“We just love the character and love the actor so much. We knew that we wanted to have him and he’s a very busy guy, and we also were scared that his schedule would be [booked], but he’s made himself available for this episode, which is fantastic. It’s a long time coming,” co-showrunner Andrea Newman exclusively told Us Weekly ahead of the Wednesday, April 27, announcement. “We would take him anytime we could get him. This was a particularly special episode. As Derek [Haas] keeps saying, we were willing to beg, borrow and steal to get him there and he obliged.”
Creator Haas added: “It means a ton that he would agree to come back and be in this really memorable, years in the making finale. So all we can say to Jesse Spencer is thank you. And as always, he’s agreed to and we can’t wait to see him on set.”
Matthew Casey’s visit home will be be a memorable one. Audiences will see him reunite on screen with Kara Killmer‘s Sylvie Brett as they attend Severide (Taylor Kinney) and Stella’s (Miranda Rae Mayo) wedding.
“I think they’re in a really interesting position coming into this finale and she’s just been with him for a bunch of weeks in a row and they got to actually spend that time together. And then they go right to a wedding, where everybody knows when you’re in a relationship and you go to a wedding, all of a sudden your relationship is under a spotlight too. And so they have to kind of examine where they’re at. And I think it brings up all sorts of questions. So it’ll be a real moment for them there at the wedding,” Newman told Us.
As for his role in the ceremony? “What we’ve been saying about Casey is he said he would be Severide’s best man and he’s a man of his word,” she confirmed. “And we’re getting a kick out of the fact that Cruz (Joe Minoso) asked Severide to be his best man. And now Cruz has to be the second best man at Severide’s wedding. He’s not that happy about it!”
Spencer’s visit will be short one, however. “We know that Jesse’s very sought after and the fact that he would even [come back] — we could get him for this, there’s no guarantee past this,” Haas added to Us. “So door’s open on our end, but we always understand what he’s got going on. It’s the same when we had Monica Raymund back and we just know that she’s got a big career and she’s very busy. So we always say on our end, we’ll leave the door open. Hopefully [we] see these characters again.”
Spencer, 43, announced in October 2021 that he was leaving the NBC drama after 10 seasons. He came to that decision during the break between seasons 9 and 10.
“I’ve been doing TV for a long time. I added it up, and I think this year is my 18th year of network television straight since I went straight from House into Chicago Fire. We were coming up to the 200th episode so I called Derek, made a personal decision and broke the news that I thought it was time to leave the show and he agreed that we should at least get Casey to 200 episodes,” the Australian actor told Us and other reporters on a video call at the time. “It was a difficult decision because I’ve loved this show from the start, but there’s other things that I would love to do in the future and there’s some family that I need to take care of. 18 years is a long time. That’s a long stretch.”
Spencer called his exit “difficult” and “bittersweet,” but he knew “it was time” to say goodbye. “When the time comes, the time comes,” he added. “As a lead, you don’t want to leave a show. But I wanted to leave the show. … I still am in Chicago right now. I’m not running off to Los Angeles or anything, although I might escape for a little bit for the winter. … My home here with my wife is in Chicago, and I’m still going to be here, I’m just stepping back for right now.”
Although Spencer has been away, Haas and Newman have made sure that Casey’s presence is still known on the show.
“We really miss him. He feels so present at 51 to us always. I feel like every script we write something in where somebody’s missing him or reminiscing about something related to him. But because Brett’s still in this relationship with him, he still feels really present,” Newman told Us. “I think his name is brought up pretty often. I mean, we miss him like crazy. It was hard to pivot that he’s not on the show regularly, but we still really feel his presence pretty much every episode.”
Chicago Fire’s season 10 finale will air on NBC Wednesday, May 25, at 9 p.m. ET.
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