Chicago Fire's Miranda Rae Mayo Talks Stella's Upcoming Choice In Season 10, But What About Severide?

Chicago Fire delivered a lot of changes in the first half of Season 10 with Casey’s departure and the aftermath at Firehouse 51, and it was complicated all the more by Stella Kidd’s ongoing absence. Her quick Girls on Fire trip just kept getting longer and longer, as Severide got fewer and fewer updates from her even with the open slot for a lieutenant on Truck 81. Stella turned up at the end of the midseason finale for a Stellaride cliffhanger, but there are big questions about what comes next. Fortunately, Miranda Rae Mayo spoke with CinemaBlend about what’s in store now that Stella has reunited with Severide back in Chicago and is facing a choice. 

When I spoke with Miranda Rae Mayo ahead of the January return of Chicago Fire, she assured that Stella didn’t just turn up at the end of the midseason finale only to leave again right away. In response to the question of whether she’s back for good now for the rest of Season 10, the answer was “Hell yeah!” 

Even though the reunion with Severide wasn’t the most jubilant in the final episode of 2021, fans – and Severide – don’t have to worry that she’s leaving again. And in fact, she’ll be back at work at Firehouse 51 pretty quickly, as the actress shared regarding whether Stella will be rusty or ready to dive back into the fire-fighting action: 

No, she's just back in action. That's Stella. [laughs]

The good news is that Stella is sticking around and getting back into the action at Firehouse 51, but all signs point toward her losing her shot at the lieutenant spot that had once been Casey’s on Truck 81. Pelham proved himself a good fit at 51, and showrunner Derek Haas previously shared with CinemaBlend that fans will “definitely keep seeing Pelham as the season continues.” 

So, does Stella’s radio silence when she had the golden opportunity on 81 mean that she has given up on taking her well-deserved spot as a lieutenant? Miranda Rae Mayo weighed in on whether becoming a lieutenant is still a goal of the character’s now that she’s back:

Oh, for sure. Like 1,000%. I think that she wants to do well. I think that that's very important to her to do, once she steps into that position to be fully committed, because that's what that firehouse deserves. You know? So I think that she really wants to do well for her people. And at the same time, this Girls on Fire program, oh my gosh, it's her heart. Like, she started it from the ground up and it's doing so well and she doesn't want to just abandon that. She realizes that once she steps into the lieutenant position, there probably won't be time for her to lead that program in the way that she has been, and to be as involved as she has been. So that's also something that she is kind of grappling with. Like, there's a choice to be made.

After she worked so hard and overcame so many obstacles in Season 9 to pass the lieutenant’s exam, she still wants to take her place as an officer in the CFD. She just has more on her plate than she once did thanks to the success of Girls on Fire. If Stella does end up having to choose between the project that is so close to her heart and the promotion that she has earned, it undoubtedly won’t be easy on her. 

And will she have the support of Severide moving forward, after she went MIA on him in the first half of Season 10? The actress didn’t drop specific spoilers to give away what’s going to happen, but previewed: 

Who knows? [laughs] I don't know, I would imagine that his character... You know, it's taken a lot for him to settle down and open up and be vulnerable. And Casey just left. So I would imagine that Stella going silent on him would sting. That would sting pretty bad. Hopefully... I think he will, though. I think they love each other and they just, you know, they continue to choose each other and it's been beautiful to watch.

Poor Severide lost his best friend with Casey’s departure, and the loft was pretty empty with Stella gone as well. Still, they’ve overcome an awful lot together over the years, and she was able to move past his communication problems in Season 9. The tenth season will just go on to show whether he can do the same for her. With the departure of Jesse Spencer, the Casey/Brett romance presumably isn’t making any big strides on screen, so Stellaride seems to be the biggest relationship for Chicago Fire’s big return.

Luckily, the wait to see Stella back in action (and Severide’s reactions) is nearly over. Chicago Fire returns for the second half of Season 10 on Wednesday, January 5 at 9 p.m. ET, right between the returns of Chicago Med at 8 p.m. and Chicago P.D. at 10 p.m., all on NBC. Showrunner Derek Haas already shared that Fire won’t be starting 2022 with a time jump, so viewers can expect to see the midseason premiere pick up where Stella and Severide left off in the fall. For more of what to watch and when to tune in, be sure to check out our 2022 winter and spring premiere 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. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. 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).