'Chicago Fire': Does a Threat Bring Brett & Casey Closer Together? (RECAP)

Chicago Fire Season 9 Premiere Mack Brett Call
Spoiler Alert
Adrian S. Burrows Sr./NBC

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for the Season 9 premiere of Chicago Fire, "Rattle Second City."]

With Annie Ilonzeh's exit (and her character Emily Foster returning to med school), Gianna "Mack" Mackey (Adriyan Rae) joins Sylvie Brett (Kara Killmer) in Ambulance 61 — and it's not an easy first day for the new partners. (But hey, at least Mack's on time, which is more than Joe Minoso's Cruz can say; he wanted to be there to introduce her since they grew up together.)

Shortly after Chief Boden (Eamonn Walker) gives her a quick rundown of the house (51 is more than your typical firehouse) and welcomes her onboard, Mack and Brett's first call together, a guy who has overdosed, Paul, takes a turn. His brother, Joe, puts a gun to Brett's head and threatens, "If he dies, you die." Brett takes control of the situation, refusing to back down, eventually getting Paul into the ambulance, and leaving Joe behind on the street.

Cruz overdoes it checking on Mack (How is she after the call? Does she like Brett? Are they getting along? Is she treating her right? How's everyone else?), but she asks him to "Bring it down a good three notches." She's wanted to be at 51 since getting out of the academy, so she's not going anywhere. But will Paul dying and the threat of his brother still being out there change her mind?

Joe has quite the record, and Boden wants to take 61 out of service, but Brett and Mack both say they're good to keep working. However, when Brett leaves work, she seems to sense she's being watched as she gets in her car, then when she arrives home, her door is ajar. When she and Casey (Jesse Spencer) take a look, it doesn't look like anyone's been inside.

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But that does allow for their will they/won't they dance to take center stage. It doesn't take long in the premiere for the two of them to lock gazes for just a bit too long to be strictly platonic. And there are definite smiles exchanged when he insists on staying on her couch until they find out if her landlord came in to look at something or the police catch Joe. What follows is the two having fun, playing games, laughing, and making fun of Casey's poor attempt at an Australian accent (Spencer's Australian, in case you didn't know). But just as they're staring at each other a beat too long (again), she looks away and heads to bed, yet another stall.

Joe may have very well broken into Brett's apartment, because when she and Mack go to respond to a call at the end of the episode, he follows them in his car and pulls up alongside the ambulance, aiming his gun at them...until he drives them off an overpass, both the ambulance and his car crashing to the street below! We highly doubt Fire just killed off either Brett or Mack, but that's a wild start to the latter's time at 51.

Miranda Rae Mayo Chicago Fire Season 9 Premiere Stella Kidd

(Adrian S. Burrows Sr./NBC)

The premiere also seems to have introduced another potential romance, as sparks may be flying between the new paramedic and Blake Gallo (Alberto Rosende) — if Cruz doesn't interfere. "No," he tells Blake. He refuses to let the other firefighter screw things up when he's wanted Mack to get a chance at 51. "I'm not messing around," Cruz warns. And when Mack gets wind of it, she has fun messing with him by loudly making plans with Blake.

Plus, there's really good news for Stella Kidd (Miranda Rae Mayo): Not only does she gets Girls on Fire back up and running (with precautions in place), but she may be looking at a promotion in the future. After a stellar save of Severide (Taylor Kinney) during a fire, Boden takes note. There aren't enough women or people in color in leadership positions in the CFD, he tells her, so he wants her to take the lieutenant's exam.

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As much as we love the will they/won't they tension, stability is appealing, too.

She may not be sure she's ready, but "Stella Kidd, you are courageous, intelligent, fierce, and honorable," he says. "That is the very definition of a leader. It's time everyone got to see it." And she has her supportive boyfriend Severide on her side ("You have me," he promises, as she frets about being ready in time).

What did you think of Mack's introduction? Vote in our poll below.

Chicago Fire, Wednesdays, 9/8c, NBC