Chicago Fire: Monica Raymund’s surprise return explained

Chicago Fire’s Derek Haas explains Gabriela Dawson’s surprise return, and how he got Monica Raymund to come back for the Chicago Fire season premiere.

The Chicago Fire season premiere ended with a big shocker: the return of Gabriela Dawson!

The closing scene of Wednesday’s episode surprised fans when Matthew Casey (Jesse Spencer) came home to find Dawson (Monica Raymund) standing in their living room.

Though the duo were seen video chatting earlier in the episode, neither Casey nor audiences were privy to the fact that she’d be appearing in person at the end.

Dawson told Casey that she had been offered a permanent position in Puerto Rico, where she went at the end of last season. She suggested that Casey join her, but he told her that he was “a Chicago guy.”

The episode ended with the now-former couple sharing a last embrace, and fans getting closure for Dawson’s story after Raymund decided not to renew her contract earlier this year.

So how did this final appearance happen? Chicago Fire executive producer Derek Haas told the story behind the cameo to One Chicago Center.

He explained that he had written last season’s cliffhanger not realizing that Monica Raymund was serious about leaving the show, which then was a problem going into Chicago Fire season 7.

“I screwed that one up and I fully admit it,” he told us during One Chicago Day earlier this month. “Monica told me in plenty of time that she was going to be leaving after season 6. In my head, I thought she was just negotiating.”

As many fans have surmised, the cliffhanger that Gabriela Dawson left on at the end of last season was written with that belief that Monica Raymund would come back.

“We had this idea she was going to go to Puerto Rico to help with the relief effort there but it wasn’t supposed to be the end,” Derek said. “Casey was going to go back and get her and then we’d go on with season 7. And then I realized [Monica]’s serious. This is actually happening.”

He then asked Raymund, who is now the star of an upcoming Starz drama, to return for one last Chicago Fire episode to properly wrap up Dawson’s plotline.

“I basically begged her for one more episode,” Derek explained, adding that “It may not be the ending everybody wants, but to me it’s more satisfying, more real to what their characters are.

“Gabby’s always been a little bit impetuous or impatient with life. Casey has this line where he says…everything you’ve done has built up to this. And he lets her [leave]. Even though you can tell he’s hurting, he’s like this is right for you.”

What did you think of Monica Raymund returning to Chicago Fire? Did you like the way that Dawson’s story was concluded in Chicago Fire season 7? Leave your reaction in the comments.

Chicago Fire airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on NBC.