Chicago Fire Bosses on a 'Big Change' for Casey at Christmas, Going Beyond Gaga for Severide

Chicago Fire - Season 1When a big blaze hits this Wednesday’s Christmas episode of Chicago Fire (NBC, 10/9c), it won’t be the only thing steaming up the firefighter drama. Severide’s new romance with the woman he rescued Renée (guest star Sarah Shahi) moves another rung up the ladder, while Casey, who gets an invite to a fancy party from Dawson, experiences “a big change” in his personal life, tease co-creators Derek Haas and Michael Brandt.

Below, the EPs talk about what’s in store for the holiday outing and the difficulties of topping Lady Gaga (seriously!).

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TVLINE | What’s in store in the Christmas episode? If NBC’s promo is to be believed, it’s a very dramatic one.
MICHAEL BRANDT | [Laughs] That promo definitely is right in terms of the amount of drama that’s in this episode. We have some of the biggest turns in terms of what happens to characters… That promo gives absolutely nothing away. The last two minutes of the episode are really huge. Some really big changes happen.
DEREK HAAS | And I can promise you the fire scene in the episode is the best fire scene we’ve done and certainly one of the best I’ve seen on film. It’s got a unique angle to it. It looks incredible.

TVLINE | Are those last two minutes an action set piece or character-driven?
HAAS | There’s multiple things happening to multiple characters in both action and character. [Laughs]
BRANDT | Characters are making choices that define the action.

TVLINE | Let’s talk about those characters. How will Severide’s relationship develop with Sarah Shahi’s character?
HAAS | Oh, we’re not going to give anything away.
BRANDT | [Laughs] What’s been great to watch for us is, [with] a character like Severide and an actor like Taylor Kinney, there’s so much inner, quiet strength and charisma. It’s hard to create a character for an actress that can match up with that. We’ve never written a character that we’ve tried to pair up with him before. That’s because when we got to know him and see how he acts around women just in general — my God, the guy’s girlfriend is Lady Gaga! So how do you find a female actress who can hold a candle to [Kinney’s charisma]?… It’s finding somebody like Sarah to be able to keep up with him in terms of acting chops and strength.

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TVLINE | What little we’ve seen of her character so far has me wondering: Will she bring out the best or the worst in him?
HAAS | The main idea is, whereas some of the other women in his life have been girls, she’s a woman and is the first one that can go toe-to-toe with him. I won’t tell you which direction that’s going in, but it’s going to be a nice, long arc.

TVLINE | How will Severide’s shoulder and drug problems factor into this episode?
BRANDT | Let’s say that his relationship with [Sarah’s character] and where he’s going with his drug problems is very interconnected.

TVLINE | Is Shay’s job in jeopardy? She did give him her urine sample…
HAAS | Shay is going to have jeopardy because there is some discussion about whether or not drugs have gone missing off of the ambulance, and [Chief] Boden is sniffing around what might have been happening.

TVLINE | Will Shiri Appleby’ character continue to complicate Shay’s life?
HAAS | Yep, she’s going to be back.
BRANDT | The more complicated, the better! [Both laugh]
HAAS | We love her character. We love that [Shay] has an ex-flame who showed up married and pregnant.

Chicago Fire - Season 1TVLINE | Can you talk about Casey and Dawson’s relationship and where it’s headed?
HAAS | They’re going to get closer. Physically closer.

TVLINE | What’s the history there between them?
BRANDT | The history is purely professional, but also they have an obvious attraction between the two of them. Nothing’s ever been consummated in the past. Casey’s always been loyal to Hallie. Now that she is out of the picture for now, there are new opportunities for him to explore other relationships, and Dawson is obviously one of them. It’s all going forward. There’s nothing in the past.

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  1. Sami says:

    I love the drama and the characters on this show! I just hope the writers keep real life fire and paramedic situations in mind! I don’t want to see them being portrayed in a negative way! The rescue situations should be reflected realistically too! I am Hooke on the characters though!

  2. Magically Suspicious says:

    I’m loving this show so much! I like Sarah Shahi and I hope the chemistry between Renee and Severide continues to grow. I see that being a steamy hot relationship to watch develop. And I love Casey, but I didn’t like him with Hallie. I’d love to see him find someone that strips away some of that carefully guarded control. I bet he will be incredibly sexy when he becomes a bit more animalistic. Great show that seems to only be getting better.

  3. Janet Marie says:

    I adore, adore Sarah Shahi, loved Fairly Legal, non, I loved HER in Fairly Legal. She’s stellar, she shines in anything she does. From The L Word to this. I wasn’t overly taken with Kinney at first, but he has grown on me. I love the relationship he has with Shay – but I want just one scene with Shahi walking around scantily glad and Shay giving her that look….. Thank You CF for casting my fave actress of all time.

