Chicago Fire interview: Derek Haas on fall finale cliffhanger, Dawson, Casey, & more

Chicago FireThe Chicago Fire season 8 fall finale has now come and gone, and it’s clear there is a lot of emotional stuff going down in the Windy City. For Severide, we have a life-or-death cliffhanger as an arson investigation has led to him encountering an extremely dangerous man. This is someone who executive producer Derek Haas refers to as a “contract arsonist,” who is capable of inflicting a lot of harm … and also someone who will be fine with killing Kelly if it means getting out of the situation in one piece.

In our interview with Haas, he speaks further about that cliffhanger, but then also two other key moments of this episode. We’ll talk about Casey and Dawson’s decision to sleep together and what that may mean, but we’ll begin here with the “Best Friend Magic” of Otis and Cruz. After Cruz worked to get an old drone of his and Otis’ working, he eventually discovered some old video footage of him and his best friend. This allowed him to put everything in perspective. According to Haas, the inspiration for this storyline came from something deeply personal.

CarterMatt – When Otis died in the premiere, did you know that you were going to incorporate [Yuriy] again in the fall finale?

Derek Haas – Yeah. We didn’t shoot the footage for this episode until recently, but I had told Yuriy way back in June — as we were breaking this episode, I told him ‘we really want you to come back for the winter finale and do this drone storyline.’

This actually came from my personal experience when I was in college. I had a great friend named Tommy Michaels who died in a car wreck just between senior year and graduate school. All of us grieved; it’s rough when something like that happens. I was on the other side of it — I had graduated, and was clearing out my apartment when I had found a video camera that I had all through college. I’d forgotten what was on there, so I plugged it into the television and it was a poker game. Everyone was talking to the camera — or talking to me, since I was holding the camera. The camera swings around and there’s Tommy, talking to me as though as it was today. Of course, I burst into tears.

I’ve held on to that image and that storyline for a long time and just thought it was the way to do an Otis flashback. It’s really a tribute to my friend Tommy.

And for Otis, it was nice to have a more happy conclusion to him on the show after his last appearance in the premiere was so raw and painful.

Yeah, and it was that idea of bringing that memorial to life, bringing Otis to life. Cruz really wanted to fix this mistake that he had in his life and couldn’t get it fixed. He will never get it fixed because he had brushed it aside when he had the chance with his friend.

So to watch this video and to see what they had was beyond any small difference — what they had was this magical relationship. That’s what we were going for.

As for that big cliffhanger with Severide, where are you going to pick things up?

We’re going to pick things up one second later — it’s just a continuation of the scene. If you corner a rat, and that rat has nowhere to go, that rat is going to bear its teeth and go at you to the death. That’s what Severide is facing here.

So after being with Dawson, where is Casey going to be at? I would imagine that his head is all over the place.

I think that’s an accurate description. What I like about the scene at the hotel, the next morning, and the voicemail is that Casey made this decision clear-eyed. It wasn’t a mistake in his eyes. He knew that she was only going to be there for a couple of days and it felt right to him. Emotionally, they’re both on a new plane in my mind. It might be one of those things where it heats up when she’s there or he may go to where she is. We won’t know.

He’s not spun out — he made a conscious, adult decision. But, it will have ramifications going forward.

And I’m sure on your end, the door is always open for Monica to come back.

Absolutely.

Related News Be sure to get some other news right now when it comes to Chicago Fire!

What did you think about the Chicago Fire season 8 fall finale overall?

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