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How Kelly Severide's Return Affects Stellaride's Epic Love Story on Chicago Fire

The slow-burn romance between firefighters remains a One Chicago obsession, but is tenuous in Season 12.

By Jessica White, McKenzie Jean-Philippe & Megan Lasher

Chicago Fire has given fans plenty of romantic storylines to keep them on the edge of their seats. From "Dawsey" to "Brettsey" and beyond, the couples at the helm of Firehouse 51 certainly go through their fair share of drama. 

How to Watch

Watch Chicago Fire Wednesdays at 9/8c on NBC and next day on Peacock.

After nine seasons of heartbreak, toxic exes, breakups, makeups, and now marriage, Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney) and Stella Kidd (Miranda Rae Mayo) — also known as "Stellaride" — have new issues with which to contend in Season 12 of Chicago Fire.

Kelly Severide and Stella Kidd face trust issues in Season 12

Chicago Fire Kelly Severide And The Other Firefighters

Though Severide spent much of Season 11 M.I.A. after abruptly leaving to attend an arson investigation program in Alabama and then assist a federal agency, the Season 12 premiere of Chicago Fire featured a newly-reunited Stellaride.

Picking up six months after Kidd left Chicago to find her husband, it's clear she had been successful in her mission but their relationship had changed. Trust issues and communication problems have reared their ugly heads within the couple's marriage and, while Kidd was happy to welcome Severide back, they are toughing it out through a rough patch. 

RELATED: How Severide Majorly Broke Stella's Trust on Chicago Fire

Kidd expressed worry over Severide's obsession with arson cases, while Severide wanted to keep investigating arsons in some way. Kidd wasn't having it, telling her husband that she felt she had been forced to drag him back to Chicago the last time he lost himself in such investigations. Kidd and Severide will both need to compromise to get through this latest hurdle, but Stellaride fans have their fingers crossed.

Look back on how their romance started, and how they got to this point in their marriage below.

When did Stella Kidd and Kelly Severide first hook up?

Kidd made her Firehouse 51 debut as the newest team member in Season 4, Episode 15 ("Bad for the Soul"), and viewers learned that she and Severide had actually met each other years back at the Fire Academy.

Flash-forward to Mouch's wedding during Season 4, Episode 18 ("On the Warpath"), and Kidd revealed Severide had made a grand romantic gesture while they were trainees. According to her, he came to her home and was "rappelling down from a skylight" while singing Frank Sinatra's "This Love of Mine." The downside? Kidd was married at the time and her then-husband, Grant, was not happy.

RELATED: Relive Kelly Severide's History on Chicago Fire From Season 1 to Today

During Episode 21' ("Kind of a Crazy Idea") the pair shared their first kiss at Molly's Bar after weeks of clear chemistry. During the Season 4 finale, they took their connection to the next level and had sex for the first time. But the moment was ruined — for fans, at least — when it was revealed Kidd's ex-husband Grant had escaped a psychiatric facility and broken into his former wife's apartment.

Unbeknownst to Kidd and Severide, he was watching them in bed together while holding a knife.

Stellaride (Miranda Rae Mayo and Taylor Kinney) on Chicago Fire

Stella Kidd and Kelly Severide broke up in Season 5

Kelley and Stella looking at each other lovingly

At the end of the Season 5 premiere ("The Hose or the Animal"), an infuriated Grant attacked Kidd in the alleyway behind Molly's, but Severide saved her and stabbed Grant — who it turned out was still battling addiction. 

RELATED: These Are The Most Beloved Couples on Chicago Fire, Med, and P.D.

However, Kidd still had sympathy for her ex and declined to press charges for his attack. Instead, she encouraged him to go to rehab. This decision strained her and Severide's relationship, and the two put a stop to their budding romance before it ever really began. They remained friends throughout the season. 

Kelly Severide and Stella Kidd reunited in Season 6

After she got kicked out of her apartment, Severide invited Kidd to stay in his guest room despite their complicated history but, as roommates, their connection became even harder to ignore. Kidd even dropped a drunken kiss on Severide during Episode 6 ("Down Is Better,") but he gently turned her down by insisting it wasn't the right time. "Not like this," he told her.

