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Spoilers ahead for Episode 3 of Chicago Fire Season 9, appropriately called "Smash Therapy."
Chicago Fire left off Season 9 in 2020 with one of its biggest relationships facing an uncertain future thanks to the Dawsey past, while the other was going strong with few if any problems in their way. Well, "Smash Therapy" started off 2021 by delivering some twists that guarantee more obstacles on the way for Brettsey, and the good ship Stellaride is in for some rough waters as well. Fortunately, Fire showrunner Derek Haas spoke to CinemaBlend about the futures of both Brettsey and Stellaride to shed some light on what's on the way.
Let's rip off the Brettsey band-aid and start with what the future looks like for Brett and Casey! After Brett realized that Casey's past relationship with Dawson might stand in the way of a real relationship between them in the previous episode, fans had reason to hope that their romance could go back on course in "Smash Therapy" if they talked out their feelings. The good news is that they're not on necessarily bad terms; the not-so-good news for fans of the relationship is that they're not starting a romance at this point and Brett wants space.
I asked Chicago Fire showrunner Derek Haas if Brett wanting space from Casey means the end of the Brettsey relationship for now, or if this is the slow burn starting over. He shared:
That's a fair question. I think we're in the middle of whatever's happening with them, but that's not to say that there aren't some more obstacles coming in the form of some new characters coming onto the show that you'll meet in the next episode.
Well, the events of "Smash Therapy" don't mark the end of Brettsey, even after Brett vented her feelings by smashing up a drone and Severide gave Casey some things to think about on the Brett front. That said, more obstacles are on the way, including some "new characters" who will debut sooner rather than later. These new obstacles coming in the form of new characters indicates that this won't be Dawson returning again, and she arguably would be the biggest roadblock. As Derek Haas has said, the Dawson issue is "looming" over Brett and Casey, and there is no "regardless of Gabby."
Will these characters be potential love interests who catch the eye of Brett and/or Casey? Or will they present obstacles of a different sort? And how long will they stick around? Only time will tell on that front, but Derek Haas also shared what's in store for Stella Kidd and Severide moving forward in Season 9. Things had been going so well for them, with Severide promising Stella his support as she pursues the lieutenant's exam.
Alas, unbeknownst to her, Stella has run into some sexism at CFD that could impact her career in a negative way, and Severide is not handling it in a way that is going to work for her. After breaking down the kinds of obstacles and ramifications that Stella and Severide are facing in 2021, showrunner Derek Haas explained how Severide not communicating with Stella is going to affect their relationship moving on from "Smash Therapy" in Season 9:
Kidd has seen the good and the bad of Severide and I think there's always going to be a part of her that was waiting for the other shoe to drop. And because she's seen Severide go into these moody, depressed, shut-her-out kind of attitudes and that does not work well with Stella Kidd. I mean, she said it in the past. So I think when she misinterprets what he's doing, or at least why he's doing what he's doing, it's going to have some deleterious effects on their relationship.
And to think, it wasn't that long ago that I was speculating about Stella and Severide potentially getting engaged! Severide made the decision to hide his conversation about what some in the CFD are assuming about Stella with the best of intentions, but she was already tired of him clamming up after not even one full episode. Severide not communicating did allow for the fantastic moment from Capp in which he refused to put down his milkshake or ruin his "me time" to walk Stella through Squad info, but it otherwise doesn't bode well for the future of their relationship on Fire.
Severide ended the episode going on a drive with his new friend Ken after they bonded over Ken's car that miraculously wasn't destroyed in a fire, and I for one found myself wondering if Ken is going to be a regular presence in Severide's life as he distances himself somewhat from Stella. Luckily, Derek Haas weighed in:
No, that was kind of a one episode thing, although I won't say never because I thought the actor did a really good job with the role and those kinds of things we like to reward. It's like bringing Kylie back, you know, she was in one episode when we started Girls On Fire, and that actress Katelynn [Shennett] was so good. In the first time we saw her, we were like, 'Oh, we got to keep writing for her,' and I feel the same with Ken. It was kind of, you know, the role was a one episode role, but then when you see the performance you're like, 'Oh, man, this guy's got a second gear, this is pretty cool.' So maybe! Maybe we'll see.
Ken might not be guaranteed to come back in the foreseeable future, but that doesn't mean he'll never return to Chicago Fire. If he does come back, I just hope it's not to help Severide make the situation with Stella even worse! "Smash Therapy" did establish that the lieutenant's exam is in March, so maybe things won't get so bad over just the next couple of months that the good ship Stellaride will sink. March isn't that far off, right? A lot probably depends on how much Severide shuts down, but it's worth noting that speculation about Stella getting a career boost from their relationship won't necessarily stop if she does ace the exam.
See what happens next (or doesn't happen next) for both Brettsey and Stellaride when Chicago Fire returns with a new episode on Wednesday, January 27 at 9 p.m. ET on NBC, between new episodes of Chicago Med at 8 p.m. ET and Chicago P.D. at 10 p.m. ET. For more of what's on the way in 2021, be sure to check out our winter and spring TV premiere schedule.