Chicago Fire interview: EP on huge Stella story, Severide implications

Wednesday night’s new Chicago Fire episode carries with it the title of “Don’t Hang Up,” and for Stella Kidd, it could be a spotlight like no other. Miranda Rae Mayo’s character will be tested when she receives a mysterious phone call and has to do her best to save lives from afar. It’s a way to showcase her leadership and her evolution as a character — we also think it’s another reminder that heroism does not always equate to going out in the field.

Given that this episode IS so important, why not hear from the executive producer in charge? Below, Derek Haas tells us about what makes this story special, and also how it build towards some important moments you’ll see play out over the final weeks of the season.

Matt & Jess – Now that you’re so close to the end of this difficult, crazy season, is it fair to say you’ll remember it for quite some time?

Derek Haas – Oh, for sure. To me, what stands out is how our cast and crew in Chicago, in the face of national uncertainty, came together. They said ‘we’re going to give as big of a season as we’ve ever done. We’re not going to cut back. If you watch this season back twenty years from now, you’re not going to say this is the season they cut corners.’ It was all through their efforts to give people who are stuck at home something to watch.

We’re getting a run of four straight episodes now; are they linked thematically in a way? Are you building towards something big?

They build like a locomotive towards the ending. We’re throwing everything into these last four episodes.

The preview makes it pretty clear that Stella has this big, meaty story. When you were planning this out, what made this episode appeal to you so much?

When we looked back to the beginning of the season, there was the idea of Stella taking the Lieutenant’s test. We’ve been teasing it all year, and so we thought when she goes to take that test, we’d make it a really memorable Stella Kidd episode. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t matter what happens in the classroom — let’s show the audience what kind of leader Kidd is. Let’s show the impact that she has on people she doesn’t even know she’s impacting.

How is Kidd’s crisis going to inform her relationship with Severide?

We’re going to be building towards some major events with Stella and Kelly, both in their personal and professional lives. This will be one of the driving forces as we head towards the finish line of season 9.

There’s also a Joe Cruz story coming in this episode that is hilarious. What can you tease for people?

As you know, Joe is going to have a baby in the future. He’s been taking a parenting class and he admits to Violet that he’s not doing as well in the class as other people. She offers to give him a swaddling lesson — she wants to figure it out for herself. It’s basically the two learning how to swaddle. I think it’s really funny.

What are you most excited to see from Stella’s big Chicago Fire episode?

Be sure to share some of your thoughts and hopes right now! We’ll have more from Derek Haas after it airs on Wednesday night.

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