Not to be overly dramatic, but how dare you, Chicago Fire?!
The Dick Wolf drama returned Wednesday night and drove a stake into the heart of not one but two relationships in under 60 minutes. The episode, titled "Inside These Walls," saw Casey (Jesse Spencer) and Naomi (Kate Villanova) part on friendly terms, which would have been fine had Fire not also killed off the relationship that truly matters: Stellaride.
To be fair, things were already rocky for Stella (Miranda Rae Mayo) and Severide (Taylor Kinney) before the Jan. 9 episode. Severide, who' d been reeling from his father's sudden passing, shut Stella out emotionally and made things worse with his jealousy over her old buddy Tyler (Tye White). Despite that major blow-up in the midseason finale, it looked like Stellaride would actually pull through, especially after Stella dropped Tyler for hitting on her. Apologizing to Severide for not believing him sooner was supposed to be the end of it. Alas, that is not what happened.
The Tyler incident only exposed a greater issue in their relationship: Severide's inability to open up to her. Tired of being continually pushed away, Stella took matters into her own hands and ended things on her terms.
"It was never about Tyler," she explained. "You're going down some dark hole, and I know what that looks like because I've been there before with Grant. I have been the lifeline for a drowning man and I will never do that again. I love you, but I can't be with you anymore."
I can't fault Stella for doing what's best for her; too many women put their partner's needs over their own, so it's refreshing to see her cut the relationship before it became toxic. Still, Stella and Severide had something special — years of friendship before actually dating is proof of that — so this breakup will be a tough one to accept. Even so, I don't expect this to be the absolute end for them. It can't possibly be.
On a more positive note, Casey is single again! After bringing down a shady company for selling faulty appliances, Naomi accepted an out-of-town assignment, which effectively puts an end to her fling with Casey. If he knows what's best for him, he'll heed Naomi's advice and start to have a little fun. Given the great misfortunes that have befallen him this season, he's long overdue for some amusement.
Chicago Fire airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on NBC.