'Chicago Fire' season 8: Could the episode title 'Sacred Ground' be hinting at a heartbreaking beginning to the show?

Creator Derek Haas revealed the season 8 premiere episode to be titled as 'Sacred Ground' prompting many viewers to think that Firehouse 51 will have many casualties following the massive factory fire featured in the season 7 finale's cliffhanger.

                            'Chicago Fire' season 8: Could the episode title 'Sacred Ground' be hinting at a heartbreaking beginning to the show?

'Chicago Fire's season 7 finale left the viewers on a major cliffhanger: a huge factory fire with a boiler about to explode. Since most of Firehouse 51's firefighters and paramedics are battling the blazing fire fans are worried about the fate of their favorite characters.

On July 1, creator of the show Derek Haas tweeted the cover of the script of the new season's premiere episode and the title has seemingly confirmed suspicions that 'Chicago Fire' is about to lose a big amount of its cast. Titled 'Sacred Ground', the season 8 premiere could see a devastating start to the finale? Why? 'Sacred Ground' is a term often used to signify a memorial for fallen firefighters. Could the title suggest that the boiler does explode and that Firehouse 51 fails to contain the fire? Currently, Jesse Spence and Taylor Kinney who play Captain Mattew Casey and Kelly Severide, are the only cast members known to have sign contracts for season 8 (and a prospective season 9). The creators are keeping the rest of the cast list under wraps leaving us in the dark about the survival of the others.

Photo of the script of the Chicago Fire premiere shared by creator Derek Haas on Twitter.

There is also the matter of the new One Chicago key art NBC released through TV Insider. The poster features all three shows from the 'Chicago' franchise. The tagline says "A City of Heroes. A Night of Hope." Haas tweeted the poster, saying "They put "Hope" in the tagline... hee hee... perfect!" tagging 'Chicago Fire' actors Kara Killmer who plays Sylvie Brett and Eloise Mumford who played season 6 character Hope Jacquinot. Haas' suspicious tweet has convinced fans that there might be no hope for the Firehouse 51 family.

Some fans think that Hope's character may return. In Season 6, Hope who was Brett's close friend had a relationship with Severide and left after having been found to sabotage Severide's relationship with his ex-girlfriend, Stella Kidd (Miranda Rae Mayo). Haas has previously stated he likes to bring back old characters and tweeted in reply to a fan that old characters are coming back for season 8. In July, Haas tweeted "I miss her so much" followed by a photo of Eloise Mumford in the thread. Could Hope be returning to Firehouse 51 to rekindle a romance with Severide? Or could Hope be returning to mourn her friend, Brett who was standing right above the boiler as season 7 ended?


However, Haas has been known to misdirect fans seeking spoilers for upcoming episodes. After the season 2 cliffhanger, when many were not sure whether Lauren German would return as paramedic Leslie Shay, Haas tweeted a blurry picture of German and Monica Raymund (who played paramedic Gabby Dawson before exiting in the season 7 premiere episode). Fans were convinced that Shay would be alive, only to find out in season 3 premiere that German was cast for flashback scenes and that Shay had indeed died. Similarly, fans assumed that Jesse Spencer would exit as Casey in season 5 after the previous season finale ended on a cliffhanger showing Casey trapped in a warehouse fire. Haas tweeted a picture of the writers' room with all the characters' names on the whiteboard, except for Matthew Casey. This was revealed as a red herring after Casey was shown to survive in the season 5 premiere.

With less than 40 days left for the premiere of season 8, we hope that the Firehouse 51 family survives. When asked how the filming for season 8 was going on during a Twitter Q&A, Haas stated that the premiere was a tough episode to shoot for many reasons but that the cast and crew have come back stronger than ever. The first episode will pick right up from where the finale ended and however it goes, it is sure to leave fans emotionally charged when it returns on September 25th.

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