The lives of many members of Firehouse 51 are on the line when Chicago Fire returns for season 8 and one of them may not survive the horrific mattress fire. “One of our principal cast members for the first seven seasons is involved, but there’s also an injury to a main cast member and several other people who were involved in the fire,” Showrunner Derek Haas told HollywoodLife. “Ramifications of this tragic event will be spread out over the whole season, really.” The Chicago Fire crew faces life-or-death situations every day but the fallout of this tragedy isn’t going to be felt in just one episode. This time, things are different.
“We’ve done it where our team faces a tragic event, and they have to deal with it as a group almost. And this time we wanted to do it where we see the ramifications of this major tragedy,” Derek continued. “How does each one individually take on the burden of what happened? It will have an impact on everyone, but it affects everyone differently. Sometimes a season will start and you cap off whatever was happening in the previous season, and then you just kick off your new season like it didn’t happen, almost resetting the show. We didn’t want to do that. We wanted to treat this like the way it really would affect people. It takes time to get over these things.”
On a lighter note, Stella and Severide are going to be in a good place in season 8 after last season’s major obstacles. “Severide and Kidd are going to be great,” Derek teased. “Severide’s definitely going to fulfill his wishes to be a better boyfriend to her. You’re going to see more of that. But at the same time there’s going to be some outside pressures and forces that are going to be on both of them.”
Big changes are ahead for Brett as well after accepting Kyle’s proposal. “That was a definite choice and a determination to not reset that story,” Derek said. “He proposed at the end of the finale and she accepted. I think a lot of shows and a lot of viewers of TV will think that we’re going to just reset that immediately, based on the events that happened at the fire. We, as a writers room, we’re like, ‘No, let’s see what happens.’ She’s moved. She moved to Indiana like she said she was going to, with her fiance. You’ll see that play out over the first part of the season.”
Alberto Rosende, best known for his role on Shadowhunters, is joining the show for season 8. Derek raved that the writers are “so excited” to have him on board. He also teased Alberto’s character, Blake Gallo: “He’s a bit of a diamond in the rough. He is waiting to explode on any call that they’re on. He’s waiting to jump in and willing to risk his own life to save Chicagoans. We just wanted to play him as you can see what his career trajectory could be if he has the right mentors in place. It’s Casey who looks at him. The name of the second episode is ‘A Real Shot in the Arm.’ This is a chance, on the heels of what happens in episode 1, to have a real energy brought to the firehouse that Casey recognizes and goes to bat for.” Chicago Fire airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC.