Chicago Fire delivered some potentially catastrophic news for none other than Matt Casey in Season 9, and the implications were bad enough that he (and fans) had reasons to worry that his head injury marked the end of his career with the CFD. In a stroke of very good luck, he learned that rather than the recent knock on his noggin taking him out of commission, the injury he sustained many years ago isn't going to be a factor in his future anymore. So, what does his future look like now? Fire showrunner Derek Haas talked with CinemaBlend about what's ahead for Casey in the final episodes of Season 9.
Casey's future has been clouded for quite a while with questions of what his injury meant for his job, whether or not he's truly still in love with Dawson, what can and can't happen with Brett, and more. According to Derek Haas, the last three episodes of the season are going to deliver some answers about Casey now that he got his big news about the injury. First things first, though – I had to make sure that the head injury really is no longer a factor. Haas explained:
That old head injury that we had from Season 3, or whatever it was, and that we never resolved, that has been lingering in my mind for years. And so I was like, 'Oh, let's give him a new head injury. And in the course of that, we'll find out that whatever trauma he had had before, he recovered from. [laughs] Like, put that whole storyline thread to bed.' And I think Casey's physical future is more clear. Now it's time to work on his emotional future, a personal future. So yeah, we're gonna see these last three episodes are going to really build towards some answers in that regard.
For Casey, a lot of his story in Season 9 before the head injury concerned his relationship with Brett, or lack thereof due to Brett's belief that Casey is still in love with Dawson. With his clean bill of health, he can get back to considering his personal future, which could well mean revisiting his feelings for Brett despite the Dawsey legacy. As for Brett, her relationship with Grainger fell apart because of his belief that she's in love with Casey, which raises the question: does Brett still think that Casey is in love with his ex-wife? And what about Casey's feelings? Derek Haas previewed:
I think [Brett]'s gonna need to get some answers in that regard. And you know, what she said back in Episode 2 hasn't changed. And I don't think Casey has clarity on that issue. But we're gonna find out. We're gonna find out.
Brett's concerns about Casey's lingering feelings for Dawson haven't just gone away, and in fact she made a valiant effort to move on from her feelings for Casey by starting a relationship with Grainger. For his part, Casey never really denied still loving Dawson, so the good ship Dawsey has been surprisingly somewhat sailing despite Monica Raymund being entirely absent and Brett/Casey getting plenty of solid build over the past couple of seasons.
Throw in the facts that Brett herself was a big supporter of their relationship back in the day and that she and Casey have had a strong friendship, and perhaps no Fire fan should be surprised that everything is extremely complicated at the moment! One small plot thread in Season 9 that may have pointed towards Casey's romantic future was the watch that he inherited from his uncle, with more than one string attached.
Casey's uncle wore it engraved with his wife's initials until his death despite the fact that he outlived her by 50 years. Casey didn't feel right selling the watch, and his sister suggested that their uncle wanted him to keep it for reasons that he'll have to figure out. At the time, I thought that the dots connected (in conjunction with Casey's injury) to point toward Dawson, but with the injury no longer a factor, the question remains unanswered... for now, at least. Derek Haas shared of Casey, the watch, and his sister:
Yes, the watch is gonna make a comeback before the end of the season... That's what I love to do, bring back a character [like Casey's sister] you haven't seen in a long time. And, you know, the show only covers a certain portion of the characters' lives. So I didn't want to imply that Casey hadn't seen her in a long time. But yes, we did set up something with that watch that'll get paid off.
The showrunner didn't drop any details about what the "something" is that has been set up, so fans can just keep theorizing about the Dawsey vs. the Brettsey vs. no relationship at all until Chicago Fire delivers some answers. Fortunately, Derek Haas confirmed that the watch will make a comeback before Season 9 wraps, so Chicago Fire will shed some light within the coming weeks. As for whether the coming weeks will see the return of Jon-Michael Ecker as Lieutenant Grainger, Haas teased the character's future:
It's the end of Grainger for now. We'll see what next season brings. I really, really liked that character. And so I'm always trying to bring back characters that I like, that's one of the great things about doing a show that's gone on as long as we have is that you get to revisit old characters. And that does always make me happy, so perhaps we can bring him back.
Chicago Fire has already been renewed for another two seasons beyond the current Season 9, so the show is at least guaranteed to have the time to bring back Grainger if the opportunity arises. I'm guessing it's unlikely that he makes a transfer to Firehouse 51 unless Fire loses a couple of characters, since there's already an officer on Truck, Squad, and Engine, and Stella Kidd is facing a possible departure from 51 if she passed the lieutenant's exam.
For now, fans can still look forward to the remaining episodes of Chicago Fire Season 9, which will air on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET as the middle show in NBC's hit One Chicago block that also includes Chicago Med at 8 p.m. and Chicago P.D. at 10 p.m. The finales are fast-approaching, but at least viewers don't have to worry that the One Chicago series are among the many that haven't yet been renewed for the 2021-2022 TV season.