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Here's How Chicago Fire Said Goodbye to Dawson

Plus, what's ahead in Season 7

Keisha Hatchett

(Warning: This post contains spoilers from Chicago Fire's Season 7 premiere. Read at your own risk!)

That's a wrap on Dawsey. Chicago Fire's Season 7 premiere ended with Dawson (Monica Raymund) taking a permanent volunteer gig in Puerto Rico, effectively ending her relationship with Casey. After struggling for months with his wife being so far away, Casey (Jesse Spencer) finally received some closure when she returned to Chicago to tell him the news in person. And despite their huge blowup in the Season 6 finale--Dawson wanted to continue trying for a child even at the risk of her own life and Casey preferred the safer route of adoption--showrunner Derek Haas says the decision to have them end things on good terms in the premiere made perfect sense.

"We felt like she didn't need to be vilified for making a choice to spend her life helping others. Casey recognizes that she was meant to do this. All of her training had led to this," he told TV Guide.

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Although the topic of divorce never came up during the peaceful breakup, Haas says their official split will be addressed later this season. He also confirmed that Raymund won't be back for some time--if ever. In the meantime, Casey will focus on "being a great Captain at Firehouse 51" but as we know, all probably won't go according to plan.

The Season 7 opener addressed another difficult subject: how Boden's spitfire assistant Connie would be written out of the series following the sudden passing of actress DuShon Monique Brown in March. The Dick Wolf drama gave her a sweet send-off, with Boden (Eamonn Walker) announcing that Connie received her master's degree in counseling and left to immediately start her dream job at a magnet school. The touching tribute was capped with a moment that seemed to reflect the cast's real-life feelings on Brown's death.

Chicago Fire: 9 Things to Know Ahead of Season 7

"I didn't get a chance to say goodbye. None of us did," Herrmann (David Eigenberg) said, his voice cracking. "I hear you. But it's okay because she knows how much we love her here," Boden responded. Raise your hand if you needed a tissue after that!

However, Wednesday's episode wasn't all about painful goodbyes. Dawson's departure opened the door for Emily Foster (Annie Ilonzeh) to join the firehouse as Brett's (Kara Killmer) new partner. While she didn't make the best first impression -- arriving late and calling Boden "Chief Bodie" certainly didn't earn her any brownie points -- her ability to perform surgery on the field impressed Brett enough to give her major props for the big save. Plus, it's clear that there's more to this newbie than meets the eye and according to Haas, that's a mystery we'll start to unravel as the season unfolds.

Elsewhere, Boden will have to deal with Grissom's (Gary Cole) lackey, Assistant Deputy Commissioner Jerry Gorsch (Steven Boyer) who has a personal stake in overseeing the daily on-goings of Firehouse 51. In the episode, Boden revealed that during his early days as captain, his less-than-savory review of Gorsch's performance as a firefighter resulted in Gorsch being transferred to headquarters. But there shouldn't be any bad blood between the two since Gorsch quickly rose up the ranks! Unfortunately, however, that won't be the case and Gorsch is on a mission to make our heroes' lives hell during his extended stay at the firehouse.

"He's gonna be a thorn in all of their sides for a while," said Haas. According to Eamonn Walker, things will get "really intense" between Boden and Gorsch. Let's just hope Boden can keep his heated feelings under control and remain the chief.

What did you think of the premiere?

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