for each and every one of you and you’re my Fire family for life. We did it! Together we created a beautiful character who is dynamic, and someone I’m very proud I got to portray.”
Later in her statement, she asked for fans to extend her “the same grace, space, and understanding you’d want in any transitional time” and noted that “while it is sad, some things are really only meant for a season and that’s okay.”
She concluded, “I am a human and we are all growing. Great things are coming and we are all exactly where we are supposed to be. with love | with light | from a forever ChiHard.”
Chicago Fire showrunner Derek Haas shed light on the exit following the episode, during which her character accepted a new position at a different firehouse.
“It’s always fun to introduce a new character who brings in new dynamics to the show, and we had fun bringing Mackey to life, especially with her connection to Cruz [Joe Minoso],” the show’s cocreator told Entertainment Weekly. “Adriyan let us know she had some private reasons to leave Chicago. To hear that as a showrunner, you absolutely respect what an actor needs. All I can say is we love her and I know she’s going to be great on some other series.”
The producer teased that the door is open should Rae want to return in the future.
“She left 51 on great terms, so there’s a chance we could check in on her,” he added. “We’re always looking for something to boost up a crossover! I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Mackey in Firehouse 51.”
There has been a revolving door on the paramedic position for years on the Chicago flagship series. At the end of season 8, Annie Ilonzeh, who played Emily Foster for two seasons, exited the series.
Monica Raymund, meanwhile, portrayed paramedic Gabby Dawson from seasons 1 through 6, announcing in 2018 she would not be back for season 7. While Gabby moved to Puerto Rico, she briefly returned for a cameo in season 8 — and has been a large part of the story line in season 9 despite never actually returning.
Earlier this season, Sylvie Brett (Kara Killmer) pumped the breaks on a romance with Matt Casey (Jesse Spencer), who was previously married to Gabby, because he still has unresolved feelings for his ex. To complicate things further, Brett was also best friends with Gabby.
“We always knew it would be difficult just because of their past and the letter ‘G’ hanging over their heads for Gabby,” Haas told Us Weekly exclusively in January. “Our whole thing as writers is just, we want it to be honest. And we want the characters to say the things that I think those two characters with that history would say in this situation.”
Chicago Fire airs on NBC Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET.