Jesse Spencer leaves Chicago Fire after 10 seasons

Matthew Casey (Jesse Spencer) Chicago Fire

When Reel Chicago reported about the Season 10 premiere of Chicago Fire in September we mentioned that Jesse Spencer had not publicly confirmed whether his contract had been renewed. At that time we were speculating about the relationship between Matthew Casey (Jesse Spencer) and Sylvie Brett (Kara Killmer).

It seems that his contract has not been renewed as it was revealed that Spencer is departing the series after nearly 10 years and 200 episodes during last Wednesday’s episode.

The good news is, Matthew Casey could possibly return at any time as he has NOT been killed off!  The Australian actor exited the Wolf Entertainment action-drama during the popular show’s milestone 200th episode aptly titled Two Hundred

During the episode, his character Matthew Casey makes a “life-altering decision” to move to Oregon with a three-year commitment, which leads to him being written off of the series. The character Matt Casey decided the episode prior that he was going to leave Chicago to look after the Darden boys.

Loyal fans of Chicago Fire may not remember who the Darden boys are, as Andy Darden (Corey Sorenson), who was in charge of Firehouse 51 at the time, was killed in the series premiere of Chicago Fire back in 2012. Within the first few minutes of the first episode, the team at Firehouse 51 is called to a fire. Despite being one of the greats at his station, he makes a fatal mistake when the vent was unsuccessfully established which led to his death.

Andy Darden was close with Severide (Taylor Kinney) and Casey (Jesse Spencer), and his death led to a lengthy power struggle in the Firehouse. It took multiple seasons for Severide and Casey to get past their shared animosity, as both men felt they were the natural successor to Darden’s leadership.

Casey got particularly close to Darden’s widow, Heather (Chaon Cross), and became a surrogate dad for Darden’s sons, Griffin and Tim. When Heather was forced to serve jail time for a DUI in season 2, it was Casey who became the kids’ guardian.

In the season 10 episode Head Count, Casey was paid a visit by an adult Griffin, who said that he was in desperate need of help. Wolf Entertainment tweeted a heartwarming gif of Griffin and Casey reuniting:

During the episode Two Hundred, Casey tells Brett (Kara Killmer) that he has to move to Oregon, and asks that she come with him. She’s taken aback by the news, and throws out the possibility of them splitting up, but the couple ultimately agree to stay together to attempt a long-distance relationship.

The 200th episode mostly focused on Casey’s departure and how it would impact the rest of the characters. Having the storyline return full circle to the first episode (as well as season 2) might provide some closure to fans.

One Chicago shared a heartfelt goodbye video from Jesse Spencer:

Spencer explained to People during a Zoom press conference why he made the tough decision to leave the show. 

“This was a difficult decision because I have loved the show from the start but there are other things that I would like to do in the future, and there’s some family that I need to take care of,” Spencer explained. “I was marking off these milestones and looking to the future … and it was time.”

He continued, “It felt so organic for me and a perfect full circle and a really reasonable way for Casey to organically leave.”

Fans who love the relationship between Casey and Brett might be upset, but Casey also addressed their relationship in the Zoom press conference stating, 

“It was difficult because I really like Kara,” Spencer said. “But I think it was written really well into the episode because they’re trying to make the relationship work but they know that he’s leaving. So they’re sort of saying nothing’s going to change.”

Showrunner Derek Haas isn’t giving up hope that Casey will return stating during the same press conference,  “We’re going to keep it alive.… This is a three-year commitment that Casey’s making but hopefully we’ll see him before those three years are done.”

Casey is supposed to be the best man at the wedding planned for Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney) and Stella Kidd (Miranda Rae Mayo), so there is a possibility he may return for that. 

“I’m hoping,” said Haas. “I never try to predict what’s going to happen production-wise, but we’re in the camp of whenever Jesse wants to come do an episode with us, we will move mountains and earth to make that happen. We’ve been talking. We’ve got some ideas on what that would be and I would say you hit the nail on the head on what some of those moments might be.”

“I was, of course, wanting to talk Jesse into staying and coming back,” Haas added. “But I was very happy that he gave us five more episodes than just saying at the end of a season, which happens sometimes, too, like, ‘I’m out.’ That let us bring back a storyline from Season 1, which I know Jesse was excited about when we pitched it to him, to bring back the Darden boys and really tie in the pilot to Jesse’s leaving.”

Spencer was also quick to point out that he still lives in Chicago with his wife, research scientist Kali Woodruff Carr, whom he married last year and has no plans to leave the Windy City.

“I’m not running off to Los Angeles or anything, although I might escape for a little bit of the winter,” he teased. “There is the potential for me to come back.”

One Chicago tweeted what we were all feeling once we heard the news:


Chicago Fire executive producers include Dick Wolf, Derek Haas, Todd Arnow, Andrea Newman, Michael Gilvary, Michael Brandt, Reza Tabrizi, Arthur W. Forney, Peter Jankowski. 

Chicago Fire is produced by Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group, in association with Wolf Entertainment. Filmed at Cinespace Chicago Film Studio.

Chicago Fire airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.

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