Chicago Fire season 12 premiere recap: A 51 member says goodbye

The firefighting drama parted ways with a beloved character.
CHICAGO FIRE -- "Barely Gone" Episode 12001 -- Pictured: (l-r) Kara Killmer as Sylvie Brett, Taylor Kinney as Kelly Severide -- (Photo by: Adrian S Burrows Sr/NBC)
CHICAGO FIRE -- "Barely Gone" Episode 12001 -- Pictured: (l-r) Kara Killmer as Sylvie Brett, Taylor Kinney as Kelly Severide -- (Photo by: Adrian S Burrows Sr/NBC) /

It was a bittersweet experience watching the season 12 premiere of Chicago Fire. The firefighting drama is still engaging as ever, with thrilling stunts and a pretty compelling storyline involving an arsonist, but the premiere also marked the end of an era.

SPOILERS for Chicago Fire season 12 episode 1

Chicago Fire - Season 12
CHICAGO FIRE -- "Barely Gone" Episode 12001 -- Pictured: delivery truck -- (Photo by: Adrian S Burrows Sr/NBC) /

It was confirmed that Blake Gallo (Alberto Rosende) and Sylvie Brett (Kara Killmer) would be leaving the show in season 12, so we waited with baited breath to see how and when they would decide to make their exit. There was definitely some concern for Gallo, in particular, as his sudden departure raised the possibility that he would die on the job.

Related: What is Kelly Severide's official rank on Chicago Fire?

Thankfully, that wasn't the case. The badly burnt man who was theorized to be Gallo by some fans turned out to be a civilian character who was injured by a truck explosion. Gallo, it turns out, wasn't even on the scene. He's absent for most of the episode, but viewers are told at the onset that he is going to be moving to Michigan to be with his aunt and reconnect with his family.

Blake Gallo gets an emotional goodbye

Chicago Fire - Season 8
CHICAGO FIRE -- "I'll Cover You" Episode 818 -- Pictured: (l-r) Daniel Kyri as Darren Ritter, Alberto Rosende as Blake Gallo -- (Photo by: Adrian Burrows/NBC) /

Gallo only gets one scene, in fact, but it's a good one. He returns to the 51 at the end of a shift, and proceeds to say goodbye to everyone he's grown to care for over the years. He's excited to begin a new life with his biological family, but he assures the 51 team that they will always be considered family in his eyes.

The most emotional goodbyes, of course, came from Gallo's best friends, Darren Ritter (Daniel Kyri) and Violet Mikami (Hanako Greensmith). The trio had an emotional hug and a tearful Violet went as far as to kiss Gallo on the cheek. It was a sweet moment, and a fitting one given everything they've been through.

Mouch lives to see another day

Chicago Fire - Season 9
CHICAGO FIRE -- "Dead Of Winter" Episode 907 -- Pictured: Stolte as Randall “Mouch” McHolland -- (Photo by: Adrian S. Burrows Sr./NBC) /

We're also happy to find out that Mouch (Christian Stolte) did NOT say goodbye to the 51 team.

The character was in very bad shape during the final moments of season 11 (he was literally bleeding out in his hospital bed), but the six months that have passed between seasons have done him good, and he showed up to work in better shape than ever (it's actually a running joke throughout the episode).

The narrative crux of the episode focuses on the aforementioned arsonist, who has been setting fires at different firehouses around the area. Some of the Firehouse 17 members have been forced to stay at the 51, but Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney) manages to put the clues together and determine who the culprit is.

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He may not have been able to track him down, however, were it not for the heroic efforts of Chief Boden (Eamonn Walker) and Herrmann (David Eigenberg). The former managed to catch the man responsible for the fires, and the latter got the detonation device clear of everyone right before it exploded. He was a little shaken up, but he seemed to be alright.

Brett and Casey are planning their wedding

Chicago Fire - Season 12
CHICAGO FIRE -- "Barely Gone" Episode 12001 -- Pictured: (l-r) Miranda Rae Mayo as Stella Kidd, Kara Killmer as Sylvie Brett -- (Photo by: Adrian S Burrows Sr/NBC) /

Yes, Sylvie Brett agreed to marry Matt Casey (Jesse Spencer). She gets her ring caught on her locker during her first scene, thus confirming that she's going to become Mrs. Casey before the end of the season. She confirmed that the wedding will take place in a month, and that she will move to Oregon with her adopted daughter so that she can live with Casey.

It's not a shocking development in the slightest, but it is comforting to know that Brett and Casey are gearing up for the happy ending that they deserve.

Overall, the season 12 premiere was a solid introduction to the new era of Chicago Fire. There was nothing too surprising, but the emotional moments were handled well, and the characters are being set up for the next chapters in their respective lives, regardless of whether or not they stick around.

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