A blast from the past brought on a major development in Brett and Casey’s relationship during Chicago Fire‘s Season 11 premiere.
Brett spent much of the episode missing her boyfriend, who was back in Portland, and after an unexpected visit from her ex-fiancé chaplain Kyle (guest star Teddy Sears) — who revealed that he was engaged! — the paramedic made a big decision about her own romantic future.
“Our stars just didn’t align, that’s all. The timing just wasn’t right. But Matt, maybe some day…” Brett said in a phone call to Casey.
Below, showrunners Andrea Newman and Derek Haas explain why “Brettsey” had to break up and reveal whether the door is really closed on the couple. The EPs also preview how “the chains are off” now on Violet and Hawkins, and how Gallo will handle losing the girl.
TVLINE | Talk to me about the decision to have Brett break up with Casey at the end of the premiere.
ANDREA NEWMAN | It goes to the evolution of that character, honestly. We’ve seen her shake up her life twice for [men]. When she came [to Firehouse 51], it was because of a breakup with a guy and then she moved with the chaplain out of Chicago. So she’s made a lot of decisions based on these relationships, and she’s become this stronger, more independent woman. So no matter how much she loves Casey, and it’s undeniable, she’s making decisions now that are for her own future and for her life with this paramedicine cause, which is really near and dear to her. We’re going to chart it, and you’ll see that grow a lot, and you’ll hear her talking about it. So it’s a lot of fun to see. She’s a toughie now. She’s a real strong, independent medic. When she came, she had some growing to do, and she’s done it. It’s a fun thing to watch.
TVLINE | As you were playing out the storyline with her and Casey last season, did you find that carrying out an off-screen, long-distance relationship proved to be more difficult than you anticipated? Was that part of it?
NEWMAN | I wouldn’t say it’s more difficult. We believed that they would give it their best shot because of how much they loved each other, that they would both give it their all, but that their lives’ circumstances had a sort of inevitability to it, a conclusion.
TVLINE | You left the door open there, though, at bit. She says, “Maybe some day.” Do you hope to revisit the relationship, if the stars align with Jesse Spencer?
DEREK HAAS | Oh, yes! We’re always hoping those stars align.
TVLINE | You said Brett is going to be focusing on paramedicine. Do you feel like you have to keep her single for a long time, just to kind of give people time to mourn that relationship?
NEWMAN | A long time is subjective, I guess, but she’s in love with Casey. There’s no doubt. You can’t just shut that off. So that’s gong to be something she’s struggling with as she tries to move forward.
TVLINE | Having the chaplain be the one who triggered, so to speak, this decision by Brett was unexpected. Why did you decide that he needed to come back into the picture and kind of spur her into this?
NEWMAN | It’s twofold, honestly. It’s the fun of when we see him, inevitably, your mind goes to, “Oh, my God, are they going to get back together?! Is that what these psycho writers are doing?!” [Laughs] But then it just shines a light on a bunch of things. First of all, the stars aligning element, which he had in his life and is fortunate to have, and she’s painfully aware she doesn’t have, but also the fact that she had changed up her whole entire life to move to be with [Kyle] and just a reminder that that’s not who she is anymore.
TVLINE | Even though Brett and Casey are no longer together, are we still going to get updates on Casey, maybe via Severide?
NEWMAN | Yes, we’ll keep hearing about him, and people go to Casey for advice. They’re all tight, they’re still family. So you’ll definitely hear his name.
TVLINE | Now that Violet and Hawkins are back together and their relationship is public, what can we expect with them?
HAAS | So I can tell you that we found that audiences, for some reason, love it when couples go out of town together. So we thought that’ll be nice if Hawkins, in a coming up episode, asks Violet to go out of town with him.
NEWMAN | And also, the fun thing now is that even though Hawkins, in particular, took a hit to his career, it’s like the chains are off. They’re unfettered now. They can be together and be together in public, and it’s a whole new chapter for them, being able to be out in the world as a couple and really explore that together.
TVLINE | Even though Gallo did the right thing when he helped facilitate this reconciliation, he lost the girl in the process. So how is he handling that?
NEWMAN | He’s the best guy in the world because he genuinely loves Violet, and so he genuinely wants the best for her and had to do that. I think once he did that, he blocked it off. No matter his feelings, he locked that part off in his head for Violet, and he’s going to move forward.
HAAS | He’s not exactly going to be alone for too long.
NEWMAN | No, he’s going to move on by having a hell of a lot of fun. I’ll say that. [Laughs]