Jesse Spencer as Matthew Casey in Chicago Fire
Credit: Getty Images

We’re always happy to see Captain Matt Casey on Chicago Fire. Jesse Spencer is returning to NBC’s firefighter drama again for the Season 11 finale on May 24, 2023. After officially leaving the show in 2021, we all want to know: Is Matt Casey returning to Chicago Fire for good?

Chicago Fire is NBC’s drama series that focuses on the professional and personal lives of firefighters, rescue personnel and paramedics of the Chicago Fire Department’s fictional Firehouse 51. Spencer plays the role of Captain Matt Casey, a lieutenant (then captain) at Firehouse 51 and an officer in charge of Truck Company 81. His character debuted in the very first episode of Chicago Fire back when the show premiered in 2012.

Spencer opened up to Entertainment Weekly in October 2012 about why he wanted the role of Casey in Chicago Fire. “It was kind of one that felt like the right fit. [House] was a very cerebral show and it was a really, really really, good show. Chicago Fire was just something different. It’s not cerebral. It’s more of a character-based show with a lot of action,” he said. “After eight years of being an intellectual and spewing out medical terms, it was time to do something in the opposite direction. And running around in [firefighter’s] gear for 14 hours seemed like the right thing to do.”

After almost a decade on the show, the actor announced that he was leaving Chicago Fire in season 10 in 2021. He’s come back as guest star a few times since his departure. For Casey’s last return on April 5, 2025, the actor hinted that he’s open to returning in a much bigger way in the future. Keep reading to learn everything we know about if Matt Casey is returning to Chicago Fire for good.

Is Matt Casey coming back to Chicago Fire for good?

Jesse Spencer as Matthew Casey in Chicago Fire

Is Matt Casey coming back to Chicago Fire for good? Spencer said that he is open to returning to the series for more guest appearances, but has no idea if he will return to the show on a full-time basis. In an interview with Deadline in April 2022, when asked if Spencer could be coming back full-time, he responded: “I cannot… answer that question,” Spencer told our sister site. “The potential to come back would be awesome. I’m always open to that but you know, the ball isn’t really in my court. I always told [series co-creator] Derek Haas that if there were episodes that he thought would be appropriate for me to come back, then I’m totally open to that because I want to see the old gang and I love working there. But in terms of me coming back full-time or something, I have no idea.”

Spencer also made a comment that his character’s time in Oregon could be nearing its end. In the middle of season 10, Casey left Chicago to move to Portland to care for Griffin and Ben Darden, sons of Firehouse 51 firefighter Andy Darden who died in the pilot episode. “It feels like [Casey’s] time in Oregon could be wrapping up at some point in the future because the kids, Griffin and Ben Darden, that he’s been looking after… they’re getting into schools and [his] whole reason for being there might be wrapping up, coming to an end,” Spencer also told TV Line.

In October 2021, Spencer opened up to TV Line about why he decided to depart the show after 200 episodes. “I realized I’ve been doing TV for a long time,” he said. “I added it up, and I think this year is my 18th year of network television.” Before joining the One Chicago Franchise, Spencer spent eight years on the medical drama, House. “It was a difficult decision because I’ve loved the show from the start,” the actor continued, “but there are other things that I would like to do in the future, and there’s some family that I need to take care of, and 18 years is a long time.”

When is Matt Casey coming back to Chicago Fire? 

Matthew Casey and Sylvie Brett in Chicago Fire

When is Matthew Casey returning to Chicago Fire? Jesse Spencer, who plays Matthew Casey on Chicago Fire, will make another guest appearance during the Season 11 finale, which will air on May 24, 2023, our sister site Variety reported on May 2, 2023. We don’t know anything about Casey’s storyline in the finale, as the episode’s synopsis has no mention of Casey other than that his ex-girlfriend is waiting for “life-changing” news. “Brett waits for life-changing news; Herrmann encounters a psychic with a grave warning on a call; Kidd finds a new lead on the Homeland Security case,” the description says.

Casey’s last appearance was in season 11, episode 18, “Danger Is All Around,” which aired on April 5, 2023. In the episode, the Captain came back in different circumstances than last time, when he attended his best friend Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney)’s wedding. “He’s working with the Department of Homeland Security, and there’s a potential domestic terror attack, which could target Chicago and a number of other cities,” Spencer told TV Line in April 2022 before the episode premiered. “But Chicago is still his hometown in his heart. So, he wants to come back and help them organize a first-responder liaison with Firehouse 51, Truck 81 and Lieutenant Kidd to make sure everything is in line in case that attack actually happens.” This high-level threat on a national scale is different than anything his character has ever dealt with, which Spencer said he “really loved” because Casey is coming back “with a pretty serious job.”

Casey also reunited with his ex-girlfriend Sylvie Brett (Kara Killmer), a paramedic on Ambulance 61. Spencer teased that the reunion wasn’t exactly what his character hoped, as Brett has been trying to move on from their relationship and is currently dating someone else. “I think in his head, he thought there would be a different reaction… He thought her reaction would have been a little warmer, but it’s not good because they didn’t end on good terms,” he explained to TV Line. “I think it’s a classic guy move. I think he thought she would be happy to see him.”

Spencer’s appearance comes four months after Deadline reported that Taylor Kinney “would be taking a leave of absence to deal with a personal matter.” Sources also told the publication that the cast and crew were informed of Kinney’s leave on January 20, 2023, and that future scripts will be written to accommodate his absence from the series. Variety also reported on May 2, 2023, that Taylor Kinney will not be returning to Season 11.

Tune in tonight to see Matt Casey’s long-awaited return to Chicago Fire, which airs on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC.

For more on Chicago Fire, check out our photo gallery of the most shocking Chicago Fire exits over the years.