Showrunner Andrea Newman Teases What's Coming for Taylor Kinney on the 'Inside Man' Episode of 'Chicago Fire'


Chicago Fire has a very Kelly Severide-centric (Taylor Kinney) episode airing tonight when the Firehouse 51 lieutenant is kidnapped and taken for a ride on Truck 81 by some bad dudes with a nefarious purpose in mind.

The idea sprung to the mind of the Chicago Fire writing team because first responders can go anywhere, which gives them entre to all kinds of occasions and situations.

“That the first responder rigs can go anywhere has been used in real life as ways to try and get access,” Chicago Fire showrunner Andrea Newman tells Parade. “This happened in Denver and Detroit, bad guys taking these rigs so that they could gain access to public events that they otherwise would be screened for. They don’t screen the trucks, they just let them right in.”

Newman credits writer Matt Whitney for ripping the story from the headlines but giving it the appropriate Chicago Fire twist.

She adds, “We really did want to do a Severide-centric action, 250th episode, so it’s so great to have him back in peak form. He’s such a great action star, Taylor. He does stunts, he is always doing fire training work. He’s so ready for this kind of thing, and as a character, Severide is so ready for this because he’s been desk-bound for a couple episodes, so he definitely is ready to throw himself into the action. So yeah, we embraced all that for that episode.”

Related: Eamonn Walker Exits Chicago Fire as a Series Regular, Marking the End of an Era for the Show

Severide’s mysterious disappearance has ramifications that go beyond Truck 81 being stolen. The title of the episode is “Inside Man,” and suspicion falls on the shady new guy Jack Damon (Michael Bradway) because it isn’t easy to start a firetruck. They don’t have keys.

“It’s so funny because we become consumed with the littlest details and that’s probably the one we’ve talked about in the room the most,” Newman explains. “That is crazy, but it makes so much sense. You can’t lose the keys, what if you lose the keys? It just can’t happen. But it’s a very intricate button switch situation to get it started, I think it’s called a Kaiser switch, but it’s complicated and certainly no layman would know how to do it. But somebody scheming could figure it out.”

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Daniel Kyri

Photo by: Adrian S Burrows Sr/NBC

So, Damon, who has a secret reason for being at Firehouse 51, is put under scrutiny by the Chicago P.D. when Ritter (Daniel Kyri) reveals to Stella Kidd (Miranda Rae Mayo) the phone call he overheard. Even so, his mysterious reason for being there isn’t revealed.

My speculation is that he may be someone’s son. Someone who doesn’t know that he exists.

“You’re the first person to ask that,” Newman says. “Yeah, he’s young so I could see where that comes from. That’s a fun theory, I like that. We’ll see some twists and turns with him where we find out some things he isn’t, and then we find out more things about who he is at the very end.”

Related: Is Taylor Kinney’s Kelly Severide Character Back for Good on Chicago Fire?

One of the cops who interrogates Damon happens to be Ritter’s new boyfriend, Dwayne Morris (Samuel B. Jackson). It’s a relationship that Ritter — who is out, so it’s not that — is keeping on the DL and he says it’s just because of the rivalry between cops and firemen.

“It is the reason,” Newman confirms. “There’s a general hilarious rivalry between cops and firefighters that can get actually very tense, but in a couple episodes leading up when he first started dating him, there were episodes where that tension was particularly fraught.”

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Miranda Rae Mayo, Taylor Kinney

Photo by: Adrian S Burrows Sr/NBC

Those episodes include the one in which Severide was battling the cops over the young girl who had hidden the money in her grandmother’s house, and the cops weren’t trusting him and he was really going at it with them. And then there was another episode where Severide and the cops were at odds over a recording studio fire and who they thought was the suspect.

“So, for right now, Ritter wanted to keep it private. You know, you want to keep things private until you know they’re for real. You don’t necessarily want to be talking about something and jinxing it either.”

And then the episode ends with a reaffirmation of the Severide-Kidd relationship, which we won’t spoil.

“They really are genuinely hot together,” Newman agrees. “It’s just a fact, can’t be denied.”

Chicago Fire airs Wednesday nights at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.

Next, Chicago P.D. Fans Hope Jesse Lee Soffer’s Photos Mean He’s Returning for Tracy Spiridakos’ Final Episode


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