|Created by Matt Olmstead|
Played by Jesse Spencer
TV show Chicago Fire
|Portrayed by Jesse Spencer|
Spouse(s) Gabriela Dawson
Creator Matt Olmstead
|Occupation Firefighter, CFD
Alderman 52nd Ward|
Family Nancy Casey (mother) Gregory Casey (father, deceased) Christie Casey Jordan (sister)
First appearance pilot (CF), (episode 1.01), "8:30 PM" (CPD), (episode 1.12)
Similar Kelly Severide, Gabriela Dawson, Leslie Shay, Chief Wallace Boden, Antonio Dawson
Matthew Casey is a fictional character on the NBC drama Chicago Fire, portrayed by actor Jesse Spencer. Casey, a lieutenant in the Chicago Fire Department's Firehouse 51's Truck Co. 81, was first introduced on Chicago Fire.
The character has a well-documented feud with Detective Hank Voight (Jason Beghe), a protagonist on Chicago Fire spin-off Chicago P.D.. The introduction of Voight and other Chicago PD characters eventually led to the creation of the namesake spin-off, in which Voight's full story is further clarified in the first season of Chicago P.D.. Although Voight is shown to be highly dedicated cop and earns the grudging respect of Casey's co-workers, his presence is still met with tension and suspicion from the firefighters of 51 as a result of what happened between him and Casey. Casey's storyline crosses with Voight once again in the season 3 finale of Chicago Fire, as he goes missing after agreeing to help Voight gather information on a client he was doing renovation works for.
Background and characterization
As the leader of the truck company, Casey's cool and standoffish demeanor and no-nonsense attitude sometimes puts his crew off but he is respected by them and highly regarded by Chief Boden. He is extremely private about his personal life, preferring to wallow in his own problems rather than seek help from his colleagues, and sometimes comes across as distant and aloof as he usually keeps to himself during down time even when around them in the lounge room. His reticence has caused him problems on a number of times, both professionally and personally, as his relationships with both his fiancées all deteriorated due to the lack of communication. In the season 4 premiere, Herrman tellingly comments that the way Casey deals with things is "not dealing with it"; of all the characters, he generally confides to Severide or Dawson and only after he is at his breaking point. Despite this, Casey does care for his men and will not hesitate to defend them, even if it means standing up to his superiors and risking his own career. He trusts the men of his truck company implicitly (and vice versa) and is generally quite lax with them in good faith that they will maintain professional standards themselves, only disciplining them when he has no choice. However, he is known for being tough with candidates, as seen with Mills, Jones and now Borrelli and would either personally or have one of his more senior firefighters regularly drill them.
Casey is also burdened by his ex-convict mother Nancy, who shattered the family 15 years earlier after murdering his abusive father. He has a sister, Christie, who he grew distant from over their father's death, but they have since mended their relationship. His family still remains a touchy subject and, according to veterans Mouch and Herrmann, there is an unspoken rule within the firehouse that no one is to mention Casey's family or ask him about them.
A skilled handyman and carpenter, Casey freelances as a construction contractor when off-duty. Other characters have consulted him for advice on construction-related issues. For example, he was "consulted" by Herrmann on renovation works and building code compliance for Molly's and built a ramp for a paraplegic accident victim he and his men had rescued.
In the pilot, Casey and Kelly Severide are shown to be good friends since their days at the fire academy and long-time coworkers who are at loggerheads with each other, much to Chief Boden's frustration, over the death of fellow firefighter and close friend Andy Darden due to a bad call. Although they try to remain professional in front of their men, their spats have often made their way into the firehouse off duty to the point where they would indirectly insult each other, with their newest Candidate Peter Mills getting caught in the crossfire. They eventually put aside their animosity by the end of the first season. Throughout the show they are often seen putting themselves in danger to protect each other, such as when Kelly went into an unstable burning building to help Casey find his fiancée. After Casey was injured in season 2 episode 10, Kelly was the first to notice that he was not healed. He was very concerned about Casey, asking him numerous times if he was okay and offering help. Likewise, Casey is the only person to whom Severide admits that he had difficulty getting over Shay's death.
Darden's death would affect him in following episodes as he was forced to look after Darden's two young sons when Darden's widow Heather is imprisoned for DUI manslaughter. He discovers that he was named their legal guardian in the Dardens' will. The fact that Heather still kept in contact with Casey was a sore point for him and Severide and she blamed Severide for failing to prevent her husband's death.
