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Is Jimmy Nicholas Really Leaving Chicago Fire?

No one is ever safe on "Chicago Fire" and the other "One Chicago" shows – that's the lesson fans of the NBC procedural franchise have long since learned after facing numerous unexpected character departures and deaths over the years. "Chicago P.D." fans are already livid after seeing the bizarre Season 10 exit of Jay Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer) from the series. Now, they're wondering if they really have to say goodbye to another fan-favorite "One Chicago" character in the form of Jimmy Nicholas' Chief Evan Hawkins on "Chicago Fire."

Introduced in Season 10, the charming Hawkins sparks a tumultuous yet ultimately heartwarming relationship with Violet Mikami (Hanako Greensmith). Thanks to "Chicago Fire" fans, Violet and Hawkins' storyline continued into the beginning of Season 11. Unfortunately, Season 11, Episode 3 saw things take a tragic turn for the worse and the episode has made Nicholas' future on "Chicago Fire" extremely uncertain. Could the third episode of the season really spell the end of Nicholas' appearances on "Chicago Fire?"

It's the end of the road for Nicholas and Chicago Fire

Episode 3 of "Chicago Fire" Season 11 ended tragically, as Violet discovered Hawkins' corpse buried underneath the rubble of a major fire. While death may not be a binding commitment in more fantastical TV shows, it's definitely the final nail in the coffin for this cast. It had previously been established that Hawkins would be in "Chicago Fire" Season 11 as a major character, but anyone left with lingering doubts about his exit should put them to rest. Hawkins is very much dead, and Jimmy Nicholas is taking his leave.

Hanako Greensmith herself teased Hawkins' death weeks prior, delving into what it would entail for Violet. "Violet is gonna have a massive, massive challenge thrown her way that I don't think anyone was anticipating," the actress told NBC Insider. "I know Violet wasn't anticipating it. You're gonna have to see her navigate some totally new emotional terrain and professional terrain."

As for Nicholas, the actor received an outpouring of well wishes from "Chicago Fire" fans on Twitter and liked numerous tweets lamenting his departure. "You all are so unbelievably kind," he tweeted. "I feel truly spoiled and incredibly grateful."

What Nicholas' next acting gig will be still remains to be confirmed. But even if audiences are still able to see the actor's face pop up elsewhere, it's going to take some time before both Violet and the "Chicago Fire" fan community recover from the heartbreaking loss of Hawkins.