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This Actor Is Leaving Chicago Fire, & It Will Never Be the Same

After six seasons as badass firefighter/paramedic Gabriela “Gabby” Dawson, Monica Raymund is officially leaving Chicago Fire. She’s been part of the NBC franchise since its debut, but now she says it’s time for her to move forward.

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On Tuesday, Raymund announced her official exit from the Dick Wolf drama on Twitter. “It has been an honor to play Dawson on Chicago Fire and one of the most meaningful experiences of my life,” Raymund wrote. “I am so thankful for the journey and especially to all of you for watching, but I have made the decision that it’s time for me to move on to the next chapter in life. I’ll always be proud to have played a fierce paramedic with such an incredible cast and crew. On to the next! See you on the ice. Love, Monica.”

Right before the Season 6 finale last Thursday, there were reports circulating Raymund wouldn’t be returning to the series, and now we know for certain. Her departure is a huge loss for ‘shippers of Dawsey (Dawson and Matt Casey, played by Jesse Spencer). They’ve been a massive part of the show and one of the most beloved couples.

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But as fans have seen over the past few seasons, they’ve hit many rough patches. It all came to a head in the finale, when Dawson decided she wanted to have a baby — and carry the child, despite doctors telling her she has an aneurysm that could rupture during pregnancy.

She and Casey were at odds by episode’s end with Dawson saying it’s her body, her risk and her choice. Casey didn’t like hearing that and hit his breaking point. As he said to her, “I guess that’s the crux of it, the thing I’ve never really understood.” He continued, “When you adopted Louie without me, when you hid the fact you were helping Bria. You make these big emotional decisions as if my input doesn’t matter.”

Dawson tried to argue with Casey that she can’t be dependent on how he feels or on her husband. He didn’t agree and asked, “Why not, Gabby?! What’s wrong with being dependent on someone who loves you with everything he has?! This is one decision you can’t leave me out of. Either we’re in it together or we’re not in it at all.”

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The finale ended with Dawson wanting to know more about a team of volunteer paramedics heading to Puerto Rico to help after the disastrous hurricane. She didn’t make her final decision, but now that we know Raymund is done, there’s a good chance Dawson opted to go.

What does this mean for Casey? (Spencer is returning.) It seems most likely Dawsey will get divorced, which is something Spencer reflected on while chatting with Us Weekly after the finale.

“If the relationship couldn’t last, then it would be good for Casey to be single and focus on being a firefighter again,” the actor told Us. “I think, taking time to take a step back from relationships and to gather himself again … they’ve seen a lot of tragedy so they’re good at picking up the pieces and moving on. I’d like to see Casey be a single guy and really focus on his job and do what he does best.”

Raymund’s exit is going to cause a major shift in Chicago Fire. Dawson’s been a huge player since the very beginning, so it will be interesting to see how the drama pushes on without her. Even more so, Casey’s storyline has involved Dawson for a long time, so who knows what’s in store for him?

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Whatever happens, it’s going to be a lot for fans to digest, especially female viewers. Dawson has been an empowering figure for women since the get-go, and her exit marks a sad day. But, Raymund wanting to make a life change and pursue new opportunities is her choice and one fans should support.

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