‘Chicago Fire’: What Happened To Jimmy Borrelli?

by Maria Hartfield
Credit: NBC / Contributor

NBC’s Chicago Fire tells the story of firefighters and paramedics based in the heart of Chicago. Avid fans of the show look forward to peeking in on the lives of rescuers of Firehouse 51 each week as they risk their lives to save and protect their city.

Cast members on the show include Taylor Kinney as Lt. Kelly Severide who leads Rescue Squad 3, David Eigenberg as Lt. Christopher Hermann on Engine 51, and Miranda Rae Mayo as Lt. Stella Kidd on Truck 81. One memorable character on the show has subtly disappeared from recent episodes leaving viewers wondering where he went.

Jim Borrelli played by actor Steven R. McQueen first appeared at Firehouse 51 in Season 4. Borrelli’s debut happens on the “Let It Burn” episode. His first appearance made quite an impression considering it saw him gagged and tied up by his firefighter brother. Eventually, Borrelli became a memorable character on the show and a key member of the 51 crew. He proves himself to be reliable as well as romantic considering his many public flings with other team members. Due to his lack of respect for authority, Borrelli puts himself in a difficult situation with Chief Boden played by Eamonn Walker.

Keeping this in mind, it’s no wonder Chicago Fire devotees are beginning to question Borrelli’s disappearance from the show. Let’s take a look at Borrelli’s past and possible future.

What Happened to Jimmy Borrelli on Chicago Fire?

Jimmy Borrelli’s first major firefighting conflict happens in Season 5 on the episode titled “A Real Wake-Up Call”. At the time, Borrelli was still at odds with Chief Boden only making his situation more delicate. Borrelli and Boden’s ongoing struggle leads to an extremely close call after Borrelli responds to a distress call involving a multi-vehicle collision.

In response to the emergency, Chief Boden tells all the firefighters to stay away from the wreckage. Meanwhile, Borrelli completely ignores Boden’s order which lands him in immediate danger. Unfortunately, Borrelli gets caught up in the explosion and is badly burned as a result. Although he survives the blast, he loses his ability to see out of his left eye. This injury pushes Borrelli into early retirement.

In an interview with TV Line back in 2016, producer Michael Brandt explains that Borrelli and Boden were always going to be at odds with one another.

“With Jimmy’s character, it just felt like he needed to stand up for what he believed in, but Boden needed to stand up for what he believed in, and those two things couldn’t live together,” said Brandt.

No one has seen Borrelli on the show since his injury occurred in Season 5. Although there hasn’t been any mention of bringing him back, that doesn’t necessarily mean we’ve seen the end of Jimmy Borrelli.

“Character-wise, you can never burn bridges on a show too badly to not salvage them,” said Brandt.

Tune in to Chicago Fire on Wednesdays at 9/8c on NBC.