Chicago Fire fans are devastated after the Season 8 premiere saw the horrifying death of Brian Zvonecek, aka Otis. The episode picked up after Season 7's cliffhanger finale episode, finding the firefighters racing to isolate themselves in a room in the mattress factory basement before equipment exploded. Otis (Yuriy Sardarov) did not make it to the room in time and was caught in the blast.
Despite Cruz (Joe Minoso) finding him and the team racing him to the hospital, he died of his severe injuries.
Although Sardarov posted a promo post on social media for Wednesday's episode, he has yet to publicly comment on his character's death. However, that didn't stop fans from taking to the comments section of his last post to react to the gut-punch.
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"Never ready to see Otis die. I mean really. WHY?" one Instagram user wrote.
"[Oh my God] why????????" another said.
"Nooooooooooo," someone else wrote.
"Heartbroken," another said.
"Nooooooooo!!!! Come Back, Otis!!!" someone else wrote.
Fans also took to the comments section of the show's official Instagram, which mourned the loss of Otis with a quote: "Brother, I will be with you always."
"I cried too hard," one fan wrote. Another posted several broken heart emojis.
"my eyes are leaking. RIP Otis," someone else said.
"No. Words," one person wrote.
"Made me cry, why Otis, he was a great guy, loved him!!" someone else wrote.
Although it's not much consolation to heartbroken fans, Chicago Fire co-creator and showrunner Derek Haas told Entertainment Tonight that while the decision to write Otis off was difficult, it had to happen to move the story forward.
"It's been a long time since we had a main character go," he said.
"I've known Yuriy since before Chicago Fire, since he was a junior in college," Haas revealed. "We did a movie together that I wrote and produced back in 2011. He's a great guy. But you think, 'OK, what can I do that's going to really put some teeth back into this show, in terms of these dangerous situations that we put our characters in?' And you can only write them in and out of corners so many times before the audience just stops caring about the situation."
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Haas continued, saying Otis' death will effect everyone on the crew.
"We didn't want to just write it off in the first episode and then forget that he existed. That's not real life and that's not the way it works," Haas said. "So this time, I think even more so than we've done in previous iterations, we wanted to see how this affects different people in different ways and over a period of time."
"Playing off that notion of tragedy takes time before you can get to the other side of it emotionally. That clock is different for different people. The way it affects Joe Cruz, his best friend and roommate, is going to be different than the way it affects Boden, who was his chief, and the way it affects Casey, who is his captain. And the way it affects Brett, who was also his roommate.0comments
"To see those different elements and not cheapen them, and really make it have lasting effects, that's what we're doing," he said.
Chicago Fire airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.