Throughout the four-and-a-half seasons that “Chicago Fire” has been on the air, the life of Kelly Severide, played by Taylor Kinney, has been a roller coaster of a journey, especially when it comes to both his romantic and non-romantic relationships.
However, now that the show is in its fifth season, I’m frustrated with how one of my favorite characters on television right now is being written when it comes to these relationships, especially his romantic ones.
Part of my frustration stems from the fact that I feel that Kinney’s character is being written in circles. All of his relationships follow a similar pattern; either he is really into a girl, or the girl is really into him, they hook up, they encounter some sort of obstacle, which forces one of the two to be flaky, and the resolution ends with them parting ways. These storylines also only usually last for a few episodes at a time. The longest one was his relationship with Renee in the first and second seasons but that only lasted for a total of seven episodes and ended because she was having someone else’s baby. Some of his other significant relationships, mainly with Erin Lindsay and Brittany Baker, ended in similar ways.
This circular pattern does not allow for any level of growth whatsoever. Every time he takes one step forward, he seems to, then, go and take two steps backward in terms of his personal life. He has moments where he is such an excellent, caring, and emotional guy and I’m like “YES” and then he goes and does something horrible, and I’m like “NO! Why did he do that?” To put it plain and simple: it’s extremely disappointing.
Severide’s current story revolves around his bone marrow donation to a patient. In the most recent episodes, he matched to be a bone marrow donor for Anna, a patient from Chicago Med who is dying of cancer. When the two met, they immediately hit it off, calling each other “a perfect match.” He went through with the procedure, despite not being able to receive an epidural to administer anesthesia. As of now, the surgery seems to have worked and, based on the promo for next week’s episode in which Anna is dubbed Severide’s “soulmate,” it’s clear that the writers are building toward having her be his next significant relationship.
With this current storyline and relationship in play, it’s clear to me that they seem to be setting him up for another circle: he falls in love, she dies after some complication from the bone marrow she received, and he falls into a deep depression, similar to the one he experienced when Shay died. It would make sense seeing as it would set up his downward spiral to occur near or at the end of the season and possibly even setup a cliffhanger for the end of the season.
Kinney is an extremely talented actor, and Severide is a complicated, but emotional character. My fear is that we’re going to be on season 10 and it’s going to be the same story. I’m not asking for him to all of a sudden settle down, get married, and have kids as I think that would be incredibly out of character for him. However, I would like to see him in a long-term relationship with a woman that is not in anyway related to Firehouse 51, District 21, Chicago Med, and whatever other franchise institutions come about. He needs someone who is independent and stable in their own personal and professional lives, who doesn’t come with any baggage whatsoever, and who is okay with and committed to being in a relationship with someone who does an incredibly dangerous job that has weird hours.
I hope that soon we will see changes in the way Severide is written or that this relationship between him and Anna will not end the way I think that it will. But for now, all we can do is wait and see.