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'Chicago Fire' finale fan recap: Where in the world is Matt Casey?

Season 3 | Episode 23 | “Spartacus” | Aired May 12, 2015

When we last saw the boys and girls of Firehouse 51, they were not in the greatest place. Rumors of Rice ducking during calls and Severide’s insistence on the firefighter’s innocence caused a huge rift between Chicago Fire‘s Truck 81 and Squad 3, and more importantly—rocked the foundation of Matt Casey and Kelly Severide’s friendship. It was not okay.

But how can 51 repair itself when neither side will admit wrongdoing? The same way any firehouse does, I imagine: With near-death experiences and lots of hugging.

The line between Truck and Squad is still very firmly drawn as the house gets called to a gas leak. Rather than working together, Severide and Casey lead their teams separately—and Truck and Squad literally stand divided on the front lawn. Needless to say, when Papa Bear Boden arrives on scene, he is not happy with his lieutenants. This is a dangerous way to work and also, you guys are best friends! Okay, he doesn’t say that last bit, BUT WE WERE ALL THINKING IT.

Back at the house, Truck 81 sends a symbolic middle finger to Squad 3 by sitting at their table, and declaring the “kingdom of Squad 3” to be defunct. Casey doesn’t necessarily condone the act, and he’s obviously preoccupied with all the strip-club shenanigans (more on that below), but once Severide lays into him for allowing Truck to continue acting up, Casey doesn’t hold back.

You guys, they get into it. Casey tells Severide he’s blinded by his friendship with Rice and reminds him that he took Severide in at his lowest point. Severide calls Casey a “sanctimonious prick.” BOYS, PLEASE STOP FIGHTING. Remember when you wore hawaiian shirts and went trolling for hookups together? THINK OF THE HAWAIIAN SHIRTS.

Honestly, I think Severide does think of the hawaiian shirts, because soon after, he pays a little visit to the C.F.D. equipment-servicing outpost and discovers that no one from Firehouse 51 dropped off a mask regulator for repairs; Rice has been lying to Severide the entire time.

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Severide and Boden confront Rice in a heartbreaking scene. Rice is terrified of leaving his son an orphan. Anyone can understand that reasoning, but as Severide makes clear: When firefighters report for duty, they have to put it all on the line; it’s the nature of the job. Rice wasn’t ready to return to work and he is immediately fired.

Called up in Rice’s stead? Joe Cruz! Cruz secretly took—and passed—his squad certification, and Boden puts him on Squad 3 while promoting Otis to Truck 81 driver. Boden informs Truck 81 that he’ll be acting Lieutenant since Casey is out on personal business (stripping business), and everyone heads to a giant warehouse fire. In short: It’s real bad, you guys.

Squad is able to get two trapped firefighters out safely, and Severide stays behind to look for civilians. OF COURSE YOU DO, YOU ANGEL HERO MAN. Meanwhile, Dawson is stuck after making a big save. Severide finds Dawson, but things are looking pretty grim. I found it fitting that it was Severide and Dawson there in the end—they’ve been through a lot together this season, and it was nice to see their friendship come full circle here.

And by “nice” I mean “terrifying,” because they are about to die lying next to one another in a burning building.

As all of Firehouse 51 realizes what’s happening to their friends inside, Boden demands they all stay put—no matter what. AND THEN HE RUNS INTO THE BUILDING BY HIMSELF.

Meanwhile, another battalion chief orders the water line cut off to the hoses in the building—the same water line providing the small amount of oxygen that’s currently keeping Dawson and Severide alive. Cruz sees this happening and steps in, physically threatening the chief unless he stops. As adamant as Cruz is (we’re all crying!), he loses the battle and the water is cut off.

But fear not—Boden arrives just in time and gets his people out. Everybody hugs!

Alas, the trouble is not over for Firehouse 51. Back at the station, Chief Tiberg is following up on a report that a firefighter threatened a battalion chief. Before Cruz can confess, Otis steps forward and tells Tiberg he did it. Every other member of 51 follows suit, all confessing to protect Cruz. They are a united front. They are a team. THEY ARE A FAMILY.

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So, where is Matt Casey during all of this? Well, you’ll all be happy to know that Matt avoided detection during that last shady strip-club meeting by tossing out his phone bug prior to his pat down.

Unfortunately, he doesn’t exercise those same smarts when he invites Voight and Antonio to 51 to explain the situation to Boden and ask to be excused for his next shift. They decide to have this nice chat in the parking lot in BROAD DAYLIGHT. What is this, Voight, amateur hour?

Nesbitt is parked outside and watches his contractor shaking hands with the C.P.D. He plays it cool with Casey when they meet at the club later, but we’re all screaming that Matt should get out of there, GET OUT OF THERE NOW.

And that’s the last we see of Casey throughout the hour. Dawson, who realizes that her sudden aversion to pickles might mean she’s carrying a little passenger in utero, shows up at Matt’s apartment to tell her “just friend” the big news, only to find his apartment torn up, no Matt to be found, and Katya the Stripper lying in a pool of her own blood.

Where is Matt Casey, indeed.

From the Firehouse 51 bulletin board: 

  • After enduring episodes of the “Chileeze” debacle, another self-cooling champagne hits the market before Chili’s. That’s what you get for trapping national treasure Scottie Pippen in an elevator to coerce him into a celebrity endorsement. Karma: It’s real, and it’s a bitch.
  • Sylvie Brett took care of herself, y’all. Our little paramedic gave some grade-A mouth-to-mouth to none other than Officer Roman (Brian Geraghty) after a night out at Molly’s. You guys, I SHIP IT.
  • As Wyclef Jean once astutely said, “I’ll be gone till November”—because that’s when Chicago Fire returns for season 4. It’s a real bummer, but until then, keep yourself occupied by thinking about how you’re going to feel when Casey and Dawson ask Severide to be the godfather of their child. Spoiler alert: REAL GOOD.