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After Chicago Fire Said Another Goodbye To A Firefighter, I Have High Hopes For A Different Character

 Miranda Rae Mayo and Taylor Kinney in Chicago Fire 12x03.
Miranda Rae Mayo and Taylor Kinney in Chicago Fire 12x03.

Spoilers ahead for Episode 3 of Chicago Fire Season 12, called "Trapped."

The heroes of Firehouse 51 were doing more than just fighting the usual fires in Chicago Fire's newest episode, with Brett and Violet using their ambulance to chase down a man who had abducted a woman. Meanwhile, Severide was itching to play fire cop again and investigate an arson case in Tucscon, to the dismay of Stella after what happened last time. That would have meant leaving Squad 3 in Cruz's hands again, which has been a touchy subject in Season 12. After "Trapped," another character took their leave from Firehouse 51 not too long after Gallo, while Violet's story is heating up in the 2024 TV schedule.

Severide in Chicago Fire Season 11
Severide in Chicago Fire Season 11

Severide Leaves Again

Yes, Severide left Chicago to work in arson investigation again, although his departure this time is much less open-ended than when he left back in Season 11. Van Meter wasn't about to let Severide waste his potential as an arson investigator, but Stella wasn't budging on giving him the go-ahead after he disappeared on her last time. It wasn't until after a conversation with Cruz about feeling trapped that she changed her mind and told him he could go, but that he couldn't go MIA on her again.

She also told her husband that he needs the permission of somebody else as well: Cruz. The Squad firefighter shouldered the burden of Severide's job for months without having the lieutenant rank himself, and was more than a little resentful when Severide expected him to just fall back in line once he returned. Some complicated feelings from Cruz were all but inevitable, so Severide checking in with him this time has to be a good thing. He decided not to pursue the lieutenant's exam just yet, but will step up in Squad 3 again.

The good news is that Severide intends to come home after the Tucson case, so this departure presumably isn't going to be like when he was absent for months in Season 11 to accommodate Taylor Kinney's leave of absence. He's not mentioned in the episode description for February 7 and doesn't appear in the promo, though, so he may not be back next week. On the plus side, "Trapped" ended on a reveal that could be a very big deal in the next episode, and that's due to Violet.

Hanako Greensmith as Violet in Chicago Fire
Hanako Greensmith as Violet in Chicago Fire

Violet Moves Forward

Violet had a rough ride in Season 11 thanks to the death of Evan Hawkins just a few episodes in, followed by the return of Emma with revenge on her mind. Then Season 12 started with her losing Gallo due to actor Alberto Rosende's departure, although Gallo fortunately exited alive and well. Sparks have been flying between her and Carver, and she finally admitted to Brett in "Trapped" why she didn't intend to go any farther with him. Dating a first responder again would mean opening herself up to brutal heartbreak like when she lost Hawkins.

That 100% made sense for her character, but that resolve fizzled away after Carver confronted her in a moment alone about her hot-and-cold treatment of him. They shared a kiss, which was steamy enough that he suggested they leave together and she didn't exactly argue with him. The stage is set for potential fallout in the next episode, for better or worse!

And when Chicago Fire showrunner Andrea Newman spoke with CinemaBlend ahead of Season 12, she addressed how hard losing Gallo hit Violet and what to expect from the characters in 2024:

She's going through this with Gallo and she had her experience with the tragedy of Hawkins last year and she knows that her partner has plans. She's going through a lot this season and coming out really much stronger because of it in a very – I keep using this word – Violet-y way [laughs]. But she's incredibly tough as a character. She's got a great sense of humor, and she can get through a lot because of that, but she also lean on you know, her relationship with the people 51 to get through it and make her stronger. This is a great kind of coming out season for Violet as a real toughie

Brett's wedding is quickly approaching, with Violet planning a bachelorette party for her Ambo 61 partner in "Trapped." While Violent has been very happy for Brett getting to build a life with Casey, she'll lose another friend from Firehouse 51. According to the showrunner, however, this doesn't mean a miserable time for Violet, but a "great kind of coming out season." And I am more invested than ever after seeing Violet take a big step forward with Carver!

The promo for the next episode, called "The Little Things," doesn't give away any details about the Violet/Carver aftermath or how Severide's absence affects the team for the second time, but it looks like an intense episode all the same:

New episodes of Chicago Fire air on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC, between Chicago Med at 8 p.m. and Chicago P.D. at 10 p.m. If you want to revisit earlier days of One Chicago sooner rather than later, you can find all three shows streaming with a Peacock Premium subscription.