Spoilers ahead for Episode 16 of Chicago Fire Season 7, called "Fault in Him."
Chicago Fire spent years building the dynamic between Dawson and Casey, and it eventually became the relationship of the series. Unfortunately, Season 7 seemingly ruined the hopes of Dawsey fans everywhere that the two of them could someday get a happily-ever-after. Actress Monica Raymund felt that it was time for her to leave the series after Season 6, and that meant the end of the grand romance of Dawson and Casey.
The two divorced earlier in Season 7, and Casey even had a fling with a reporter. The events of "Fault in Him" raise a big question, however. Is Casey not actually over Dawson after all? Here's what happened.
"Fault in Him" was a rough episode for Casey from almost the very beginning. What should have been a routine call of the Fire Department busting in through a barricaded door for the cops took a turn. Instead of being the site of a simple suicide, as the cops believed, Casey discovered that there was actually a crazed gunman on the scene, and he wasn't out of bullets.
The gunman -- who turned out to be the victim's brother and murderer -- tackled Casey to the ground and shoved the very loaded gun in his face. In one terrifying moment, the man pulled the trigger, and Casey should have been tragically and senselessly killed on the job. Instead, in an extraordinarily lucky twist of fate, the gun jammed, giving Casey enough time to smack the guy's hand away.
The guy did manage to pull the trigger one more time, and the gun went off. Casey was very, very lucky not to have quite literally lost his head on this call gone wrong. Now, what does this have to do with Dawson? On the surface -- and for most of the episode -- there wasn't any sign that his ex-wife was on Casey's mind. He was clearly bothered by what had happened, though, to the point that Brett tried to get him to talk to the chaplain.
The end of the episode is when Casey himself dropped the bombshell that he was thinking about Dawson and even considered reaching out to her. Here's what he had to say when he dropped by Chief Boden's house for a heart-to-heart:
You saw the report from the suicide call?... There's something I left out of the report. Nobody did anything wrong, it's just something I can't get out of my head. Almost called Gabby about it. I haven't talked to her in months. I can't go there. It almost broke me trying to move on. Can't go backwards now...
The shot that missed me. That was the second time he pulled the trigger. The first time, I was staring down the barrel, and the gun jammed. That's the only reason I'm alive right now. One in a thousand chance. I left it out of my report because I can't explain it. Why didn't it go off the first time? How am I still here?
Casey was nearly crying by the time he was done with his speech to Boden, who of course did what he could to try and lift Casey's spirits, telling him that it simply wasn't his time to die. Only time will tell if Casey continues to be troubled by his near-death experience, but the way he phrased his reveal about wanting to call Gabby indicates that he's not quite as over her as we thought.
The man who appeared to be gamely moving on with another woman and not really hating the single life -- even if he wasn't exactly embracing it as much as Severide after his breakup with Stella -- said that "trying to move on" from Gabby almost broke him. Is that a sign that he hasn't been able to entirely move on, and he still loves her?
Honestly, it would make sense. Not even a full season has passed since Casey was planning on spending the rest of his life with Dawson, and who could blame him if he couldn't just switch all those years of loving her off? Maybe he would have had an easier time if Dawson had left for a disgraceful or upsetting reason.
Instead, she just found that her work in Puerto Rico was too meaningful for her to want to return to Chicago, and the distance was too much for their relationship to survive. Dawson is still a good person who didn't try to hurt Casey; he might have been able to move on and not want to call her if she'd really and truly wronged him. Poor Casey! He just wanted to talk to somebody he loved so much for so long after something awful happened to him.
Normally, the mention of Dawson and hints that she's still on Casey's mind might be encouraging that Chicago Fire is setting the stage to reunite them. Unfortunately, Monica Raymund does not seem poised to reprise her role beyond her Season 7 premiere cameo that allowed for some closure between Dawson and Casey. Dawson and Casey are almost certainly not in for a reunion unless a lot changes.
Season 7 has not been great for love, has it? Many fans probably guessed that the end was nigh for Dawsey once news of Monica Raymund's departure (and casting on another show) was confirmed, but Stella and Severide seemed solid for a while, and Brett and Chaplain Kyle were positively adorable in their scenes together. Casey's fling wasn't even a full-fledged romance, and that almost literally went up in flames! As of the end of "Fault in Him," all three couples are finished. Hey, at least Foster's stalker didn't appear!
Tune in to Chicago Fire on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC to see what's in store next for Casey and whether any more hints of lingering attachment to Dawson are revealed. Fire recently scored a renewal for the 2019-2020 TV season (along with Chicago Med and Chicago P.D.), bringing it to Season 8. If you're in the market for some shows set elsewhere than the Windy City, check out out midseason TV premiere schedule.