‘Chicago Fire’: Who Should Be Truck 81’s Lieutenant — Kidd or Pelham? (POLL)

Miranda Rae Mayo as Kidd, Brett Dalton as Pelham in Chicago Fire
Adrian S. Burrows Sr./NBC

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Chicago Fire Season 10 Episode 10 “Back With a Bang.”]

“Any other circumstance, this would be the greatest acquisition that 51 has had in a while,” co-showrunner Derek Haas said of Lieutenant Jason Pelham (Brett Dalton) before the winter break. But the problem is that Chicago Fire‘s Firehouse 51 already had someone for the empty spot on Truck 81 (following the exit of Jesse Spencer’s Captain Matt Casey): Stella Kidd (Miranda Rae Mayo), who thought she’d have to move houses after passing the lieutenant’s exam last season.

But, as she shared with her fiancé, Lieutenant Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney), in the winter premiere upon returning from her “Girls on Fire” trip, she held off on getting back to Deputy District Chief Wallace Boden (Eamonn Walker) about claiming the position because she “froze.” She wasn’t saying no to getting her own command, just “maybe not right this second.” She echoed that sentiment to Boden, explaining, “I’m still very excited to become a lieutenant. I just want to slow things down a bit and take advantage of everything I can do now, too.”

Still, that doesn’t mean she’s immediately welcoming of Pelham. And that comes as trouble’s heading his way from an old foe: Chief Kilbourne, who warned Boden “you should have vetted him… don’t be [comfortable with your decision]. You’ll come to regret it soon enough.” As you’ll recall, Kilbourne was on scene when Pelham hit his former captain. What Pelham kept quiet from everyone was he did it because his captain stole jewelry, and as a result, he lost his command and floated for two years until Boden offered him that full-time spot. (“The man’s life was in pieces,” Pelham explained to Boden. “I wasn’t gonna send him to jail on top of that.”)

Brett Dalton at Jason Pelham, Christian Stolte as Mouch in Chicago Fire

Adrian Burrows Sr/NBC

And in “Back With a Bang,” Kidd overheard Boden filling Pelham in on his encounter with Kilbourne. “He isn’t happy I’ve given you a home,” the deputy district chief said, and both hoped it wouldn’t become a problem for the firehouse.

But is it, and is that the explanation for the events teased in the promo (below) for the next episode, “Fog of War.” During a call with live wires, a firefighter is injured — and the blame seems to fall on Pelham. “I never gave her that order,” he insists. But can anyone back him up? Is Kidd right to wonder if Pelham’s really in the clear?

We have to admit we’re a bit suspicious of the timing, given that Pelham’s previous captain said Kilbourne must have it out for him and the chief had that “warning” for Boden. (“There is particularly one chief who does not like the fact that he has landed at a firehouse and so tangles with Boden about it,” Haas previously said.) Pelham’s captain also called him “the most stand-up guy you’re going to find in the CFD or anywhere else for that matter,” and Pelham was prepared to leave 51 a couple episodes ago because he didn’t “want to create unnecessary conflict.” He seems like a nice guy, and since we already had the “is he shady?” situation, it seems like he’s likely what he appears.

The problem is that it’s pretty much a given that Kidd will be taking that lieutenant’s spot on Truck 81 sooner or later. But Fire has also established that it’ll be pretty hard for Pelham to land a command anywhere else, so would Boden let him return to floating, knowing that’s all there will be for him? Or will this eventually end with Boden and Firehouse 51 helping clear Pelham’s name and finding him a home elsewhere so that Kidd can step into that spot on 81?

But what do you think? Let us know in the poll below.

Chicago Fire, Wednesdays, 9/8c, NBC