Chicago Fire’s Severide Cliffhanger Will Be A ‘Fight To The Death,’ According To The Showrunner

chicago fire season 8 nbc severide
(Image credit: NBC)

The wait for the return of Chicago Fire Season 8 is almost at an end, so what happens to Severide won't remain a mystery for much longer. The fall finale back in November ended on a cliffhanger that saw Severide trapped in a basement packed with flammables by an arsonist holding a lit flare. While it has been hard to imagine Fire killing off Severide, especially so soon after Otis' heartbreaking demise, there was no saying what would happen. Fortunately, showrunner Derek Haas shared some insight about Severide's coming "fight to the death."

Speaking with CinemaBlend about the January 8 winter premiere, Derek Haas explained what viewers can expect from the resolution of the Severide cliffhanger:

We're going to pick up the story one second after the winter finale ended, so we'll be in that basement with Severide and Conrad, who he had figured out had set these fires, and when you're a cornered rat, you fight to the death. And so this Conrad holding a flare is going to come up with Severide, and we will be right into the episode.

The good news for fans is that Chicago Fire won't waste any time in revealing what happened after the cliffhanger of Conrad the arsonist lighting a flare in the highly-flammable basement; the bad news for Severide is that he's in for a "fight to the death" with a man who has nothing to lose.

A big question may be how much Conrad values his own life vs. how much Conrad would want to take down the man responsible for breaking up his arson biz. Of course, there are more people in danger beyond just Conrad and Severide. Seager and the rest of the folks who cracked the case believed Conrad was long-gone, so there could be a whole lot of people in the building at risk, none the wiser about the fight to death going down in the basement.

However Chicago Fire goes about answering some of those questions left over from the fall finale, the winter premiere will undoubtedly be off to an intense start. When I asked Derek Haas how fans should prepare for what's coming with the cliffhanger resolution, he teased that the conflict is going to get "dirty."

Here's how he put it:

They should go get some fire hydrants. [laughs] I'm just kidding. It's going to be tense, and one of the things we always tell our main stunt coordinator Rick LeFevour, who as you can tell on the show in eight seasons, he just does giant stunts week after week. And when we do a kind of fight like this one, I always tell him, just go dirty. Don't try to do this choreographed. Let 'em knock on each other. Keep the camera close and the dirtier the better, and he's really coordinated some awesome fight scenes. Memorable ones with Severide, and Taylor [Kinney]'s always up for it. So you're going to see these two guys go at each other in a pretty dirty style.

With that flare burning in Conrad's hand, time really does seem to be of the essence for Severide when the winter premiere picks up, so it makes sense more than ever that this will be more of a dirty fight than a duel. The firefighters of Fire generally go the quickest and most direct route when it comes to solving crises; it sounds like this will be no exception.

Fans definitely don't have to worry that the action will end once the Severide cliffhanger is resolved. A two-part crossover between Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D. is coming up that will bring back a character from P.D. history for a compelling case. Some action is on the way for Casey, and maybe not the kind of action he got when Dawson dropped by in the fall.

Chicago Fire returns to NBC for the second half of Season 8 on Wednesday, January 8 at 9 p.m. ET, between the Season 5 winter premiere of Chicago Med at 8 p.m. ET and the Season 7 winter premiere of Chicago P.D. at 10 p.m. ET.

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).