Chicago Fire season 7 premiere recap: A Closer Eye

CHICAGO FIRE -- "A Closer Eye" Episode 701 -- Pictured: (left) Jesse Spencer as Matthew Casey -- (Photo by: Matt Dinerstein/NBC)
CHICAGO FIRE -- "A Closer Eye" Episode 701 -- Pictured: (left) Jesse Spencer as Matthew Casey -- (Photo by: Matt Dinerstein/NBC) /

Chicago Fire’s season premiere involved major life decisions and a surprising return. Here’s what happened in Chicago Fire season 7, episode 1.

The Chicago Fire season premiere proved that the time away was not kind to Firehouse 51. More than one character had to handle something not turning out the way that they wanted or needed, so how did they adapt?

“A Closer Eye” went literal with its opening, giving us a close-up look into Casey’s eyes as he dealt with a Dawson-less existence, two months after she left. Sylvie Brett (Kara Killmer) was brooding, too, having flashbacks to her fight with Dawson.

By contrast, Stella Kidd (Miranda Rae Mayo) and Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney) were having a very cute and couple-y morning.

And the rest of the crew were wondering why Chief Boden (Eamonn Walker) had chosen not to come forward with the evidence of now-Commissioner Grissom’s crimes. Boden called Brett into his office to tell her she couldn’t keep sending away new partners.

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He let her know that Emily Foster (new series regular Annie Ilonzeh) was staying no matter what, and then informed the rest of Firehouse 51 that Connie (the late DuShon Monique Brown) had left to become head of the counseling department at a local magnet school.

“I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye,” a shocked Christopher Herrmann (David Eigenberg) said. “None of us did.”

And we all cried for a moment, because we all still miss DuShon.

Then Foster, only three months into being a paramedic, rushed into the briefing. She didn’t get to be embarrassed that long because the bells went off, sending the entire crew to a rescue call.

A maintenance man was trapped in an elevator shaft, with the elevator looming dangerously over his head. And Casey just decided to slide right on in there with him. Severide. Was. Not. Impressed.

After Casey just narrowly avoided being flattened, Severide suggested that he “had a death wish.” Casey didn’t respond, just walked off looking dazed and confused.

Severide pressed him back at the firehouse, where Casey admitted that he and Dawson had been speaking less and less, as he got angry with her continuing to stay in Puerto Rico. Severide urged him to call Dawson, which he did—and Chicago Fire fans got to see a glimpse of her, clearly happy in her new role.

"Severide: This is one of those “do as I say” type situations."

Elsewhere, Brett made an awkward attempt to get to know Foster, and Boden (whose name Foster still couldn’t get right) found out that Jerry Gorsch (recurring guest star Stephen Boyer) was assigned to sit at the house and “keep a closer eye” on it.

Gorsch was annoying immediately, telling Boden he can’t close his own office door during meetings. He also criticized Severide for literally leaping into action, calling it “ignoring [his] training” instead while adding, “Commissioner Grissom’s already had a lot to say about you.”

Severide could knock this guy out cold; Gorsch is the classic “couldn’t hack it as a firefighter so makes up for it by being a big man as a bureaucrat” type. But of course, Kelly would just get in trouble, so he walked away instead.

Having seen the way Gorsch spoke to Severide, Boden asked Otis to dig up that smoking gun on Grissom after all. Then he took Severide and Casey out on his boat—yay for Boden’s super-cool boat—to explain how he’s the one who first complained about Gorsch years ago and set him on the political track.

"Severide: It’s just like Grissom to find your Achilles heel and use it against you."

Casey asked Boden for a week off to head to Puerto Rico, before Otis handed Boden the reports and Boden took them up the ladder. Boden explained that he hadn’t come forward before because he didn’t want to seem like he was attacking Grissom to get the commissioner’s job himself. But now it was time to go directly to the Mayor.

Chicago Fire left the audience hanging, though, as Gorsch got a suspicious call from Grissom after the fact and then the action cut to a callout for Ambulance 61. How to treat a patient who’s stuck on an ankle monitor? Foster pulls a move Dawson would be proud of, showing that she can do a risky procedure—from “a different lifetime ago.” Brownie points!

But yes, it’s very heavily hinted that she used to be a doctor, since one of the doctors at Med then sees her and tells Brett, “Oh, how the mighty have fallen.” Hey, that’ll come in handy for the next crossover with Chicago Med!

After finding out that it was Stella that Otis had been playing chess against for months, Chicago Fire gave us more lip from Gorsch to Boden. He had somehow gotten a hold of those reports, as the Mayor had done absolutely nothing about Grissom—calling it “a clerical error.” Yeah, a multi-year clerical error.

We knew Chicago Fire was going to come up with something for drama’s sake, but that one’s a bit of a push, suggesting that Grissom is now BFF’s with the Mayor after just two months. Because it also suggests the Mayor is a massive idiot.

Before Casey can chase Dawson to Puerto Rico, he finds her in their apartment—but she’s getting the rest of her things. She explains that she was asked to stay on permanently, and suggests that he could come with her, but of course he can’t. He tells her that she’s “meant to do this,” that he’s proud of her, and she says she’ll never know anyone as good as him.

And the Chicago Fire season 7 premiere ends with them sharing an emotional hug. It’s the end of an era.

Next. Monica Raymund's Chicago Fire return explained. dark

For the latest Chicago Fire season 7 spoilers and news, plus more on the entire series, follow the Chicago Fire category at One Chicago Center.