‘Chicago Fire’ Boss Explains Why Show is Having First Christmas Episode Since Season 2

by Maria Hartfield

NBC’s Chicago Fire is back for the holidays and fans can’t wait for the drama series return.

The storyline follows firefighters and paramedics in the city of Chicago as they risk their lives to protect and serve. The series comes from Emmy Award-winning executive producer Dick Wolf (Law & Order) and co-creator Derek Haas (3:10 to Yuma).

Chicago Fire returns Wednesday for its fall finale after having been off the air for a few weeks. Fans of the show can look forward to a holiday-themed episode titled “Winterfest”. It follows Brett (Kara Killmer) preparing her paramedicine presentation as Severide (Taylor Kinney) faces the harsh reality of Stella’s absence. Meanwhile, Firehouse 51 gets ready to celebrate the holidays.

‘Chicago Fire’ Returns with Holiday-Themed Episode

“This is always the time of year where you sort of shift gears,” Haas said in an interview with ET. “You told your stories that you wanted to tell in the winter and then you have a middle third of a season where you’re telling new stories, but then you kick into that last third where you’re really driving towards a new finale. So it always feels good to get to this point.”

This will be Chicago Fire’s first holiday-themed episode since the show’s start.

“It’s our first time we’ve done a Christmas episode in a long time, probably since season 2, I think,” said Haas. “We have a lot of festive Chicago events going on that the holidays really play into the episode. So that makes it a unique one. That’s what you usually look to do when we set up stories at the very beginning of the season, such as Brent’s paramedicine program and we set up our trio of millennials going into the business for themselves with their microbrewery. Those are the things that you set up and then in your mind say, ‘All right, that’s where we’ll resolve some of those stories in the winter finale.’ You’re always trying to surprise the audience on where they’re going to go.”

Stella’s Prolonged Absense Addressed

Derek Haas also made sure to address actress Miranda Rae Mayo’s extended break from the show. Wednesday’s episode will address Mayo’s hiatus as well as present a whole new stack of conflicts for Severide and Kidd to face.

“With Stella being gone for so long, we just knew we wanted to see her again before the end of the year and we wanted to do that in dramatic fashion because the open lieutenant spot after Casey left has been a concern,” said Haas, stating that “that [storyline] takes up some time in the winter finale.”

Haas assures fans the fall finale won’t disappoint. He hints that the episode leaves on a cliffhanger that will have audiences eager for the show’s return in 2022.

“It’s going to be suspenseful, funny, and answer a lot of questions that have been lingering from the opening of season 10,” he said.

Catch Chicago Fire’s fall final this Wednesday, Dec. 8 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.