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Where Did Boden Go on Chicago Fire?

Between the political turmoil, firehouse exits, and family drama, Boden is staring down an unclear future at 51. 

By Jessica White

Change has been a theme throughout Season 12 of Chicago Fire, and as Chi-Hards bid farewell to several beloved characters, some wonder if Firehouse 51's longtime leader, Chief Wallace Boden (Eamonn Walker), could be the next one out the door. 

How to Watch

Watch Chicago Fire Wednesdays at 9/8c on NBC and next day on Peacock.

Leading nail-biting rescue missions since Season 1, it's hard to imagine Firehouse 51 without Boden's guidance. However, Season 12 has brought some major developments for the character: He has been placed on the short-list for Deputy Fire Commissioner, a position that would allow him to oversee the entire CFD, potentially tearing him away from 51. We've also seen him form a stronger bond with his stepson, James (Juan Lozada), after his ex-wife landed in federal prison.

RELATED: What's Happened to Chief Wallace Boden on Chicago Fire?

All of this is to say: Boden has been a busy man in Chicago Fire Season 12, ushering forth a new era for the firehouse while navigating many changes within his personal life. 

Wallace Boden (Eamonn Walker), Darren Ritter (Daniel Kyri) and Stella Kidd (Miranda Rae Mayo) appear in a scene from Chicago Fire.

Where did Wallace Boden go in Season 12 of Chicago Fire?

In Season 12, Episode 9 ("Something About Her"), we saw Boden take a leave of absence from Firehouse 51 to help James, who was strugging to clean up the mess his mother's imprisonment left behind. 

The episode began with Boden offering James an administrative job at Firehouse 51 to help him make ends meet with his mom gone. James showed up late on his first day thanks to the other jobs he's picked up to improve his financial situation. 

Boden took note of James's exhaustion and burnt-out demeanor. But James told his stepfather he was fine. After connecting with 51 friend Kylie Estevez (Katelynn Shennett), James opened up about his money problems. He was about to lose his mother's house in Michigan. The tenants he was renting the house out to refused to pay their bills, and James was struggling to evict them. The bank was threatening to foreclose the house if the mortgage wasn't paid ASAP. Kylie encouraged James to ask Boden for help. 

Later that day, Boden couldn't find James and was getting worried. Turns out, the looming foreclosure prompted James to leave for Michigan and attempt to fix this mess on his own. 

RELATED: Kara Killmer Reveals How the Chicago Fire Cast Stays Strong Through Character Exits

Ultimately, Boden decided he wouldn't allow James to struggle alone. He'd travel to Michigan and help James settle matters with the house, even if he waited to ask for help in the first place. 

"I'm going to be gone a few shifts," Boden told Herrmann (David Eigenberg). 

"Don't worry," Herrmann encouraged. "We’ve got you covered."

Wallace Boden left Firehouse 51 to help his stepson

A closeup of Eamonn Walker as Chief Wallace Boden

After a long drive, Boden arrived at the run-down house that James used to call his home. Stepping over litter and various furniture pieces strewn upon the lawn, Boden knocked on the door. James was shocked to see Boden at his doorstep, instantly apologizing for keeping him in the dark. Boden wouldn't allow him to harp on it.

"I was worried about you, son," Boden assured him. "Besides, this looks like a two-man job, to say the least."

Overcome with emotion, James finally opened up to Boden. "I got [the renters] to leave, but I'm behind three months on the mortgage," James panicked. "The bank's threatening to foreclose, and I don't even know where to start with this mess and-"

"Hey, hey, hey," Boden comforted him. "You just start."

It's unclear how long Boden’s latest challenge will take him away from Firehouse 51, but the last thing he’ll do is turn his back on his family. 

Watch Chicago Fire on Wednesdays at 9/8c on NBC and the next day on Peacock.