Chicago Fire season 11: Will Steven R. McQueen return as Jimmy Borrelli?

Jimmy Borrelli had a tragic stint on Chicago Fire. The character had romantic tension with several other 51 employees, including Chilton and Brett (Kara Killmer), and his reckless approach to work resulted in a career-ending injury.

Of course, the character’s surprise exit has left the door open for his return, or at least a cameo role in a future season. It’s been years since we’ve seen or heard about him, yet fans continue to ask whether Borrelli is gone for good.

Here’s what we know about Borrelli’s future on Chicago Fire.

Why did Steven R. McQueen leave Chicago Fire?

The character left the show in season 5. He tries to help a victim trapped in a vehicle, but Chief Boden (Eamonn Walker) orders him to stand down out of fear that the vehicle will explode. He ignores the order and springs into action, only to get caught in an explosion.

Borrelli thankfully survives the explosion, but is severely injured as a result. While we never see him again after the incident, we’re told that doctors were not able to save his left eye, thus ending his career as a firefighter.

Fire executive producer Michael Brandt told TV Line that Borrelli’s exit was not due to any tension with the actor, but merely the conclusion of the arc the show set out to tell.

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“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”, he noted. “It was driven by the story and who the characters have evolved into.”

The reasoning was very similar to that of Peter Mills’ exit. Both shocked fans, but both were designed to pay off the characters that the show had spent multiple seasons establishing up to that point.

Unfortunately, the satisfaction and conclusion of Borrelli’s arc means that we aren’t likely to see him again in season 11. Chicago Fire has been good about not bringing characters back just for the sake of a cheap nostalgia hit, but to expand on story elements that were left unresolved.

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