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Chicago Fire returned in 2020 with a winter premiere that wasted no time in resolving the Severide cliffhanger from the fall finale. Severide had been trapped in a highly flammable basement with an arsonist clutching a lit flare, so hiatus undoubtedly felt very long to fans dying to find out if and how Severide would get himself out of his predicament. Fortunately, Severide not only lived, but returned to Squad 3 and his life with Stella Kidd. Fire showrunner Derek Haas spoke with CinemaBlend about what happened and what's next.
Derek Haas explained why the winter premiere resolved Severide's OFI arc in pretty short order:
The idea was that Severide is not intimidated by anyone. But then to have that question of do you save someone who was really just trying to kill you? And of course Severide could have scrammed it out of there. Doesn't, goes back, helps this guy get out from under a shelf, and out the door. And then the guy says to him, 'Why'd you come back for me?' 'Because I'm a firefighter.' That hearkens back to our very first couple of episodes when Severide said it was in his blood. And then we just thought, you know, he's done his time at OFI. We did four or five episodes of him being at the Office of Fire Investigation, and he always had this bull in a china shop kind of attitude there. And Van Meter, the captain of OFI, to Severide is like, 'You're really good at your job, you've been very helpful here, but get out.'
Severide was invaluable to OFI during his stint there, although his drive to chase down leads rather than open-and-shut cases wasn't exactly what the CFD brass were hoping for. Still, what better way for Severide's story at OFI to end than with him closing a case, catching a bad guy without either one of them burning to a crisp, and getting "fired" so he could return to his rightful place on Squad 3? He didn't get to go back without a (dirty) fight!
Of course, just because the winter premiere ended with Severide seemingly making a clean break from OFI doesn't mean fans won't see the OFI characters again. Derek Haas addressed whether we've seen the last of Seager:
No, no! Well, not if I have my way. We haven't seen the end of Seager. Always as a production there's what we pitch out. In a block of episodes, we might pitch out to the network nine or ten episodes, and then you have always the jigsaw puzzle of being able to find days where the actors can work, the guest cast that you want back. So right now we have plans to see Seager again, but we will stay light on our feet depending on whether or not we can secure actors and locations.
Seager isn't necessarily gone for good, although her future on Chicago Fire may depend on the availability of actress Andy Allo. Severide was firm when he told Seager he needed to keep himself tied down to one thing (with Kidd in earshot), but he clearly wasn't angry at Seager and his passion for investigating arson is presumably still there.
That said, if Seager's romantic interest in Severide is still going strong despite Severide making it clear to her that he's choosing Kidd, Squad 3, and Firehouse 51 over continuing to investigate arson with her, Kidd might not be too thrilled to have Seager back on the scene.
When I asked Chicago Fire showrunner Derek Haas if Severide is a changed man or if fans should worry about his commitment to Kidd, this was his response:
I think Severide's got his eye on only Kidd, although Kidd is in this predicament which I like, kind of a full circle thing where last season was Tyler, who was her friend from high school, came into town and was hanging out with Kidd, and Kidd thought it was all great to be buddy-buddy with your old high school friend platonically, and Severide was like, 'Excuse me, he has got his eye on you.' And Kidd was like, 'Your petty jealousy is making me angry,' and so now with the shoe on the other foot, she is going to have a scene with Brett where she's like, 'I don't know that I'm allowed to say anything about what I think is happening here with this girl coming after Severide.'
As Chicago Fire fans will undoubtedly remember, Severide's suspicion and jealousy about Tyler in Season 7 temporarily tanked the good ship Stellaride. Fortunately, Severide made it very clear in the winter premiere that the only woman he intends to go home with is Kidd, and Derek Haas' comments indicate that Severide isn't going to regret that move. He and Kidd certainly had a better ending in the Season 8 winter premiere than they did in the Season 7 fall finale!
So, what's next for Severide and Kidd? The living situations for Fire characters are changing in the second half of Season 8, so it's possible they'll have the apartment to themselves if Casey decides to move out. He did offer in the beginning of Season 8 when he noted Kidd was staying over more and more often. If the relationship continues going strong and Casey offers again, could Severide take him up on it?
Find out when new episodes of Chicago Fire air Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC, in the middle of the One Chicago block that starts with Chicago Med at 8 p.m. ET and concludes with Chicago P.D. at 10 p.m. ET. Fire and P.D. will soon cross over for a two-parter that will bring back "an old character" from P.D.'s history in a case connected to Fire's paramedics.