Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Why Chicago Fire Fans Are So Divided Over Matt Casey

Dick Wolf's "One Chicago" franchise has been a cornerstone for NBC since "Chicago Fire" introduced viewers to the Windy City emergency services universe in 2012. "Chicago P.D." debuted in 2014, and "Chicago Med" and "Chicago Justice" followed in 2015 and 2017, respectively. Because they are part of a shared universe, the most prominent actors on each show semi-routinely appear in their sister series. 

For example, Jesse Spencer, the actor who led "Chicago Fire" as firefighter Matt Casey for the better part of 10 seasons, also appeared in four episodes of "Chicago Med" and two episodes of "Chicago P.D." (via IMDb). In "Chicago Fire" Season 10, Episode 6 ("Dead Zone"), Casey moves to Oregon to take care of the sons of his deceased colleague Andrew Darden (Corey Sorenson). Spencer's departure was a big shock to the franchise at the time of its announcement. 

In an interview, the actor told TVLine that he considered Casey's exit a "perfect full-circle [moment] and a really reasonable way for Casey to, organically, leave the show." Notably, the actor also promised that he remained open to returning to the franchise at some point in the future. "There is the potential for me to come back," Spencer said. "I still am in Chicago right now. I'm not running off to Los Angeles or anything ... I'm just stepping back for right now." 

Unsurprisingly, Deadline confirmed in April that Spencer will return for the Season 10 finale. However, based on a notable Reddit thread, not all fans of "Chicago Fire" will be excited to see the character reappear so soon.

One Reddit thread claims Casey is the worst character on Chicago Fire

On the r/ChicagoFireNBC subreddit, u/chickenfriednoods posted, "Matt Casey is the worst character. I just cannot stand his attitude ... He is immature and a hot head who takes his issues out on all other members of the firehouse." The post prompted dozens of comments from viewers chiming in with their own widely varying opinions about the character who led the show for a decade. U/Givemeamop commented, "[I] could not agree more. Condescending. Has all the answers. Sucks up to the chief. Looks like a little kid but acts like an old man."

However, not everyone who contributed to the thread was anti-Casey. In the thread's most upvoted comment, u/KimGrennan wrote, "[In my opinion,] the man is no saint. But he's hardly the worst character. Most of the time, he's very loyal and the way he puts the people's needs in front of his own is very commendable." Some were also quick to point out Casey's bravery and others called for sympathy for a man who has suffered a great deal of on-the-job trauma. "Bro, the man was almost shot in the head, cut some slack," wrote u/DomNessMonster07. "When everything's going well and he isn't almost dying he's a great guy, always has his men and women's backs.

Other viewers appeared to ride solidly in the middle of the road when it comes to Casey. For example, u/RinardoEvoris wrote, "He's mayonnaise on a sandwich ... Most network shows pick these bland-ish generic good looking guys and write bland-ish characters for them."

Regardless of whether most viewers are hot, cold, or lukewarm on Casey, the character's upcoming return seems sure to have an enormous impact.