RELATED: Why the Chicago Fire Co-Showrunner Says Stellaride's Marriage Is About to Be Tested

Despite both of them pursuing other relationships throughout the season, they officially began dating at the end of Episode 15 ("Deathtrap"). In order to make sure their relationship kept moving on the right track, Kidd moved out of Severide's apartment. In the season finale, Severide called Kidd his girlfriend.

Kelly Severide and Stella Kidd broke up and got back together in Season 7 

Stella Kidd and Kelly Severide on Chicago Fire

Stellaride's happiness was cut short when Severide's father died in Episode 6 ("All The Proof"). Stricken by grief, he distanced himself from Kidd. In Episode 10 ("Inside These Walls"), Severide threw himself into a project restoring an old boat, which caused a strain on their relationship, causing Kidd to call it off. 

However, Severide used nearly the entire season to become a better man, and they got back together in the finale ("I'm Not Leaving You") after working closely together on an arson case. 

When did Stella Kidd and Kelly Severide move in together?

When compared to the drama of episodes past, Season 8 was largely uneventful for Stellaride. The highlight? Kidd moved back in with Severide into his and Casey's apartment in Season 8, Episode 12 ("Then Nick Porter Happened"). 

Kidd had been planning a birthday surprise for Severide, and she snuck into his apartment to set up a sweet night in. Severide then asked her to move in, and she said, "Alright, what the hell. Live with who you love, right?" They both laughed and kissed, and Stellaride made it out of Season 8 with smiles on their faces. 

Kelley and Stella in the kitchen

When did Kelly Severide and Stella Kidd get engaged?

The couple experienced a brief rough patch at the beginning of the season, in part due to their different work priorities and Severide's habit of pulling away when things get hard. However, their difficult spell ended in Season 9, Episode 15 ("A White-Knuckle Panic") when Severide proposed during a fire. 

“I don’t want you to ever leave me," he says. "Stella Kidd, will you marry me?” Her response: “Hell yeah.”

When did Stella Kidd and Kelly Severide get married?

Kidd was gone from Firehouse 51 throughout the first half of Season 10 to spread the word about her "Girls on Fire" program. She barely communicated with Severide while away, leaving him to question how she felt about their engagement. 

By Season 10, Episode 10 ("Back With a Bang"), she came back, and they solved their differences after Kidd opened up about her anxiety. 

RELATED: Taylor Kinney Didn't See Miranda Rae Mayo's Dress Before Filming the Stellaride Wedding

In the Season 10 finale ("The Magnificent City of Chicago"), the couple finally tied the knot. 

Kelley proposing to Stella

What happened to Kelly Severide when he left Chicago in Season 11?

In the Season 11, Episode 9 ("Nemesis"), an explosion put Stella's life at risk. Severide ran into the building to find her and, in the beginning of Episode 10 ("Something for the Pain"), he accompanied her to the hospital where she was treated for her major shrapnel wound. 

Severide spent much of the next few episodes helping Randall "Mouch" McHolland (Christian Stolte) investigate an arson case. In Episode 14 ("Run Like Hell"), Severide showed Kidd a text he'd received from Captain Tom Van Meter (Tim Hopper). Although not much was revealed at that point, what we did learn was that Severide would need to leave Firehouse 51 for quite some time. 

In the next episode ("Damage Control"), the audience was given a few more answers: Severide had been admitted to a prestigious arson investigation training program taking place in Alabama. Kidd spoke with Joe Cruz (Joe Minoso) about how quickly Severide left. 

"I really miss him," she said. "I know it's partly because I didn't have time to prepare, you know, the slot came up so suddenly."

"Yeah, he just kind of disappeared," Cruz said. 

While Kidd understood that "throwing yourself into a project for a while can be great," she expressed fear that Severide was having "more serious" issues he wasn't telling her about. 

In Episode 21 ("Change of Plans"), Kidd discovered that the program in Alabama had ended and Severide hadn't reached out about returning — though he was apparently working with a federal agency. She decided to leave Chicago to find Severide, after questioning Chief Boden about Severide's late father. 

"I am taking the next few shifts off," Kidd said at the end of the Season 11 finale (Episode 22, "Red Waterfall"). "I'm going to get my husband and bring him back to Chicago."

Taylor Kinney as Kelly Severide in 'Chicago Fire'

Originally published Dec 19, 2022.