Chicago Fire returned after a long hiatus in 2020 with a couple of episodes that delivered some high-stakes action and set the stage for more Season 9 in 2021. All signs seem to point toward Stella Kidd and Kelly Severide going full steam ahead in their relationship as Stella moves up at CFD, with the biggest relationship complications happening between Brett and Casey. According to Chicago Fire showrunner Derek Haas, however, Season 9 isn't going to be all quiet on the Stellaride front.

Chicago Fire boss Derek Haas spoke with CinemaBlend ahead of Chicago Fire's 2021 return, and he shared the challenges that are ahead for Stella as she pursues the lieutenant exam with Severide in her corner. When I noted that it wouldn't be Chicago Fire if there weren't some bumps along the way, Haas said:

So, I think we're gonna make her pursuit of the lieutenant's test a big part of the season. And, as you said, it's not Chicago Fire if there aren't obstacles and curveballs thrown along the way. And so, there's going to be a chief who intimates to Severide that a lot of people are talking that maybe Kidd is on the fast track, only because she's in a relationship with someone who's close to the commissioner. You know how that would strike Severide -- not well. And so that's going to be obstacle number one thrown at her, and Severide handling these kind of things never goes well. So, that's coming.

And things were going so well! Unfortunately, as fans saw earlier in the series with the obstacles in Dawson's path to becoming a firefighter, Chicago Fire's CFD brass doesn't necessarily make it easy on women to earn their way up the ladder. Severide's connections within the CFD will evidently backfire on Stella's career path with at least one higher-up making the wrong assumption, and Severide will apparently handle it like... well, like Severide.

Considering what happened on a previous occasion when Severide started acting out in what he believed was Stella's best interest, rough waters may be ahead for the good ship Stellaride. Derek Haas elaborated on where their relationship will go moving forward in Season 9:

They've been super solid for the last, you know, season and a half ever since he told her he was going to be a better man for her. He really has been. And that's going to continue. But some of his actions may not be interpreted correctly because Severide, for all of his great traits, he's never been very good at communicating his feelings. He's not a big talker. Just in general. And so he tries to take this matter into his own hands, and that, you know, miscommunication with Kidd has ramifications.

Severide may be a man of action, but this could be a case of Severide really needing to use his words to keep his relationship with Stella solid. Hopefully he learned some lessons from their previous conflicts, and his efforts to become a better man for her have been evident. But will Stella be able to see it without Severide saying it?

Well, when it comes to the obstacles, the ramifications could be different this time around due to Stella moving in with Severide (and Casey) back in Season 8. When I noted that it seems like the living situation could make things more complicated, Derek Haas teased:

Yeah, yeah, that I would say you're onto something.

While the Chicago Fire showrunner didn't drop all the details about the next episodes of Season 9, the living situation in the loft did raise another question. After all, the relationship between Stella and Severide impacts another person on a daily basis: Casey. When asked if Casey will ever move out, Derek Haas shared:

That's a good question. We kind of addressed that last year when Casey was like, 'So I should move out.' And [Severide]'s like, 'What? No, forget it. You're staying.' And to me that's like the essential, like the perfect characterizations of Severide and Casey. Like they're kind of just dudes who don't really think too much about what, you know, what their actions mean to other people. So Severide is like, 'No, he's a good roommate. We'll just keep him around.' So we haven't really talked about it, but maybe now.

Hey, at this point, their friendship is probably the most stable and lasting major relationship that Severide and Casey have had over the years of Chicago Fire. Maybe Severide was onto something with not wanting Casey to move out back in Season 8! Wives may move to Puerto Rico and girlfriends may be falsely accused of nepotism, but at least Severide and Casey have each other.

In all seriousness, Chicago Fire has a meaty storyline on the way for Stella and Severide, so fans have a lot to look forward to in Season 9. Chicago Fire returns in 2021 on Wednesday, January 6 at 9 p.m. ET, between new episodes of Chicago Med at 8 p.m. ET and Chicago P.D. at 10 p.m. ET, all on NBC. For more of what you can look forward to in the new year, check out our 2021 winter and spring premiere schedule.

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