'Chicago Fire' season 8: Fans may need to brace for Joe Cruz to join show's growing casualty list

Joe Minoso recently booked a recurring role on Epix's 'Get Shorty' leading to speculations that his character on 'Chicago Fire' Joe Minoso might be in danger

                            'Chicago Fire' season 8: Fans may need to brace for Joe Cruz to join show's growing casualty list

Joe Cruz, while not one of the characters with major storylines in 'Chicago Fire' is a fan favorite. He is a firefighter at Firehouse 51, having grown up on the streets of Chicago and deciding that he wants to work alongside the brave men and women of the Chicago Fire Department. Joe Minoso, the actor who plays Cruz, was a recurring character on 'Chicago Fire' in season 1 and was promoted to the main cast from season 2. 


As part of the show, Minoso's character has come across as a caring, friendly, and dedicated man whom the whole team loves. In season 1, the viewers are introduced to Cruz and his younger brother Leon who is in a street gang. During a fire, Cruz lets Flaco, the boss of his brother's gang die, prompting Casey to threaten Cruz to go to the police about it. But Casey reconsidered his decision and Cruz continued on in the team. Leon leaves the gang and goes to university, but does show up in later seasons.


Cruz's caring side comes out when he decides to marry Otis's cousin, Zoya, so she can stay in the country (Zoya does leave feeling that this isn't right). In Season 3, Cruz is accused of causing an accident when the Fire Truck 81 he was driving is involved in a collision with Truck 66 from Firehouse 105. Later Cruz is cleared when the driver of Truck 66 confesses that his Lieutenant was the one who ordered him to beat Truck 81 so that they could get to the fire first. He is suspended for three months, but Chief Borden manages to shorten this as well. Cruz receives his squad certification in season 3. 

Yuri Sardarov and Joe Minoso as Otis and Cruz in a still from 'Chicago Fire'. Credit: NBC

Cruz's camaraderie with his colleagues from Firehouse 51 has also endeared him to the viewers. In Season 3, Brett took a top-rated Zumba class where Cruz is revealed to be the instructor. Brett and Cruz made a deal where he agreed to take cooking lessons from her in order for her to keep the secret. The whole team comes to know anyway when Casey gets the truth from Brett. Cruz is also very close to Otis and Hermann.

In Season 7, Cruz got a significant role during the 'One Chicago' crossover when he went undercover at another firehouse at the behest of Hank Voight from 'Chicago P.D.', to investigate a firefighter. Cruz was left emotional and upset when despite his doubts, the firefighter proved to be guilty. The firefighter ends up dead as the situation worsens, leaving Cruz angry at Voight and the Intelligence Unit.

However, despite all the action around him, why do we get the annoying feeling that Cruz might be a casualty in the 'Chicago Fire' season 8 opener, 'Sacred Ground'? The title itself seems to hint at a major death when the show comes back in a few days and with Derek Haas, it is really difficult to get hints on whether we might lose a favorite character. While Casey, Severide, and Hermann are presumably safe, Cruz might not be. 

Recently, Minoso booked a recurring role in the third season of Epix's 'Get Shorty', starring Chris O'Dowd ('Bridesmaids') and Ray Romano ('Everybody Loves Raymond'). Recurring could mean Minoso could be in as little as three or maybe even more episodes. Minoso will play Hector, a Capotillo gang leader that controls crime in Los Angeles.

Actor Joe Minoso arrives at the 28th Annual Imagen Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on August 16, 2013, in Beverly Hills, California. (Getty Images)

Minoso has so far appeared on every episode of 'Chicago Fire' since season 2. His new role might mean he might be bidding goodbye to the show, possibly for a short while or maybe for good. In addition to the recurring role, speculation has risen because Minoso was noticeably absent during a dinner in which members of all three shows of the 'Chicago' franchise got together before production for the upcoming seasons began. 

Unlike 'Chicago Med' and 'Chicago P.D.', 'Chicago Fire' has not announced any cast departures for the upcoming season. The premieres for 'Chicago P.D.' will explain Jon Seda's Antonio's absence, while 'Chicago Med' will have Colin Donnell and Norma Kuhling returning as Dr. Connor Rhodes and Dr. Ava Bekker in the upcoming season premiere to wrap up their storylines. Frustratingly enough, we only know of Jesse Spencer and Taylor Kinney (who play Captain Mattew Casey and Lieutenant Kelly Severide respectively) to have renewed their contracts for the upcoming season - the rest of the returning cast remains a mystery until the premiere. The viewers will not have to wait long to find out how the cliffhanger from the season 7 finale will play out and whether we will lose a favorite character.

'Chicago Fire' returns to NBC on September 25th, 2019.

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