Chicago Fire Season 7 premiere recap: Who’s playing chess with Otis?

CHICAGO FIRE -- "A Closer Eye" -- Photo by: Elizabeth Sisson/NBC -- Acquired via NBC Media Village
CHICAGO FIRE -- "A Closer Eye" -- Photo by: Elizabeth Sisson/NBC -- Acquired via NBC Media Village /

Chicago Fire returned, sandwiched between its sister shows Med and PD. There were a lot of questions going into the Chicago Fire Season 7 premiere. How would Dawson leave and who was playing chess with Otis this whole time?

The Chicago Fire Season 7 premiere was just what we’ve come to expect from the series. Split with multiple calls throughout the episode and a touch on the personal lives of the firefighters and paramedics, we saw how everyone was coping after Gabby Dawson’s departure.

Some good (and surprising) news was that Monica Raymund was in the episode. She appeared for a couple of scenes, so we actually had a chance to say goodbye.

This is a spoiler for the end but not a spoiler at the same time. She chose to stay in Puerto Rico after being offered a full-time position. She did give Casey the chance to come with her but he turned it down. It was an emotional goodbye between them, but the #Dawsey split is a friendly one and that I can live with.

Let me also note that we had a beautiful goodbye for Connie, who was played by the late DuShon Monique Brown. The show couldn’t find a way to add her exit to the sixth season after her sudden and surprising death earlier this year. However, she was beautifully honored in the episode.

Boden shares with the firehouse that Connie has spent the last four years getting her masters and she’s now been offered her dream job. Boden wasn’t stepping in her way.

At first, I was questionable about this moment, but then Hermann pointed out that they never got to say goodbye and he’d miss her. And that’s when the waterworks started flowing. It’s exactly how the cast (and fans) felt about Brown’s death. She was taken from us so suddenly and we didn’t get to say goodbye. But Boden looked up as she knows how much we love her, making it clear that the two weren’t talking about the character at this moment but the actress.

DuShon Monique Brown, you will certainly be missed!

And now I’ve got you all crying, it’s time to move into the recap. What about the rest of the Chicago Fire Season 7 premiere? Let’s dive in!

Brett meets her new partner

Things kick off with Brett, who has bounced every single new paramedic she’s had. Boden isn’t having it anymore and that means the newbie stays. Oh, if only he was prepared for said newbie to run in late and call him Bodie!

It was clear Brett wasn’t happy about the newbie, Emily. Brett is dealing with the loss of Dawson, but it’s soon clear she has a good partner. On an intense call that involves pressure in the eye and an ankle monitor, Emily steps up and relieves the pressure with a scalpel.

Clear there’s a backstory here, it’s not surprising to learn that the doctors at the hospital know her. “How the mighty have fallen” is all one says, suggesting she was a skilled surgeon. We’ll get that backstory soon, then.

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Otis plays chess

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Throughout the episode, Otis was playing who he believed to be someone on First Shift at chess. He’s never won a game and he’s determined to win this one.

Cruz, Mouch, Hermann and the others mess around with his mind, pretending to know all about chess. Otis never once catches onto this bless him and is concerned and disappointed to learn that the guy he thought he was playing hasn’t been at Firehouse 51 in months. So, who’s he been playing?

When he loses another game, he keeps an eye on the board to see Stella move a piece. Yes, she is the chess mastermind in the firehouse and it’s epic.

Casey and Severide make dangerous calls

At the start of the episode, the firehouse is called out to a building where an elevator is slowly falling and threatening to crush a maintenance guy. Without thinking, Casey rushes underneath to help the guy and both almost end up like pancakes at the bottom.

We knew the team would stop the elevator eventually, but it was an intense opening to the Chicago Fire Season 7 premiere. It also opens the idea that Casey isn’t really thinking straight with Dawson away and Severide calls him out on it and just acts as a friend. Severide’s advise is sound and it helps Casey come to terms with Dawson not coming back.

Later, Severide is the one to make a dangerous call. While filling the truck at the gas station, a crew worker drills through a live powerline and catches on fire. Severide just rushes towards the guy and releases him from the powerline so the others can put out the fire.

Severide’s was a slightly questionable call, but one in the moment that saved a life. However, he gets pulled up for it by the deputy commissioner. Clearly, we’ve already got the enemy for the first storyline.

The new deputy commissioner

With Chief Grissom now the commissioner, it was only a matter of minutes for Boden to face issues at his firehouse. It turns out a lot of people hate Grissom as commissioner across the whole CFD, but Grissom is looking for any way to take Boden down.

To do that, he sends in a guy who was a candidate when Boden was captain. Yes, the backstory is Boden saw this guy wasn’t firefighter material so recommended him for a desk job. The guy is bitter, but he rose through the ranks damn quick. He should be happy!

Well, it wouldn’t be the Chicago Fire Season 7 premiere without Boden and the firehouse put at risk. So this is it.

Boden tries to get rid of Grissom by using the files Otis collected on Grissom’s shady dealing. Grissom really should have done this before the vote, because Grissom is now on the in with the mayor and the shady dealings have been overlooked. The annoying deputy commissioner (whose name was said multiple times but I paid absolutely no attention to it) is around “permanently.”

Next. Mirande Rae Mayo talks Stella in Chicago Fire Season 6. dark

What did you think of the Chicago Fire Season 7 premiere? What were your favorite moments? Which character’s storyline are you interested in the most? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Chicago Fire Season 7 airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on NBC.