‘Chicago Fire’ Boss on 51’s Injured Firefighter, the Change to Brett’s Story & More
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for the Season 8 finale of Chicago Fire, “51’s Original Bell.”]
Season 8 of Chicago Fire began with 51 losing one of its own, and the episode that ended up closing it out saw one of the firefighters facing a possibly career-ending injury.
In “51’s Original Bell,” the firefighters responded to a chlorine gas leak. In the process of saving a worker at the junkyard, Capp (Randy Flagler) took in some gas, and his eyes, in particular, looked rough; it was unclear if his eyes would fully heal. However, by the end of the episode, he’d been cleared to return to duty after a couple more shifts.
That was designed to show the dangers of the job that aren’t fatal but could end a firefighter’s career. “It had been a long time since we had a character go down with a career-threatening disability. Maybe since Jimmy?” Showrunner Derek Haas told TV Insider. “Anyway, we were hoping that since it was to Capp, people would believe we’d go through with it.”
Someone hurting on the personal front this season was Brett (Kara Killmer). She met and began to get to know her birth mother, Julie, only to lose her in child birth. Then, Julie’s husband, Scott, revealed that he and Brett’s new sister will be moving back home rather than stay in Chicago; it’s only a few hours away, but it’s another loss. And Brett’s partner in the ambulance, Foster (Annie Ilonzeh), wants to go back to med school. (We’ll have to wait to see if she gets in.) But it sounds like things might get a bit easier — if not better — for Brett going forward.
“We were going to keep the pressure and the combustibility on her storyline,” Haas revealed. “Now, we’ll have to rethink how we’re going to handle this story in the next season.”
How might that involve her potential romance with Casey (Jesse Spencer)? We’ll have to wait and see.
One romance that is on the right track is Severide (Taylor Kinney) and Kidd’s (Miranda Rae Mayo). In fact, they’re one of the more stable couples on the show. But there may be hiccups coming up, since the showrunner teased, “You know what Chicago streets have in them? A lot of bumps!”
On the topic of relationships at 51, Gallo (Alberto Rosende) hit a rough patch in his (casual one) with Violet and turned to his coworkers for help. That didn’t exactly go over well, especially when their conversation about potentially breaking up ended with him suggesting, “Maybe we should get married!” She walked out, and their future is uncertain.
“We like the idea of this young energy with Gallo and Violet and the wild swings in their relationship,” Haas said. “We hope to continue that next season too!” And speaking of “young energy,” he has also enjoyed writing the different dynamics in the firehouse with the addition of the younger firefighters in Gallo and Ritter (Daniel Kyri), “especially when the generations butt heads.”
And speaking of butting heads, Herrmann (David Eigenberg) has struggled a bit with getting the respect (and the office) he wanted as lieutenant of Engine 51. “Herrmann is always a joy to write because he has all these peccadilloes and he’s always either trying to hustle something, feeling wronged, or giving selflessly to some righteous cause.” Haas shared. “I think we just try to write that character into every episode.”
Season 8 is ending early — its 20th episode is serving as its finale — and Haas admitted they’re still figuring out what they want to do for Season 9. (Fortunately, the NBC drama has already been renewed through Season 11!)
“We were going to kick off a few storylines that would’ve gone right into a big cliffhanging finale,” he said. “Unfortunately, we weren’t able to do that, so we’ll probably transfer those storylines to next season.”