NBC Insider Exclusive

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive show news, updates, and more!

Sign Up For Free to View
NBC Insider One Chicago

Where Did Severide Go on Chicago Fire?

The character was off sharpening his arson investigation skills — but he's back at 51 now. 

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

Fans remember that Chicago Fire Season 11, Episode 14 ended on a mysterious note. Severide (Taylor Kinney) entered Molly's, sat at the bar, and a concerned-looking Stella (Miranda Rae Mayo) came up to him. 

How to Watch

Watch Chicago Fire on NBC and Peacock.

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

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

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

Where did Severide go on Chicago Fire?

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

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

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

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

"Well, to be fair, Severide could've said no," Van Meter said. "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 replied.  

"It doesn't mean [Severide's] planning to transfer to OFI," Van Meter said. "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 said. 

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

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

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

Chicago Fire Kelly Severide And The Other Firefighters

"No, I'm pretty sure [he's not]," the chief replied. "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 told Stella this at the end of the episode, she had no idea what he was talking about. 

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

"What...change of plans?" Stella replied, 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 said, to which Stella incredulously replied, "What are you talking about, Cruz?" 

Chicago Fire Joe Cruz Severide

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

In Season 11, Episode 22, Stella called 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 told 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.

And that's exactly what she did. In Season 12, which kicks off with a six-month time jump, we find Severide back at 51 with Stella. However, the couple is working through trust issues stemming from Severide going M.I.A. in Season 11.  

"I think she has a lot of feelings about him just kind of leaving her in the dark, and he feels really passionately about something [arson investigation], so we'll see what happens," Miranda Rae Mayo told NBC Insider

She continued, "Ultimately, these two characters are crazy about each other, they love each other. I think that they both are committed to doing everything they can to make it work."

Originally published May 18, 2023.