Co-showrunners Derek Haas and Andrea Newman on flipping the script for Wednesday's fall finale.
Chicago Fire loves a classic cliffhanger and Wednesday's fall finale is no different. This time, it's not Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney) caught in the middle of a distressing situation, but Stella Kidd (Miranda Rae Mayo) who's in danger, along with fellow 51 firefighter Sam Carver (Jake Lockett), as revealed in the fall finale teaser.
The climactic moment comes when S.W.A.T. and Firehouse 51 race to the scene of a report of a grenade caught in someone's leg that has yet to detonate, elevating the threat level tenfold. Severide reports to the scene minutes too late as he watches his wife, Kidd, and Carver -- suited up in bomb gear -- go inside the house with the directive to safely remove the grenade and bring everyone to safety.
"We've done a bunch of cliffhangers where Severide was in danger. In fact, the memorable ones are him in the boat that's sinking to the bottom of Lake Michigan. Kidd was on the shore of that one, and we wanted to flip it and have Severide being outside of a very harrowing call and helpless," co-showrunner/executive producer Derek Haas tells ET. "That's a helpless feeling when you can't go in, and it's not only just co-firefighters that are in there, but it's his wife that's in there. And he is ready to unleash holy hell on whatever is happening."
That scene is a culmination of built-up tension and drama for Severide, who in the fall finale grapples with helping Detective Pryma (Troy Winbush) with the Martucci case.
"This is that case that has been really going on since the end of last season, which involved a traitor police officer who gave away personal information about Severide and his wedding night, which almost got him and his wife killed. Severide's already running at 11, as you know from the previous episode," Haas tees up. "He is not happy with what's going on there, and this all culminates and is like a snowball falling down a hill becoming an avalanche that ends in this final scene where decisions that Severide made to help Pryma have manifested in a really, really dangerous standoff that involves Pryma and the firefighters, including his wife, and Severide is on the outside."
"Every firefighter that [co-showrunner] Andrea [Newman] and I have ever worked with, talked to or done a ride-along with, their personality types are the ones who say, 'Let me run into that situation.' Severide has that innately in him, so you are even more helpless feeling when you're stuck on the outside. Because he would change in one heartbeat, he would change places with his wife and make him be the one there," he notes. "But that's what makes Stella Kidd so great, is she's been growing as a lieutenant over the course of the last couple of seasons and then blooming with Carver who Boden forced upon her, so we get to see her in a leadership moment too."
There's also the return of a familiar face who may or may not stir up trouble for the firefighters at 51, and may just be the start of another roller-coaster for them to navigate through. "There's more to come," Newman coyly teases.
The Fire producers share the immediate fallout from the fall finale will be felt for a long time.
"The incident has repercussions for everybody involved going forward. It's going to change some things," Newman hints. "Severide is definitely going to probably be the most impacted and we'll see the fallout on him going forward."
The fall finale of Chicago Fire airs Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.