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What Happened to Kelly Severide on Chicago Fire? The OG Returned to Firehouse 51
The One Chicago fan favorite has been a certified scene-stealer since Season 1.
Severide has been stealing Chi-Hard's hearts since the 2011 series premiere. An exceptionally skilled and empathetic lieutenant, it feels like he had been constantly throwing himself in the line of fire to help both civilians and his Firehouse 51 colleagues. Severide has also been the star of several swoon-worthy romances as One Chicago's bona fide heartthrob.
But after a bit of a Season 11 cliffhanger for his character, fans have been wondering what Season 12 will bring for the firefighter — and his relationship with his wife, Stella Kidd (Miranda Rae Mayo).
Did Kelly Severide come back to Chicago Fire in Season 12?
The Season 12 Chicago Fire trailer, heralding the return of One Chicago Wednesdays, first confirmed Severide's return to the Windy City.
The Season 12 premiere ("Barely Gone"), began with Severide and Stella sharing a steamy shower, but it quickly became apparent that Stellaride's marriage was going through a rough patch.
Stella made it perfectly clear to Severide that trusting him is difficult after he disappeared on her the way he did, expressing concern over Severide's obsessive behavior surrounding arson cases. She was then downright disappointed when Severide found himself on the arson beat again during the episode.
The couple have some difficult conversations on the horizon, but its refreshing to see the love between the two firefighters hasn't dimmed in the slightest.
Severide's character has been such a staple of the series for more a decade of action-packed episodes. In honor of Severide's return, look back at how he established himself as more than just a great firefighter. His journey starting in Season 1 helped him grow as a son, develop as a brother, find (and finally keep) true love, and be a genuine, important friend to many of his colleagues.
Relive the entirety of his past on the show below.
Kelly Severide in Season 1 of Chicago Fire
Severide in Season 1 of Chicago Fire was a completely different person than today: He was a womanizer, emotionally unreliable, and just beginning to learn what kind of man he wanted to be. The series kicked off with Severide and his Firehouse 51 friend Matthew Casey (Jesse Spencer) struggling to cope with the recent death of their friend while on duty. Both firefighters blamed the other for their role in their fallen colleague's death. Luckily, Severide and Casey were able to rectify their differences and come out stronger in the end.
Another major support system for Severide at the time was his roommate and Firehouse 51 paramedic, Leslie Shay (Lauren German). Leslie and Severide's beer-fueled hangouts and trips to One Chicago watering hole Molly's led to some of Severide's most vulnerable moments.
Toward the end of Season 1, Severide also reconnected with his father, Benny Severide — a Firehouse 51 veteran before he left to transfer to CFD's arson investigation department. Having served together as firefighters, Boden was keen to catch up with Benny.
Severide, on the other hand, was disappointed to see his estranged father, who'd been absent his life, so he wasn't excited to spend any time with the man.
Kelly Severide's Half-Sister, Katie Nolan
By Season 2 of Chicago Fire, Benny was taking up more and more space in Severide's life. However, in Episode 5 ("A Power Move"), Severide witnessed his dad embracing a young woman and was annoyed, instantly assuming that the womanizing Benny was cheating on his current wife.
In Episode 7 ("No Regrets"), Severide paid a visit to the young woman he saw Benny with, and made a discovery that left him gobsmacked: The woman, Katie Nolan (Brittany Curran), wasn't Benny's mistress but his daughter. In the same episode, Severide confronted his father about Katie, unveiling a long-overdue list of disappointments his father has bestowed upon him growing up. Benny didn't fight back. Instead, he admitted he knew that he'd let Severide and Katie down growing up and apologized for his neglectful parenting. The apology was long overdue and concluded with Benny insisting that Severide get to know his sister, Katie.
Initially, Katie had major hold-ups about spending time with Severide. In Episode 8 ("Rhymes with Shout"), Severide expressed interest in connecting, but Katie shrugged him off, fearing he'd abandon her just as Benny had. As Severide began to leave, he told her that he was nothing like their father.
