Chicago Fire couple Dawson and Casey are doing things a little out of order: first came love, then came baby (in the baby carriage), and now comes… marriage?
Now that the on- and off-pair is “firmly together” and raising a foster child, “they’re both definitely interested” in making their new little family official, executive producer Michael Brandt tells TVLine. But it remains to be seen whether an upcoming visit from Dawson’s parents will push the twosome down the aisle, or send them running away from it.
Below, Brandt previews Severide and Stella’s romantic status, Jimmy and Boden’s “ugly” battle, and Brett and Mouch’s “steamy” partnership in Season 5 (premiering this Tuesday at 10/9c on NBC).
TVLINE | Where are we going to find Dawson and Casey’s relationship when Season 5 picks up?
Casey made a big decision to go back to Dawson at the end of [last] season. We were happy that we finally gave [viewers] a happy ending for one of the seasons. They’re firmly together, but they have decisions to make. They have a foster child; that’s not permanent. They’re not married, and you can’t be ‘on truck’ together if you’re married. So they have a lot of things to work out. Their relationship seems to have hit every possible bump in the road — and there are definitely a few more coming — but Casey and Dawson are firmly a couple. We will now explore, for two people who run into burning buildings, how do they handle raising a child?
TVLINE | Is marriage something that they’re interested in? Are they discussing it?
They’re both definitely interested. They’re also both definitely wary of it. We’re going to meet Dawson’s parents, and we’re going to see what their example of marriage is and how that has affected Dawson over the years. It’s going to have a profound effect on Casey and Dawson, too, as we get near the end of the first half of the season.
TVLINE | Are there any more challenges or storylines for Casey as an alderman?
He’s still an alderman, but we played quite a few alderman stories last year. We’re not out to make a political show. We’re not out to make Boss. So while Casey is an alderman and it will factor in the story as need be, there are no big arcs planned for the first half of the season.
TVLINE | Moving on to Severide and Stella, what can you say about the future of their relationship?
Severide is always going to be Severide. And we love Kidd as a character. And we love what Miranda [Rae Mayo] does as an actress. But for us, them doing the dance of, “Should we or shouldn’t we be together?” is more interesting than them as a couple. But they do have good chemistry. And, over the years, we’ve found it’s really hard to find [female] characters who have good chemistry with Severide because he is such a removed, kind of cool cat. But Stella does bring it. So we really like the idea of the two of them. It’s something that we will play with, but it’s not something that’s permanent in the near future.
TVLINE | There’s a new friend coming in for Severide (played by Grey’s Anatomy‘s Scott Elrod). Is he going to lead him down a bad path?
Yeah. He’s a charismatic, fun-loving Internet star who throws great parties and gets paid to do it, and Severide and he become buddies in the first episode. He’s the devil on his shoulder, and it’s something that Severide has to wrestle with, because he, certainly, is prone to making bad decisions socially in his own life. So it’ll be a fun three or four episodes.
TVLINE | One of the big cliffhangers from last season was the Boden vs. Jimmy battle. How ugly is that going to get?
It gets about as ugly as it can get. Jimmy passionately and emotionally feels that Boden was responsible for the death of his brother. Boden knows he did the right thing, and neither one is willing to give in. The two of them take it to the extreme, and it all plays out in the first couple of episodes and does not end happily.
TVLINE | If someone has to leave the firehouse, does that mean they’re just leaving the firehouse, or do they also have to leave the show?
Well, we don’t have a lot of characters who aren’t in the firehouse on the show, so… You can extrapolate that however you want.
TVLINE | There’s a cross-show romance next season between Sylvie Brett and Chicago P.D.‘s Antonio. How does that play out on the Fire side?
Antonio and Brett are both such nice people. Their characters are very wholesome, in a way. Even though Antonio has been through some rough times, he’s always tried to do the right thing, as does Brett. So it’s an interesting pairing that can bring out the fun side of each character. Dawson being caught in the middle of the two of them is also a fun thing for us to play.
TVLINE | What about the other firefighters, like Herrmann and Mouch? Are there any big storylines coming up for them?
Brett’s going to find out that Mouch has been under a pseudonym, writing romance novels specifically set in Firehouse 51. He barely changes the names as he tells the hot and steamy stories of the house on a blog. Brett sniffs this out, blackmails him into taking her on as his partner, and the two of them embark on a co-authorship of writing these steamy romance novels. [Laughs] You can imagine the two of them together, trying to come up with real hot and steamy dialogue. It’s pretty funny. It’s a great duo. And then Trudy Platt, who’s unaware of his pseudonym and his alternative career, finds out about it. You can imagine how Platt feels about him writing sex novels with a hot blonde.