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Chicago Fire’s “You Will Hurt Him” Short on Action, Long on Emotion

By on December 4, 2013
Jesse Spencer as Matthew Casey -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Morris/NBC)

Jesse Spencer as Matthew Casey -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Morris/NBC)

Chicago Fire’s latest episode didn’t pack the usual huge rescues with firefighters in danger, saving babies and kittens in one swoop.  Instead, it focused on the lives of some of our favorite characters, adding backstory and making us care about them even more.  It was an emotional ride that had us on the edge of our seats, but not worrying for their physical safety, but rather, for their emotional well being.

The episode begins with the much anticipated, much teased pairing of Gabriela Dawson (Monica Raymund) and Matthew Casey (Jesse Spencer).  They wake up in bed together with Casey lamenting that he had this chance a year ago and blew it.  He says he’s been regretting it ever since. “It’s our time now,” he tells Gabby.  Don’t count on it young man.  This is a network television drama.  You can’t run off, get married, have two kids, and live in ratings heaven.  No, I suspect obstacles will begin piling up, and this couple will be kaput by season’s end.  The number one obstacle being that these two have a definite lack of chemistry. I don’t buy them rolling around in bed together, making out in the ambo later, and getting it on in the shower area at 51.  The thud of a kiss Casey landed on Dawson’s cheek last season rang truer than any of the forced love scenes of tonight.  They read way more brother and sister than hot couple overcome with passion.

Pictured: (l-r) Brittany Curan as Katie, Taylor Kinney as Kelly Severide -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Morris/NBC)

Pictured: (l-r) Brittany Curan as Katie, Taylor Kinney as Kelly Severide — (Photo by: Elizabeth Morris/NBC)

Another subplot of the night was the Cruz and Leon predicament with Leon getting further entrenched with his former gang to bring the bad guys down.  Cruz was so worried and nervous with brotherly love, superbly portrayed by Joe Minoso, that I could feel the tension in his stomach. I think I could actually feel it.  Casey and Antonio try to calm down Cruz, but he’s not hearing it. He wants Leon done with all this gang nonsense once and for all.

Shay’s downward spiral finally reaches rock bottom with Lauren German making us believe every tear, every tortured look, as we reach for the Kleenex to join her.  Yes, Shay, you were stupid in running to Devon, but we love you nonetheless.  She spends most of the episode wandering around, stopping at a bridge, hanging over the railing, crying into the water below. Kelly’s looking for her after finding out she missed her shift, but his lezbro senses must be running low, or he’s just distracted with the newest member of his family, bouncing baby sister… 21-year-old Katie.

Kelly (Taylor Kinney) and Katie (guest star Brittany Curran) form a sweet sibling bond that happens in Chicago Fire time, super quick but also super believable.  Katie makes amends for standing up the whole firehouse last episode by bringing lasagna, salad, and a whole bunch of charm.  Everyone is won over with Kelly beaming like he raised the kid himself.  He’s also got the big brother thing down as he gives Otis a death stare when he gets a little too friendly with little sis.  These two have chemistry and it makes us want to see more of them working out this new relationship together.

The badass moment of the night is not Shay’s for once.  She’s too far down the rabbit hole.  Severide confronts Dawson and says, “Shay’s in the wind. I am sick and tired of watching you float through life while your best friend is down for the count. Just fix it.” Dawson knows he means business because he has his cry face on, and who wouldn’t be affected by that?  The verbal slap knocks Gabby back to her senses and her amnesia about Shay and her being best friends is lifted.  She’s now on a mission to save her friend, with Casey in tow, of course, because the two are apparently inseparable.

Pictured: (l-r) David Eigenberg as Christopher Herrmann, Christian Stolte as Mouch, Jesse Spencer as Matthew Casey -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Morris/NBC)

Pictured: (l-r) David Eigenberg as Christopher Herrmann, Christian Stolte as Mouch, Jesse Spencer as Matthew Casey — (Photo by: Elizabeth Morris/NBC)

