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Chicago Fire: Otis' Final Words Shattered Fans' Hearts

If there's one thing Chi-Hards can be sure of about the reliably electrifying action hit "Chicago Fire," it's the fact that even best-loved, recurring characters on the series can disappear in a flash, sometimes literally, at any moment. As a show depicting the high-risk heroism of first responders in a major urban setting, almost every episode plunges the cast into one harrowing incident after another, with the life-or-death stakes being as high as the adrenaline flow. In fact, during its 11 seasons and counting on NBC, this One Chicago series has proven it's more than willing to wrench fan emotions to the breaking point with characters facing everything from grave, career-threatening injuries to dying, often suddenly and dramatically, in the line of duty.

And when it comes to dramatic exits, few can match the poignancy and impact of the death suffered by fan favorite and series' regular Brian "Otis" Zvonecek (Yuri Sardarov) in the Season 8 episode, "Sacred Ground." The fact that he was killed unexpectedly due to injuries suffered in a violent explosion certainly ramped up the shock and sorrow for fans. But it's Otis' final words to his close friend and fellow firefighter Joe Cruz (Joe Minoso) that left viewers in some serious pain. Hospitalized and on the verge of death, Otis tells Cruz, "Brother, I will be with you always." Fans didn't hold back when venting their feelings about how hard this scene hit home.

Otis' last line on Chicago Fire left fans broken

Hailing from a Russian immigrant family, Otis' last words to Joe Cruz were actually spoken in Russian and weren't understood until months later when Chief Boden (Eamonn Walker) looked up the translation.

Taking to the show's subreddit with a thread titled "Losing Otis," series' fan u/Affectionate-Mix6482 said they'd watched 10 of the show's 11 seasons and that, "In season 8 when [they] kill Otis, that one really hurt." Redditor u/Definitelymaybe91 also felt the death of this much-admired character deeply, recalling Boden officiating at the statue the team had erected at the firehouse in Otis' memory, writing, "When Boden does the memorial dedication and translates Otis' last words to Cruz, I break down and UGLY cry." 

Viewer u/kmsan2012 referenced the same scene, saying they also weep when Boden describes Otis' memorial as sacred ground, which as noted above is the episode's title. Meanwhile, on another "Chicago Fire" post titled "Otis Appreciation Post," OP u/Wafity4841 declared the loss of this firefighter, and those moving final words to his friend, a true series' landmark, saying, "Out of all the characters, I think we can all agree that [Otis'] death was the saddest, especially the scene with Joe at his side."