Chicago Fire: Does Severide update mean he’s not coming back?

CHICAGO FIRE -- "A Guy I Used to Know" Episode 1111 -- Pictured: Taylor Kinney as Kelly Severide -- (Photo by: Adrian S Burrows Sr/NBC)
CHICAGO FIRE -- "A Guy I Used to Know" Episode 1111 -- Pictured: Taylor Kinney as Kelly Severide -- (Photo by: Adrian S Burrows Sr/NBC) /

We got some bad news about Severide (Taylor Kinney), and then we got even worse news about him. Chicago Fire is coming up on its season 11 finale, which has been confirmed to not feature the beloved character. Then, if that weren’t enough, it was revealed that he hasn’t been where he initially said he was…

In the episode “Change of Plans”, it was revealed that the character, who had left the Windy City for a training program in Alabama, had been promoted and added to an ATF case somewhere else in the country. Is this the show’s way of confirming that he’s not coming back? Let’s discuss.

Is Severide leaving Chicago Fire for good?

For one, Severide has always been gifted when it comes to arson investigation. It should come as no surprise that he impressed his superiors, and was deemed ready to handle the real deal on a real case. The problem is that he failed to mention any of this to his wife, Kidd (Miranda Rae Mayo).

Kidd found out by chance, when Cruz (Joe Minoso) mentioned that a buddy of his was an instructor at the training program Severide was supposed to be attending.

"“He’s not in Alabama anymore. His training session ended,” the character explained. “I’m buddies with one of the instructors down there at the ATF complex. They said they were so impressed with your lieutenant, they asked him to pitch in on some big investigation. Not sure where, though.”"

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This news hit Kidd and the audience like a brick wall. Why would he lie? Or more specifically, why would he leave out such notable information? It seems out of character for Severide, who’s always been open and clear towards Kidd in terms of his intentions. Either he’s hiding something, or he’s reached a point where he’s feeling estranged from his wife.

Either way, it’s the kind of narrative tactic that writers pull when a character is on the way out. We have seen similarly unexpected decisions made by Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer) on Chicago PD and Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) on Law & Order: SVU. The former hasn’t returned and the latter is leading his own spinoff, Organized Crime, so the evidence is split in terms of what it says about Severide’s future.

We hope that the character returns, even if it’s just for a cameo, to straighten things out and reach some clarity with Kidd. If not, it would feel like a disservice to seasons of character development.

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