“We thought a perfect character-based crossover would be Severide looking like he had committed vehicular homicide, and Lindsay being the one that has to come and arrest him, and all the ramifications of that,” Fire executive producer Derek Haas previews.
The idea for the special event originally started out as an episode of P.D. “We had this really great script about… high-end car-theft rings,” P.D. EP Matt Olmstead shares. “It was right there; it was all good. We were just looking for that personal connection.”
And they found it in the rescue squad lieutenant. “When we read that [script], we thought, ‘Oh, what if we had Severide drinking because of the complications to Anna, the girl lying in the hospital bed?” Haas describes. Combine intoxication with a somewhat checkered past, and Severide is looking awfully guilty of driving under the influence.
The firefighter was also an ideal crossover candidate because “we knew that we hadn’t overused that character too much on P.D.” Olmstead says. “He hadn’t really been around since that romance with Lindsay” several seasons ago.
Plus, the exes’ relationship history “actually gave even more momentum” to the storyline “because [Lindsay] would have an emotional investment to seeing him,” Olmstead continues. “It really helped us out, because not only is Voight kind of keeping an eye on her, and aware of the fact they used to date, but he’s also smartly bringing her into it and letting her use that, because it’s keeping Severide talking.”
Then there’s Lindsay’s current boyfriend, Halstead, who is “a little quick to think that Severide is guilty [because of] the fact that this guy used to sleep with his girlfriend, and he isn’t really realizing he’s doing it till down the road,” Olmstead previews. “So it really destabilizes everyone, but not Voight, who is using all of these emotions and relationships to get to the bottom of what happened, essentially.”
Considering all the complex dynamics at play, Haas sums up the Severide-focused arc as “fraught with drama” and “juicy” in its exploration of whether Lindsay is “giving favorable treatment to [someone] who could be a murderer simply because she used to go out with him.”