Chicago Fire bosses defend controversial character return

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The latest instalment of Chicago Fire has left lives hanging in the balance following an explosive twist in last week’s midseason finale on NBC. As fans wait to see if Sam Carver (played by Jake Lockett) and Stella Kidd (Miranda Rae Mayo) survive their latest predicament, they’re also on tenterhooks to see how the return of disgraced paramedic Emma Jacobs (Caitlin Carver) will shake up the team.

Derek Haas and Andrea Newman have opened up about their divisive decision to bring back Emma after she was fired last season.

After lying and blackmailing during her stint with Ambulance 61, she soon became one of the most hated characters in the Chicago franchise.

She later panicked and fled the scene while tending to a pregnant woman during a fire, resulting in her immediate termination.

However, she has since resurfaced by somehow landing a job at the CFD’s Internal Affairs Division, and viewers were far from thrilled by this latest development.

Twitter user @uptonmoore said: ”Absolutely no one likes you nor wants you here, Emma.”

Rebekah Jayne wrote: “I’m actually fuming she’s back after everything she did to Violet Mikami (Hanako Greensmith) and Evan Hawkins (Jimmy Nicholas)!”

“I just wish Violet would have just kicked her a**, Emma Jacobs needs to go.”

@annesardors said: “I’m sorry…you mean to tell me Hawkins [dies] but Emma comes back thriving? She’s like the cockroach that doesn’t go away…”

“Oh the Chicago Fire writers are so nasty for this,” @BethHoller added.

“Emma in a white shirt position? Absolutely not. This is so offensive. Oh I’m gonna be sick.”

“I cannot stand Emma Jacobs but wow Caitlin Carver is incredible as this conniving sociopath,” Rebecca Lewis admitted.

And @zashvleyy exclaimed: “No, no, no, leave Violet alone! Go away Emma!”

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Despite the backlash, Derek and Andrea felt it was only natural to bring a more antagonistic character back to the series for fans to root against.

“I can just say that in this show, there’s nothing that Andrea and I love more than remembering an old villain and bringing them back to wreck some lives,” Derek said.

“[Emma] was so good last year at playing that, bringing Caitlin back just was top of mind.”

Introduced in season 10, Emma immediately made an impact as a conniving and manipulative new team member.

Although her self-centred behaviour consistently made things difficult for her teammates, these conflicts will also help drive the drama as her role in the series expands.

“We didn’t know where or when we would fit her in, but winter finales are always fun for these kinds of [obstacles],” Derek explained to TV Line.

“And we wanted it to be a big surprise, but not be the end of the episode, because sometimes you want people just going, ‘Oh, God, what else is coming?’

Andrea added: “We love this character. We love our villains, but the character is so fun because she just does not see herself as a villain at all.

“So it’s like the way our guys feel about her versus the way she sees her place at 51. She feels completely connected to 51, and that’s a fun thing to explore, too.”

Chicago Fire season 11 continues Wednesdays on NBC in the USA. A UK release date is yet to be announced.

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