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Chicago Fire Is Bringing In 'Fresh Blood' To Threaten Firehouse 51, But I'm Not Sure It Has To Be A Bad Thing

 Eamonn Walker as Wallace Boden in Chicago Fire Season 12x08.
Eamonn Walker as Wallace Boden in Chicago Fire Season 12x08.

Spoilers ahead for Episode 8 of Chicago Fire Season 12, called "All the Dark."

Firehouse 51 was all but in crisis mode in "All the Dark," and it's clear that the fairy tale ending of Brett's Chicago Fire story doesn't mean a happily-ever-after for everybody she left behind in the 2024 TV schedule. As Violet continued to struggle with new partner Lennox, the complaints he filed against her and Severide had the potential to cause serious problems in their careers. As if that wasn't enough, Gibson's secret was revealed: he's struggling with drugs and needs to step back from CFD. By the end of the hour, Boden was set for a tense conversation with Paramedic Chief Robinson, who made a threat that could be bad for 51 but great for the show.

While Gibson's story seems finished for now since he's taking a break from work as a firefighter, the plot is still thickening when it comes to Robinson and her vendetta. "All the Dark" at least revealed why she had it out for Violet, and it turned out that her reasons were a lot bigger than just trying to tarnish the career of one particular paramedic, like what Emma tried in Season 11. In fact, the episode revealed that Lennox wasn't so much a co-conspirator of Robinson's as a by-the-book kind of EMT whose approach fit with that of the chief, and Lennox was gone from 51 by the episode's end.

Robinson's ambitions were a lot higher than ruining Violet, as she really wanted to tarnish Boden's reputation via the complaints against Violet and Severide from the previous week's episode, which is available streaming now via Peacock Premium subscription. The CFD position of Deputy Commissioner is about to open up with the retirement of DC Hill, who had been one of Stella Kidd's supporters during her efforts to make lieutenant. Boden and Robinson were both candidates to get the promotion, and Robinson was going to some shady lengths to try and get an edge on him.

Unfortunately for her, Boden just went ahead and reported the situation to DC Hill, who looked into it. The charges against 51 were dropped and Robinson was pulled from the short list for the role of interim Deputy Commissioner. Happy ending for Boden, right? Maybe not. Robinson made a point to Boden that's hard to overlook:

You certainly played DC Hill. For some reason, she fast-tracked those charges I filed so she could take a look. When she called me into her office, she said the incidents Lennox cited show what she's always liked about you. You protect your firefighters. I told her you overprotect them and create a lax, dangerous environment... That DC position is just interim right now. In a few months, they'll start looking to appoint a permanent Deputy Commissioner. And when that time comes, there will be no DC Hill her to protect you or Firehouse 51. The old guard is on their way out, Chief Boden. And there are more of us than you know who believe it's time for some fresh blood.

Obviously, the prospect of the Paramedic Chief and others like her in the CFD going after our heroes isn't intended as something that fans should root for actually working, but the plot doesn't strike me as a bad thing for the stories that Chicago Fire tells, particularly in light of the renewal for Season 13. A show running this long needs new obstacles, and Robinson does actually have a point.

Firehouse 51 protecting their own has been one of the most endearing parts of Chicago Fire going back to the beginning, but it does get unhealthy sometimes, and it was arguably unfair to Lennox that he got the boot back to the floater pool since it was retaliation for filing his complaints. While I don't want Boden to lose to Robinson, the idea of 51 dealing with "fresh blood" is interesting and could mix things up in some intriguing ways.

For now, we can only wait and see if Robinson's threat is one that will come to anything before the end of Season 12 or will go on hold until Season 13. Robinson noted that the CFD will appoint a permanent Deputy Commissioner "in a few months," which – if she truly meant three months – would be late June in real time, by which point Fire will presumably be on its summer hiatus.

We can only keep tuning in to NBC on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET to see what's next for Firehouse 51 on Chicago Fire. As always, One Chicago's first responder drama airs between Chicago Med at 8 p.m. and Chicago P.D. at 10 p.m. All three shows are available streaming via Peacock.