    • Ava L says:

      Me too! So sad to hear the Fairly Legal was cancelled so it’s nice to see Sarah back on tv. I hope she becomes a regular or recurring character.

      • Nasra says:

        She’s now on Person of Interest, she’s is soo great in it. I think shes better on person of interest then Fairly legal.

  4. Loreen says:

    This Dawson/Casey thing is just horrible and forced… I hope they’re going to end it soon.

    • CJ says:

      I agree. I think she has way more chemistry with the Peter Mills character.

    • Leo says:

      Yeah. I was like, wait you broke up with your fiancee because she didn’t want a kid? I meant were they officially broken up or what? I’m so confused.
      I hope the last 2 minutes
      – Severide got caught using drugs.
      – Casey and Dawson finally do it.
      – Mouch / that funny guy with curly hair who isn’t really that funny died in the fire.
      – Shay murdered her annoying ex.

    • Ericka says:

      I agree 1000%! They have zero Chemistry. I saw sparks with Dawson and Mills very early on. Put the unrequited love she has for Casey in a coffin and bury it.

  5. katrina says:

    So over the drug thing. Get his back / shoulder fixed and move on already!

    • Kate says:

      As far as I know there is no way to just FIX his shoulder and move on …I mean, yeah- they could operate on him but he would be out of the job forever (or did I miss something?), for good and with full payment but he’d be gone…

  6. Ashley says:

    Thank you for the Chicago Fire scoop! So happy to see this show getting more exposure on your site. Cannot wait for tonight’s episode, and love the relationship building between Casey and Dawson!

    • Beth says:

      I agree, I think there is more there than her and Peter Mills. I think she will bring out a more laid back and fun side of him. I like their chemistry more. Plus I just love this show and all it’s characters. I hope this new girl can help Severide with the drug habit as well.

  7. sherknd says:

    Im with Loreen.. Was not looking forward to the obvious pairing of Casey and Dawson. Would much rather see Dawson and Peter Mills.

  8. HeatherC says:

    This show has really grown on me this year. I wasn’t expecting to like it this much but it’s now one of my favorites! I’m excited to see what’s coming up with Casey & Dawson (I like Peter Mills as a character but Dawson is such a strong personality that I think she’d run him over like a freight train whereas Casey can totally handle her, LOL) and I’m really enjoying everyone else’s stories too (Cruz’s brother is an idiot though). Thanks for doing this feature on the show and I’m looking forward to tonight! =)

  9. Ella B. says:

    The amount of money I would bet that at some point Hallie shows up pregnant… which would be fine I’m much more interested in getting Casey out of the picture so we can see more of Dawson and Peter Mills.

  10. wrstlgirl says:

    Casey and Dawson are just blah, don’t care for it.

  11. sarah says:

    I love this show!
    Personally I do not want Casey and Dawson together.
    I do not think Hallie was good for him either but I think Dawson pining for Casey was too much and I think her and Mills have better chemistry.
    Now that Boden knows that there is something off with Kelly then he will be keeping an eye on him. I like the new love interest for Kelly.
    I am looking forward to tonight.

  12. I want Dawson with Mills instead of Casey.

    I love sarah and hope she sticks around.

  13. Louisa says:

    Casey & Dawson would make a great couple!
    Dawson and Mills = NO WAY! He is just a kid and she is too mature for him. Did you forget: his mommy had to come into work when he was “sad” and wanted to quit :P

    • wrstlgirl says:

      Just because his mother came to the firehouse when he was going through a difficult time doesn’t make him immature. Sometimes mothers have a hard time cutting the cord. Dawson’s pinning for Casey makes her seem desperate and he’s on the rebound.

    • Katherine215 says:

      Actually, I kind of think she’s pretty immature, the way she has lost her cool several times and gotten herself into some trouble. Not that she wasn’t correct in those situations, she just didn’t handle them very maturely. But I do like her and prefer he with Peter Mills right now. Casey is kind of a boring character to me.

  14. George says:


  15. Sammy says:

    I also think Mills is way too immature for Dawson. He should get another, younger girlfriend outside of the firehouse. Dawson and Casey fit much better together.

  16. sharie says:

    Prefer Casey and Dawson. Sometimes I feel a lot of people never want to see minority female characters with a Caucasian guy. I always see so much hate at these potential pairings (watches as she will get bulldozed for the slightly non PC comment)

    • Lou says:

      I have no issue with the fact that Dawson is not white! The issue I have is there is no chemistry AND her pining over Casey was pathetic!
      I am sure others based on what the posts say feel the way I do and NOT because she is not white! So I think you have to stop being so sensitive.

