Last October 2022, CBS dropped its new action- and drama-packed procedural series Fire Country and leading the fiery cast is Bode Donovan, played by SEAL Team actor Max Thieriot. He also co-created the show, inspired by his hometown in Sonoma County, California.
“Fire Country is my baby and something I’ve poured my heart into. Frankly, I didn’t imagine that it would take off so quickly. Or even at all. I love what I’m doing.”
Thieriot’s dedication definitely paid off. According to Noriko Kelley, executive vice president of program planning and scheduling at the network, the show’s freshman season has definitely lit a spark with the viewers.
“Each week, we have seen steady ratings climb and the show is also the number one new series on Paramount+,” he noted. During its first few weeks, the show averaged 7.3 million viewers.
However, that’s not the only viewership milestone it hit. According to Media Traffic, Fire Country entered the Top 20 of Variety’s Top 100 Shows Overall In Viewership for the 2022-2023 season, landing at #15.
The debut season finally concluded last May 19, 2023, and has already been greenlit for a second season!
⚠️Spoilers alert. Read at your own risk.
Meet the Main Characters
Fire Country follows the story of Bode Donovan, a young convict who volunteered at a local firefighting program to redeem himself and, in the process, get a shortened prison sentence. Let’s get to know him and the rest of the team.
Max Thieriot as Bode Donovan
Bode Donovan was born Bode Leone, and he and his sister Riley (Jade Pettyjohn) were raised by their parents, Sharon and Vince, in Edgewater.
He grew up playing baseball but had to stop due to an unfortunate injury. After that, he developed a drug addiction and had to go through rehab. When he got out, things started unraveling.
First, he learned that Riley was secretly dating his friend, Jake. And second, he had broken up with her on her birthday. Bode picked her up from Jake’s, and on the drive home, she was so devastated that she tried to jump out of the car to go back and talk to Jake.
In an attempt to pull her back in the car, he lost control, and they crashed. He survived, but Riley died. He was overcome with so much guilt, blaming himself for her death, and so did his dad. He even told Bode to leave and never come back.
Bode did as he was told, leaving town and even legally changing his name to Donovan. Eventually, he spiraled into trouble, got sucked into a life of crime, and ultimately ended up in prison – charged with armed robbery. He tried to get parole, but he was rejected.
He signed up for the inmate firefighter program to redeem himself and take another shot at an early release, not knowing he would be assigned to his hometown. Facing the ghosts of his past wasn’t part of Bode’s plan, though, so he attempted to get himself relocated. Unfortunately for him, it didn’t work out.
So, he was back to where it all started: Edgewater. Now, he is in the business of putting out fires and saving lives along with everyone he used to know – including his father.
Billy Burke as Vince Leone
Vince Leone is the Chief of Edgewater’s Battalion 1608, a third-generation firefighter, and a damn good one. His boots are always ready on the ground – putting out blazing fires and dirtying his hands, protecting and saving people in his town (not in politics).
When the uniform was off, he was back to being a husband to Sharon and a father to his two kids, Bode and Riley.
Sadly, their family broke apart on the night of Riley’s death. Vince blamed Bode for her death and ordered him to leave without informing his wife. Since then, they weren’t able to fully and completely move on.
Time passed, and Vince never expected to see his son again. When he did, all the anger and hatred came flooding back in.
He pointed out to Sharon, who was also part of Cal Fire that Bode is a rogue and can’t follow simple instructions. Bode replied that he did follow one of his father’s orders to heart.
Manny Perez, the captain overseeing the Edgewater inmate firefighter crew, cut into the conversation and said that it was ultimately in Bode’s hands how his life would turn out to be. Vince warned him that his son would just be a liability.
However, Bode proved his father wrong (at least then) when he played a significant role in rescuing the town’s rec center. While Vince acknowledged it, he was still adamant that Manny was just lucky to have “Good Bode” at that time, and in the end, he would just be burned by him.
His feelings toward Bode also ultimately affected his marriage. When Sharon pressed about what Bode meant that he followed Vince’s order, he was forced to tell her.
He claimed that they wouldn’t have survived if their son stayed. Sharon told him that she loved him, but it would take time for her to forgive him for his actions.
