Sam Carver is being positioned as a new Chicago Fire leader

The character seems is inching closer to the spotlight.

CHICAGO FIRE -- "On The Hook" Episode 12005 -- Pictured: (l-r) Christian Stolte as Randy "Mouch" McHolland, Jake Lockett as Sam Carver, Miranda Rae Mayo as Stella Kidd -- (Photo by: Adrian S Burrows Sr/NBC)
CHICAGO FIRE -- "On The Hook" Episode 12005 -- Pictured: (l-r) Christian Stolte as Randy "Mouch" McHolland, Jake Lockett as Sam Carver, Miranda Rae Mayo as Stella Kidd -- (Photo by: Adrian S Burrows Sr/NBC) /
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Sam Carver (Jake Lockett) was definitely a wild card inclusion when he was introduced in Chicago Fire season 11. The character was hot-headed, impulsive, and clearly bogged down by trauma that went back to his childhood (which he later confirmed in a moment of vulnerability).

Carver is still a bit impulsive, but he's chilled out immensely when it comes to his dynamics with the rest of the 51 team, and he's really risen up the ranks in terms of how much screen time he gets.

Carver is getting increasingly more screen time

Jake Lockett
Premiere Of Parade Deck’s “Lycan” - Arrivals / Albert L. Ortega/GettyImages

He is the one at the forefront of most of the firefighting scenes these days, alongside Stella Kidd (Miranda Rae Mayo), and as such, it feels like the character is being positioned to lead the show into its next phase.

We're not suggesting that Carver is going to boot out beloved characters like Kidd or Mouch (Christian Stolte) or Herrmann (David Eigenberg), but it's clear the 51 veterans can't do their jobs forever. Mouch nearly died in season 11, and is trying to reinvent himself on the backend of his career, while Herrmann narrowly dodged an explosion and suffered hearing loss in the season 12 premiere.

The veterans' time at 51 is winding down, and the man who previously led the way, Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney), spends more time investigating fires than he does putting them out these days. Severide seems far more invested in the aftermath than the actual blazes, which makes a guy like Carver even more important to the show's makeup.

He's taking up the Severide mantle within 51

Chicago Fire - Season 12
CHICAGO FIRE -- "Barely Gone" Episode 12001 -- Pictured: (l-r) Taylor Kinney as Kelly Severide, Daniel Kyri as Darren Ritter, Jake Lockett as Sam Carver -- (Photo by: Adrian S Burrows Sr/NBC) /

The fans need somebody who's willing to put his life on the line, and sometimes make risky decisions to save innocent bystanders. Severide spent a decade as the reigning king of risky firefighter moves, but he's clearly moved on to a different phase of his life (and understandably so).

Carver represents the future of the show, and his burgeoning romance with another one of the show's younger characters, Violet Mikami (Hanako Greensmith), only supports this theory. It seems as though Carver is being positioned as the successor to Severide, which feels especially relevant given how little the real Severide has been around.

Related: Severide isn't interesting in fighting fires anymore

Chicago Fire creator Michael Brandt recently spoke to MovieWeb about the show's cast changes, and he assured fans that it's a natural part of the process (especially when a show has been on for over a decade). Veteran characters recede, and new ones rise to the fore.

Do you think Carver has what it takes to be a Chicago Fire mainstay?

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