How ‘Chicago Fire’ Puts Kidd to the Test Like Never Before

Preview
Adrian S. Burrows Sr./NBC

Does Stella Kidd (Miranda Rae Mayo) have what it takes to be a lieutenant in the Chicago Fire Department? We’ll find out in the May 5 episode of Chicago Fire. Executive producer Derek Haas “throws everything but the kitchen sink at her,” he says, to see if she is not only an outstanding firefighter, but also has the tools to lead. “We were planning on a big Kidd-centric episode, because she is about to take the lieutenant’s test. Forget the test. You be the judge,” he says. “That’s how we wanted to play it.”

For the concept, Haas reached back to the February episode in which Christopher Herrmann (David Eigenberg) and Joe Cruz (Joe Minoso) were stuck in an elevator and could hear radio calls going on in the building where their fellow firefighters were trapped in a fire, but couldn’t do anything about it. “It reminded me of that famous radio episode ‘Sorry, Wrong Number’ with Agnes Moorhead [first aired in 1943 on the series Suspense] trying to stop the murder of a woman she overheard being planned on the phone. That sparked the idea of having somebody in trouble call the firehouse and ask for Kidd by name,” he explains. The firefighter quickly realizes that the caller is in trouble, but the voice on the phone seems too scared to pony up more info about her circumstances. “How do you make a rescue when the person on the phone won’t tell you anything?” Haas asks. “That’s how Stella’s leadership skills come to bear.”

Adrian S. Burrows Sr./NBC

The real life test couldn’t come at a better time, says Mayo, who is known for doing as many of her own stunts as possible. “Stella is scared about letting people down. She feels confident in her work, but there’s part of [the former foster child] that experiences severe ‘Imposter Syndrome.’ So fans get to see her experience all her emotions and fears in real time as she tries to figure out what’s going on when the caller keeps hanging up and calling back and trying to let Stella in on what’s she’s going through.” When Stella realizes she has a slight connection to the caller, “that really raises the stakes for her,” the actress adds.

Adrian S. Burrows Sr./NBC

On another more intimate front, things are looking good right now for Lt. Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney) and Kidd, the couple known as “Stellaride.” Says Mayo, “They’re continuing to grow in their relationship and before the season ends, there is a conversation that is had between them. I’m really excited to see how fans will react.”

Sounds promising, but romance on Chicago Fire often flames brightly but can turn to ashes.

Chicago Fire, Wednesdays, 9/8c, NBC