Spoilers ahead for the sixth episode of Chicago Fire on NBC, called “Dead Zone.”
Chicago Fire headed into a whole new era with “Dead Zone” as the first new episode following the 200th that said goodbye to Jesse Spencer as Matt Casey. It was an emotional farewell, but skipped over any heartbreak for the characters by giving Casey a solid reason for leaving and by not breaking up Casey and Brett. Now that Fire has aired its first episode of Brett in a long-distance relationship with Casey off-screen, it’s worth considering how the show should handle her future.
Now, whether or not you’ve been a fan of the Brettsey pairing, there is no denying that Brettsey after the 200th episode will never be the same as Brettsey before the 200th episode. Jesse Spencer isn’t coming back any time soon, and Kara Killmer has a pretty interesting storyline still going in Season 10 with paramedicine. So, accounting for Brett sticking around and Casey only making voice appearances at the very best for the foreseeable future, let’s look at the best possible scenarios for Brett.
Fair warning: the parallels between Casey moving away from Brett and Dawson moving away from Casey mean that there are going to be some Dawsey mentions.
Brett And Casey Should Break Up
Like it or not, Casey is gone for at least three years to take care of the Darden boys, and that’s a long time that will inevitably involve Brett finding ways to fill her time in Chicago and Casey building a life for himself in Oregon that presumably means setting down some roots. Additionally, Jesse Spencer departed Chicago Fire because, as he said, he made a “personal decision.” He didn’t rule out coming back, but both he and showrunner Derek Haas made it clear that nothing more than a voice cameo was coming for now. Casey is gone, and Brett is not.
And would it really be fair to Brett as a character or Kara Killmer as an actress if Brettsey continues indefinitely as an off-screen long-distance relationship? She was already facing some of the sad realities of Casey’s absence in this episode when she looked at the drawers at her place that she’d reserved for him, and took the (admittedly small) step of putting her own stuff back in them. And the look on her face when she listened to his voicemail at the end and heard him going on about working out a schedule for calls because they’re both so busy was so sad that I can’t want this to be the status quo for her.
A breakup would hurt for Brett, but it would also open her up for so much more, and not being tied to somebody who isn’t coming back would be a positive in the long run. Plus, if Chicago Fire could move Casey on from Dawson a few seasons back after Monica Raymund’s departure, it only makes sense that Fire would move Brett on from Casey. It makes the most sense for Brett, there’s precedent on the show, and it opens up more stories. R.I.P. Brettsey, but Brett has a future in Season 10 and beyond where Casey does not. Hopefully, for Brett's sake, the break is sooner rather than later.
Brett Shouldn't Move On Right Away
Love Brettsey, hate Brettsey, or don’t have any strong feelings one way or the other on Brettsey, there’s no denying that their relationship has been a major thread for both characters in the series since Dawson left Chicago, and it wouldn’t make sense if Brett broke up with Casey (or the other way around) and she bounced back and was just fine in the next episode. It wouldn’t do justice to Brett or her feelings for Casey, or what she went through throughout Season 9 as Casey waffled on his feelings for her and his feelings for Dawson.
But she should get to move on, slowly but surely. A recovery process could be interesting to watch, as fans haven’t really seen Brett have to get over a relationship where the stakes were so high, or with her and such a major character as Matt Casey. She shouldn’t move on right away, but she has a strong support system in Chicago, people who love her, and plenty to keep her busy at work with the paramedicine program.
Fire can take its time letting her move on, and there is still plenty of Season 10 left. Plus, Fire is already renewed for Season 11, so there is time for Brett to have a solid storyline. If Fire could take the time to build Brettsey for better or worse, Fire should take the time for the breakdown. Not three seasons, though, even if that’s how long it took Casey to be confident he was over Dawson!
Brett Should Get A New Love Interest At Some Point
As much as Brett shouldn’t move on right away, she also shouldn’t have to spend the rest of her time in Season 10 missing Casey. I have to point again to Casey in the aftermath of Dawson’s departure, since he physically moved on fairly quickly, and that was coming off of a long relationship that involved marriage, a young boy for as long as they had Louie, a pregnancy that ended in heartbreak, and plenty of ups and downs. If Fire could move on Casey not all that long after Dawson, then Fire can move Brett on not all that long after Casey. If he could rebound with somebody, then so can she!
And getting a new love interest doesn’t mean that Brett needs to fall madly in love with her soul mate as the next guy in her life. Casey isn’t exactly married to the first woman he slept with after Dawson, but there’s certainly precedent for a new love interest relatively early on after a breakup. Let the woman live her life beyond Casey, since he’s not coming back!
Also, Brett’s next love interest should be somebody new. It’s not a secret that I haven’t exactly been the captain of the Brettsey ship, and one of my biggest issues from the very first time they started making eyes at each other was that Casey was always and forever going to be associated with Dawson and Dawsey, especially since their marriage didn’t end because Casey stopped loving her. I didn’t want Brett’s big, grand, epic romance to be with the guy who was arguably best known for years for being half of Dawsey.
Brett was always going to be Casey’s second big love interest from Firehouse 51, and fans were always going to go back and forth over Dawsey vs. Brettsey. I’ve wanted Brett to have a love interest who is just hers, where she won’t be the second one or find herself in a love triangle with somebody who's not even there or follow in anybody’s footsteps. Just like I said when Chicago Fire was toying with Brett starting a new relationship in Season 9 while she was trying to get over Casey, Brett deserves somebody who is just hers. So give her a new love interest!
See what happens next for Brett with new episodes of Chicago Fire on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC, between Chicago Med at 8 p.m. ET and Chicago P.D. at 10 p.m. ET. One Chicago is going quite strong, and Fire is going to find ways to continue without Casey that hopefully work well even for fans (and characters) missing him.
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, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.
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