The Chicago Fire cast has been without Otis for almost two years now, but he is still an important enough character for the show to keep referencing.
During the Wednesday night episode of the show, with Herrmann and Cruz trapped in an elevator, Otis came up again in conversation. When Cruz was asked how he knew so much about elevators, he revealed that he had learned it all from Otis.
It was a somber moment for Herrmann and Cruz, but it was also a great callback to a character that many Chicago Fire fans still miss a lot. Otis, who was played by actor Yuri Sardarov, often brought heart and humor to every episode he was in.
How did Otis die on Chicago Fire?
On the Season 8 premiere, a continuation of the story that began in the Season 7 finale took place. Firehouse 51 went through a boiler explosion and Brian “Otis” Zvonecek was too close to it.
It wasn’t until later in the episode that the other firefighters located him, and he was taken out on a stretcher, clinging to life. He made it back to the hospital, where he said a few last words to Joe Cruz before he passed away.
Otis spoke in Russian, which Cruz didn’t understand, and he set aside the comment until Chief Boden translated it for him at the very end of the episode.
“Brother, I will be with you always,” were the final words from Otis.
Below is a clip of how Firehouse 51 celebrated Otis after he died.
There can be only one Otis
The Chicago Fire cast has had a number of new additions since actor Yuri Sardarov left the show. That includes firefighter Blake Gallo (played by Alberto Rosende), as well as actress Adriyan Rae debuting as the new character Gianna Mackey.
With a drama like this one, there are characters who come and go, but fans still really miss having Otis on the show. Maybe that was the intent with this particular character’s death, because every time that the other characters speak about Otis, we feel what they are feeling in that moment.
Referencing Otis during the episode, called My Lucky Day, also led to some fears from viewers that one of the firefighters wasn’t going to make it. Even as we watched Herrmann and Cruz try to survive a precarious elevator situation, we had to listen in on Mouch getting trapped and fearing for his life in another part of the building.
Chicago Fire airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on NBC.