Chicago Fire ups Jocelyn Hudon to regular, so it's time to give Novak a chance

Jocelyn Hudon will be a series regular on Chicago Fire season 13
CHICAGO FIRE -- "Never Say Goodbye" Episode 12013 -- Pictured: (l-r) Jocelyn Hudon as Novak, Hanako Greensmith as Violet Mikami -- (Photo by: Adrian S Burrows Sr/NBC)
CHICAGO FIRE -- "Never Say Goodbye" Episode 12013 -- Pictured: (l-r) Jocelyn Hudon as Novak, Hanako Greensmith as Violet Mikami -- (Photo by: Adrian S Burrows Sr/NBC) /

Chicago Fire has upped one character to a regular in season 13! Will audiences warm up to Layla Novak? That's the big question.

Chicago Fire fans are used to characters coming and going over the course of the series. Season 12 proved that in the season premiere and explained that Blake Gallo (Alberto Rosendele) was moving to Detroit to help his mom. He did pop up for a brief goodbye with the rest of the crew. 

Then, Sylvie Brett (Kara Kilmer) departed after finally marrying firefighter love Matt Casey. The season finale had Boden promoted to deputy commissioner, which looks to explain Eamonn Walker's departure from the show. 

With all those exits, the series needs a little refresh, and they got it. TV Line reports Jocelyn Hudon is being promoted to a series regular for season 13 as Layla Novak. 

Debuting midway through the season, Novak was a freelance paramedic assigned to Station 51. She and Violet (Hanako Greensmith) had a rough start but connected even if Novak appeared to have a wild attitude from who she dated to her fieldwork. 

When last seen in the season 12 finale, Novak was accidentally hit in the head by firefighter Jack Damon during a call at a restaurant. That seemed to be a way to write her out, but instead, Hudon is joining the show full-time. 

It looks like a big move for the show, so can fans accept Novak?

Why Chicago Fire fans should give Novak a chance

The show smartly played on real life as Novak had an issue stepping in to replace the beloved Brett on the team. Any replacement was going to face scrutiny, and Novak openly addressed that she didn't look to copy Brett's style but had her own. Not being a team player at first rubbed folks the wrong way, and her outgoing manner may have also set her up to be disliked. 

However, we've only had a few episodes with Novak. Not nearly enough time has been give to her background or who she is. While she seems pretty upbeat and outgoing, there may be something deeper there. After all, she chose to be a paramedic, so she clearly cares about helping others and can't be all that bad. That she sees Violet as a good partner and even a mentor helping her in 51 is also good.

With season 13 restoring the show to a full 22-episode count, we'll have more time to focus on Novak, find out what makes her tick, and settle in with the squad. Now that she's going to be a permanent member rather than moving on, Novak will get to know the team better and perhaps learn to curb her attitude. She'll also get chances to show her skills in the field and prove herself. 

As fans await Chicago Fire season 13, this new boost for Lyla gives 51 another top paramedic and also provides the writers the opportunity to make the character another beloved part of one of the best casts on TV.

All 12 seasons of Chicago Fire are streaming on Peacock.