February flashback: Chicago Fire season 3, episode 15

A scene from Chicago Fire season 3, episode 15. Photo Credit: Courtesy of NBC.
A scene from Chicago Fire season 3, episode 15. Photo Credit: Courtesy of NBC. /

Three years ago, Chicago Fire put Matthew Casey in hot water in Chicago Fire season 3, episode 15. Look back on the episode in our February Flashback.

With Chicago Fire taking most of February off for the Winter Olympics, we’re rolling back the clock and revisiting the Chicago Fire episodes that previously aired this month.

It was three years ago today that the show premiered “Headlong Toward Disaster,” which was an unmitigated disaster for Matthew Casey (Jesse Spencer).

Not to mention a reminder of why anyone other than Chief Wallace Boden (Eamonn Walker) being in charge is always a bad thing.

Following the death of his father, Boden needed to take time off in this episode. While he was at home handling his father’s final affairs and enjoying some time with his new baby, Firehouse 51 was under the temporary “leadership” of Chief Pat Pridgen (guest star Matthew Del Negro), the former chief from Firehouse 17.

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Pridgen’s old house had been shut down by the city of Chicago, reportedly as a result of budget cuts, but we’re not entirely sure his attitude didn’t factor into it. Once he arrived at Firehouse 51, it took Pridgen less than five minutes to get on everyone’s last nerve.

Things went from bad to worse when Otis (Yuri Sardarov) took a quite painful fall on a slippery bowling alley lane in full view of everyone. While everybody else cringed in empathy for Otis, Pridgen immediately began to taunt and ridicule him, assigning him the demeaning nickname Gutterball. He wasn’t just a jerk, he was a bully.

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Where did Casey come into the picture? Well, in “Headling Toward Disaster,” he discovered the woman he’d taken home at the end of the last episode (guest star Bree Williamson) was actually Pridgen’s estranged wife. Beth repeatedly showed up at 51 to confront Pridgen over their impending divorce while trying to put Casey in a compromising position. We can see how those two got married.

An infuriated Pridgen attempted to get Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney) to report back to him about Casey’s performance, making it clear he intended to force Casey out. Severide has Casey’s back, no matter what, and he made that clear to Pridgen as well. A little digging from Christopher Herrmann (David Eigenberg) confirmed that Pridgen’s attitude was the real cause of Firehouse 51’s demise.

Cue the inevitable showdown between Casey and Pridgen:

While Chicago Fire season 1, episode 15 had us all missing Boden, it turned out that Boden was missing his team. He called Herrmann over to his house for parenting advice (though he really wanted to find out what was happening) and we got to see Herrmann and his adorable kids come to the rescue.

Not so adorable? Pridgen’s colleague Welch (played by the fantastic Kenny Johnson, who’d later go on to appear with Mekia Cox and Charlie Barnett in ABC’s Secrets & Lies) telling Dawson (Monica Raymund) about Casey and Beth. You didn’t think Dawsey was really over, did you? But the drama couldn’t end fast enough, in what was one of Chicago Fire‘s more turbulent episodes.

Next: Chicago Fire casts another new firefighter

You can re-watch Chicago Fire season 3, episode 15 on DVD or iTunes. Check back all month long as we revisit the episodes that were throughout February!