Severide’s Exit Looks A Lot More Likely After Chicago Fire Season 12, Episode 1

Warning! Spoilers ahead for the Chicago Fire season 12 premiere.


  • Kelly Severide’s return to Firehouse 51 in Chicago Fire season 12 hints at his potential departure from the show. His fractured marriage with Stella Kidd adds to the uncertainty.
  • Severide prioritizes being an arson cop over his marriage, causing tension between him and Kidd. He fails to fully make up for past mistakes and seeks a middle ground.
  • While there is no official word on Taylor Kinney leaving the show, his storyline suggests a potential departure. Losing one of the show’s main faces would be a blow to the franchise.

Chicago Fire season 12 has just made theories about Kelly Severide’s departure from Firehouse 51 more likely. A year after Taylor Kinney’s request for personal time off from One Chicago, he is returning to One Chicago to reclaim his place in Chief Boden’s team. Severide’s comeback didn’t come easy, however, as confirmed by his wife, Stella Kidd, in the Chicago Fire season 12 premiere, “Barely Gone.” Six months after she abruptly took the next few shifts off to bring her wandering husband home, they continue to struggle to repair their fractured marriage. Whether they survive this crisis is uncertain.

Details regarding Kinney’s unexpected leave aside from saying that it’s due to a family matter have been scant. The lack of any official update has been a source of concern, however, considering that it may just be a set-up for his potential departure from the show. Narratively, it was revealed that Severide was sent to an OFI training camp at the last minute; it was a solid excuse, considering his penchant for arson. However, he crossed a line when he failed to communicate with his wife, prompting Kidd to pick him up herself in the Chicago Fire season 11 finale.


Chicago Fire Season 12: Release Date, Cast, Story & Everything We Know

Launching the popular One Chicago franchise, Chicago Fire has already enjoyed 11 seasons on the air, and here’s everything we know about season 12.

Kelly Severide Continues To Prioritize Arson Over His Marriage

Taylor Kinney as Kelly Severide in an intense conversation in Chicago Fire season 12

In his first shift back on the screen, Severide becomes enamored with the idea that the case that they responded to may be an arson. Granted that he eventually learns that it is indeed a ploy to target another firehouse, but the way he handled the whole scenario is odd for a man who supposedly wants to make amends with his wife for prioritizing being a fire cop over their marriage. “Barely Gone” begins with a clear tension between them, and Severide continuously choosing to be an OFI moonlighter over his wife doesn’t help with that.

It’s worth noting that Kidd was quite supportive of him attending the OFI camp in Chicago Fire season 11. The problem came in when he failed to communicate his plans about extending and even transferring to an entirely different state to pursue the endeavor. Kidd says it in this episode: being an arson cop is like a drug for him. In the end, Severide insists that wants to find a middle ground where he can still be a fire cop and a good husband, not realizing that he hasn’t fully made up for his past transgressions.

Will Kelly Severide Leave Chicago Fire Season 12?

Taylor Kinney as Kelly Severide looking over his shoulder and wearing a beanie in Chicago Fire

To clarify, there hasn’t been any official word on Kinney leaving Chicago Fire season 12. However, just like how his absence was handled in season 11, it seems like his storyline is setting up his eventual departure from the franchise, especially if he and Kidd can’t find a compromise. Given all the One Chicago exits, however, it would be a big blow to the franchise to lose one of its faces. Co-showrunner Andrea Newman claims that he will be at the center of the show’s storytelling, but there’s no guarantee that it will continue to the potential season 13.

Chicago Fire season 12 airs every Wednesday on NBC.

Chicago Fire Movie Poster

Chicago Fire

Part of executive producer Dick Wolfe’s Chicago franchise, a series of TV shows exploring the lives and careers of different public service employees in Chicago, Illinois, Chicago Fire follows the members of the fictional Firehouse 51. The series focuses on Firehouse 51’s firefighters and paramedic teams, with an ensemble cast that includes Jesse Spencer, Taylor Kinney, Monica Raymund, and Eamonn Walker. 

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