[WARNING: The following story contains spoilers from Tuesday's episode of Chicago Fire. Read at your own risk.]
Boden's loss was Benny's gain on Tuesday's episode of Chicago Fire. After repeatedly going toe-to-toe with State Fire Marshal consultant Gail McLeod (Michelle Forbes), Chief Boden (Eamonn Walker) waved the white flag and handed in his resignation. His (temporary) surrender left things wide open for Severide's dad Benny (Treat Williams) to sweep in and graciously accept Gail's offer to have him replace Boden as the new head of 51.
"He played it pretty smartly. Did he anticipate this might be a scenario and would he go for it? For sure," showrunner Matt Olmstead told reporters at a screening Monday.
Although there's no rule saying father and son can't work together — this is Chicago after all — star Taylor Kinney said Benny's new gig will complicate things for the estranged pair. "There have been open-ended gestures on my character's side and the same for him, but you take it with a grain of salt because he's a little shifty," Kinney said. "Because he comes out and now he's saying that he wants to get even more involved, and Severide isn't exactly sure how to handle that right now."
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Despite Benny's calculating move, Olmstead warned that Boden shouldn't be underestimated. "Taylor's character is saying, 'Don't roll over for these guys. Let's take the fight to them.' That's a turning point, especially for Boden, knowing that the team has kind of galvanized behind him," Olmstead said. "He begins to put up a hell of a fight."
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Shay's spiral out of control is just beginning: Seeing a patient commit suicide will hit Shay (Lauren German) hard as she pulls away from Dawson (Monica Raymund). "She's expressing herself and she's acting out because of that, so yes people get involved," Kinney said. "Dawson's trying to figure out a way to get in touch with her. Right now, they're really butting heads. On the job, Dawson is also a superior. ... So she has to (use) kid gloves with Shay and right now, we're all trying to figure out how best to help her." In the end, it will be Severide who helps her the most. "Ultimately where she goes rock bottom, and Severide is the last person to kind of pull her up," Olmstead said.
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We didn't start the fire: Although Dawson, Hermann (David Eigenberg) and Otis (Yuri Sardarov) were last seen running into Game Day to help as their main competitor burned to the ground, fingers will be pointed at them when questions begin about who caused it. "It definitely is an arson," Olmstead said. "It definitely has ramifications in that they're suspected of that because they certainly will benefit from Game Day closing. Does it involve the cop character that Dawson is seeing? Absolutely."
But can Dawson really trust her undercover beau? After learning that Jay (Jesse Lee Soffer) was only working for Arthur as an undercover cop, Dawson happily let him back into her life, and her bed. But the questions surrounding his real intention are far from over. "Not until the story's really ... come to its climax does Dawson ever really know for sure if this guy's a cop," Olmdstead said. "Is he playing a role of a cop? Who is he essentially? It's a fairly accelerated arc with him but constantly keeping Dawson destabilized in terms of her interpretation of who this guy is."
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But don't expect Dawson's latest love to last: Diehard fans may have already guessed this since Soffer is signed up for the Chicago Fire spin-off, Chicago PD, but Dawson and Casey (Jesse Spencer) fans will be especially pleased. "They're going to have their opportunity. Whether or not he can seize it remains to be seen, Olmstead said. "That window is going to open up with Dawson and are they finally going to have luck on their side?" Carpe diem, Casey!
This isn't the last we've seen of PD: Just because the spin-off gets into full swing in January doesn't mean Antonio (Jon Seda) and the force will stop coming around. Olmstead said fans can expect smaller pop-ins as well as longer arcs. "It's perfectly suited in terms of an accident call that would then lead to an investigation," said Olmstead and also noted that Molly's is a favorite bar spot of both the firefighters and cops. "We just like these little drops of the connective DNA tissue."
Will he stay or will he go?: Mills (Charlie Barnett) was devastated to learn he didn't make rescue squad at the end of last season — so much so that he grabbed an application for the Chicago Police Department training center. So will he actually switch teams and become a cop? "An event happens that really makes him make a choice in terms of: Who am I? What do I want to do?" Olmstead said.
Chicago Fire airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on NBC. Do you want Boden to stay on as chief? Can Dawson and Shay repair the damage? Which way should Mills go? Sound off below!