Chicago Fire was always my least favorite One Chicago show – a place now left to Chicago Med. There wasn’t anything in particular that upset me greatly, there just wasn’t anything that hooked me. I love Jesse Spencer, have since House MD days, and I adored Shay, but when she was killed off, Casey just wasn’t enough to stay, especially when I wanted to strangle Severide about 7 times an episode.
Let’s take a moment to take the writing Gods for his development.
But back to the point, I was never a huge fan of the show in its first few seasons. I enjoyed the female characters, in general. I shipped Dawsey in a casual, non-hardcore way that probably allowed me to be really happy to hear Monica Raymund got a leading role on a cable show (get that money, giiiirl!), even if that affected the ship.
I will confess I was not this enthused back when another Jesse Spencer related OTP, Chameron, on House MD, was destroyed, even if it led to Jennifer Morrison’s role in Once Upon A Time. That one still hurts. So, Dawsey shippers, I do see you. I get you. You don’t have to move on from your ship. No one can tell you what to like or what to dislike.
To be fair, I already think they’re doing that. They’ve been doing it for a while. There was subtle setup first, and then more obvious one, which has culminated in this moment in time, with Sylvie and Matt having that moment in 9×02, and with the show dealing with the issue of Gabby head on, as it pertains to Matt, and any possible relationships he might have with Sylvie.
If the show hadn’t dealt with Gabby head on, I might have thought their intention was to bring her back at some point in the future. If the show hadn’t spent three seasons building up to Brettsey, I might have thought this was just meant to be a temporary fling. If Chicago PD hadn’t spent the last few seasons moving on from their original ship, I might have thought the people behind these shows didn’t believe in changing tracks mid-way.
But all the evidence points to the contrary. This show is going ahead with Brettsey. And most importantly – it should.
Like a lot of you, I watch shows for a ship. Not all shows, but I have stuck around for a ship on many a show that hasn’t hooked me in some other way. Procedurals, in particular, require very good team camaraderie and a ship we can root for to actually work. And yes, Chicago Fire already has one in Stellaride (again, thank God Severide grew up), but a show with two lead male characters can – and should – have two established OTPs.
Of course, I have no delusions this is going to happen quickly, or smoothly. These shows seem to think there can only be one happy ship per show at a time, and we already have one. But the setup seems to be clear, and this show, these characters, deserve a chance to explore the new dynamics this could bring.
And so do the fans.
Even more important than that, there’s a lot to be said about moving on. For ships, the idea rankles. I never want to move on from my ships, and I never want characters to move on, either. But with the way Chicago Fire ended Dawsey, with Gabriela making a decision about what was best for her, a decision which did not include Matt, the healthiest, most respectful thing the show could do is let him do the same.
If you knew Matt Casey in real life, you wouldn’t want him to still be pining after his ex, considering the way she left him. And TV shouldn’t really romanticize dynamics that we all know are problematic, and that we wouldn’t want to be involved in.
Gabby left. She made her choice, and her choice wasn’t Matt. What he does in response isn’t for her, or us, to judge.
He can move on. No, he should move on. He should go on to find someone who will consider his happiness an integral part of her happiness. For Gabby, it clearly wasn’t so, and that’s okay. We all want – need – different things. But as someone who has been in a stable relationship for years, and who has often had to make decisions that would affect the two of us, if the person you’re with doesn’t even factor into your decision …you probably shouldn’t be with that person.
I applaud Gabby. She did what she had to do, for her. Now, it’s time for Matt do the same, to find the relationship he thought he had before, one of equals, one that will allow him to experience the kind of partnership Stella and Severide have clearly found.
Bring on Brettsey. It’s time.
Chicago Fire airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on NBC.