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Matthew Casey's Top 11 Memorable Moments on Chicago Fire

Revisit the makings of the fan-favorite fire captain played by Chicago Fire's Jesse Spencer.

By Jessica White & Megan Lasher

Chicago Fire has given us a decade (and counting) of dramatic, nail-biting rescue missions navigated by heroic characters with big hearts. And there's no doubt that Matthew Casey, played by Jesse Spencer, is high on the list of people we'd trust with our lives. 

How to Watch

Watch Chicago Fire on NBC and Peacock.

During Chicago Fire's 200th episode in Season 10, Casey left the team to move to Portland, Oregon so he could take care of the two sons of Firehouse 51's late firefighter Andy Darden (Corey Sorenson). His tight relationships with Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney), Sylvie Brett (Kara Kilmer), Brian "Otis" Zvonecek (Yuri Sardarov), and Gabby Dawson (Monica Raymund) had added a lot of love and connection to the show, so the goodbye was emotional for a lot of reasons.

RELATED: How Matthew Casey Became the Heart of Chicago Fire

Luckily, Casey has returned to Chicago several times since his relocation to connect with his 51 friends — including when he proposed to Brett in the Season 11 finale and when the two got married in Season 12.

In honor of his love story getting a much-deserved happy ending, here are some of Matthew Casey's defining moments from the Chicago Fire.

1. When Matthew Casey stood up for Otis Zvonecek

Season 3, Episode 15 ("Headlong Towards Disaster") brought us a defining moment for multiple characters when Chief Pridgen (Matthew Del Negro), who was filling in for Chief Wallace Boden (Eamonn Walker), mocked Zvonecek for tripping in a waxed bowling lane during a rescue.

Casey immediately refused to chime in on the bullying and later approached Pridgen, saying "Don't talk to my guy like that... Otis and everyone else here at 51, they've already proven themselves, and you ought to treat them with respect." 

2. When Matthew Casey saved a would-be jumper

In Season 6, Episode 3 ("An Even Bigger Surprise") Casey used an unconventional method to save a man from jumping off of a building. The save was a classic Casey move — he was known for his out-of-the-box thinking — and was backed up by more familiar behavior when he took full accountability for his actions.

After using a rope to save the man, Casey told an angry Captain Mullins (John Gatins), "If it's the liability you're worried about, put it on me." 

3. When Matthew Casey got promoted

The building rescue led to a bigger moment for Casey, when Captain Mullins came around and actually requested that Casey receive a meritorious promotion. During his swearing-in ceremony, his team celebrated his bravery and leadership. 

"There are firefighters who play the game, work the system, bide their time and climb up the chain of command. And then, there's Matthew Casey," Boden said. "A true, honest-to-God smoke eater."

Casey again used his shining moment to uplift others, saying to Dawson, "I appreciate this honor, I do, but if anyone deserves to be honored today, it's you, Gabby." 

4. When Matthew Casey saved Gabby Dawson after a garage collapsed

In Season 6, Episode 4 ("A Breaking Point"), one of Casey's first heroic acts as a captain was to save Dawson's life. Dawson was walking through the city when she saw construction workers causing serious damage to a parking structure. She ran in to tell civilians to exit the garage, but it collapsed on top of her.

After piecing together information, Casey got a hold of Dawson and told her how to exit the rubble. As the other survivors exited, Casey learned that Dawson was still deep inside trying to save the final victim, so he ran in to help pull both of them out.

5. When Matthew Casey and Gabby Dawson broke up

Casey was always a good leader and teammate to his crew but, outside of the job, he also showed a lot of heart. His relationship and then marriage with Dawson was not always easy but, when she decided to leave Firehouse 51 to move to Puerto Rico in Season 6 (and ask for a divorce in Season 7), Casey was nothing but understanding.

He wanted to support Dawson in doing what was best for her: "I'm just lucky I got to walk alongside you as long as I did," he told her. 

6. When Matthew Casey stood up to Captain Greg Delaney

In Season 8, Episode 11 ("Where We End Up"), Firehouse 51 was faced with a bedbug problem and forced to move in with the Firehouse 20 team for a short time. Tensions escalated between the two groups, especially amid new territories being drawn through the city, and Captain Greg Delaney (Robert Bogue) ultimately asked Casey and Severide to park their trucks in the street.

The two Chicago buddies called out this unfairness and stood up to Delaney in a moment that finally broke the heightening tension, and fans applauded Casey's ability to always fight for his fire family and stand by Severide's side. 

