'Chicago Fire' Season 8: Stella Kidd's story has the potential to rival Casey and Severide's with Boden sending her to a leadership conference
In last week's episode, Stella went with her ideas for the station to Boden after running them by Casey. Boden, impressed, asks her to represent the district at a leadership conference.
Stella Kidd (Miranda Rae Mayo) was one of the late arrivals to 'Chicago Fire', having made her first appearance in the second half of the show's fourth season. She went from a recurring to a regular character, and with the departure of Gabby Dawson (Monica Raymund), effectively becoming the lead female character on the show. It is also worthwhile to mention that although there are other female characters in Firehouse 51, Stella is the only one of them who is a firefighter, the rest of them being paramedics. Much of Stella's stories and screentime have revolved around her on-and-off relationship with Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney) but this season, it could go beyond that.
After Gabby left in the season premiere of the last season, Stella got much more screentime and really good storylines concerning her as a firefighter in action. After the crossover event of the season, she was hospitalized and had major surgery but went right back to her job soon after. In another incident, her gut instinct about a fire led to her and Severide to a man who was trafficking children -- both of them stopped the man from escaping until the police could arrive. With Gabby's departure, Stella's and Severide's relationship became the primary ship on the show and those scenes undoubtedly took much of the spotlight.
For much of Season 7, Stella and Severide had a lot of relationship drama that led to them breaking it off. However, by the end of Season 7, the two got back together, and so far in Season 8, the two characters have had a blissfully romantic time. It was in episode 3, however, that we got to see Stella outside of her relationship with Severide, even if for a small amount of time. She has some ideas for the station and after running them by Casey, she went to Boden for approval. Boden is very impressed and he asked Stella to represent the district at a leadership conference.
The problem that came was that the writers made this about her relationship with Severide again. Stella is generally a confident woman, but knowing she would have to go for the leadership conference, she becomes unsure and vents to Severide. She becomes doubtful of her abilities when she learns there is one session surrounding scuba diving -- and this is enough for her to consider skipping it until Severide teaches her how to scuba dive in a swimming pool towards the end of the episode.
Sure, we got another cute scene between the two, with Severide living up to his promise to be the man she deserves. But on a show like 'Chicago Fire', where women get too few opportunities to showcase their leadership roles, this particular incident leaves a sour taste. Both Casey and Severide are given so many moments of leadership with no second thoughts given about it. So why is it that the writers cannot do the same for Stella? Will this even be the only time this leadership plotline is mentioned or will it be a one-off story for the sake of those 'Stellaride' moments? And can we get her interacting with firefighters significantly other than Severide?
'Chicago Fire' airs on Wednesday nights on NBC. This week, the 'One Chicago' crossover event, 'Infection', will be airing.