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Spoilers ahead for the Season 8 fall finale of Chicago Fire on NBC, called "Best Friend Magic."
Chicago Fire is bringing back none other than Gabby Dawson for its Season 8 fall finale, after all signs seemed to indicate that she was gone for good. The return of Monica Raymund as Dawson to Firehouse 51 promises to be a TV event, as her departure (and subsequent divorce from Casey) shaped a significant part of his arc in Season 7. Now, NBC has released some official episode photos for the fall finale, revealing the reunion of Dawson and Casey, Dawson back with her old Firehouse 51 pals, and more!
Let's start with what Chicago Fire showrunner Derek Haas already revealed is bringing Dawson back to 51: Otis' memorial.
In this first image, Dawson looks pretty somber as she faces the memorial erected in Otis' honor after his gruesome death in the Season 8 premiere. She and Otis had worked together for the better part of a decade, and she was the leading lady of Fire prior to her departure in the Season 7 premiere, so it's only right that she would want to see the memorial.
Her visit to Otis' memorial does not go unobserved, however, judging by this next image:
Casey's not exactly grinning ear-to-ear at the unexpected appearance of his ex-wife at Firehouse 51, but I think he looks more astonished than upset in the photo of what must be the first time he's seen her since she left their apartment in the Season 7 opener. Although they parted just about as well as they could have under the circumstances, it would be understandable if he wasn't thrilled to see her.
That doesn't seem to be the case, though! Check it out:
Does this look a little awkward? Sure. Does Casey look like he's upset that she's there and wants her to leave? Definitely not, and the promo for the fall finale suggests that they'll be spending some alone time together. Considering Dawson showed up unexpectedly with a whole lot more baggage for Casey than just the tote bag and they're standing in front of the memorial to their fallen friend, I'd say they look downright amiable! (Certainly more amiable than the Chicago P.D. crew looks in their fall finale!)
They're together again in what seems like a later scene, taking place within the firehouse:
Is this Dawson inviting Casey to her fundraiser? There's a healthy amount of distance between them, but there's eye contact there, and Casey is holding something that could very well be the invitation. The promo shows that Brett will encourage Casey to attend, which complicates the all-too-soon (in my opinion) flirtation between Casey and Brett after Dawson's departure even more than it already was.
As for Brett, another image shows her expression after reuniting with Dawson, along with others of 51:
Mouch of all people looks the happiest to see Dawson back in the mix, with Capp looking pretty entertained by whatever is happening in this scene as well, and Brett does have a smile on her face. Will she be happy to have her BFF (or at least, former BFF) back in the mix, or more concerned for Casey?
The newcomer to 51 looks pretty happy, so he may be just caught up in the fun. Considering Kidd has her arms wrapped around Dawson, I'm guessing she's one of the most excited to have her friend back, even if she looks more surprised than overjoyed in this particular picture. Dawson's return will presumably be a one-off, so fans shouldn't count too hard on seeing her again any time too soon after the fall finale. Still, only time will tell!
See how Dawson fits back into the group at Firehouse 51 with Chicago Fire's Season 8 fall finale on Wednesday, November 20 at 9 p.m. ET on NBC, between the fall finale of Chicago Med (which should be a very big one for Natalie) and the fall finale of Chicago P.D. At this point, I'm hoping P.D. fans get an update of their own on Antonio, who joined his sister in Puerto Rico earlier this season.