A surprising farewell! Nick Gehlfuss exited Chicago Med after eight seasons — but his goodbye episode had a silver lining for fans.
Gehlfuss, 38, has been part of the Chicago Med cast, playing Dr. Will Halstead, since its 2015 premiere. The doctor drama marked the third One Chicago show from Dick Wolf, following Chicago Fire in 2012 and Chicago P.D. in 2014.
During his farewell episode, which aired on Wednesday, May 24, Will left the hospital for his next adventure, which involved leaving the Windy City. When he arrived at his destination, he got picked up at the airport by his ex-fiancée Dr. Natalie Manning (Torrey DeVitto).
Will hinted at his happily ever after during the final scene when he asked Natalie how long she would be OK with him staying in town. Natalie — who left the Chicago hospital a few years prior after stealing pills to help her mother — made it clear that she never wants him to leave her side again.
Fans were first introduced to Will Halstead during season 2 of Chicago P.D. when viewers learned that he was the brother of Detective Jay Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer). Gehlfuss continued to pop up on P.D. and Fire from time to time while portraying the Chicago-based doctor on Med.
During his time on Med, Will had an on-off relationship with Natalie (DeVitto). Will proposed to Natalie during season 3 of the show but the twosome called off their engagement the following season.
The pair’s love story was left open ended after DeVitto announced in May 2021 she was exiting the series ahead of season 7. Her character, however, made a brief cameo during the season 7 premiere in September of that year and gave audiences hope that Natalie and Will would end up together down the line.
“You better keep in touch,” Will told his ex-fiancée at the time as she got in her car to drive away. “I’ll come find you.”
DeVitto’s 2021 departure marked the beginning of many Med casting shakeups. Yaya DaCosta, who played April Sexton, left the show that same year and was absent from all of season 7. She later returned to film a few season 8 episodes. Brian Tee, who portrayed Ethan Choi, stepped back from the series in December 2022 after season 8.
Gehlfuss’ departure, meanwhile, signifies the end of the Halstead brothers’ run in the One Chicago universe. Soffer, 38, left Chicago P.D. in October 2022 at the beginning of season 10.
“Halstead’s totally in my blood and always will be so, never say never,” the New York native exclusively told Us Weekly in March of possibly returning for future episodes. “But I’m taking it one day at a time just like everybody else.”
Soffer, who directed a March episode of Chicago P.D., noted he “really struggled a long time making that decision” to walk away and is “not opposed” to directing more for the series. “I’m definitely interested in scratching that itch more and learning more and having more directing experience, so not opposed to it. We’ll see,” he added.
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Chicago Med will return for season 9 on NBC this fall.