In Episode 9 ("You Will Hurt Him"), Severide went above and beyond to show Katie how much he wished to be a part of her life. He was the sole attendee of her graduation from culinary school and even threw her a graduation party. They continued to build their bond throughout the season, growing even closer after Severide rescued her from a harrowing kidnapping.
Leslie Shay's death rocked Kelly Severide
Tragedy struck Severide and his colleagues in the Season 2 finale: While on call at a blazing building fire, Severide's best friend, Shay, and her partner Gabby Dawson (Monica Raymund) were working to help a civilian when an explosion went off. Shay suffered from a severe head injury as a result, falling to the ground unconscious. In a moment of sheer panic, Severide and Gabby tearfully attempted to revive their friend.
Picking up six weeks after the devastating building fire, Season 3 of Chicago Fire began on a somber note as the audience learned that Shay hadn't survived. Firehouse 51 struggled to move on from the tragic death — Gabby and Severide more than most.
Kelly Severide's Marriage to Brittany Baker
Severide took Shay's death the hardest, experiencing several flashbacks to their good times in their apartment. Hiding in his father's old cabin in the woods, he began drinking to cope with the pain of losing Shay.
At one point, Severide took his drunken grieving to Las Vegas, where he met Brittany Baker (Serinda Swan). Upon returning to Firehouse 51 uncharacteristically bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, his friends were shocked to learn he married Brittany in Vegas. The pair quickly called their marriage off after agreeing to deal with their actual issues rather than distracting themselves with a half-baked union.
Slowly but surely, Severide started to process the pain of losing Shay, taking solace in his Firehouse 51 best friends.
Kelly Severide's Brief Demotion
After the CFD took notice of the large number of dismissals and resignations from Firehouse 51 within the past few years, Severide found his Lieutenant status threatened. Boden did everything he could to maintain Severide's position at Firehouse 51, but ultimately had to concede to a temporary demotion.
Severide didn't have the best of times during that period, and he especially struggled when receiving orders from the interim Lieutenant, Dallas Patterson — at one point even getting suspended after threatening to beat Dallas up. Severide's tailspin was thankfully halted upon realizing Dallas had no ill intent for Firehouse 51.
He earned his lieutenant title back in Episode 9 ("Short and Fat").
When did Kelly Severide and Stella Kidd begin dating?
Season 4 marked the introduction of the passionate Stella Kidd to Chicago Fire. Seasons later, she would become Severide's wife and overall ride-or-die. At the time, though, Stella was dealing with her recent divorce from her ex-husband Grant, a struggling addict.
The two had an instant flirtation, but Severide didn't make his move until Episode 21 ("Kind of a Crazy Idea"), when he kissed Stella at Molly's.
In the Season 4 finale, Severide and Stella took their budding romance to the next level by hooking up at her apartment. The romance was instantly ruined for viewers, who could see that, unbeknownst to the couple, Grant had broken into Stella's home and was watching the lovers from the closet while holding a knife.
In the Season 5 premiere, Grant attacked Stella outside of Molly's over her romance with Severide — who naturally saved the day. Stella, however, refused to press charges, instead insisting that her ex go to rehab. Her decision ended the budding Stellaride romance (temporarily, at least).
Kelly Severide's Relationship with Anna Turner
Severide then embarked on a romance with Anna Turner (Charlotte Sullivan) in Season 5. After Severide reconnected with his firefighter-buddy-turned-doctor Jeff Clarke, he was asked to enroll on the bone marrow registry in Episode 8 ("One Hundred"). Severide agreed — a life-altering choice that led him to meet a bone marrow recipient, Anna.
Severide learned Anna was fighting leukemia and she'd previously struggled to find a bone marrow match. Severide, however, proved to be a perfect match in more ways than one: After receiving Severide's donation, she both seemed to make significant progress and the two fell in love, ultimately dating throughout the season.
Much to Severide's devastation, his relationship with Anna was cut short after her condition quickly took a downward turn. Severide stuck by Anna's side in the hospital until she ultimately succumbed to her illness.
When did Kelly Severide and Stella Kidd get back together?
In Season 6, the sizzling chemistry between Severide and Stella became even more apparent after she was kicked out of her apartment building and he allowed her to crash at his place.
