Chicago Fire season 8 midseason report: Darren Ritter

CHICAGO FIRE -- "A Volatile Mixture" Episode 705 -- Pictured: (l-r) David Eigenberg as Christopher Herrmann, Daniel Kyri as Ritter -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Morris/NBC)
CHICAGO FIRE -- "A Volatile Mixture" Episode 705 -- Pictured: (l-r) David Eigenberg as Christopher Herrmann, Daniel Kyri as Ritter -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Morris/NBC) /

How has Chicago Fire season 8 gone for Darren Ritter? Before Chicago Fire returns, we’re reviewing the season for Daniel Kyri’s character.

Before Chicago Fire comes back in the new year, we’re taking a moment to pause and look at the current season for each character. What are the important events that fans need to remember?

What plot developments have been good for each character, and which story points need to be improved? And of course, where could they go next when new episodes start in January?

Read through the below as we look at Chicago Fire season 8 as it relates to Darren Ritter (Daniel Kyri), starting with:

What’s happened so far

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Ritter returned for his second Chicago Fire season, after being introduced last season. And while he’s still a recurring character—so he’s not necessarily in every episode, and when he is he may not have a huge role—he’s once again proved that he has a lot to offer Firehouse 51.

He started season 8 off getting a lot of flak from Christopher Herrmann (David Eigenberg), who was angry that Ritter hadn’t followed a direct order to leave him behind during the Arnow mattress factory fire that ended season 7. Though Ritter’s heart was in the right place, Herrmann pointed out that as the lieutenant he was responsible for Ritter’s safety, and gave the newbie a bit of a cold shoulder for a while.

But things eventually thawed between them, and we’ve seen Ritter pop up in a variety of ways around the firehouse in the first nine episodes. Most notably, he helped Herrmann during another fire that involved a faulty couch also made by Arnow. And in one scene at Molly’s, we learned that Ritter has a boyfriend!

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What it means

First of all, it’s just wonderful to see Ritter back for Chicago Fire season 8, period. The show has a history of introducing new team members and then not bringing them back, and it would have been easy for the writers to decide that Ritter’s story was over once he redeemed himself from the panic attack he had suffered when originally introduced.

Luckily for us they didn’t do that, and Daniel Kyri has been a joy to have around. It still seems, though, like they don’t quite know what to do with Ritter. He’s no longer “the new guy” thanks to the arrival of Blake Gallo (Alberto Rosende), and we’ve seen a few moments between them that look promising.

And with Rosende promoted to series regular even though he got here a season later, we’re now not sure whether either Darren Ritter or Daniel Kyri fit in the show’s plans. But we hope they’re in them, because Ritter is a character with a ton of untapped potential.

What’s next

Chicago Fire has to find a use for Ritter. He’s no longer the new firefighter on the team, so that story angle doesn’t work. One option could be for him to be a sort of mentor for Gallo, since he was in Gallo’s shoes relatively recently, and help him acclimate to Firehouse 51 and what he needs to do, to make it there. After all, no one can see through Gallo’s eyes the way Ritter can right now.

That also should answer the question of what Daniel Kyri’s status is. A lot of recurring characters are introduced with the option to become a series regular; we’ve seen three of them this season in the entire One Chicago franchise. Was Kyri brought in with that in mind or was Ritter always meant to be a recurring player?

Whichever way he goes is fine, but it’s definitely surprising that the guy brought in after him has already been bumped up to series regular and he hasn’t. That would seem to suggest Ritter was intended to be more recurring (like Capp and Tony). But that’s a choice the writers have to make, and it’s probably going to come down to what they can figure out to do with Ritter now that his story isn’t front and center anymore.

Next. Grading this season of Chicago Fire. dark

For the latest Chicago Fire season 8 spoilers and news, plus more on the entire series, follow the Chicago Fire category at One Chicago Center.