Characters, no matter how influential they may be, often leave whatever series they star on. Whether it’s an in-world reason or the actor’s decision to go, it’s an unfortunate reality. In the case of Steven R. McQueen on Chicago Fire, his departure served a big purpose.
During season 4 of the show, McQueen’s character, Jimmy Borelli, experienced quite a bit of heartache. In this case, McQueen left because his character’s story arc demanded it. A TV Line interview with executive producer Michael Brandt goes into specifics, with the showrunner claiming they often don’t follow through with tragic storylines when they should.
“There are times when people get injured, or really bad things happen to them, and we don’t follow through on that, and sometimes we feel like we have to pull the trigger on certain things,” Brandt explained. “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. It was driven by the story and who the characters have evolved into.”
As previously noted, Borelli experienced much during his tenure at Station 51. Joining the crew as a new candidate, Borelli was headstrong, to say the least. This led him to clash with Wallace Boden, the station chief. Things only get worse after Borelli’s brother died in a fire, which he blames Boden for. Later on, Borelli responds to a crash scene emergency and after defying Boden’s orders, is injured in an explosion.
Considering Borelli’s severe mental and physical injuries, he exited the show organically. In short, Jimmy Borelli’s storyline concluded, tragic though it was.
‘Chicago Fire’ Veteran Jesse Spencer May Return to the Show
Showrunner Derek Haas and Jesse Spencer both sat down with TVLine about Chicago Fire’s 200th episode. The duo first said they plan on keeping Casey’s relationship with Sylvie Brett alive. Though we won’t see Casey, we will hear his voice and the two will have phone calls, FaceTime, and flights to see one another.
Besides that, along with the subject of Casey returning, Haas teased it but remained vague. “This is a three-year commitment that Casey is making, but hopefully, we’ll see him before those three years are done.”Spencer chimes in as well, claiming coming back is always an option. Joking that he isn’t running off to Los Angeles and that his home is in Chicago, he noted he’s “stepping back for right now.”
Those last words are quite ambiguous and definitely leave the door open for a comeback.