Meanwhile, Leon is in a car with the bad guys and gets them to admit to killing someone.  Detective Voight’s listening and confirms that it should be enough to put the gang member away.  Before the cops can make the arrest, the car Leon’s in is all shot up.  Cruz is in the undercover police car because that’s how things are done in Chicago (ssshhhh, suspend disbelief and just go with it).  He rushes to Leon and we see baby brother covered in blood. Darn you, writers!  You’re pulling a Hallie on us.  Bring back a character we care about just to kill ’em off.  Surprise of the night … Leon is perfectly fine.  He apparently has bulletproof skin and all that blood is from the bad guys.  Don’t get too happy yet, Cruz.  Back at the police station, Antonio says that Leon needs to go far away “maybe forever” to avoid retaliation.  Cruz is distraught and furious with Voight.  Leon reminds him of the good they just did by getting a bad guy off the streets.  Our favorite brothers hug it out, and were reaching for another Kleenex.  It’s a definite two box night.

Dawson finds Shay at their special spot, the bridge, and does the biggest mea culpa in Chicago Fire history. “You asked for my help and I didn’t show up,” Dawson finally admits. “I’m sorry Shay. Let me make it up to you. Let me be your friend again.” The best friends hug it out.  Pass me another Kleenex.  I feel a theme forming – tears and snot all night long.

We’re not done with the waterworks yet. Kelly ends up surprising Katie at her cooking school graduation ceremony.  Her mom couldn’t make it, but he’s there with a huge smile and standing ovation as she walks across the stage.  You had it right last week, Kelly – you are definitely no Benny Severide.  That point is only amplified as he takes her into Molly’s where he’s set up a mini-celebration.  She cries (sticking to the theme) and he says, “I’m proud of ya.”  Kleenex number four, you’re up.

The episode ends with Shay returning home to 51, finally. Who is waiting up?  Gail McLeod with the smuggest look on her face.  Wait, that is just the way she looks. Permanently. She is gloating as she tells Boden that the owner of a trash compactor the guys destroyed to save a victim is suing.  This is the leverage she needs to shut down the firehouse for good. “One more shift then 51 closes,” she spits out.

This episode was a strong one with new layers exposed for us to see what makes our favorite characters tick.  There wasn’t an actual fire in ‘You Will Hurt Him’ but that’s okay.  The emotional feels were more fulfilling than any train, warehouse, double car pileup. Next week is the fall finale with a huge fire, trapped baby, and injured fireman teased in the promo.  Here’s hoping all the action doesn’t extinguish the emotional pull we love from this show. I’ll be back ready to see Shay return to her old self, watch the developing relationship of Kelly and his sis, see the fallout of Cruz being dumped, and hoping the fire is extinguished along with the Dawsey romance.

Same time, same place…see you next week.

Random Notes

  • Katie’s mom looks like she’s going to rip off Kelly’s black leather jacket and take him right there when she meets him for the first time.  She comments that Kelly looks just like Benny when they hooked up and made Katie. You go, girl. We don’t blame you one bit.
  • Severide has the funny line of the night.  Kelly Severide has a sense of humor? We never knew. Mouch asks Kelly to “walk him through” the whole newly discovered sister thing.  Severide deadpans, “Well, when a man and a woman share a special hug.” Hilarious!
  • Because there weren’t enough emotional scenes tonight, Clarke and Hermann have a heart to heart. Clarke confides in him about his wife having a part time boyfriend, and that he might have a teeny problem with that. Hermann says sometimes you’ve gotta bail out. Ya think?  Adios redhead.
  • Dawson’s latest paramedic partner is another piece of work. Last week’s Chout is this week’s McCauley, a man so pessimistic he makes Eeyore look like a ray of sunshine.  On every call he’s declaring someone dead and saying it’s going to be the worst call ever.  Dawson is less than thrilled with his gift at castrophizing everything.
  • Zoya decides she’s missing those harsh winters and decides to return to mother Russia.  She actually shows she has a heart and realizes that Cruz has one of the biggest ones she’ll ever meet.  Zoya tells Otis she can’t marry Cruz. “He’s a very, very good man. You have to hurt him for me. Thank you.”  Otis is sad.  Hand him a Kleenex.
  • Isabella again parades her trophy wife, Mills, in front of the African American senator she’s hoping will hire her.  It works this time, and she gets the job.  Goodbye, Blondie.
  • In a related story, Devon was a no show this episode apparently having too much fun with the nerd helmet she stole last week and is still on a mission to find her pants.