Fire Country's Billy Burke Discussed The Relationship Between Vince And Max Thieriot’s Bode, And He's Giving Me Hope For Them After Episode 4

Billy Burke as Vince cleaning the fire station in Episode 4 of Fire Country.
(Image credit: CBS)

One of the more tense and complex relationships among Fire Country’s cast of characters is between Billy Burke and Max Thieriots’ characters. Burke plays Vince, the battalion chief at the fire station, he’s also Bode’s (Thieriot) dad. When Bode returns to his hometown to join the fire camp, which is inspired by a real firefighter program, for a second chance in life he doesn't exactly receive a warm welcome from his father. Burke recently talked about Vince's relationship with Bode, and after the latest episode of the CBS drama inspired by Thieriots’ hometown, it seems like things might be moving in the right direction between the two. 

Billy Burke Discusses The Relationship Between Vince And Bode

In the first four episodes of Fire Country, we’ve come to know that Bode and Vince are not on good terms because of what happened to Riley, Bode’s sister and Vince’s daughter. It’s clear that Burke’s character really holds the accident against Bode, and has not forgiven him for it. While chatting with TV Line, the actor talked about how hurt his character is by what happened to Riley.

Yeah, to Vince that appeared to be a sudden abandonment of everything. OK, so [Bode] made a big mistake, but then he turned that big mistake into five more huge mistakes that changed everything. But that is sometimes what people do when they feel hopeless.

While things are still for sure tense, we have seen small moments of empathy from the father-son duo, and hopefully, things will start to get better. In Episode 3 we saw an attempt at a truce from Vince, however, it was fairly awkward. Burke spoke about that moment and the future of his relationship with Bode, saying: 

Yeah, it’s going to happen in waves just like all things do, even in romantic relationships. I always go back to the reference that they made on Seinfeld a long time ago, about how you’ve got to rock the Coke machine back and forth before it tips over. We’re going to go through quite a bit before there’s any semblance of stable ground between Vince and Bode.

While Burke and Thieriot’s off-screen relationship is great, there is a long way to go between the two characters. However, after the latest episode, I have hope.  

Why Episode 4 Gives Me Hope For Max Thieriot’s Bode And Billy Burke’s Vince

Spoilers for Episode 4 “Work, Don’t Worry” ahead. 

After Episode 3, there was a minuscule step forward for Vince and Bode; however, I felt like the two actually made some strides toward reconciliation in Episode 4. Vince is put in a life-threatening situation after a building collapses, while Bode, his mom, and the others of Cal Fire are outside. Throughout the episode, Bode recites a mantra his dad always said: “work, don’t worry.” That alone shows that Thieriot’s character is starting to come around to his dad. However, it was a bigger moment toward the end of the episode that really showed that the two characters may be moving in a more positive direction. 

Clearly, Bode was worried about his dad during the episode, and he even said the last thing he told his dad was “pretty awful.” After the crew rescued Vince from a near-death experience, Bode comes up to his dad and tells him he’s glad he’s OK. The longing look his dad gives him seems to allude to better days ahead for the two. While it’s a subtle moment I think it goes back to what Burke was saying about rocking the Coke machine. While things won’t be stable immediately I think they’ll get there. 

Also, on a not-so-happy note, Sharon, Bode’s mom, collapsed at the end of the episode. I have a feeling this will force the two men closer together in the next episode, and make them confront everything. 

With a lot of Season 1 left, and a Season 2 on the way, Bode and Vince will have plenty of time to work through their issues, and I hope eventually they will forgive each other. You can watch the evolution of this complex relationship every Friday on CBS at 9 p.m. ET, or you can streaming Fire Country using a Paramount+ subscription. 

Riley Utley
Weekend Editor

Riley Utley is the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. She has written for national publications as well as daily and alt-weekly newspapers in Spokane, Washington, Syracuse, New York and Charleston, South Carolina. She graduated with her master’s degree in arts journalism and communications from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. Since joining the CB team she has covered numerous TV shows and movies -- including her personal favorite shows Ted Lasso and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. She also has followed and consistently written about everything from Taylor Swift to Fire Country, and she's enjoyed every second of it.