Chicago Fire Showrunners Open Up About What's Next For Severide's Dangerous Storyline And That (Spoiler) Cameo In Season 11 Premiere

Taylor Kinney as Severide in Season 10 of Chicago Fire
(Image credit: NBC)

Spoilers ahead for the Season 11 premiere of Chicago Fire, called “Hold On Tight.”

Chicago Fire returned to pick up where Season 10 left off with a major cliffhanger, and Stella and Severide’s honeymoon was interrupted in pretty much the worst way. After Severide made some enemies toward the end of last season, they decided to crash the happy couple’s wedding night, and it’s mostly due to Stellaride’s quick reflexes and nerve that they both survived long enough for the authorities to arrive. The bad guys are behind bars, but according to Fire showrunners, this dangerous storyline isn’t over, and there’s a reason why the Chicago P.D. cameo happened. 

While Severide was relieved that he and his new wife survived the immediate danger of the attack on their wedding night, he was stressed throughout the rest of the episode when the dirty cop who allowed it to happen wasn’t identified. He went to Commander Pearce at CPD for help, and the cop on the take who was being used for an investigation was burned. 

It was a rough episode for Firehouse 51’s Squad lieutenant, but he did open up to Stella at the end about how he regretted that his decision to testify put her life in danger. When showrunners Derek Haas and Andrea Newman spoke with CinemaBlend about the Season 11 premiere, I noted that it was great to see Severide actually communicating with Stella in the episode, which might not have been the case not too long ago. 

Andrea Newman agreed about what she named the "growth” of Severide, and shared that they had “talked about that a lot” as part of charting the evolution of his character. When then asked if “Hold On Tight” was the end of this storyline involving the CPD for Taylor Kinney’s character, Derek Haas explained:

No, it's just the beginning of the storyline, because there's this question that hung over the episode, which was, how did that guy with the knife get into the courthouse last year when Severide was there? Well, obviously, he had help, as you find out in this episode, but we don't know who that cop is.

Severide’s most recent near-death experience prior to the Season 11 premiere happened in an unlikely place: a courthouse. Their scuffle ended with Severide knocking his attacker out of a window in a very clear case of self-defense, but it was never explained how his attacker even got to him in that building while armed. As Derek Haas noted, he had help, and not all questions were answered in “Hold On Tight.” The co-showrunner elaborated:

It seems like the cops are kind of closing ranks around this guy, and that's not just something that's going to be explored in one episode. We'll continue that going.

Severide did get his way to a certain extent in the episode after he recruited the help of Commander Pearce and managed to go above the head of his CPD contact who wasn’t giving any ground, but he hasn’t gotten everything. For One Chicago fans who also watch Chicago P.D., the morally gray use of criminal informants and sometimes letting bad things happen so that they can focus on the much worse bigger picture is nothing new. 

But Kelly Severide is no Hank Voight, and just trusting that the CPD would eventually bring this dirty cop to justice wasn’t enough for him. He first reached out to a familiar face by contacting Chicago P.D.’s Detective Upton (played by Tracy Spiridakos), who also appeared in late Season 10 to help bust the bad guys. If he thought that Upton would pull some strings and out the cop to help him, he was very wrong. Andrea Newman explained the decision to bring in Upton:

We looped Upton into it for a reason, because she was dealing with the informant element of policing last season. Right at the start, she's the one Severide goes to. We love those worlds intersecting, and that's very much a part of it.

Will Severide’s ongoing storyline after the attack on his wedding night result in more appearances from Chicago P.D. characters? Only time will tell on that front, although there may not be much time for Jesse Lee Soffer to appear as Detective Halstead. The actor is leaving One Chicago part of the way through Season 10 of Chicago P.D. Fire’s Season 11 premiere also packed in plenty of developments for other characters, including a new challenge for Stella as lieutenant and some bad news for Brettsey shippers

See what happens next on Chicago Fire with new episodes on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC, between Chicago Med Season 8 (which returned with some developments for Will and Hannah) at 8 p.m. and the increasingly “messy” (as showrunner Gwen Sigan described it) Chicago P.D. with its new theme at 10 p.m. in the 2022 TV schedule.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).