‘Chicago Fire’ Boss on Stellaride’s Reunion, Pelham’s Future at 51 & More

aylor Kinney as Kelly Severide, Miranda Rae Mayo as Stella Kidd in Chicago Fire
Spoiler Alert
Adrian S. Burrows Sr./NBC

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Chicago Fire Season 10, Episode 9 “Winterfest.”]

Oh, it’s going to be a long wait (until January 5) after the way the Chicago Fire winter finale ended.

Stella Kidd (Miranda Rae Mayofinally returned and was waiting for her fiancé Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney) when he walked into their apartment in the last scene. But what comes after her “hi, Kelly” will have to wait. Meanwhile, Deputy District Chief Wallace Boden (Eamonn Walker), after not hearing from Kidd about the open lieutenant spot on Truck 81, offered the full-time position to floater Jason Pelham (Brett Dalton), and he accepted it. Uh-oh.

Executive producer Derek Haas teases what’s next (hint: a lot of complications).

Kidd’s back, but that definitely wasn’t a happy reunion. What can you say about the conversation she and Severide need to have?

Derek Haas: They have a lot of communicating to do. Unfortunately, Severide’s not the best communicator, as we’ve displayed over 10 years.

It’s a little bit of a shuffle going on at Firehouse 51, because Boden obviously was hoping Kidd would step up and take this open lieutenant spot. He got tired of waiting for her, especially when you’re putting out there that you’d love for her to come back and you don’t hear back and you don’t hear back. So he felt like he didn’t want to lose this really good lieutenant who’s emerged, Pelham. Well, now we’ve got musical chairs and not enough chairs left for the people there. There’s a lot that Kidd’s going to have to navigate coming back, both professionally at Firehouse 51 and then personally with Severide.

It seemed like Boden kind of forced Severide to face his personal relationship by asking about Kidd.

Yeah, and he didn’t want to do it, but he also doesn’t want a spot standing open for another month and especially when you’ve got a firefighter that he really likes. So I don’t blame Boden at all, especially when you’re just not getting answers. And that makes you question, OK, how much does she want this?

Miranda Rae Mayo as Stella Kidd, Christian Stolte as Randall Mouch McHolland in Chicago Fire

Adrian S. Burrows Sr./NBC

Where is Kidd’s head at when it comes to the CFD, 51, and Girls on Fire? Was it just a matter of her being excited about what she was currently doing with her program or is there more to it?

There’s more to it. You’ll find that out in the next episode. Sometimes when you get away from the situation you’re in and you’re on that hamster wheel and you take a breath and you’re doing something really worthwhile, it makes you question, what was I doing back there? So she’s done some life evaluating and that’ll come out in the 10th episode.

Severide keeps getting pulled into OFI work, then there’s Seager’s (Andy Allo) continued blatant interest. Is that going to be a major part of his arc going forward?

I think Kidd’s going to be very interested to hear that while she was gone, he was taking down arsonists with, as [Seager] called it, his Avenger partner. So yeah, I could see that being at least a topic of interest between the two of them.

Pelham’s such a nice guy and you could see what Boden offering him that spot meant to him because of his history and him floating so much. How is he going to handle Kidd being back? Because she’s the one that everyone wants to have his spot, but now it’s his.

Right. What an interesting predicament to put him in, especially as he figures out Kidd as a fixture in Firehouse 51. You can hear about how much she means to people there, but it’s different when you see it, so he’s going to be faced with seeing it for the first time. And at this point, he doesn’t even know that Severide and Kidd are an item, so that’s going to be discovered as this goes forward.

Alberto Rosende as Blake Gallo, Brett Dalton at Jason Pelham in Chicago Fire

Adrian Burrows Sr/NBC

And he’s finally getting along with Gallo (Alberto Rosende).

Yeah. He definitely found his right spot and any other circumstance, this would be the greatest acquisition that 51 has had in a while. Then you’ve got now, oh, guess what? Here comes Lieutenant Kidd back in the swing of things. And so that’s definitely going to be a major conflict.

Brett (Kara Killmer) and Casey (Jesse Spencer) seem to be handling long distance as best they can, but they both have a lot going on career-wise. How would you describe their relationship going forward with everything they have going on and that three years he’s planning to be in Oregon?

Yeah, navigating long distance relationships is never easy. I think you set in your mind that, oh, we can handle this and then reality sets in and it’s not always what you think. However, I will say I do think they’re handling it well, I do think she’s going to go see him before too long this season and hopefully, fingers and toes crossed, we can get a certain actor who has had a long experience on the show back for a guest appearance. That would be delightful.

Hanako Greensmith as Violet, Kara Kilmer as Sylvie Brett in Chicago Fire

Adrian S. Burrows Sr./NBC

Violet’s (Hanako Greensmith) love life is getting complicated. Gallo is ready to try to start things up again, but Chief Hawkins (Jimmy Nicholas) seems interested — but he’s also her boss. Are we going to see a love triangle?

That sounds like a really interesting triangle that could play out in the second half of the season. [Laughs] So yeah, you’re onto something there. We like it. We’re big fans of Hanako and everything we give her — comedy, action, romance — and she just is fun to watch on the screen. So we’re going to keep throwing things at her. And yeah, the Gallo-Violet of it all, to me, it feels like they’re sort of destined to be together at some point, but that doesn’t mean right now.

Where’s her head at when it comes to Gallo and Hawkins?

She got rejected by Gallo and only the audience knows that Gallo regrets that decision. And so Hawkins, obviously they have chemistry and a thing there, but he’s her boss and that’s frowned upon. So this is going to be rife with tension.

What else can you tease about what’s coming up?

The lieutenant-ship of Truck 81 is a huge part of the next batch of episodes. Pelham’s place at 51, knowing that he has some enemies out in the CFD who have kept him floating as long as they have, comes into play. There is particularly one chief who does not like the fact that he has landed at a firehouse and so tangles with Boden about it. We’re going to have the thing that we haven’t had since COVID started, which is the CFD gala.

And how about a crossover?

I’m so glad you asked that. Gwen [Sigan], the new showrunner on Chicago P.D., just emailed me and was like, “Are we doing one of these mini crossovers for Episode 18?” — sometimes we just do it between Fire and P.D. — and I was like, “Oh, let me get back into that.” Because we had always talked about it. So yes, maybe Episode 18 will at least be a FireP.D. crossover, but that’s not set in stone.

Chicago Fire, Wednesdays, 9/8c, NBC