Chicago Fire Stars Charlie Barnett and Monica Raymund Talk Season 2

Chicago Fire Season 2 Episode 1 A Problem House (11)

A surprising success for NBC, Chicago Fire debuted to, and maintained, solid numbers throughout its freshman season. The numbers were impressive enough to merit a season 2 pickup by NBC and a new timeslot. Now, there seems to be a genuine excitement for the return of the show in its second season.

TV Equals was fortunate enough to sit in on a conference call with series stars Charlie Barnett and Monica Raymund. Also on the call were Executive Producers Michael Brandt and Derek Haas. Here’s a little bit of what they had to say.

The future of Peter Mills

The end of last season saw Barnett’s character, Peter Mills, becoming so disillusioned with his job that he picked up an application for the Chicago Police Department. While asked specifically about the breakup with Raymund’s Gaby Dawson, Barnett discussed how Peter’s decision to pick up the application was an accumulation effect regarding the breakup, recent revelations about his father, and his growing distrust and unhappiness with Chief Boden. However, Barnett was none to pleased with the story development: “I told Michael and Derek that I thought it was, honestly, sorry for my language, but a bitch move.” While Mills will continue to struggle with the job, Barnett notes Mills is still a dedicated firefighter.

Mills and Dawson Part 2?

As for his relationship with Gaby Dawson, Barnett noted the show will revisit the relationship even though it ended last season. The two will apparently struggle to navigate the new boundaries of their relationship. As far as a potential rekindling, Barnett and Raymund would give nothing away, only saying they would “brush up against each other a couple of times”.

Dawson relationships continued

Mills will not be the only relationship issue for Dawson this season. Dawson will also be squabbling with her best friend Leslie Shay. The two will have a bit of a falling out when Shay’s attempts to control a situation backfire. The problems will affect both the personal and the professional, but Raymund believes things will work out. She even went so far as to call the two “soulmates in terms of friends”.

New additions

With the budget being slashed everywhere (more on that in a moment), Firehouse 51 will be receiving some newcomers from a closed down firehouse. Jeff Hephner and John Hoogenakker will play the two members of the firehouse struggling to fit in. Hephner’s character will apparently have something of a mystery about him.

The fate of Molly’s

The joint venture between Dawson, Chris Herrmann, and Otis will also see it’s share of troubles this season. It’s seems a new swanky spot has opened up across the street and is stealing their customers. As it turns out, Otis steps up to the plate to rid the bar of its competition. For Herrmann, his financial woes will continue, and his inability to handle difficult situations will also continue.

The fires

According to Michael Brandt, the fires portrayed on the show are pulled directly from stories they’ve gathered from Chicago firefighters, notably from their technical consultants Fire Chief Steve Chifarotis and paramedic Michelle Martinez. Brandt says he encourages them to take a journal with them on calls and write down anything they think could be worked into the show. Both executive producers discussed the plethora of exciting tales they could put on television, but they have to make sure they work thematically with the episode. They map out the storylines for the episode and figure out where to add the fire later. But most important is the story. Says Brandt: “These men and women just run into buildings that rats and roaches are running out of and so we just try to find the best stories.”

Chicago Fire premieres tonight at 10 PM on NBC.