The roommates constantly struggled to dampen their attraction for each other — and ultimately, Stella swooped in for a drunk kiss in Episode 6 ("Down Is Better"). Severide stopped her before she could land the smooch, gently telling her, "Not like this."
Stella and Severide didn't last long as just friends before they cast aside their doubts. In Season 6, Episode 15 ("The Chance to Forgive"), Stella and Severide agreed they were firmly dating, which complicated their "totally blasé" roommate agreement. Stella decided to move out to allow their relationship room to grow.
In the Season 6 finale, Stellaride fans finally saw Severide call Stella his girlfriend.
When did Benny Severide die?
In Season 7, Episode 6 ("All The Proof"), Severide's father Benny suddenly died after suffering from a stroke.
His death blindsided everyone — most of all Severide, who'd always struggled to connect with his father. Severide, however, delivered a heart-wrenching eulogy at Benny's funeral, not leaving a single dry eye in the room.
Kelly Severide and Stella Kidd broke up and got back together — again
Severide's grief over his father's death led him to created distance with Stella in Season 7 and, after being effectively shut out of his life, she decided to end the relationship, initially catapulting Severide into further turmoil.
He then spent significant time working on himself, assessing his tumultuous relationship with his father and his tendency to run from those he loves the most. Severide's quest for self-actualization culminated in a visit to his father's old cabin in the woods. After missing a few shifts at the firehouse, Stella suspected Severide had gone to Benny's cabin and visited him to make sure he was okay.
Upon arriving, Severide confessed to Stella that he understood why she'd broken up with him because she deserves a better man. He then revealed that he intended to do whatever it took to become that better man, leading to an emotional reunion.
When did Kelly Severide and Stella Kidd move in together?
One of the best developments from Severide's emotional growth on Chicago Fire was his slow-burn romance with Stella becoming a bona fide relationship.
In Season 8, Episode 12 ("Then Nick Porter Happened"), Stella finally moved back in with Severide, and fans finally got to see the two kick back and relax within their relationship rather constantly snuff out fires in it.
When did Kelly Severide and Stella Kidd get married?
In Season 9, Episode 15 ("A White-Knuckle Panic"), the two took their relationship to the next level when Severide proposed to Stella in the midst of addressing a life-threatening building fire.
“I don’t want you to ever leave me," Severide confessed before popping the question. "Stella Kidd, will you marry me?”
“Hell yeah," she said.
Stella experienced some natural engagement jitters in Season 10 of Chicago Fire, even taking some time away from the firehouse. Severide was concerned about why she was so distant, but soon enough, Stella came clean about her anxieties and the two learned how to better communicate from the experience.
Surrounded by all of their Firehouse 51 loved ones, Stellaride got married in the Season 10 finale.
What happened to Kelly Severide in Season 11 of Chicago Fire?
In Season 11, Severide took a time-out from Chicago, leaving his friends, colleagues, and even his wife guessing about what might have happened to him.
After Severide's interest in arson investigation was sufficiently sparked in Season 11 of Chicago Fire, he received a call from the CFD's Office of Fire Investigation Captain, Tom Van Meter (Tim Hopper). In Season 11, Episode 14 ("Run Like Hell"), fans learned Severide had received an invitation to “the best arson investigation training program in the world" — which sadly happened to be located in Alabama.
Giving Battalion Chief Wallace Boden (Eamonn Walker) just one day's notice, Severide left to pursue his passions in arson investigation, bidding farewell to his wife, Stella Kidd — who supported his career but missed him dearly.
In Season 11, Episode 21 (“Change of Plans”), Joe Cruz (Joe Minoso) discovered that, despite Severide's continued absence, he was no longer at the arson investigation program in Alabama. Instead, he'd been drafted for an ATF investigation in an undisclosed location... but had disclosed none of that to his wife, Stella.
After getting vague answers from Severide about his whereabouts and gaining no clarity on his future in Chicago, Stella decided to take matters into her own hands in the Season 11 finale.
"I am taking the next few shifts off," Stella told Sam Carver (Jake Lockett) while swiftly packing her bags. "I'm going to get my husband and bring him back to Chicago."
Originally published Nov 23, 2023.