Taylor Kinney’s Chicago Fire Absence: 5 Ways to Explain Why Severide Is MIA

CHICAGO FIRE -- "All-Out Mystery" Episode 1106 -- Pictured: Taylor Kinney as Kelly Severide -- (Photo by: Adrian S Burrows Sr/NBC)

Taylor Kinney’s Chicago Fire Absence: 5 Ways to Explain Why Severide Is MIA

Chicago Fire will soon be operating without one of its best men — and we’ve got a couple of ideas for how the NBC drama could explain his sudden absence.

As reported last week, longtime series regular Taylor Kinney is taking a leave of absence from his role as Lieutenant Kelly Severide to deal with a personal matter. The production was notified of Kinney’s news on Jan. 20, and given the unexpected turn of events, script rewrites will be required to account for why Severide is missing in action. (It’s not yet clear in which exact episode Kinney will take his leave, or for how long.)

This is where TVLine comes in, because even though the show’s creative team no doubt has a handle on the situation, we’ve also put on our thinking caps to come up with some reasonable scenarios that would take Severide away from Firehouse 51. And consider how important the character is to the series and how much he loves his job, we made sure that they justify Severide (temporarily!) leaving his crew.
We crafted some ways to in which the rescue squad leader could conceivably move on to a new work placement while staying in the Windy City. Other potential storylines find Severide departing Chicago to reunite with friends and family who need his help elsewhere. And then there’s a twist that puts the firefighter himself in jeopardy in order to take him out of the action.

Marital Issues Lead to Relocation

Severide and his wife Stella have experienced some discord lately when it comes to balancing their personal and professional lives, even prompting Stella to suggest that maybe they shouldn’t work together. While the two seem to have ironed out their issues for now, that’s not to say they couldn’t resurface again, leading Severide to take a job at another firehouse for the sake of his marriage’s health. Hey, is Lieutenant Pelham in need of a rescue squad leader?

An Old Friend Calls for Help

With a major forest fire raging in the Pacific Northwest, Casey rings up the best firefighter he knows for assistance in rescuing families trapped in a campground near the blaze. We can’t imagine Severide wouldn’t come running to help out his friend and take on a kind of fire challenge he’s never faced before.

OFI (Finally) Gets Its Man

After years of enlisting Severide’s help with cases, the Office of Fire Investigation makes Severide an offer he can’t refuse: take over for Captain Van Meter at OFI. (Of course, the firefighter will eventually realize that his heart belongs to 51, prompting him to leave the gig in the capable hands of Wendy Seager when he returns to his old post.)

A Family Emergency

Since his father Benny has already passed, one of Severide’s few remaining family connections is his mother Jennifer (played by Kim Delaney), who was last seen video chatting with her son during his wedding day. The conversation was surprisingly positive and meaningful, leaving us to believe that the duo are in a good place in their relationship. So if Jennifer were to need Severide to take a furlough and come stay with her for several weeks while she heals from a broken leg, we’d buy that.

A Rescue Gone Wrong

Severide consistently puts his life on the line to save others, so it would be far from unbelievable if he were seriously (but not fatally!) injured during a rescue and sidelined from the job for a long stretch of time.

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