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Kelly Severide has been a fixture on Chicago Fire from the very beginning, so it came as a shock in Season 8 when he agreed to a transfer to the Office of Fire Investigation. While his dad was a legend at OFI in his day, Severide seemed like he would never willingly give up his spot at the head of Squad 3. With the action of Chicago Fire set primarily at Firehouse 51 with firefighters and paramedics in action, a big question was how Severide's story would continue.
Fortunately, Chicago Fire showrunner Derek Haas spoke with CinemaBlend ahead of the fall finale, and he said this when asked how he plans on keeping Severide's stories interesting and connected now that he's over at OFI:
We wanted to design his OFI experience as, originally he goes in thinking skeptically that this is just going to be pencil pushing desk work, but that's not the Severide way. And he's cut from the same cloth as Benny Severide, who was also in the OFI world and we gave him this partner, Seager, who we really like, played by Andy Allo, and the idea was, the pitch from the beginning was 'Let's make them like Mulder and Scully,' with just an easy back and forth and flashlights and dust and solving crimes. I love that Captain Van Meter, is like, 'Oh my God, I just told you to rubber stamp this and move on.' You detailed the wrong guy, then. Because we the audience knows that's not the Severide way, so we just wanted to keep it interesting and keep crossing. You're going to see Casey cross into Severide and Seager’s investigation this week, so that's just on us as writers to keep it interesting.
Although Severide may have made the (potentially temporary) move to OFI on Chicago Fire, that doesn't mean he's just going to sit quietly behind a desk and deal with paperwork! Since it wasn't his idea to make the jump from Squad to OFI, but rather at the insistence of Chief Grissom, it makes sense that he's going to mix things up in his new role, and Casey will evidently pay him a visit at OFI as a connection to the Firehouse 51 action. Will Severide still find ways to race into danger, even though he's supposed to be investigating arsons from long ago?
Only time will tell, but Derek Haas' reveal that the Severide/Seager relationship was patterned after Mulder and Scully should make Chicago Fire fans who used to watch The X-Files pretty excited, and even those who haven't experienced the emotional highs and lows of all things X can probably appreciate a Mulder/Scully dynamic. Theirs is arguably one of the most iconic partnerships in TV history.
As long as Chicago Fire doesn't send Stella on a journey similar to poor Scully, a Mulder/Scully dynamic between Severide and Seager could be a shot of energy to the OFI story. Of course, Stella/Severide fans will have to cross their fingers that Severide and Seager stay platonic, and it is hard to imagine Severide straying from Stella at this point. When I, a longtime fan of The X-Files myself, noted that I never expected to hear Kelly Severide compared to Fox Mulder, Derek Haas said this:
Just the relationship of the two partners. That's the interesting part to me. That easy sort of banter that they had in the face of what would scare most people.
So, don't expect Severide and Seager to go full X-Files to chase down aliens when they begin their banter. Based on how backed up OFI was by the time Severide agreed to leave Firehouse 51 for a time, the duo will have plenty of investigating to do without bringing aliens or monsters into the mix. Fire fans already know that Severide doesn't shy away from scary situations; seeing him do it as part of OFI will be new and interesting.
The question now is how long Severide's stint at OFI will last. When he agreed to help clear the backlog of arson cases, he fully intended to put in the work and then return to Squad at Firehouse 51, but his dad found a passion for investigation at OFI, and Severide has always had a knack for it. Could something happen for him to decide to extend his time at OFI longer, or even indefinitely?
Chicago Fire is almost finished for 2019, but you can see more of Severide's story at OFI in the fall finale when it airs on Wednesday, November 20. The episode will also feature the return of Monica Raymund as Gabby Dawson for the first time since her departure in the Season 7 premiere, and Derek Haas revealed that there will still be "heat" between Casey and Dawson.