He is engaged to Dr. Hallie Thomas for a time, but they decide to break it off, at which point he tentatively pursues Gabby Dawson but ends up deciding to stay friends. At the end of the first season in "Ambition", Hallie returns and Casey rekindles his relationship with her but she is murdered in season 1 episode "Leaders Lead". At the end of season 1 and the prelude into season 2 Gabby shows up at his door helping him cope with Hallie's death. Gabriela Dawson had a crush on him, until they went on a casual date at her cousin's Christmas party. He "kissed her on the cheek" when she tried to kiss him, and from then Dawson seemed mad at him. They seem to be content with each other now that the secret of Dawson and Mills' relationship is now out. In season 2 episode "Rhymes with Shout" he shows up at Gabby's door and kisses her at the end of the episode. At the start of the next episode they are shown waking up in bed together and are in a relationship. In the season 2 episode "Not Like This", Casey risks his life to save a baby in a burning building and is rushed to the hospital in critical condition. When he gets back on the job, he suffers from neurological symptoms such as memory loss, uncharacteristic outbursts of anger and headaches but keeps this from his colleagues, although his erratic behavior is quickly picked up by several veteran coworkers and then-girlfriend Dawson. When he begins to bleed from his ear, he sees a doctor who tells him that it was caused by a crack in his skull and warns him that another hit to the head could be catastrophic. He decides not to tell his colleagues or the Chief, fearing that he would be forced into disability retirement.
After Mills breaks up with Dawson for various reasons (one being Dawson’s feelings for Casey) Dawson and Casey begin to spend more time together, partially because Casey has to look after Heather's children (even with his 24-hour shifts) and asks for help from Dawson and the rest of the fire house. After spending more time together Casey and Dawson decide for the moment they are happy just being friends. Casey eventually gets helps from Dawson's friend, Isabella, to get Heather moved to a minimum security facility so that she can see Griffin and Ben more often. In the episode No Regrets, Heather gets released due to overcrowding. She decides to move to Florida because she can't live in Chicago without being reminded of both her husband and friend's death. This deeply saddens Casey, but understands Heather's reasons for leaving. In the episode You Will Hurt Him, Casey and Dawson wake up in bed together the next morning. Dawson still has doubts and fears about Casey's commitment but he tells her "I had a chance at this a year ago and I blew it. I've been regretting it ever since." He further assures his seriousness about his commitment by telling her "As far as I'm concerned, it's our time now." They kiss confirming and starting a relationship. In season 3, episode 2 Casey proposed to Dawson at the Fire academy but before he could finish asking the question Dawson gave her answer "Yes". The two then go home to have sex. However their happiness was short lived because of Dawson joining truck 81 they could not get married. In season 3 episode 7 the two share their feelings about how they would do anything if they could get married now and seal it with a kiss. This is also shortlived because after they were caught kissing in his truck all things go downhill for the couple. Dawson breaks up with Casey in season 3 episode 11. Following Shay's death, Severide moves in with Casey and Dawson. Severide and Casey become roommates after Dawson moves out. Some of the strain on Casey and Dawson's relationship comes from Casey and Severide's relationship; with Casey putting Severide in front of Dawson, such as when Dawson tells Casey to ask Severide to move out and Casey responds by saying Severide "is going to need [him] on his side, so good or bad that's where [he'll] be". In season 3 episode 15, Severide instantly turns down an order from his chief to spy on Casey. He also tells the chief that Casey is "one of the finest firefighters [he's] ever had the opportunity to work with in the entire CFD." Severide is the only person on the show, besides Dawson, to call Casey by his first name. Casey is the only person on the show to call Severide by the nickname, Sev.
In the Season 3 episode "Category 5", he knowingly turns down Voight's help (hinting that there is still tensions between himself and Voight) with a case of human trafficking that involves with the owner of the strip club, Jack Nesbitt, that Casey is doing contracting on. Nesbitt is a former firefighter and friend and Casey initially took on the project as a favor but senses that something was not right about some of Nesbitt's "business associates". He eventually agrees to help Voight get some intel about Nesbitt. In the season finale, "Spartacus", he is discovered missing when Dawson went to his house to check up on him. However she finds his apartment trashed and torn apart and the dead body of a stripper named Katya who had worked for Nesbitt's strip club while Casey is nowhere to be found, presumably kidnapped.
It is revealed that Katya had been compiling a notebook of evidence with the intention of exposing the trafficking ring running out of Nesbitt's nightclub. She went to Casey's house to ask for help but they are ambushed by Bulgarian criminals who kill Katya execution-style on the spot. For the first several episodes, Casey is seen struggling to come to terms with Nesbitt's betrayal and having to witness a murder in his own home. His inner turmoil is somewhat assuaged when Dawson, who is temporarily on desk duty at the Office of Fire Investigation, reveals to him that she is pregnant with their child. They intended to keep the secret "in-house" but word eventually spreads to their colleagues, even to their contemporaries at the CPD, but Dawson suffers a miscarriage.
His relationship with Dawson became strained when they disagreed over her decision to foster Louie, a boy they had rescued and had no listed next of kin. He comes to accept Louie, much to Dawson's delight. They push for an adoption but a judge tells him that their chances were slim due to the lack of evidence that they were in a committed relationship. In the 100th episode he and Dawson get married and file for the adoption together. However, Louie's biological father files for custody, having just returned from a deployment in Afghanistan and only learned about Louie's existence recently, and succeeds as he was backed by his immediate family members.
Casey features briefly in three episodes of Chicago P.D.. Although he is on friendly terms with most characters, he has a notable grudge against Detective Hank Voight due to the fact that he was a victim of Voight's cover as a corrupt cop running with local gangs and was livid by Voight's cover-up of his son's DUI. The animosity has since faded some as Voight saved him from being shot by Jack Nesbitt in the nick of time.