7. When Matthew Casey moved to Oregon to care for Ben and Griffin Darden

Leadership never began nor ended in the firehouse. After the loss of his best friend, Andy Darden, and the subsequent arrest of Darden's wife, Heather, Casey heroically stepped in to take care of Darden's two children, Ben and Griffin.

His bond with the kids lasted for all 12 seasons of his appearances, and it's ultimately why Casey left Chicago. 

Of course, Casey's leaving also complicated his relationship with Brett, as it forced the couple to navigate the challenges of a long-distance relationship. Brett and Casey broke up in Season 11 as a result but soon reunited when Casey realized he couldn't deny his love for Brett. 

8. Matthew Casey and Kelly Severide's "Final" Rescue

As Casey braced to leave the squad in Season 10, Episode 5 ("Two Hundred"), he had one last fiery fight during which he and Severide saved a civilian by using a church pew as a bridge. The two crossed over their makeshift path, grabbed the victim, and exited the area just before it went up in flames.

RELATED: Taylor Kinney Says This Chicago Fire Scene With Jesse Spencer Is One of His Best Memories

The mission was a perfect goodbye to the duo's long-lasting partnership — and when Severide pointed out that it might be their last fire together, Casey assured him that he'd never truly be gone.

9. When Matthew Casey returned for Kelly Severide's wedding

Matthew Casey (Jesse Spencer) in a scene from Chicago Fire.

After his emotional departure in Season 10 — and over a decade of brotherhood — there was no doubt that Casey would return to support Severide on his big day in Episode 22 ("The Magnificent City of Chicago").

"I don't want to get too sappy, but it's your wedding, so I'm going there," Casey told Severide. "I'm really grateful to be a part of this, Kelly. You guys are meant to be." 

10. When Matthew Casey proposed to Sylvie Brett

Kara Killmer Walks Through the Brettsey Proposal | Chicago Fire | NBC

Despite the distance between them following his departure for Oregon, Casey and Brett couldn't let go of their romantic spark and intense bond. But his return in Season 11, Episode 18 ("Danger Is All Around") was marred by the realization that Brett had become involved with a man named Dylan (Christopher Allen).

When Casey again returned to Chicago during Season 11, Episode 22 ("Red Waterfall"), he discovered that Brett was planning to adopt a baby, Julia — and that Dylan had broken up with her as she pursued motherhood, uninterested in parenting a child and claiminh that Brett was clearly still in love with Casey. 

After all of these realizations, Casey asked Brett to marry him so they could unite as a family.

"Sylvie Brett, we were meant to be. Will you make me and three kids the luckiest family in the world, and marry me?" he asked, kneeling in front of her at the door to her apartment. In the Season 12 premiere ("Barely Gone"), Chi-Hards were delighted to learn Brett said yes. 

That wasn't all — Brett also informed her Firehouse 51 colleagues that after the Chicago-based wedding, she was going to move to Portland to be with Casey once and for all. 

11. Matthew Casey and Sylvie Brett's Wedding

Sylvie Brett (Kara Killmer), Matt Casey (Jesse Spencer) Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney), Stella Kidd (Miranda Rae Mayo) pose for a photo together

Casey and Brett's journey to wedding bells was complicated but gratifying as Casey returned to Chicago in Season 12, Episode 6 ("Port in the Storm") for a Windy City ceremony surrounded by their CFD loved ones. As expected, Brettsey's vows to each other didn't leave a dry eye in the room. 

"Sylvie Brett, getting here to this place was the toughest battle of my life," Casey told her. "But it was worth every moment because we're here now. You are my port in the storm. The most generous, caring person I've ever known. And sometimes the most stubborn..."

"So not true," Brett countered.

"You would say that," Casey playfully teased. "We were apart for too long. Now, I promise that you'll never be alone. I will always be by your side. And that this, the two of us together, is a fire that will never go out." 

Brett's vows were equally emotional as she highlighted Casey's compassionate nature, revealing she fell in love with him after seeing how good he was with her half-sister and the Darden boys.

"It only made me love you more, even though I was trying so hard to let you go," Brett admitted. "And I couldn’t. It’s just like you said, we were meant to be. And we were meant to be a family."

Boden then pronounced Brett and Casey as "husband and wife and a family," cementing Brettsey as one of One Chicago's most beloved married couples. Brett and Casey are finally together after years of challenges, starting a new chapter in Portland together. After all of the emergencies Casey has faced, Chi-Hards are delighted to see him settle down with Firehouse 51's sweetheart. 

Watch Chicago Fire on Wednesdays at 9/8c on NBC and the next day on Peacock.

Originally published Mar 18, 2023.