Chicago Fire interview: Derek Haas on OFI’s future, Cruz’s wedding, & more!

Chicago FireChicago Fire wrapped its season 8 mid-season premiere on NBC tonight, and there were some big events that transpired. Take, for example, the news that Kelly Severide survived! He’s also no longer a part of OFI, as he was sent back to Firehouse 51. This also means that Seager, who certainly did her best to get close to him, is going to be off more in the distance … but that doesn’t mean she’s gone.

In our interview with show executive producer Derek Haas he discusses the future of Severide, but also some big events coming up for Cruz and Firehouse 51 having to work alongside another firehouse — something that will be a big part of upcoming episodes. You can also check out our video discussion of the midseason finale below, in the event you haven’t done that before. Once you watch, subscribe to CarterMatt on YouTube and also view our One Chicago playlist for more.

CarterMatt – Is Severide done now with OFI?

Derek Haas – Even though VanMeter is happy to tell Severide how good he is at this job and fire him in the same sentence so that he can get back to squad 3 and what he loves doing, that doesn’t mean that is the last we’ve seen of Lt. Seager, who has really appreciated having Severide’s expertise next to her.

The next episode is going to feature a lot of Firehouse 51 displaced over at firehouse 20. What sort of dynamics can we expect between the characters there?

We’ve got Delaney, who is Casey’s rank and is going to battle Casey, Severide, and Herrmann. Then, you’ve got Captain Leone, who was the woman vaping in the women’s lounge and how her run-in with Brett, Kidd, and Foster. Then, we’ve got Violet, the paramedic who Gallo has his own issues, positive and negative, with.

Next week was a fun episode to write, mostly because it’s fun to get our firehouse out of our box.

You know that we love Cruz, and he’s been through a lot over the past year or so. Yet, it does seem like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, especially romantically. Is that something we can expect to see?

Cruz is going to have himself a wedding! We’re going to do it right. We’ve done a wedding at Molly’s, a wedding at the firehouse, and a wedding at the courthouse. We wanted to find an interesting, new, only-in-Chicago way to do a wedding. That’s what we’re going to do. It’s not going to be the very end of the season; we’ll get to it beforehand. Severide, as best man, is going to be involved. Kidd will be on the bride’s side, so I’ll let audiences’ imaginations play out on what that could mean for the two of them (laughs).

The other thing I’ll say about Cruz, since you’ve always been a huge Cruz supporter, is that you’re going to enjoy Cruz in a track suit. I’m not going to say anything else about it, but that’s coming up in episode 13.

Is there going to be some stories about the new Molly’s ownership dynamic in the second half?

We’re definitely going to see more of Mouch and Herrmann learning each others’ peccadilloes at Molly’s, and we have some guests coming there soon. There’s a legendary coach in Chicago, Dave Wannstedt, who is going to drop in at Molly’s this season. You never know who’s going to show up there! Trudy Platt, of course, is going to have her own ideas as to what to do with Molly’s.

Are there any big stories or themes you’re going to try and push as we near the end of the season? 

I think what we’ve said of a potential theme is new beginnings. Season 8 began with a death and the first half of the season explored how different people handle the death of a close friend at different speeds and different levels. The second half of the season is looking more at where people are in the second half of their lives and where they want to be and where they’ll go moving forward. There are a lot of people making some significant life choices in the second half of the season.

What can you say about the upcoming crossover with Chicago PD?

That’s going to be episode 15. The crossover is going to kick off with our paramedics getting called out to a drug overdose, and that’s going to lead to a character returning to the universe. (Note: That character has, since this interview was conducted, been revealed to be Roman.)

Tonally, we have to lean towards the PD tone because it gets pretty dark in the second half of the crossover. It’s going to be edge-of-your-seat crossover excitement.

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