Is Stella Kidd leaving Chicago Fire?

"Counting Your Breaths" Episode 1003 -- Pictured: (l-r) Taylor Kinney as Kelly Severide, Miranda Rae Mayo as Stella Kidd -- (Photo by: Adrian S. Burrows Sr./NBC)
"Counting Your Breaths" Episode 1003 -- Pictured: (l-r) Taylor Kinney as Kelly Severide, Miranda Rae Mayo as Stella Kidd -- (Photo by: Adrian S. Burrows Sr./NBC) /

Where is Stella Kidd? The Chicago Fire mainstay has been suspiciously absent for most of season 10. She didn’t even appear in the grand 200th episode sendoff to Casey (Jesse Spencer), as she was only mentioned passingly in name. Her absence has invited lots of speculation about Stella’s future with the show, and when she’s supposed to return.

The speculation was kicked into overdrive in the new episode “Dead Zone”. Severide (Taylor Kinney) was partnered with OFI Lieutenant Wendy Seager (Andy Allo) on an arson case, and the latter seemed to show some romantic interest in the 51 veteran.

It’s unclear whether Seager is going to join the main cast or become a recurring character, but it does raise some interesting questions about the tentativeness of Stella’s return in season 10. Here’s what we know about the character so far:

Is Stella coming back to Chicago Fire?

Stella, played by Miranda Rae Mayo, has been confirmed to return to Chicago Fire. She’s still a part of the cast credits, and her engagement to Severide in season 9 makes a wedding seem like a foregone conclusion.

What’s been less clear is the reason for Mayo’s absence. Generally, an actor will take a break from the One Chicago universe when their schedules overlap with another show or a film, but Mayo is not slated to appear in any such projects.

During an interview with CinemaBlend, showrunner Derek Haas said that Stella being offscreen is a narrative decision rather than a scheduling one. “We’re just playing her off screen for right now”, he revealed. “She went to go do the Girls on Fire program, but that becomes a story going forward because the spot on Truck 81 is potentially open and she hasn’t come back to claim it as of the next episode after this one.”

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Haas didn’t hint at any relationship issues with Severide, and fans who felt cheated out of a Stella and Casey farewell will be happy to find out that he plans on making one happen. “That has its own issues and ramifications, but with Jesse possibly coming back at some point we’ll see a Kidd/Casey scene, I’m sure”, he teased.

While it doesn’t seem likely that Stella will return in the next couple weeks, it does sound like she will reappear before the end of the season. It’s possible that Haas and company will even save her return for the mid-season finale. Either way, we’ll be thrilled to see her return.

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