It's no secret that the cast of Chicago Fire has had some shake-ups. Captain Matthew Casey (Jesse Spencer) left fans stunned when he decided to accept a position in Oregon during the show's milestone 200th episode. Combine that loss with the recent news that Taylor Kinney--the actor who portrays Lieutenant Kelly Severide--is taking a temporary leave of absence from filming season eleven, and it's no surprise that fans are worried about another beloved character making an exit.
This time, the speculation surrounds Stella Kidd (Miranda Rae Mayo).
After eight seasons on the show and some seriously close calls, some viewers are concerned that Kidd's character could be on her way out of Firehouse 51. While no official announcements or even strong hints have been made, some of Kidd's recent storylines could point toward a potential exit.
So, is Stella Kidd leaving Chicago Fire? Let's take a look at the evidence.
Why Was Stella Not On 'Chicago Fire'?
As a Firehouse 51 Lieutenant and wife of show frontrunner and fellow Lieutenant Kelly Severide, it did not go unnoticed when Kidd was M.I.A. for most of Season 10. While the character may have been battling some ups and downs in her career, fans breathed a big sigh of relief when she surprised Severide during the winter finale. Back in December 2022, creator Derek Haas confirmed that Kidd would be back in full force for Season 11.
"Yes, she's back for good, but she has a lot of explaining to do," he told TVLINE, adding, "The next batch of episodes, certainly, the driving force of them will be Stella Kidd's return to Firehouse 51 and all the offshoots of that."
After officially returning to the firehouse during the premiere of Season 11, it looked like the seasoned firefighter was here to stay. But a grenade explosion that nearly killed her and resulted in a deep shrapnel wound put fans on the edge of their seats once again. Even though in more recent episodes, she mentions that she can't stop thinking about the incident, she seems to have made a full recovery -- with no indication that this could be her last call.
Are Severide And Kidd Still Together?
Tumultuous relationships are a common theme in Chicago Fire -- and just part of the job. Unfortunately, everyone's favorite newlywed couple, Severide and Kidd, are no exception.
The latest episode, "How Does It End?" sparked a bit of controversy when the couple disagreed over a situation they worked together in the field, and Kidd suggested that they start working separately. Couple this with Severide's upcoming absence from the show, and fans are beginning to wonder if they're heading for an even bigger blowout.
Creator Andrea Newman recently told NBC that the couple isn't out of the woods just yet. "In the next couple of episodes, the strength of their relationship will be tested as a revelation about Kidd's past in the CFD comes to light," she said. "Severide and Kidd are about as in love as two people can be, but that doesn't mean there won't be bumps and challenges. Especially because they work together in such a high-pressure environment."
Of course, it's unclear if Severide's hiatus will alter the narrative and ultimately have an effect on the couple's future.
Not Ready To Say Goodbye
For now, it appears that Chicago Fire fans don't need to worry too much about a potential exit for Kidd's character. Despite some ups and downs with her relationship and career, the actress who plays her hopes she's not going anywhere.
"I'm not ready [to say goodbye to Kidd]," Miranda Rae Mayo told Entertainment Weekly, adding that change is just the nature of Hollywood. "There's just a part of this industry, though, that I think it's healthy and good to practice detachment by really embracing the impermanent nature of life. And how everything changes and everything grows.
"So, no matter what happens, this has been one of the most transformational experiences of my life. But, you know, you always gotta be ready for what might happen."
If Mayo was to leave Firehouse 51, she would leave with nothing but loving words for her character: "Dear Stella, it has been magnificent watching you discover your power and the effect that you have on people. The love that you are capable of and the magic that you are. You have forever changed me and my life will never be the same because of you and all that you've brought out in me. I love you and I'm going to carry you with me wherever I go."
A Murky Future
The second half of Season 11 will, without a doubt, be full of surprises, especially for the beloved character of Stella Kidd. Whatever lies in store for the Lieutenant--whether it's her relationship with Severide, a new career path, or a surprise exit--we'll have to wait and see what the future holds for her at Firehouse 51.
New episodes of Chicago Fire start on Wednesday, Feb. 15, on NBC.
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