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What Happened to Steven R. McQueen's Character Jimmy Borrelli on Chicago Fire?

The handsome young firefighter made many Season 4 and Season 5 episodes must-watch material.

By Jessica White

Steven R. McQueen's tenure as Jimmy Borrelli on Chicago Fire was nothing short of remarkable.

Joining Firehouse 51 in Season 4 of Chicago Fire, McQueen's Borrelli brought a delightful blend of youthful charm and vulnerable zeal to the station. His character was eager and passionate, a winning combo when being indoctrinated into the 51 family.

RELATED: A Breakdown of the Current Chicago Fire Cast

Though his time on the show was brief, McQueen's unforgettable portrayal of the 51 candidate continues to be remembered fondly.

Jimmy Borelli on Chicago Fire Episode 502

When did Steven R. McQueen join Chicago Fire?

McQueen joined the cast of Chicago Fire in Season 4, Episode 1 ("Let It Burn") in a recurring role as Jimmy Borrelli before being promoted to the main cast in Season 4, Episode 7 ("Sharp Elbows").

Viewers may recognize McQueen for his iconic role as Jeremy Gilbert in the supernatural drama The Vampire Diaries.

McQueen and Taylor Kinney — who plays Kelly Severide on Chicago Fire — had appeared together in The Vampire Diaries during Kinney's tenure as a werewolf.

Danny Borrelli and Jimmy appear in a scene from Chicago Fire.

How was Jimmy Borrelli introduced on Chicago Fire?

McQueen's Jimmy Borrelli was introduced in the Season 4 premiere of Chicago Fire ("Let It Burn"), but his first impression at Firehouse 51 didn't go well: His older brother, fellow CFD firefighter Danny Borrelli (Andy Ahrens), hazed him by dropping him off at the station tied up, tape-gagged, covered in toilet paper, and reeking of beer.

Then-Chief Wallace Boden (Eamonn Walker) told Jimmy to leave and not come back, but Jimmy later returned to promise the chief that he'd show him he had what it took to become an exemplary 51 candidate.

He was a member of Season 4's new candidate class, along with Paramedic-in-Charge Jessica "Chili" Chilton (Dora Madison) and ​​​​​​Stella Kidd (Miranda Rae Mayo).

His relationship with his problematic older brother would remain a significant storyline throughout his time at 51.

Jimmy Borrelli on Chicago Fire Episode 401

What happened between Jessica "Chili" Chilton and Jimmy Borrelli on Chicago Fire?

As fellow newbies at the firehouse, Jimmy and Chili became good friends quickly, especially after she lent him a hand after his awkward introduction.

Their flirtatious friendship continued until Chili unexpectedly kissed him, and the couple began officially dating in Season 4, Episode 6 ("2112").

RELATED: Chicago Fire Executive Producer Reveals Everything About Where the Show Is Filmed

In Season 4, Episode 8 ("When Tortoises Fly"), Jimmy told Chili that he cared for her. However, the couple hit a snag after Kelly Severide was temporarily replaced by Dallas Patterson (Brian White), who was spying on Firehouse 51.

After noticing Chili and Jimmy's blatant public displays of affection around the station, Matthew Casey (Jesse Spencer) warned Jimmy to dial down the romantics to avoid 51 being seen as too carefree about workplace romances. Jimmy subsequently told Chili to tone down the PDA..

But she shortly thereafter joined Jimmy in the station's shower and instigated sex, and the couple was caught by Patterson. They received an official warning, and Jimmy was horrified — but Chili laughed it off. Frustrated, Jimmy ended their relationship.

He tried to stay friends, but Chili resented him for breaking up with her just to save face around the department.

Jimmy Borrelli and Chili on Chicago Fire Episode 409

What happened to Jimmy Borrelli's brother Danny Borrelli on Chicago Fire?

After spearheading Jimmy's rocky introduction to Firehouse 51, Danny — who worked at the nearby Engine 67 — caught wind of the problems he'd caused for Jimmy and encouraged his little brother to transfer.

Jimmy refused and Danny was initially furious, but they eventually made up and charted separate paths within the CFD.

In Season 4, Episode 22 ("Where the Collapse Started"), Danny visited Jimmy for help with a shady business deal and was turned away, leading to a tense argument between the brothers.

Later, 51 received a call for assistance for a building collapse that Engine 67 and Jimmy's brother were already addressing. After giving Jimmy the cold shoulder at the scene, Danny went into the building with Firehouse 51 to help find and recover any victims.

RELATED: The Most Devastating Deaths on Chicago Fire Across All Seasons

As the building crumbled around them, Boden gave the order for the companies to evacuate. As the squads exited, Danny mistakenly believed he heard a civilian cry out for help behind them and pleaded with Boden for permission to go back.

The Chief agreed to give Danny just one minute to find the civilian but, moments after he re-entered the building, the roof collapsed. Jimmy rushed inside to help his brother, who was pinned down by rubble, prompting Jimmy to scream for assistance.  Boden, however, was hesitant to risk anyone else's life in the collapsing building continued to collapse and, instead, ran inside himself to pull Jimmy to safety... just as an avalanche of debris fell atop Danny, tragically killing him.

Danny's death was a heart-shattering to Jimmy, who took a leave of absence from the department.

Jimmy Borelli on Chicago Fire Episode 502

What happened between Chief Wallace Boden and Jimmy Borrelli on Chicago Fire?

Jimmy ultimately came to resent Boden, telling Severide and Casey that he believed the chief erred in giving Danny the one minute he'd requested. Severide told Jimmy to cool down, leading him to storm off and begin isolating himself from his 51 colleagues. 

RELATED: Why Did Boden Leave Firehouse 51 on Chicago Fire?

In the Season 5 premiere of Chicago Fire ("The Hose or the Animal"), tensions between Jimmy and Boden reached a fever pitch when the chief refused the young man's request to be transferred to Truck 81. Fed up with Boden's decision and still resenting him for his role in his brother's death, Jimmy visited Boden with an envelope — an official grievance.


Why did Jimmy Borrelli leave Chicago Fire?

Jimmy's time at Firehouse 51 was cut short in Season 5, Episode 2 ("A Real Wake Up Call") .

All CFD units were called to a multi-vehicle accident and one of the trucks involved in the collision contained explosive material, raising the stakes on the rescue operation. Jimmy went to help a victim in one of the vehicles, but Boden commanded him to stand down. He refused to accept the command and approached the truck anyway, just in time for it to explode.

Jimmy was set ablaze and suffer severe burns all over his face and body. He was whisked to the hospital, where he thankfully survived the harrowing ordeal but lost his left eye. The injury effectively ended Jimmy's firefighting career.

By the end of the episode, Jimmy and Boden reconciled, but it was a heart-wrenching conclusion to his tenure on the show.

Watch Chicago Fire on NBC and Peacock.

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Watch Chicago Fire on NBC and Peacock.