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Spoilers ahead for the Season 7 finale of Chicago Fire, called "I'm Not Leaving You."
Chicago Fire blazed its way through another season finale, and viewers undoubtedly weren't surprised to be dealt a cliffhanger leaving firefighters in mortal danger. Obviously that cliffhanger will keep fans wondering what happens next for the next several months, but that's not the only thing to ponder. After all, Chicago Fire has a history of delivering huge emotional cliffhangers in a finale without killing off anybody in the premiere. But what of Casey and Brett?
If you had asked me as recently as a handful of episodes ago if I thought Casey and Brett had a shot at romance, I would have laughed it off. There are a lot of reasons why they wouldn't hook up, and they never really showed any interest in each other beyond friends and coworkers. The last several weeks have seen the show try to turn up the heat on romance, and I for one am not a fan of it happening any time soon, if at all. Here's why.
Yes, Gabby Dawson is of course a factor, even if all signs point toward Monica Raymund not reprising the role at any point in the future, and even if not everybody is a fan of the Dawsey relationship. Absent though she is, Gabby is a big deal to both Brett and Casey. She and Brett were best friends and ambulance partners, and Brett was a huge fan of the Gabby and Casey's relationship.
It just feels fast for her to be sizing up Casey as a potential love interest. There's also the point that Casey has been divorced for less than a year, and he's not the one who left the relationship behind. Would he even be ready for a relationship with Brett? Might it not just end in heartbreak?
As for Casey, his relationship with Gabby ended because she left to pursue a new dream in Puerto Rico, not because he no longer loved her or wanted to split with her. Theirs was a rocky relationship, but they loved each other very much. It was only a year ago that Casey was passionately arguing with Gabby about not wanting her to have their children because of the risk to her health, and Casey has wanted kids forever!
There's also the point that the Dawson/Casey relationship was THE relationship of Chicago Fire from pretty much the beginning until Monica Raymund's exit. Dawsey was the first real will-they-won't-they relationship of the series, and there were seven years of ups and downs, love and loss, friendship and romance between them.
I'm not saying that Chicago Fire needs to spend season after season building Brett/Casey, but Dawson and Casey at least waited through part of Season 2 before hooking up. And that was without either of them being best friends with the other's ex!
Unless Chicago Fire lets a decent amount of time pass, Brett and Casey could feel like they're in a love triangle with Dawson, who isn't even on the show anymore. Brett could also get some hate from fans if a relationship is rushed. She already had to replace a beloved character once!
It's worth noting that although Casey was once half of Chicago Fire's #1 couple, that spot has been taken over by Severide thanks to Severide/Stella. Shows can of course have more than one big relationship, but Stella and Severide seem to be THE couple for now. Casey doesn't need to be part of a grand romance just because he was arguably the romantic male lead for the first seven seasons.
The Season 7 finale also ended with Brett accepting Chaplain Kyle's proposal, which was admittedly rushed and she admittedly wasn't overly enthusiastic about. Kyle is a good guy, and as a chaplain, probably not going to betray her in some despicable way. If something happens between Casey and Brett before Kyle is out of the picture, they're going to look like the bad guys of the dynamic, and nobody wants to root for a bad guy firefighter or EMT.
Chicago Fire did kinda sorta pull off something similar with Gabby and Mills in earlier seasons without making everybody look bad.
At this point, I'm definitely not convinced that Casey and Brett should ever become a couple. It strikes me as unnecessary and inorganic, but I'm willing to keep watching and waiting to see if Chicago Fire convinces me about them like it convinced me about Gabby and Casey.
Ideally, though, I will be waiting a while before I have to find out. Brett/Casey will only work if Chicago Fire builds them a romantic foundation, and Chicago Fire isn't a romance-centric series. I'm willing to overlook my objections if Chicago Fire makes me root for these characters to get together, and that takes time to make sense. I want to want them to be together, not think about how weird it would be for everybody if Gabby dropped by for a visit.