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Chicago Fire kicked off its eighth season in a devastating fashion by killing off longtime Firehouse 51 firefighter Otis, but the good news is that Season 8's new firefighter could be exactly what Otis' friends need after his death. Alberto Rosende joined the cast as firefighter Blake Gallo, and he makes his debut in the second episode of Season 8, after a time jump of a few months made Otis' death a little less raw.
Fire showrunner Derek Haas spoke with CinemaBlend about Season 8, and he said this when I asked what Casey is looking for in the new Truck firefighter:
He is looking for someone who can be a lift to the house. He's not just looking for someone who's physically adept but also someone who can be the energy shot that the house needs. It's like a coach putting a team together. You're looking for a gap to fill and how do you replace that gap, and what does the team need at this time. And so Casey, I think he sees something in the new character that others may not be so quick to see.
In the aftermath of losing Otis in the surprisingly gruesome way, it won't be enough for his replacement to just be able to tackle the physical challenges of working as a firefighter in Chicago. While the entire firehouse will be impacted by Blake Gallo stepping in to fill the void left by Otis, Casey is the one who will add the newcomer to his team, as Otis was on Truck.
Derek Haas' comments that Casey sees something in Blake that others "may not be so quick to see" at least explains how the newcomer earns a slot at 51. After all, Casey is in charge of Truck and holds the second-highest rank at the firehouse as Captain. When Alberto Rosende, previously best known for his Shadowhunters role, landed the role, Blake was described as an energetic up-and-comer.
So, how will Blake Gallo fit into a firehouse mostly packed with first responders who have been working together for many years already? Derek Haas also described him as "a junior Severide and a junior Casey rolled into one," which could make him the perfect fit for 51, and elaborated that Casey won't be the only one impacting Blake in Season 8:
...And very untapped energy, almost like a diamond in the rough that Casey realizes, 'If this guy has the kind of leadership that we, meaning Severide, Herrmann, myself and Boden, can exhibit, then we can form this guy into being the next great firefighter.
Alberto Rosende as Blake Gallo joins the cast of Chicago Fire only a few episodes before the massive crossover between Chicago Fire, Chicago Med, and Chicago P.D. that sounds positively cinematic. Will he have a part to play in the crossover? How will he fit into the existing dynamic of the firefighters at 51, especially with Cruz as he mourns his best friend? Will Casey and Severide be hilariously frustrated by a character who is described as the two of them "rolled into one" joining the firehouse?
Only time will tell, but Blake Gallo clearly isn't afraid to enter dangerous situations to save lives. Take a look:
Well, it looks like the dangerous situation Blake Gallo has entered in this photo isn't related to an actual fire, as he's not wearing his gear. It's also clear that he's up pretty high, judging by the tops of the trees, and I don't see any ladders or ropes to support him.
See Alberto Rosende in action as Blake Gallo in new episodes of Chicago Fire, airing at 9 p.m. ET on NBC in the middle of the One Chicago block on Wednesdays, which begins with Med at 8 p.m. ET, continues with Fire, and then concludes with P.D. at 10 p.m. ET.