Dianne Farr as Sharon Leone
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Sharon Leone used to be a firefighter on the field, but now she is the no-nonsense Chief of Division 1501. Like her husband, whom she outranks, she is also damn good at her job. Managing and allocating resources across Cal Fire stations is not easy, but she ensures everyone has everything they need to protect the town they serve.
She and Vince had found the sweet spot of how to be husband and wife and co-workers. But just like any couple, they also struggle. One of the biggest struggles they faced – beyond the biggest fires they fought – was the death of their daughter.
The night Riley died, she didn’t just lose her. She also lost Bode. Unlike her husband, Sharon had never once blamed him for the accident. She didn’t have the slightest idea that her husband had ordered their son to leave. So, when he came back, he refused to let him go.
In fact, when Bode was on the verge of getting transferred to another inmate firefighter camp due to a fight that ensued between him and Jake (Well, Bode punched Jake to let him know he still blamed him for his sister’s death), she pleaded with him not to. Sharon then revealed that she was suffering from chronic kidney disease.
And the only thing that mattered to her was to live out the rest of her life with her son.
Kevin Alejandro as Manny Perez
Manny Perez is the fire captain in charge of the inmate firefighter program. He is a man who believes in second chances because he once walked a path that spiraled out of control.
Unlike his peers, Manny didn’t grow up in Edgewater. He spent his early life living stealing one car after another. Of course, that eventually caught up to him, and Manny found himself behind bars.
Like Bode, he turned his life around by joining the inmate firefighter program. He was first stationed at Three Rock Con Camp, where he met Sharon. Years later, after having his daughter Gabriela and getting divorced, she offered him a job as the fire captain in the same camp.
When he first met Bode, he had no idea who he was. The only thing he knew was that he was an inmate. It was only later that he discovered that he was Vince and Sharon’s son.
After their first assignment, Manny already had to deal with Bode. First, he discovered that Bode and his buddy Fred had sneaked in a phone. Bode took responsibility and revealed that he wanted to succeed.
However, he couldn’t if he would stay in Edgewater because it was his hometown. Second, during another assignment, Bode disobeyed his commands.
As a man of second chances, he gave Bode another opportunity to try and become a better person. Additionally, as Sharon asked, he decided to keep him at the camp despite Bode telling him he didn’t want to be there. He told him that it was time to prove his father wrong.
Jordan Calloway as Jake Crawford
Jake and his family – a firefighter father and a doctor mother – moved to Edgewater when he was in fifth grade. His picture-perfect family fell apart after his father cheated on them and had another kid.
He then sets his bed on fire to cry out for help and get his father back. His father didn’t come; instead, Bode’s dad Vince came and put out the fire.
He and Bode easily became best friends, but that relationship turned sour after Bode found out he was dating his sister and broke up with her on her birthday. When Riley died, their friendship came to an end.
Years later, Jake became an Edgewater firefighter, and he and Bode crossed paths again. It was clear that Bode was still angry over what happened, and they even had a physical altercation because of it.
With that, his relationship with Bode will get more complicated as a love triangle forms between him, his girlfriend Gabriela, and Bode himself. Jordan would also have to face a lot of challenges in his career as he maneuvers being accused of arson (due to what Jordan did when he was little) and his family as he finds his half-brother.
Jules Latimer as Eve Edwards
Eve is Jake’s childhood friend and fellow firefighter. As a firefighter, she is fearless, but when she puts her uniform down, she becomes afraid to get attached to anyone.
She feared she’d die and leave the people she loved, just like her late best friend, Riley. Since her death, she has been carrying a lot of grief and guilt that she just couldn’t let go.
However, being friends with both Jake and Riley, Eve sensed that there was more to the story between them. So, she started probing him.
Jake finally revealed to her that he cheated on Riley, and she died before they could resolve their issues. She felt angry and betrayed after learning what had happened.
Jake’s confession definitely changes the dynamic between him and Eve.
Stephanie Arcila as Gabriela Perez
Gabriela, the daughter of fire captain Manny Perez, is a diving champion and Edgewater’s golden girl. She is in a relationship with Jake and is even considering giving up her career to create a new one in town with him. However, things get complicated when she meets Bode, and they develop mutually ‘unspoken’ feelings for one another.
That’s a wrap on the Fire Country cast. Binge the full season on CBS ASAP!