Chicago Fire season 8 premiere recap: Sacred Ground

CHICAGO FIRE -- "Sacred Ground" Episode 801 -- Pictured: Jesse Spencer as Matthew Casey -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Morris/NBC)
CHICAGO FIRE -- "Sacred Ground" Episode 801 -- Pictured: Jesse Spencer as Matthew Casey -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Morris/NBC) /
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Chicago Fire
CHICAGO FIRE — Pictured: “Chicago Fire” Key Art — (Photo by: NBCUniversal) /

Three months later

Three months later, an emotional Cruz returned to work along with the rest of Firehouse 51. Chief Boden (Eamonn Walker) informed Casey and Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney) that the department could be in trouble because of Casey’s decision to bring the paramedics into the burning factory, and asked about getting a new firefighter to fill Otis’s spot on Truck 81. Which was apparently what Ritter was doing, since Herrmann was still angry at him.

And Emily Foster (Annie Ilonzeh) met her weird new partner Chad, because Brett was getting the cast off her arm. But in Fowlerton, where she had moved to after getting engaged to Kyle Sheffield (Teddy Sears). She was hired on at the local firehouse and found someone she wasn’t expecting: her former friend Hope Jacquinot (Eloise Mumford)! Hope still wanted to be BFF’s again, which further dampened Brett’s mood.

Severide and Stella Kidd (Miranda Rae Mayo) were much happier, as Chicago Fire showed them out on a date night. But Stella asked about Casey, who Severide admitted “carries the weight of this more than the rest.” They decided to head over to Molly’s to cheer up their friend. At the bar, Herrmann explained that Otis’s grieving girlfriend Lily (an unseen Ariane Rinehart) had decided to close down Molly’s North without him and Boden sat with Cruz, who was trying to figure out what Otis’s last words meant.

“We got all these plaques on the wall and these badges at the academy,” he reflected, afraid his friend would be forgotten. “But what happens five years from now? Or ten?” Boden assured him he wasn’t alone in that concern, just before getting a phone call from Chicago Fire Department headquarters: there would be an immediate inquiry into Casey’s actions at the fire scene.

But before that, it was time for another emergency call. A child was trapped inside the claw machine at a local restaurant (which certainly looked like a redesigned Rainforest Cafe). The kid was quickly rescued, but Foster discovered Chad had the world’s shortest attention span. She expressed her concerns to Boden, who asked her to provide a statement to the committee supporting Casey.

And Mouch realized where he’d seen Chad before: the dude was also an underwear model. Well, that was random.