Severide (Taylor Kinney) has left the building. The character has officially exited Chicago Fire to help with an arson investigation program, but he will resume his chief duties at the 51 when he finishes up. Because of the OFI connection, there were several fans who theorized that we might see the return of Severide’s old friend, Wendy Seager (Andy Allo).
Turns out, they were right. Seager makes her first season 11 appearance in the episode “Damage Control”, after featuring prominently in season 10. She works underneath Van Meter (Tim Hopper), the man who recruited Severide, and she’s lots of one-on-one time with the firefighter, so it makes sense that she would factor into the story.
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The funny thing is, Seager doesn’t play much of a role in convincing Severide to join. She’s tried to recruit him to the OFI in the past, and clearly has chemistry with him, but her appearance in the new episode is more akin to a cameo than anything.
She’s shown investigating the cause of a fire at the city stables. She doesn’t make mention of the decision to recruit Severide, or even that he’s absent from the 51. It’s an unexpected decision on the part of the writing team, and one that leads to questions about Seager’s continued involvement in the show.
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Will she make more frequent appearances now that Severide is gone? Will she be forced to develop a working relationship with another member of the 51? Partnering her with Stella Kidd (Miranda Rae Mayo) would be a fascinating choice, given the perceived flirtation between her and Severide in seasons past.
It was nice to see the character, even if she ultimately played a minor role in the events of the main story. Hopefully we get more of her during the second half of season 11.
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