The long wait for One Chicago to return after the WGA strike and SAG-AFTRA strike both ended isn't over just yet, but the shows can finally start moving forward for the 2024 TV premiere schedule. Unfortunately, that means news that Chicago Fire is losing another series regular. Kara Killmer, who has been part of Firehouse 51 as paramedic Sylvie Brett since Season 3, will depart in the upcoming Season 12. While that raises some big questions and will mark the exit of the show's longest-running paramedic, it also makes me less worried about the Brettsey cliffhanger from the Season 11 finale.
Kara Killmer will return to Chicago Fire in Season 12 but leave at some point during the new season, according to TVLine. No further details about when or how have been revealed at the time of writing, although Fire is expected to run for 13 episodes after the long strike delay. It's possible that Brett's exit will be handled similarly to how Fire brought back Jesse Spencer in Season 10 and Chicago P.D. brought back Jesse Lee Soffer in Season 10 to write exits for their characters, which would mean considerably less than the full season.
As fans may remember from the conclusion of Season 11 back in May, the finale ended with three cliffhangers: Stella deciding to go after Severide after his long absence due to Taylor Kinney's break, Casey proposing to Brett, and Mouch possibly bleeding out in the hospital. If I'm being totally honest, I wish that I had reason to feel better about the Mouch cliffhanger over either of the other two since his was the life-and-death ending, but Kara Killmer's exit certainly suggests a happy ending for her and Casey in Season 12.
Ever since Casey popped the question to Brett in the Season 11 finale, I could only see a happy outcome for Brettsey if Jesse Spencer was returning as a series regular or Kara Killmer was leaving as a series regular. There was no indication that Spencer was planning on returning as more than a guest star; when there was also no news that Killmer was going anywhere, it seemed like Brett and Casey were headed for heartache yet again. Now, I'm pretty confident that Brett will accept his proposal and the two will ride off into the sunset in Portland, Oregon.
I was personally hoping for the third option that she would say no to the proposal as a sign of personal growth, and not just because I've always been a Dawsey fan at heart. Kara Killmer has been an important part of Chicago Fire going back to the early seasons, and I've particularly enjoyed her paramedicine storyline with Mouch in recent years. Hopefully that will continue even after Brett leaves, perhaps with Violet picking up where her former Ambulance 61 partner left off. My fingers are crossed that Mouch is going to survive, of course, so they could even work together!
For now, we can only wait and wonder about what's ahead with Kara Killmer bowing out of Chicago Fire. It'd be nice for her and Casey if they get a happy ending, and that's my expectation at this point. I'd also love if Killmer was able to stick around for seven episodes of Season 12, since she's currently credited with 193 episodes of Fire.
Sure, she didn't actually appear in all of those episodes due to Brett visiting Casey for a while back in Season 10, but it'd be a fun milestone for her to be credited for 200 episodes. In a season running for the usual 20+ episodes, I might even be optimistic about Killmer sticking around to hit 200. Not much is 100% certain in the wake of the strikes and a shortened Season 12, however. For now, fans can always revisit earlier days of Chicago Fire streaming with a Peacock Premium subscription.