Chicago fire officially has a vacancy on Truck 81 following Wednesday’s 200th episode: Lead man Jesse Spencer left the NBC drama after playing Captain Matthew Casey for 10 seasons.
The actor has starred in the firefighter drama since its debut in 2012 and was one of six other regulars on the show from the first season. (The others are Taylor Kinney, David Eigenberg, Eamonn Walker, Christian Stolte, and Joe Minoso.) But after spending eight years at Fox’s lodge directly in Fire, Spencer is ready to take a break and concentrate elsewhere.
“I realized that I had been doing television for a long time. I added it up, and I think this year is my 18th year of network television, ”Spencer told reporters at a Zoom press conference. ” I called [showrunner] Derek [Haas] and broke the news to him, said I thought it was time to quit the show, and he agreed that we should at least get Casey to 200 episodes. It was a tough decision because I love the show from the start, but there are other things I would love to do in the future, and there is a family that I need to take care of, and 18 years is a long time. “
“I wanted, of course, to convince Jesse to stay and come back,” Haas added. “But I was really happy that he gave us five more episodes than just saying at the end of a season, which sometimes happens too, like, ‘I got out. It allowed us to bring back a storyline from Season 1, which I know Jesse was excited about when we presented it to him, to bring back the Darden boys and really tie the pilot to Jesse’s departure.
In the 200th installment, Casey told his friends and colleagues at the fire station that he was moving to Oregon to care for the sons of his late best friend Andy Darden (at least until Ben came to university in three years). The life-changing decision for a “perfect circle [moment] and a really reasonable way for Casey to leave the show organically, ”especially since Firefighter always wanted to be a father, Spencer said. And after just one call from Deputy District Manager Boden, Casey already had a job with the Portland Fire Department.
While bidding farewell to Windy City, Casey shared several farewells with his fire team and received a thoughtful speech from Boden (after which the show’s OG firefighters kissed Casey in a group hug) . Haas put all of his own feelings about Spencer’s leaving in Boden’s words, “So it was a really hard scene to write,” Haas explained. “Jesse meant so much to me. I wanted to end the episode with this.
Casey, meanwhile, means a lot to Brett and vice versa, so naturally he tried to convince her to come to Oregon with him. But her partner was not ready to abandon the paramedical program she had just launched. Rather than breaking up, the couple decided to try a long-distance relationship, with Casey swearing, “Nothing is going to change. (Famous last words, a lot?)
After developing to “Brettsey” for three seasons, Spencer admitted that the timing of his exit was unfortunate when it came to willpower that they / won’t want. “We just got there,” he said. “It was difficult because I like Kara a lot [Killmer, who plays Brett]. We’ve made a really, really nice relationship. I loved working with her… But it was very well written in the episode, because they’re trying to make this relationship work, but they know he’s leaving. So they kind of say that nothing is going to change, but… ”
Despite the odds in their way, Casey and Brett will indeed continue to engage with each other, even with Spencer no longer on the show. “We’re going to keep him alive,” Haas said of the relationship, noting that things like FaceTime, phone calls and easy thefts make this possible. Additionally, viewers most likely haven’t seen the latest Spencer, whose voice will be heard in a future episode. “It’s a three-year commitment that Casey is making, but hopefully we’ll see it before those three years are over,” Haas added.
Spencer, too, echoes the idea that this is not the end for him and Fire: “There is a potential for me to come back. I’m still in Chicago at the moment. I’m not going to Los Angeles or anything, although I could get away from the winter a little bit, ”he shared with a laugh. “My home here with my wife is in Chicago, so I’m still going to be here, but I’m taking a step back for now. “
Fire fans, how are you handling the news of Spencer’s departure? Hit the comments to let us know (after rating the 200th episode below)!