      • FRSPE says:

        She is absolutely gorgeous–what does color have to do with anything?? Great show!!

      • Pooh-baa says:

        I totally agree, race has nothing to do with this. There is no chemistry there between Dawson and Casey. Mills may look like a kid but he doesn’t present himself in that way. Believe what you may but he and Dawson have a lot in common and it shows when they are together. The two compliment each others flaws. Casey has so much baggage he needs to clean out his own closet before he can understand himself. He is a nice guy but so confused with his own self right now. Anyway, I love the show and all the characters. Hoping for a long stay with the network.

    • wrstlgirl says:

      I could care less what color people are. Honestly when it comes right down to it, I’d rather not see any kind of pairing inside the firehouse. It won’t end well. But I’m loving that the show is getting this kind of audience attention.

  17. Fran says:

    I like Casey and Dawson getting closer. I think they are cute. Dawson has a big crush on him, so what? I think that’s cute too :) For the Hallie and Casey lover: if she doesn’t want kids it’s fine, that’s obviously her decision alone to make, but she can’t expect that someone like Casey who really wants to have kids will stay with her. No relationship will survive such different life plans. Ever!

  18. Sara says:

    Geez, did all the Casey/Dawson haters decide to bombard this? Fortunately, there are a lot of people out there who like them. They have great chemistry and it’ll be interesting for the writers to explore that relationship more.

    • mellsteele says:

      Casey and Dawsons chemistry is WAY better than with Mills… Mills ans Dawson share a great friendship and only friendship!!

  19. Anne says:

    I like Kelly and Elise (Peter’s sister). They should use her more on the show. She’s the only one that never showed interest in him and he was curious about her.

  20. Cam says:

    Great interview! Thank you, Vlada! Chicago Fire continually gets better each week.

  21. Sara says:

    Casey/Dawson NEEDS to happen. Like yesterday.

  22. Sara says:

    I kind of hate Mills! I find him so annoying.

  23. Giselle says:

    I like the show overall very much, I’m so hooked on it. But we need more steamy scenes with Severide, come on this guy is to die for! I’m so glad they’re developing his character as Severide has inmense charisma and he’s obviously a ladies man, I’d like to see Rene making him fall for her hard. Best couple on the show, so beautiful too.

  24. Anonymous says:


  25. kbunny707 says:

    Casey n Dawson all the way. Peter Mills is just immature and Dawson needs someone like Casey in her life. I hated the fact that Casey let his family situation get in the way of him and Dawson. Now, Dawson did it with Mills and i think Casey is about to find out. What a dumb move Dawson. Casey and Severide are so dayum sexy.

  26. Danielle says:

    The show is still floundering to me. Sometimes it’s OK and sometimes (like last night) it can’t keep my attention. The only characters I find interesting are Casey and Dawson, and after the soap operaish ending last night I think I will PVR the next few eps and watch later. I originally tuned in for the Severide character because I liked him on Vampire Diaries but so far he is my least favourite character and do not find him in the least bit attractive. I think this show has the potential to be good, so I hope the writers get it together! Last nights epp was too predictable. I think the writers think that interrupting conversations with calls every time it gets heavy is the answer but honestly, it’s just annoying. And please, Dawson making out with Mells while Casey calls has been done MANY times before.

  27. Ericka says:

    Casey and Dawson was a bad idea from the start. She has more chemistry with Mouch than with him. I LOVE the pairing of Dawson and Mills! I hope they don’t make it an unnecessary love triangle. Casey had his chance and blew it. I love how she can totally be herself with Mills.He is right for her. She deserves to have somebody that’s into her too.

  28. Elo says:

    Ben honnêtement moi je préfère le couple de Dawson & Casey, c’est plus vrai, ils se connaissent depuis lgtps, ils partagent pleins de trucs (plus qu’avec les autres), ils st jaloux des relations des uns et des autres (dans l’épisode 2 Casey est jaloux que Dawson sorte avec le médecin) et ils ont une relation de confaince, ils sont amis alr que Mills n’est pas là depuis lgtps, il “traine” qqfois avec Dawson mais ss plus .. Le fait que Casey se fasse “désirer” n’est pas forcément une mauvaise chose … Et puis une romance au sein de l’équipe vécue au grand jour, ça pt être intéressant non?

  29. Nasra says:

    Severide and Elise, now that’s a hot couple. I love how unaffected she is of him and how she never throws herself at him. They need to put them together in season 2😍😍😍

  30. Web Videos says:

    Right away I am going away to do my breakfast, once having my breakfast coming yet again to read additional news.