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Brace Yourselves, Chicago Fire Boss Derek Haas Teases an Emotional Finale

Are we about to lose Chief Boden?

Keisha Hatchett

With Boden (Eamonn Walker) gunning for a promotion that could potentially take him out of Firehouse 51 and Renée returning to stir up some trouble with Stella (Miranda Rae Mayo) and Severide (Taylor Kinney), things are coming to a head on Chicago Fire.

Thursday's two-hour finale will see Boden make an important step towards becoming the fire department's next commissioner. Will our brave firefighters lose their fearless boss at the end of the season? Meanwhile, Kidd will grow suspicious of Renée (Sarah Shahi) who insists she only needs Severide's help with a case. Given what we already know about the dubious lawyer, Kidd has every right to question Renée's motives.

With Fire poised to wrap up Season 6 in truly dramatic fashion, TV Guide hit up showrunner Derek Haas to get the scoop on the emotional finale including Boden's potential new gig, roadblocks Dawson (Monica Raymund) and Casey (Jesse Spencer) may face as they try for another baby, and what Renée's return means for Stellaride.

You described the Season 6 finale as jubilant. Can you elaborate on that?
Derek Haas:
It's more jubilant for me because I know the audience is gonna be squirming at the end.

It looks like Brett and Dawson are going to face a dangerous call. Given what we've seen with previous finales like that gnarly warehouse fire at the end of Season 5, how fearful should we be for their lives?
I didn't want to try to do the same thing we did last year where we have multiple characters in danger of losing their lives in the last two minutes of the show. We've done that a couple of times over the first five seasons. Yes, Brett and Dawson are gonna go into a call that's gonna be a little more harrowing than our usual calls but that's not gonna be the big ending. Our big endings are gonna be more of the emotional and WTF variety than the big spectacle.

So you're just gonna mess with our emotions.
(laughing)Yeah, exactly. That's why I'm jubilant.

Speaking of emotional topics, Dawson and Casey have decided to try for another baby. Knowing what happened with Dawson's miscarriage and then their failure to adopt Louie, how do you think this time will be different for them?
Haas: It's gonna be a fun few episodes for them as they are trying to have a baby. And Dawson's gonna want to get everything checked out to make sure that she can do it and he can do it, and that'll lead to some twists and turns.

It took a while for Stella and Severide to get back together and now that they are, what other roadblocks will they face?
We wouldn't be Chicago Fire if we didn't throw one last giant right hook at this relationship because Sarah Shahi is coming back. [She] left our show under dubious motives and circumstances. At an inopportune time in the Kidd/Severide relationship, Renée's gonna [return to] the firehouse needing Kelly's help. Stella is going to question her motives right off the get-go.

Dawson told Kidd that Renée and Kelly have long since been done but are there lingering feelings from either party?
Haas: Whenever we bring up Renée, [everyone] remembers the ending but they forget that we had seven or eight episodes where she was a nice romantic and intellectual match for Severide. I'd like to redeem that a little bit. Dawson was correct in that when Renée left, Severide put [that relationship] behind him. However, seeing her again, there's that moment you have of... [citing the film Sliding Doors in which the audience simultaneously sees the two different directions Gwyneth Paltrow's character's life takes] I think Severide has a little bit of Sliding Doors where it's like "Oh, I wonder what my life would have been like five years later" after Renée arrives. [He wonders what] if things had worked out differently.

Can you say this will offer some closure between the two of them?
At least an understanding, better than what we did before. Between Season 1 and Season 2, [Shahi] got cast as a regular on another show so we had to write her off the show in a way that I'm not that crazy about. I didn't think we did it justice based on what we've set up.

This sounds like your second shot at writing a great sendoff for Renée.
Haas: But at the same time, I do know what the audience's expectations are gonna be and what their memory of her was so I don't shy away from that. I think the audience is gonna be questioning her the same way Stella is.

Chief Boden is in the running to become the Chicago Fire Department's next commissioner. How would his potential promotion affect the firehouse?
Casey says it: "Boden's the greatest thing to happen to us, but that shouldn't stand in the way of what he could do potentially for the entire CFD. And our selfish want to have him here should pale in comparison to the good that a man like Boden could do as the next commissioner." What they don't want is either a conniving politician-type like what they're afraid Chief Grissom is gonna be. Or a desk job pencil pusher accountant-type who's just gonna cut the budgets. They know that Boden would have the best interest of firefighters and the city of Chicago first so that's why they want to back him.

He sounds like the perfect candidate, so should audiences be prepared for Chicago Fire to lose its fearless leader to a higher position?
I don't think that takes him out of the show if that were to happen. There's a whole side of CFD that we haven't seen very much. But [Boden's potential promotion] could bring in new stories and new ideas. The show is called Chicago Fire and I feel like there are all sorts of storylines we could get if we go in that direction. But again, you'll have to wait and see what happens. And I'm not going to tell you that all things will be answered at the end of the finale.

Chicago Fire's two-hour finale airs Thursday, May 10 at 9/8c on NBC.

​Monica Raymund, Chicago Fire

Monica Raymund, Chicago Fire

Elizabeth Morris/NBC