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Where Did Severide Go on Chicago Fire?

The character has been off sharpening his arson investigation skills — but we just got an interesting update. 

By Christopher Rosa
Severide Consoles Mikami | NBC’s Chicago Fire

Chicago Fire Season 11, Episode 14 ends on a mysterious note. Severide (Taylor Kinney) enters Molly's, sits at the bar, and a concerned-looking Stella (Miranda Rae Mayo) comes up to him. 

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"Hey, I got your message about Van Meter (Tim Hopper)," she says. "What's going on?" 

To this, Severide silently hands over his phone to Stella so she can read a message. "Wow," she says. "What are you gonna do?" 

The credits start rolling before Severide can speak — but in Season 11, Episode 15 (which aired March 1), we get some answers. Read on. 

Where did Severide go on Chicago Fire?

Severide is absent in Chicago Fire Season 11, Episode 15 onward, and the reason has to do with one of his career passions: arson investigation. Remember that text from Van Meter in Episode 14? Well, if you forget, he's the CFD's Office of Fire Investigation captain — and that message to Severide was actually an invitation. 

Van Meter stops by Boden's (Eamonn Walker) office to give details. 

"I just wanted to explain in person," Van Meter tells Boden. 

"What? Why you took my squad lieutenant out of commission on a day's notice?" Boden responds, clearly frustrated. 

"Well, to be fair, Severide could've said no," Van Meter says. "But this is the best arson investigation training program in the world, Wallace. Hands down. A last-minute opening like this? It's the opportunity of a lifetime for Severide. After seeing him hunt down that E.V. charger, I couldn't think of a better man to recommend for the spot. I hope you can understand."

Taylor Kinney as Kelly Severide in 'Chicago Fire'

"Oh, I understand what's in it for you," Boden replies. 

"It doesn't mean [Severide's] planning to transfer to OFI," Van Meter says. "I know it'll be a burden on this house for a while. But the expertise Severide will bring back here to 51 will benefit the whole department." 

"You know that's the only reason why I'm going along with this," Boden says. 

There you have it, folks. Severide's off sharpening his fire investigation skills. And while he's missed by 51, Van Meter is right: This was an opportunity Severide just couldn't pass up. 

That said, we get an interesting update about Severide's whereabouts in Season 11, Episode 21 (which aired May 17). Joe Cruz (Joe Minoso) receives a visit from a fire chief who compliments him on a good job serving as Squad 3's acting lieutenant. That's when they have a troubling conversation. 

"I'm just holding down the fort while Severide's in Alabama," Joe tells the chief, to which he replies, "He's not in Alabama anymore. His training session ended." 

"No, no," Joe says. "He's still there."

Chicago Fire Kelly Severide And The Other Firefighters

"No, I'm pretty sure [he's not]," the chief replies. "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 a big investigation. I'm not sure where, though." 

And here's the kicker: When Joe tells Stella this at the end of the episode, she has no idea what he's talking about. 

"As the acting lieutenant on the squad, it would've been nice to know about [Severide's] change of plans," Joe tells Stella. 

"What...change of plans?" Stella replies, genuinely confused. 

"You know, the fact that he's wrapped up this thing in Alabama and now he's on some ATF investigation, I don't even know where?" Joe says, to which Stella incredulously replies, "What are you talking about, Cruz?" 

Chicago Fire Joe Cruz Severide

So, where is Severide? And why doesn't Stella even know?

In Season 11, Episode 22, Stella calls Severide to get to the bottom of things, and he’s vague about what he’s doing. He doesn’t offer any specifics and instead simply tells her not to worry. But that’s not enough for Stella. Episode 22 ends with her leaving Firehouse 51 for a few shifts. She’s going to find Severide and bring him back to Chicago…but will she be successful? We’ll have to wait until Season 12 premieres in fall 2024 to find out.