'Chicago Fire' Boss Talks Finale Cliffhanger, "Family Conflicts" in Season 6

Chicago Fire Still Monica Raymund - Publicity - H 2017
Courtesy of NBC

[Warning: This story contains spoilers from Tuesday's Chicago Fire season five finale, "My Miracle."]

The firefighters at Firehouse 51 are constantly put into life-or-death situations on Chicago Fire. However, that fact became startlingly clear in the final moments of the season five finale, in which the lives of both Casey (Jesse Spencer) and Mouch (Christian Stolte) were put in jeopardy during a particularly dangerous factory fire.

The episode ended specifically with Casey, stuck in the burning building, taking off his mask and telling Dawson (Monica Raymund), "I love you." Meanwhile, Mouch was nearby, nearly passed out on the floor of the factory.

The shocking cliffhanger followed tension for Casey and Dawson, who fought about her father's extended stay at their apartment. While for Mouch, it came in the wake of his deciding to retire and leave the firefighter life behind altogether for a more stable, and safer, profession.

The finale capped off an emotional season in which Casey and Dawson finally tied the knot and in which ladies man Severide (Taylor Kinney) finally settled down, only to have his girlfriend, Anna (Charlotte Sullivan) pass away.

To discuss the finale cliffhanger and what's ahead in season six, THR spoke with Chicago Fire co-creator and showrunner Derek Haas. (Editor's note: This interview took place before the departure of co-creator and co-showrunner Michael Brandt.)

Why did you want the finale on this note?

It had been a while since we did a finale that centered on a call. Every now and then we have to remind the audience that our show’s name is Chicago Fire.

How soon after the events of the finale will the premiere pick up?


What would you say is the theme going into season six?

The overall theme of every season has been "family." I think this next season will focus on some internal firehouse family conflicts.

What can you say about the tension between Casey and Dawson that was introduced in the finale?

It felt like new marriage tension. I think most people can relate to tension between their significant others and their parents. A molehill more than a mountain, though.  

What is ahead for them in season six, should Casey survive? 

We haven’t started to break season six yet, so all I can say is new adventures.

They briefly adopted Louie before he went back to his original family. What discussions will they have about growing their family in season six?

I'm not sure we will go that direction yet. It was a big part of season five and we're always looking to explore new territory. That said, you never know.

Mouch made a huge decision about his future in this episode. What can you say about his future should he survive the fire?

Well, we left Mouch in a very dire situation at the end of the season.  His fate is in jeopardy and we will have to see what the premiere episode of season six brings.

Severide went to work right after Anna's death. Why did you take that course of action rather than having him grieve or time-jump ahead in the story?

We thought it would be interesting to have Severide and the new character Kannell bond during the final two episodes as they're dealing with grief in their own ways. Also, because of the timing of Anna's death relative to the end of the season, it would be difficult story-wise to have a time jump.

What are the chances for him and Stella (Miranda Rae Mayo)?

I think he and Stella will get closer in season six, but not the way people might think.

What do you think the character of Kannell (Kamal Angelo Bolden) added to the dynamic and the ensemble at the end of season five? Do you see him returning in season six? Why or why not?

I thought Kannell brought a nice energy to the end of the season. I would love to explore more of his character in season six but again, we just haven't broken the stories yet.

Will you be adding any other new characters at the beginning of season six?

I don't think we will have any new cast additions to season six. Some of those additions just naturally emerge as the storytelling crystallizes.  

What else can you say you're looking forward to in season six?

I’m looking forward to getting this warm, funny, generous cast and crew back together for another lap in Chicago. Also … we've done a few episodes where we've singled out Severide or Casey for a one-off, stand-alone type of rescue. I think it would be fun to put Gabby in one of those situations for an episode. We shall see!  

Chicago Fire returns to NBC in the fall for season six.