How Chicago Fire Will Approach Brett And Casey's Relationship Despite The 'Huge' Dawsey Legacy

chicago fire season 9 casey nbc
(Image credit: NBC)

Chicago Fire Season 9 is on the way back to NBC to pick up where the show left off in November, and where the show left off for Brett and Casey was in a pretty... well, awkward place. Their big kiss seemed like it could be leading to more after all the episodes of will they/won't they tension, up until Brett asked the question that was probably on the minds of plenty of fans: what about Gabby? Chicago Fire showrunner Derek Haas spoke with CinemaBlend about Brett and Casey in 2021, and he shed some light on the "huge" Dawsey legacy looming over the loved ones Dawson left behind.

In the final episode of 2020, Chicago Fire directly addressed the issue that fans have been pondering ever since sparks started flying between Gabby Dawson's former best friend and her ex-husband, when Brett point blank asked Casey if he would leave with Gabby if she came back and asked him. Casey, bless his well-intentioned heart, said quite possibly the least reassuring thing imaginable when he simply responded that he hasn't spoken to Gabby in a long time. Chicago Fire boss Derek Haas explained how the show will approach Brett and Casey's dynamic now that the Gabby issue is out in the open, saying:

Here's the thing. The Gabby looming over them, it is huge. And I think it's huge for our audience, and is realistic for the characters because this wasn't just someone Casey once had a relationship with. It's a relationship we as an audience and Brett with a chair in the front row watched over six seasons. And in fact, Gabby came back last year. And Casey went to a charity event with her and then they slept with each other afterwards. This is all fresh in Brett's mind and Casey's mind. And so I think that, you know, there is this shadow looming over them. And they have to talk about it. And so that's going to take more than one episode to solve... Casey says 'regardless of Gabby,' and Brett says 'there is no regardless of Gabby.' To me that is real and honest and what a human being would say in that situation.

Casey and Gabby were the big romance of Chicago Fire for six seasons, and even Monica Raymund's absence through most of Seasons 7 and 8 didn't mean that Gabby was absent from Casey's mind. In fact, it wasn't even a full year ago from Casey and Brett's big kiss that Casey and Gabby spent their night together. Derek Haas shared that Brett and Casey will have to talk about it and it can't be solved within Fire's first hour in 2021. That doesn't mean the Dawsey legacy prevents a Brettsey future, though!

Besides, considering the size of the One Chicago renewal, there's no need to worry that the show is going to end any time soon. Guaranteed through at least Season 11, Chicago Fire could in theory have plenty of time for building up Brett/Casey. Of course, considering just how much of a shadow Gabby and Dawsey cast over Casey's love life, there was always the option for Fire to just focus on the future. When I asked if there was ever any consideration of Chicago Fire blowing past the Dawsey legacy and just building up Brett and Casey, Derek Haas shared:

I'm so glad you asked that because that gets me to get to say what I think our writing staff does really well, is they honor the history of the show, and they don't just forget what happened in previous episodes and previous seasons and that's why, like earlier this year, or just one episode ago, Severide went and got the door that had Shay's name on it. When I was a kid growing up you'd watch these shows like, you know, The A-Team or whatever, and every episode it didn't matter what happened in the episode before or the episode after, and maybe other shows do that still, but on Chicago Fire we say that you've been watching the show, whether you have or not, we know what the history is, and we're going to continue to bring up relationships and events and people and things that happened, you know, over the course of nine years. I love that about the show, and so no, there was never a discussion of just blowing past it.

Despite the various crises of the week that change from episode to episode, Chicago Fire is very much a serialized show. Severide rescuing the door with Shay's name in the same episode that saw new EMT Mackie considering her future at Firehouse 51 is just one example of the past continuing to pack a punch on Chicago Fire, and Fire was evidently never going to overlook how important the Dawson/Casey relationship was just to move forward with Brett/Casey.

With Chicago Fire now in its ninth season, there is plenty of history to the series. Derek Haas explained the importance of revisiting the legacies of characters who have since left (or been killed off) the show:

Yes, I think that is important and I think the audience would feel slighted and cheapened if we didn't do that. I think that's why we do have so many viewers who have watched as long as they have. I just think you'd be doing your show a disservice if you blew off these people that they've known and loved and laughed with and gotten to see in all of these situations, and then you just blew them off. I mean, it's tough on a show as a showrunner because you loved the characters and you loved the actors. But you're constantly when you do a show this long, which no one expected to go this long, you have to start really telling fresh stories and bring in more characters and all those kind of things. So it's got its good and its bad, but we love honoring it and we love the callbacks.

Fortunately for fans who have been waiting to get more of Chicago Fire Season 9, complete with relationship complications on the Brettsey front, the show will be back with the first new episode of 2021 on Wednesday, January 6 at 9 p.m. ET, between new episodes of Chicago Med at 8 p.m. ET and Chicago P.D. at 10 p.m. ET, all on NBC. Derek Haas has already revealed that there are more obstacles on the way beyond what Brett and Casey are facing with the legacy of Dawson, so be sure to tune in.

If you're still in the market for more shows in the new year, don't forget to check out our 2021 winter and spring premiere schedule.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).