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How Severide Majorly Broke Stella's Trust on Chicago Fire

Yes, Severide has finally returned to Chicago Fire — but Stella isn't all rosy. 

By Jessica White

After Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney) left 51 during Chicago Fire Season 11 to attend a prestigious arson investigation program in Alabama, many fans wondered how it would affect his marriage to Stella Kidd (Miranda Rae Mayo). 

How to Watch

Watch Chicago Fire on NBC and Peacock.

Of course, Stella is Severide's main cheerleader, but long distance is tough. And tension between them reached a fever pitch after she discovered Severide had completed his program and left Alabama to work on an arson investigation at an undisclosed location. Without saying a word to her. 

The Season 11 finale ended with Stella leaving 51 to go find Severide, confront him, and bring him back to Chicago. Here's how that went:  

RELATED: A Look at Stellaride's Epic Love Story on Chicago Fire

Stella and Severide reunite in the Chicago Fire Season 12 premiere 

Chicago Fire Stellaride Intruder

The Season 12 premiere of Chicago Fire picked up six months after Stella left Chicago to find Severide. We quickly learn she was successful in that mission, as the episode kicked off with one of Stella and Severide's steamiest scenes ever. One word: shower. 

Cut to Firehouse 51, where Severide has returned to the fold, but the landscape looks different. The neighboring Firehouse 17 was forced to make camp at 51 after a kitchen fire forced them out of their own accommodations. On the surface, Stella and Severide seemed business as usual, but soon enough, their issues rose to the surface.

Stella and Severide had a heated conversation about arson investigation

Kelley and Stella in the kitchen

Severide began to suspect a delivery truck fire might be connected to Firehouse 17's kitchen fire. After learning from a Firehouse 17 firefighter that the fumes from the delivery truck fire mirrored the strange smell they noticed during their kitchen fire, Severide put the pieces together. His experience with the arson investigation program pointed to a potential arsonist on 51's hands. The "arson" word sparked a tense conversation between Severide and Stella, who's still emotionally grappling with Severide going M.I.A. six months ago.

Naturally, Stella wasn't pleased with the idea of Severide throwing himself into an arson case after he ghosted her during the previous one. "If you don't want me to do this, I won't," Severide  said. "We can go back to never talking about arson, pretending everything is normal."

"Don't act like this is some random rule that I laid out, Kelly," Stella said. "I basically had to fly to Alabama, put you in handcuffs, and drag you home. You get so caught up in these arson cases, it's like a drug. I didn't even know where you were on that last case. And it's taken six months for us to even try to build back any kind of real trust."

"You know how sorry I am for that," Severide acknowledged. "But it's not going to happen with this case. I'm here, so are you, we're in it together. I have a gut feeling this could be big, Stella. And a lot of lives could be at stake."

"Go solve it, then," Stella concluded with steely resolve.

RELATED: Stella & Severide Have an Intense Convo in the One Chicago Official Trailer

Severide vs. Van Meter

Taylor Kinney as Kelly Severide having a discussion with Tim Hopper as Van Met

After getting the go-ahead from Stella, Severide visited the Office of Fire Investigation Captain Tom Van Meter (Tim Hopper) to get his thoughts on the similarities between the delivery truck fire and Firehouse 17's kitchen incident. Van Meter agreed to help Severide with the investigation, which led to an exchange about Severide's future in the arson investigation field.

Van Meter was shocked to learn Severide took his name off the national arson investigation list upon returning to Chicago. He reminded Severide that he received a "once in a lifetime" opportunity in Alabama and cautioned him against squandering it.

After reviewing details of the delivery truck fire with Van Meter, Severide's suspicions were confirmed: a serial arsonist was targeting firefighters. 

Severide presented his findings to Firehouse 51, much to Stella's chagrin. Severide deduced that the delivery truck was headed to Firehouse 17 before it was prematurely set ablaze. Severide realized that Firehouse 17's relocation to 51 made them targets for the arsonist, and he instantly alerted Herrmann (David Eigenberg) about it. 

Severide's hunch was proven correct yet again when Herrmann spotted a man fleeing from 51's ambulance after planting a mysterious box. Herrmann was able to heroically remove the explosive from the premises while Boden (Eamonn Walker) apprehended the arsonist. The culprit was ultimately revealed to be a scorned former Firehouse 17 firefighter who sought revenge against the CFD after being terminated.

Stella and Severide attempted to find a resolution

Stella and Kelly on Chicago Fire

Stella couldn't deny Severide's incredible skill in solving the arson case. 

"I am proud of you, you know that?" Stella said.

"That makes me happy," Severide said. "Felt good to be on the arson beat again."

"Yeah, I could tell," Stella said.

RELATED: Stella & Severide's Chicago Fire Reunion Is "Uncomfortable" & "Emotionally-Charged"

"Stella, I do want to keep it in my life somehow," Severide admitted. "Without pushing the two of us apart."

"And I want to be able to just say 'Hell yeah, go for it.'" Stella volleyed. "But it still hurts. That time that you spent away left some pretty deep scars, and this one case isn't going to make all of that just go away."

"I know," Severide agreed.

"No matter how much I love you," Stella added.

Stella and Severide are back in action, but it's clear they still have trust and communication issues to work through in wake of what happened in Season 11. To find out what happens next, watch Chicago Fire Wednesdays at 9/8c on NBC and next day on Peacock.