‘Chicago Fire’: The Squad Is Barely Recognizable Looking Back at First Episode

by Shelby Scott

10 seasons have passed since “Chicago Fire” debuted in 2012. Since then, our core team has drastically changed. Now, next week already airs the eighth brand new episode of season 10. As such, it’s interesting to look back on our Chicago firefighters and see the faces who’ve come and gone. Additionally, we also have the opportunity to see the ways some of our favorite characters have developed.

Since the pilot, we’ve seen headlining characters Captain Matt Casey and Lieutenant Kelly Severide grow immensely from where things started. After the death of Casey’s best friend, Andy Darden, in the pilot episode, he and Severide struggle to get along. Eventually, however, one fire call forces the two men to work together, giving us the iconic duo we know now.

Casey (played by Jesse Spencer) recently took his leave from “Chicago Fire” after a ten-season run. However, he’s only one of a handful of departed central figures that have contributed to the show’s major plot lines.

A mainstay for nearly eight seasons, “Chicago Fire’s” Brian “Otis” Zvonecek remained tight with Squad 3’s second-hand man, Joe Cruz, according to Looper. Even following the character’s heartbreaking death in the season eight premiere, Otis remains a central contributor to current plot lines. A memorial dedicated to Otis stands just a short walk from Firehouse 51’s doors. Further, the most recent throwback to Otis came after Cruz and his wife Chloe named their baby Brian after the fireman’s best friend.

Bygone Characters Lend Visual Longevity to ‘Chicago Fire’

The majority of “Chicago Fire’s” current cast members play crucial parts in the ongoing plotlines, from our newest paramedic up to Chief Boden. Nevertheless, still, other departed characters linger around the Chicago firehouse.

Most central, especially regarding paramedic Sylvie Brett and the now-departed Matt Casey’s new relationship, is “Chicago Fire” alum Monica Raymond. Her character Gabby Dawson, Brett’s former partner and best friend, previously married Casey several seasons ago. They even tried to adopt a child together. However, prior to Raymund’s leave, her character and Casey suffer an emotional roller coaster of a divorce. The conflict ultimately contributes to the long, drawn-out plotline surrounding Casey and Brett’s relationship.

And while now Casey has gone, the actress previously shared that she “never closes the door” on Gabby Dawson. As “Chicago Fire” has bypassed its milestone 200th episode and things seem to be heating up at Firehouse 51, perhaps we’ll see the return of the fan-favorite character.

At the same time, another character, who faces has been absent from “Chicago Fire” since the season three premiere, is that of paramedic Leslie Shay. Although the beloved character’s time was short in the scope of “Chicago Fire’s” time on NBC, Firehouse 51 adored Shay. She had an especially close friendship with current series lead Kelly Severide, close ties with “Chicago Fire’s” Gabby Dawson, and even had her own stake in the hit show’s iconic bar, Molly’s.

Several seasons later, the ambulance driven by Shay and Dawson both gets totaled. The former’s name is highlighted in a memorial plaque on the door, and Severide goes to the junkyard and removes the door from the demolished vehicle. In the end, he brings the beloved paramedic home, a sentiment featured frequently on “Chicago Fire.”