Last Night’s Chicago Fire: Not So Much a Bang as a Whimper
The latest episode of Chicago Fire was an improvement over last week’s instalment with more humorous moments, some of the emotional scenes we love, and even a little romance teaser for Chief Boden (Eamonn Walker), but – and this is a huge but – the series is going down a “straight from a soap opera” storyline involving truck’s lieutenant, Matthew Casey (Jesse Spencer). More on that melodrama later.
“Out with a Bang” opens with Gabriela Dawson (Monica Raymund) taking an important exam at the Academy and catching fellow female recruit Rebecca Jones (guest star Daisy Betts) apparently cheating by using her phone. As someone billed as a new love interest for Severide, Jones has done nothing but irritate. Last week she threw a classmate under the bus (or fire truck), and now she’s cheating. It’ll be interesting to see if the supposed romance ever materializes, and if we’ll even care enough to notice.
Back at 51, Peter Mills (Charlie Barnett) shows up in his shiny, new squad T-shirt. Oh, you know the guys are going to have fun with this. And they do not disappoint.
A reporter comes to the house to interview Mills because he’s one of the youngest to ever make squad. The smug look on Pete’s face lets everyone know he’s not falling for this. He knows it’s all a prank. He answers the reporter’s question on how he made squad with the gem, “Because I’m handsome. Camera ready.” Hilarious. Later, when he calls the newspaper to find out if the reporter does work there, he’s not quite so smug. Oh crap, the guy really is a reporter. He tries to contact the “not fake” reporter to clear everything up, but the guy says he’s running with it.
Leslie Shay (Lauren German) finally has to face the music, or in this case, Daryl’s lawyer. Surprise, surprise, Daryl, the guy who committed suicide in front of her, has left her his estate, including his apartment. Shay’s mortified and says she want nothing to do with that “blood” money.
Leslie German is always good in every episode, making the most out of all her scenes. She’s got some great ones tonight. When she enters Daryl’s apartment and is met with his bloody sofa, it’s pretty heartbreaking. She’s heartbroken, and so are we.
Daryl’s creepy brother Jed sneaks up on Shay at the apartment and is a little too thrilled when she tells him she doesn’t want the money. It’s all his.
The first big fire of the night is at an apartment building set ablaze by a propane grill. One tenant doesn’t want to leave his home. Casey yells at him telling the guy to get out and quit his crying. So un-Casey like. Our first, not so subtle, hint of the night that all is not well with the lieutenant. A much better development at the fire is that Boden meets a pretty tenant who tells him the landlord hasn’t fixed broken heaters, so that’s why the grill was fired up inside the building.
Boden, seeing how pretty this lady is and realizing he hasn’t had any love for a season and a half, goes to tell the landlord he better make some repairs. Now. I think the heat will be burning bright shortly, if you know what I mean.
Rebecca tries to justify her cheating to Dawson by pulling the dyslexia card. Dawson doesn’t want to hear it. Later, she asks Casey if she should tell Severide. He says absolutely not, just worry about yourself.
Rebecca slightly redeems herself when the recruits have to go through a smokey building. Dawson panics and somehow her mask flies off. Jones comes back for her, puts her mask on, and calms her down. They make it out with Rebecca saying she owed her one.
Donna (guest star Melissa Ponzio), the tenant with the heater problem, shows up at 51 to thank Boden personally for getting the landlord to fix the heat. He’s a little clueless and doesn’t know how to react. Thankfully, Mills is watching and tells him to make a move, the lady’s interested. Boden doesn’t seem to believe it, but by episode’s end, he’s at the woman’s door and she’s offering up dinner. It was nice to see a softer side of Boden, to see him awkward and not so self-assured. Definitely one of the sweeter moments of the night.
Another touching story line was Shay getting to know her new partner Allison Rafferty (guest star Christine Evangelista). When the two transport a victim to the hospital, Shay finds out that Rafferty was a resident there, having to drop out when her fiancé was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease. He died six months ago. The big-hearted Shay tells her that she just went through a rough time, and it almost swallowed her up. If you need someone, I’m here. Rafferty almost cries, and they share a hug. Wow, Rafferty’s risking getting some of those lesbian cooties? She’s come a long way from last week.
After the hug, Shay is met with a screaming Jed outside the firehouse. Daryl’s brother wants to know where the money is. Clarke sends him packing and tells Shay that in his part time criminal investigation job, he’s discovered that Jed was stealing Daryl’s military pension for years. By episode’s end, Shay decides to keep the money and save the nearly bank repossessed Molly’s. Yay, Hermann’s business venture hasn’t failed. Yet. The final scene is awesome with everyone toasting Shay.
Now to the worst story line of this season, last season, of any season that ChiFi will ever have. The writers have decided to give the character of Casey a layer through his brain injury. In the lamest move since General Hospital played out this scenario years ago, Casey is turning into angry, badass, macho man.
He’s at a restaurant with Dawson and thinks some guy is eyeballing his chick. He confronts the guy who admits he’s been keeping an eye on his new car right outside the window by Dawson. The guy says he needs an apology and Casey goes ballistic shoving the man to the floor and getting himself kicked out. Throughout the episode, he also assures Dawson, Kelly, and the Chief that he’s fine.
Taylor Kinney has said in interviews that he felt the show was “jumping the shark” last season with the idea that Shay and Severide would consider having a baby the old fashioned way. If that was “jumping the shark” then this is jumping a darn orca whale! There has to be some writer’s code that says you cannot add character development through a brain injury. The same code that says you can’t have Dawson waking up at this season’s end to discover that she’s dreamt the whole thing. Please let Casey get the help he needs and move on from this ridiculousness before viewers decide they’re out. Not with a bang, but more with a whimper.
- Shay had the funny line of the night when she tells Rafferty, “It’s gonna take more than homophobia and too much eyeshadow to win my affection.”
- Plenty of bromoments to be had. Kelly questioning Casey on his health. Casey confiding in him that he doesn’t remember the two days before the accident and, perhaps more worrisome, he doesn’t remember chunks of time before and after the accident. Kelly tries to convince him to talk to Dawson. Try harder, Severide. We need this story line to die and you’re just the man to kill it.
- Katie and Otis continue their blossoming nerdmance. Otis asks Kelly for permission to date Katie and Severide whips out a saw to go with his death stare. So funny. Katie’s been a great addition to this season. Hope they keep her, but with how things are going, she’ll probably go be a regular on Person of Interest.
- Katie loves Tahitian Tingles. You can Google that later. In a related development, these silly kids don’t know what second base is.
- Mills gets to pull a photographer out of a smokestack in his first official rescue as a member of squad. The proud look on Boden’s face is awesome.
- Mills also finds out that the reporter WAS just a set up. He’s really a reporter, but not assigned to interview him. The prankster? Chief Boden. Mills is thrilled that the chief is punking him. He knows this means love.
- Next week’s episode looks exciting with a crossover with some Chicago P.D. cast members including Sophia Bush. The Internet’s been pushing for a Severide/Detective Lindsay hookup. Who will it be? Rebecca Jones? Erin Lindsay? Let’s see if there’s any chemistry between cop and fireman.