Chicago Fire Stars Jesse Spencer And Kara Killmer Talk The Evolution Of Brettsey Since Dawson's Departure


Chicago Fire entered a whole new era not too long ago with the departure of Monica Raymund as Gabby Dawson that marked the end of the ongoing Dawsey saga, and this new era has seen the rise of a surprising new romance: Casey and Brett. The sparks started flying between Casey and Brett less than a season after Dawson departed, and their slow burn is one that not a lot of fans may have seen coming. Stars Jesse Spencer and Kara Killmer have shared their original and current thoughts on the Brett/Casey relationship.

Jesse Spencer and Kara Killmer spoke with CinemaBlend and others in honor of One Chicago Day, celebrating Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D., and Chicago Med. With Spencer playing Casey from the very first episode of the series that is nine seasons in and counting, and Killmer on board the NBC hit since Season 3 following the death of Shay, both stars have inhabited these characters for the better part of a decade, with only the last few seasons building up the Brettsey dynamic.

Now that Chicago Fire is well into Season 9, the stars opened up on their thoughts when they first found out about their characters turning romantic and how their thoughts have changed over the years as the Brettsey relationship evolved. Jesse Spencer explained his perspective, saying:

I thought it was really interesting, because, you know, at some point, they were gonna want to move Casey along with his love storyline, his relationship storylines. And I think both me and Kara were a little concerned or just curious as to how they were gonna tackle that. And then as the writing went on, I guess we were afraid that they were going to throw us into a relationship straight away, and it was going to be too early, and now they're stretching it so far. [laughs] We're like, 'Is this ever gonna happen?' But it's felt really organic. They've really sort of built up, not that they didn't have a friendship before, but their friendship, I think, is deepened what with Brett's birth mother dying, and she loses a cat and there's sort of these nice little opportunities for these two characters to be there for each other and for their friendship to blossom organically. And so it got to a point where it just felt very natural.

With Dawson gone, no sign that she would be returning at that point, and Casey's story continuing on Chicago Fire, it was inevitable that there would be romance in his future again. In fact, the first time he waded back into the dating pool ended disastrously, so who could blame him for beginning to look at Brett in a new way? Still, it's no surprise that Jesse Spencer and Kara Killmer were concerned about Fire exploring Brett/Casey, when Dawson/Casey had been so central to the show.

Let nobody say that Chicago Fire is rushing the Brettsey relationship! Just when it seemed that the slow burn was heating up, the Dawson issue began to loom over them, and they're currently cooled back down. Jesse Spencer elaborated on the evolution of Brett and Casey and how the amount of time that might be frustrating to fans of the relationship has helped to establish the relationship:

And we had time to adjust to it as well, in terms of, you know, thinking about another character in that way. It's a mind shift. But it's happened very organically. And it's been great. So me and Kara are actually having a lot of fun with playing these two characters, who are dancing around each other, and trying to see where we're gonna go next. So, it's been really fun.

As for where Brett and Casey will go next, Chicago Fire showrunner Derek Haas promised that more obstacles would be on the way even beyond the baggage of their shared history with Dawson, and a recent episode introduced a new firefighter who has his eye on Brett and a rescued victim who was pretty happy to see Casey.

That's still not to say that the good ship Brettsey is doomed. This wouldn't be the Chicago Fire that fans have come to know and love over nine seasons so far if the course of true love just ran smoothly, right? Kara Killmer shared her own thoughts on where Brett/Casey began and where it is now:

I think at first, I was like, BLEH! Not because of [Jesse], just because I felt really invested in the Dawson/Casey relationship. I felt like, 'This is so wrong!' But then, like he said, because if they had just, like, thrown them in bed together or something right off the bat and it was based around a very sexual dynamic, I think it would have felt just, not like the characters would have felt really weird, but I think because their relationship has basically been marked by, like Sylvie's just experienced so much loss over the course of the last two seasons. Like, she broke an engagement, she gained a birth mother and then she was completely devastated by her passing away, and then Foster also leaves, so she loses another partner. And I just think that at every step of the way, what the writers have done is just for as much loss as Sylvie's experienced, Casey is always there trying to support her and encourage her and bolster her up. And I think because they wrote it that way, it's easy to kind of fall in love with that dynamic. So yeah, it'll be interesting to see what they do with it.

I think it's safe to say that Kara Killmer isn't the only person whose initial reaction to the idea of Brett/Casey was that it felt "so wrong" after six full seasons of Dawsey, but as she noted, Chicago Fire took its time and showed Casey supporting Brett through all of her losses. Poor Brett has lost so much over the past few seasons that it's hard to imagine her carrying on at all if she hadn't had a shoulder to lean on. Especially when one of her sources of support left at the end of Season 8!

While Jesse Spencer and Kara Killmer shared their thoughts on the Brettsey journey so far, that journey is almost certainly far from over, and not just because Chicago Fire itself isn't ending any time soon. The slow burn is still smoldering even if Brett wants some space from Casey, and Dawson apparently isn't on his mind nearly as much as before. Do they have a shot at real romance?

Find out with new episodes of Chicago Fire on One Chicago Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC, between new episodes of Chicago Med and Chicago P.D. If you want to relive the Brettsey saga so far, or just stay on top of all things One Chicago, you can find the episodes of all three series streaming on Peacock now.

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. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. 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).