Chicago Fire’s Jesse Spencer Returning to Show Amid Taylor Kinney’s Absence

A Casey Comeback! Jesse Spencer Is Returning to ‘Chicago Fire’ Amid Taylor Kinney’s Temporary Leave of Absence - 588 Billboard Music Awards, Arrivals, MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, USA - 01 May 2019
Jesse Spencer. MediaPunch/Shutterstock

Two ships passing in the night! Jesse Spencer will return to Chicago Fire for a special episode amid Taylor Kinney’s temporary leave of absence.

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The Australian actor, 44, is set to reprise his role as Captain Matt Casey on season 11, episode 18, Variety reported on Friday, March 10. The details about his storyline, however, have yet to be announced.

A Casey Comeback! Jesse Spencer Is Returning to ‘Chicago Fire’ Amid Taylor Kinney’s Temporary Leave of Absence - 589s
Taylor Kinney, Jesse Spencer. Elizabeth Morris/NBC

Spencer was one of the NBC drama’s original stars, playing Casey for 10 seasons from 2012 to 2021. The House alum exited the series during its 200th episode in October 2021. At the time, his character decided to move to Oregon to take care of his former best friend’s kids, who were left without a father following his death during season 1.

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I’ve been doing TV for a long time. I added it up, and I think this year is my 18th year of network television straight since I went straight from House into Chicago Fire. We were coming up to the 200th episode so I called [creator] Derek [Haas], made a personal decision and broke the news that I thought it was time to leave the show and he agreed that we should at least get Casey to 200 episodes,” Spencer told Us Weekly after his farewell episode aired. “It was a difficult decision because I’ve loved this show from the start, but there’s other things that I would love to do in the future and there’s some family that I need to take care of. 18 years is a long time. That’s a long stretch.”

The Winning London actor later made a cameo during the season 10 finale in May 2022 to be Lieutenant Kelly Severide’s (Kinney) best man as he married Lieutenant Stella Kidd (Miranda Rae Mayo).

During the episode, Casey and his then-long-distance girlfriend, Sylvie Brett (Kara Killmer), put a pin in their relationship and fans have watched Brett try and move forward throughout season 11. Spencer’s upcoming return, however, could throw a wrench in her progress.

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The Uptown Girls star’s comeback will also briefly fill the void of Firehouse 51 being without one of its leaders in Kinney’s Severide. Us confirmed in January that Kinney, 41, would be “taking a leave of absence” to deal with a personal matter. No further details about the nature of the Zero Dark Thirty actor’s temporary exit have been revealed.

The Pennsylvania native’s character was last seen during the February 22 episode of Chicago Fire. Severide’s sudden leave was further explained during the March 1 episode, when his fellow firefighters were told he had enrolled into an out-of-town arson investigation training program.

Chicago Fire airs on NBC Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET.