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“No Regrets” Keeps Chicago Fire on a Roll

By on November 20, 2013
Pictured: (l-r) Taylor Kinney as Kelly Severide, Jesse Spencer as Matthew Casey -- (Photo by: Nino Munoz/NBC)

Pictured: (l-r) Taylor Kinney as Kelly Severide, Jesse Spencer as Matthew Casey -- (Photo by: Nino Munoz/NBC)

By Lisa Casas (@Queenofmynerds)

Chicago Fire’s latest outing “No Regrets” was the biggest, most explosive episode of this young season.  Regretfully, I usually find the episodes with the most action the ones most lacking in depth when it comes to the all important relationships of our favorite characters.  This was a definite exception to that rule, with emotional scenes expertly woven into the high octane fire sequences.  Chicago Fire is at its best when characters are just talking, mad at each other for a drug problem, eating ice cream on the sofa, talkin’ about making a baby.  You know, the usual. Well, tonight the sophomore drama solved the puzzle of making us feel the emotional tugs while blowing up a bunch of stuff.

The episode begins with Chief Boden getting a scan that will tell him If he has lung cancer.  With the way things have been going lately, I’m not betting in his favor.  The look on his face says he’s not either.

Cut to Casey rough housing with the Darden boys, breaking crap in the house and laughing about it.  Oh boys, stop already. Surprise, surprise, Dawson drops by for a booty call forgetting the kids are in the house.  Wait, she’s there to help out with the boys.  She shows up in time to save the day when the younger Darden (Buddy #2) pops the head off his GI Joe.  Casey says don’t worry about it, she’s an EMT.  Apparently, decapitation 101 is one of the required courses, and Joe need not worry. Note to grown ups – those heads snap right back on.

Severide is having kid issues of his own.  No he didn’t get another woman pregnant.  Nix that.  He really hasn’t gotten ANY woman pregnant on the show. He may need to get that sperm count checked out.  Just sayin’.  Instead, he’s playing detective again investigating who the young thing is who’s hanging out with his dad.  He confronts her in the way Kelly does everything, balls to the wall, brain cells on hold, just do it.  Who are you? Why do you like old men? What’s your number?  She looks at him like he can’t calculate a due date and says, “Benny’s my dad.” BOOM.  Instant sis is born.

Kelly confronts his dad, Benny about Katie (Brittany Curran), his newfound 21-year-old sister.  He really lets his dad have it saying it’s just like when you left mom and me. “You’re running from another family leaving the kids with the bill.”  Benny denies all responsibility looking at Kelly like he’s crazy.  Way to man up, Benny.  You must’ve had one hell of a mom, Severide, because you’re twice the man your dad is.

Clarke is having issues of his own when his estranged wife, Lisa (guest star Victoria Blade) shows up at 51 for a quick counselling session, to talk about feelings, maybe get a couple’s massage. Clarke is having none of it.  She tries to apologize for leaving him  saying she’s been going to a group.  He says big whoop, it don’t mean a thing. Not liking you Clarke. I knew you were the mole. Well, maybe just an a-hole.

Boden announces his retirement to the house and is met with the longest faces I’ve seen since Taylor Kinney announced he will no longer do shirtless scenes based on principle. Just kidding, you can still keep tuning in, ladies.  No time to grieve, the alarm sounds and they are off to the biggest, baddest accident scene in the show’s history.

Pictured: (l-r) Dylan Baker as Arata, Lauren German as Leslie Shay -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Morris/NBC)

Pictured: (l-r) Dylan Baker as Arata, Lauren German as Leslie Shay — (Photo by: Elizabeth Morris/NBC)

Cut to the huge pyrotechnic wonder of the night.  A tanker runs into a commuter train that runs into a warehouse. We know from the first wide shot that this ain’t no bumper cars in the kiddie park.  At least a hundred people are injured and that pesky tanker is leaking fuel.  Dawson and Shay are stretched to the limit treating one victim after the next. Shay is not doing well, freaking out a little at the sight of blood.  This may be a hindrance to your career as a paramedic, Shay.  She’s suffering from post traumatic Darryl disorder and just can’t shake the trauma of his suicide. Dawson and her are still broken up, so not much sympathy from her partner.

The boys are running around saving people, pulling victims free of wreckage, doing what heroes do.  Clarke, who gets a lot of well deserved screen time in this episode, runs into a guy unscrewing a cork, no wait, that’s a skull.  He’s doing something disgusting to a lady’s head with a corkscrew and says it’s okay because he has “medical experience.”  Did he take that medical transcription class at ITT Tech?  Clarke accepts this as formal education and lets him treat several more victims.  Turns out the guy is a medic in the military, so Clarke forms a quick bond with the fellow serviceman.

Meanwhile, Boden and Mills go searching in the warehouse for a couple of missing employees. The roof collapses on them leaving them trapped at the most Inopportune time.  That tanker’s about to blow.  Boden orders all the men to back up and clear out the whole block. No rescue mission. Mills confirms that it’s the right call. Boden takes this alone time with Mills as the perfect moment to ask about his application to the Chicago Police Department.  With minutes left in my life, I hope to be confronted by the man who slept with my mom too.  Mills stands his ground and says it wasn’t the fact that he got passed over for squad (sure you big, cute crybaby) but rather the Boden/mom hookup.  Casey and Hermann say Chief’s not going out like that and the whole team works together to get pull them free.

Clarke is in two of the most emotionally charged scenes of the night.  He discovers his medic buddy seriously injured, dying.  He stays with him, holding his hand until his new friend passes. The other scene comes at the end.  He’s at his wife’s door crying, “I’m sorry, so sorry.” Clarke, you’re not an a-hole after all. As I said last week, we’re keeping you. Trial period over, please stay.

Included in the night’s theme of making up, Mills officially forgives Boden, plans for the CPD on hold.  Benny also tries to make up with his son, apologizing for his absentee father status and saying he’s not making the same mistake with his boys.

Pictured: Joe Minoso as Joe Cruz -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Morris/NBC)

Pictured: Joe Minoso as Joe Cruz — (Photo by: Elizabeth Morris/NBC)

In the scene garnering the most cheers directed at the TV, Boden tells Gail McLeod and crew that he doesn’t handle change well because he’s a dinosaur.  He’s supposed to be handing in his resignation, but instead says, “You are not taking my house!  Not without a fight.”  Finally!  He will have no regrets.  We won’t either Chief.

Heather Darden is out of jail and quicker than you can say DUI, she’s picked up the kids and is moving far, far away.  No regrets on that one either.  The whole storyline seemed so forced that I am happy to see it go.  We get that Casey is a good guy, that he wants kids, that he’s almost a saint.  Enough already.  The little one gives him the defective GI Joe, so Matt doesn’t forget them. Casey gives him a homemade badge of Darden daddy’s since the real one is hanging In the case of fallen firefighters.  They all hug and Matt’s “children” are -poof- gone.  I’m thinking that Dawson will know just what to do to make his pain go away by next week.

This episode of Chicago Fire continues the roll that the show is currently on with strong story lines and emotional feels that have us grabbing for the Kleenex a couple of times each episode.  “No Regrets” was one of the first times where huge action sequences combined effortlessly with the characterization we need to really pull us in.  We care about these characters, not about the fires they’re fighting.  Tonight, we cared about both.   Next episode promises to ramp up Boden’s fight to save his job, and I can’t wait.  Boden in full out attack mode is going to be a sight for Emmy consideration, I can just feel it.

Random Notes

  • Guest star Dylan Walsh definitely commands a scene as Dr. Death, moving victims to “black” before they are really dead. He doesn’t pull any punches.
  • McLeod shows up to gloat. She has the bitch line of the episode when she tells Boden, “The system works. But that’s not your problem anymore.”  She also reminds him of his exit interview. Oh yeah, and don’t forget your badge, Wally.  She needs to be…
  • Devon, Shay’s bad, bad girlfriend drives a green piece of crap that’s a cross between the Mystery Machine and a soccer mom’s station wagon.  Shay, if the girl’s personality didn’t convince you to dump her, this thing should.
  • Kelly meets up with his sister when she gets off work.  You knew he’d want to get to know her better.  Can’t wait to see what his backstory is.  Where’s mom?
  • Chief Boden does NOT have cancer. Yay!  He will live to yell another day.