Since it premiered in 2012, fans of Chicago Fire quickly grew accustomed to witnessing their favorite characters depart. Under the argument that it is a firefighter drama in which the lives of the members of the 51st battalion are exposed to danger, its producers have constantly hidden behind that fact to resort to unexpected dramatic turns to cause an impact on their audience throughout the series. 10 seasons that it takes to the air.
While some characters’ story arcs have spanned a wide creative spectrum ranging from tragedy to something as simple as a move, many still remember dramatic departures like that of the first hero to die on the hit show, Matt Casey’s best friend. (Jesse Spencer) back then, Andy Darden (Corey Sorenson) and the death of Otis (Yuri Sardarov) in Season 8, to name two instances that left co-workers and fans of the drama devastated alike. However, there is a character that, without having resorted to a significant twist, his dismissal still causes a mixture of nostalgia and strangeness.
It has been nearly seven years since star Charlie Barnett stepped away from the series in which he played lovable rookie firefighter Peter Mills, who was seen on screen for a total of 66 episodes in the first three seasons of Chicago Fire, to subsequently say goodbye to the audience after making the difficult decision to abandon his colleagues from the famous fire station. Situation that even today for many of his fans was not only sad but also incomprehensible, which led to some theories that something had happened behind the scenes.
As you may remember, rookie firefighter Peter Mills decided not only to leave his job and his team at the 51st Battalion of the Chicago Fire, but even to put aside his vocation of saving lives to dedicate himself to the restaurant that his sister and mother would start. run in distant North Carolina as part of a new business venture. To the perplexity of the audience when the news broke, one of the executive producers of the NBC television drama, Matt Olmstead, explained:
“We decided it was time to let go of a character and it was time to keep the series from becoming overstuffed with too many characters.”
Something as simple as the producers of Chicago Fire deciding the time was right for a major character to come out and casting kind and beloved firefighter Peter Mills out of the series wasn’t convincing enough for its fans. Although the rest of the production and writers confirmed how difficult it was to write and make the episode in which he would leave the show, they all assure that it was the right thing because they considered that he had already completed a cycle and had nothing more to give.
It was through an interview with the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, when his last episode was broadcast that the actor declared that his departure from Chicago Fire also surprised him. At first he couldn’t believe when he received the news from the management that the writers had decided to end Peter Mills’ story in the drama. This was what Barnett explained at the time:
“It was a normal day of filming. I hadn’t heard anything about it and then they took me to a room and sat me down and apologized. They expressed that it was not about me or myself as an actor or my personality. On the other hand, they praised all of that, but felt that Peter had reached a plateau and the writers didn’t know where to take him because he had already done so much. They even apologized so much that they upped the ante in the first and second years and did more with Peter than they bargained for.”