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Derrick Gibson’s Dark Past Was Revealed on Chicago Fire

Gibson tried keeping his distance from his Firehouse 51 colleagues  — but his walls finally came down. 

By Jessica White

The action has been heating up on Season 12 of Chicago Fire, and it's made even hotter with Firehouse 51 recruit Derrick Gibson, played by One Chicago newcomer Rome Flynn

How to Watch

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

Gibson made his way to the station after impressing Stella Kidd (Miranda Rae Mayo) with his impromptu heroics on a call, instantly proving he has what it takes to join 51's elite crew. Gibson is kind and polite but keeps his cards close to his vest, seemingly uninterested in forging bonds with fellow firefighters. Relating to Gibson's status as a newcomer who prefers to keep his business private, Sam Carver (Jake Lockett) has been doing his best to befriend Gibson, but it hasn't been simple. 

RELATED: All About Rome Flynn, Who Plays Derrick Gibson in Chicago Fire Season 12

Viewers finally began to peel back some of Gibson's complex layers in Season 12, Episode 5 ("On The Hook"). Here's what happened: 

Derrick Gibson's dark past came back to haunt him

Derrick Gibson comforts a basketball player in Chicago Fire Episode 1205.

Firehouse 51 responded to a call concerning a high school basketball player who was knocked unconscious by his teammate in the middle of practice. The boy's condition was rough, and to add further complications, the teammate felt immense guilt for his role in the injury. It was an all-around bad situation, but Gibson was paying extra close attention to the guilty teammate, Marcus (Jonathan Gardner).

Always the observer, Carver instantly clocked Gibson's off behavior, which was only amplified after he noticed Gibson privately chatting with a psychiatric nurse. Carver attempted to get 51's recruit to open up while on break at the station, but it only earned him a scalding dismissal from Gibson, who told him to back off. 

RELATED: All About Sam Carver, the Cocky Recruit on Chicago Fire

Gibson later apologized for his outburst, admitting to Carver that he was rattled by the basketball team call. Carver told him that he'd be happy to go with Gibson to visit the hospital to check on the kid, which Gibson accepted. But they weren't heading to the hospital — they were going to Marcus' house. While chatting with Marcus, Gibson learned he was tearing himself apart over the incident, spending the entire night in the ICU. 

"Feeling responsible for another person's life, it's a heavy load to put on yourself," Gibson told Marcus. "It's not easy to shake, either. Believe me. I know that feeling. It's like two giant hands squeezing your rib cage so tight you can barely breathe."

Gibson continued, "It ain't on you, Marcus. Look, what happened to that boy, it's not your fault. Nobody ends up in the ICU after a collision like that unless they have other health issues going on."

Marcus slowly felt comforted by Gibson, especially after learning his teammate was expected to fully recover. After leaving Marcus' house, Carver was keen to comment on the touching soliloquy, telling Gibson he seemed to know what he was talking about. 

"I'm sorry for whatever you went through," Carver said, cautiously giving Gibson space after being pushed away the day before. But, just as Carver started to head home, Gibson bridged the gap. 

"I killed a man," Gibson confessed, catching Carver off guard.

Derrick Gibson and Sam Carver had a heartwarming one-on-one

Derrick Gibson looks stressed in firefighting gear on the street in Chicago Fire Episode 1202.

Cut to Gibson and Carver sharing a drink in an empty bar, where Gibson shed some light on his confession, revealing he was once an accomplished boxer. Gibson was trying to earn enough fame from his boxing career to move away from Chicago, but his dreams were cast aside after a match-up against a notorious boxing opponent.

During the ill-destined boxing match, Gibson hit his opponent so hard that he went down and "never got up." The boxing association managed to minimize the details of the death and told Gibson to never speak of the incident to anyone. 

Carver asked Gibson if he ever boxed after that fight, and Gibson revealed he hadn't. 

Jake Lockett as Sam Carver in Chicago Fire

"No," Gibson admitted. "I couldn't get my head on straight. Locking that whole thing away really messed me up. Got so bad I even ended up in a psych unit for stretch."

It clicked for Carver — that's who Gibson was talking to at the hospital earlier. Gibson explained that the nurses at the psychiatric unit were a tremendous help to him in the wake of the tragedy.

"You know, you're not the first guy to join the CFD off the back of some personal misfortune," Carver told him, clearly relating to Gibson's devastating history.

RELATED: Carver Finally Revealed the Scary, Heartbreaking Way He Got His Scar

"Sounds like you know what you're talking about," Gibson teased, echoing Carver's previous sentiment. Carver reminded Gibson that firefighting helps keep the demons at bay, which Gibson appreciated. Before Gibson could even finish asking Carver to keep their conversation between them, Carver assured him that nobody would hear his story from him. 

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