Chicago Fire has spent much of Season 9 building Stella Kidd up to finally take the lieutenants' exam, but the journey hasn't been easy, and she's not going to make it to test day without going through a very stressful episode that will present kinds of challenges that she has never faced before. The season has also delivered some serious highs and lows when it comes to Severide and Stella, along with enough of a threat to Casey's health that there were reasons to start wondering if Fire was preparing to write him out.
Fortunately, both actress Miranda Rae Mayo and Chicago Fire showrunner Derek Haas spoke with CinemaBlend ahead of Stella's big episode about what's in store for her, what's up with the good ship Stellaride after Severide made some bad decisions earlier in the season, and Casey's outlook on life after he got some good news about his head. Read on for what they had to say!
Stella Kidd's Dangerous And Stressful Episode
The next new episode of Chicago Fire is called "Don't Hang Up," and the trailer alone revealed that Stella is in for an emotional ride. A mysterious caller is going to reach out to Stella while in danger, seeking Stella's help to save her and her brother. This will all go down as Stella is nearing the end of her journey to the lieutenants' exam and would probably be better off with as much rest and relaxation as possible.
Then again, would this be Chicago Fire if the heroes had easy lives? I spoke with Miranda Rae Mayo ahead of "Don't Hang Up," and she explained how Stella will handle the stress of the mysterious caller on top of everything else that has been piled on her in Season 9:
Stella is of course more than used to pulling off the almost impossible under immense pressure after spending years as a firefighter and potentially becoming an officer, but this is a very different kind of emergency than she usually faces when she's racing into burning buildings and risking her life for tricky rescues. Miranda Rae Mayo elaborated on the situation facing Stella in the next episode:
As if Stella hasn't already been dealing with enough pressure this season! She has always been successful when it comes to the physical and mental demands of her job, but this call could put her under emotional strain at a pretty trying time. And according to Chicago Fire showrunner Derek Haas, this situation will show off whether or not Stella has the mettle to serve as a CFD lieutenant, beyond what it takes to answer questions correctly on paper. Haas previewed of the episode:
Whatever the outcome, Stella is clearly going to be put through the emotional wringer in "Don't Hang Up," but at least she can now count on the support of Severide in a way that she couldn't earlier in Season 9. That said, everything about this situation with the caller begging for help seems like it calls for some backup from the cops who have had a habit of crossing over from Chicago P.D.. So, will that be the case this week?
Will Chicago P.D. Help Firehouse 51?
One Chicago traditionally delivers a two-part crossover between Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D. in the spring of each TV season, but COVID protocols have meant that the three Chicago shows haven't gotten any big crossovers in the 2020-2021 TV season. There have been some characters popping between the shows, however, and Stella's phone call seems like something that would normally be handed over to the authorities. According to showrunner Derek Haas, Stella and Co. aren't going to bring in any police for a good reason. He previewed:
Stella's work as a firefighter means that she touches lives every time she makes a save, and Kylie is proof of how much good her influence can do. And this is a situation that Stella and the others at Firehouse 51 are going to have to deal with themselves, presumably while the cops of Chicago P.D. keep busy with their own cases.
Has Severide Redeemed Himself?
Of course, some of Stella's struggles in Season 9 were due to Severide back when he chose to support her pursuit of the lieutenants' exam by shutting down on her to avoid any indication that he was the reason for her success within CFD. Stella was not about to stand for him falling back into old habits that had been bad for their relationship, but he did eventually come around and start opening up again. Is he fully redeemed for his actions? Miranda Rae Mayo weighed in:
Severide has always had the best of intentions when it comes to Stella this season, and he fortunately fixed his mistakes before their relationship could be permanently damaged. The good ship Stellaride seems to be sailing smoothly; the question is whether whatever happens next and the outcome of the lieutenants' exam will force any change.
Casey's New Lease On Life
While Stella is facing a stressful set of challenges in the next episode, one character's prospects are looking up! Despite all signs seemingly pointing toward the end of his career after he took a second blow to the head, Casey was miraculously cleared and given the go-ahead to return to work. With the prospect of giving up his job as a firefighter no longer hanging over him, Casey can have a new lease on life. According to showrunner Derek Haas, Casey isn't going to waste it:
Casey got his great news in the previous episode when he found out that the latest knock on his noggin wasn't the end of his career as he knew it, but Brett got some not-so-great news when Grainger broke up with her over her bond with Casey. If the breakup is the source of her unhappiness (and I certainly couldn't blame her) and Casey wants to help, then this could well lead to Fire revisiting the Brettsey pairing despite seemingly moving away from it for a time. Still, it's possible there's something else on Brett's mind than the breakup with Grainger.
Tune in to Chicago Fire on Wednesday, May 5 at 9 p.m. ET on NBC to see the "Don't Hang Up" episode that will deliver even more pressure to Stella Kidd, reveal Casey's new outlook on life, and more. The season finales for all three shows of One Chicago are fast-approaching, so be sure not to miss an episode. If you have missed any of the action of the 2020-2021 TV season, you can check out Chicago Fire (as well as Med and P.D.) streaming on Peacock now.
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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. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. 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).