TV REVIEW: Chicago Fire “A Rocket Blasting Off”
It’s been an uneven sophomore season for the hunky fake firefighters on NBC’s Chicago Fire, but with two strong episodes in a row I’m ready to declare that they’ve got their groove back.
Like all the “Stella” way back. It’s not that there haven’t been amazing episodes this season, but stringing them together has proven difficult. “A Rocket Blasting Off” combined some of the most humorous scenes of the season with exciting action and some plot points that are sure to come back and burn us in the butt. Where to begin?
The opening scene picks up right where we left it a week ago with the nasty, sister-kidnapping Vince Keeler’s still missing and the CPD has Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney) at the top of the list of suspects. Wow, Detective Lindsay (Sophia Bush), you are more than a pretty face. You think Kelly’s got something to so with the disappearance of the scum that raped his sister? You may be onto something.
Kelly shows up and is questioned by the head of the Intelligence Unit, Hank Voight (Jason Beghe) himself. I’m wondering why the CPD cares so much. A bad guy is off the streets, probably “Voight justice” style. What’s the problem?
One problem I will address is the tease that is called Lindseride. Severide and Lindsay are never having a relationship, a date, an “anything.” I need to accept that Kelly’s only romance this season will be a roll in the sack with a Russian chick in a pink Kmart bra. Focus on the good. There was so much of it this eppy.
Christopher Hermann (the hilarious David Eigenberg) usually has the funniest lines of the show, and he does not disappoint in this one. He’s decided that he’s going all out for his 20th anniversary to his ever-suffering, ever-loyal wife, Cindy (the perfectly cast Robyn Coffin). In usual Hermann fashion his brainchild is to get a vasectomy. Now. After five kids. And to top it off he’s going to announce it at a big party in front of everyone. A surprise anniversary I got snipped party. Wow, I hope my invite is in the mail. How does this man get dressed by himself in the morning?
When the guys question him on his present from down under, he replies that they’re “soul mates and that’s what soul mates do.” His other soul mate is Mouch (Christian Stolte) who shares some quality screen time with our bumbling father trying to get him to rethink the public announcement but then ultimately supports him, dropping him off at the sperm be gone clinic.
There was some serious foreshadowing in this one. Matt Casey (Jesse Spencer) is continuing to have memory issues. He and lady love Gabriela Dawson (Monica Raymund) are still on the moving in together path, and he finds a place that she hates. Apparently, he’s forgotten her list of twenty three things she doesn’t like in a house. Relationship doomed. Another clue a break up is coming sooner rather than later involves candidate Rebecca Jones (guest star Daisy Betts). Dawson seems less than thrilled with the news that Papa Jones wants his little girl bumped from 51 so he can get her a cushy office job. He needs Casey and Boden to do the bumping. Also, the lack of chemistry between these two has got to be the final nail in the Dawsey coffin. Speaking of coffins, there’s going to be something big going down next week. Wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. More on that later.
The cloak and dagger continues with the Severide storyline. He calls a pow wow to tell Clarke and Capp that they never talked about Keeler, they don’t know any Keeler, hell, they don’t even know each other. Okay, boss. Eagle Scout Otis isn’t taking the whole police investigation thing well. He looks like he’s ready to confess to anything and everything the cops may ask him about.
The first call of the night is a car through a house. Seems routine, not a problem for our guys. Well, until you throw in a baby and mom right below the car with one guy holding the thing up preventing it from falling on them. Severide springs into action and helps the guy support the car. There’s almost a Kellycake smushed in the basement but the firemen chain the car and pull it back leaving the lieutenant safely in one piece. Geez, as if Severide doesn’t have the weight of the world on his shoulders. You gotta add a car?
Peter Mills (Charlie Barnett) has some excellent scenes with candidate Jones tonight solidifying his position as the sweetest guy in the house. He encourages her, offers some advice, and most importantly, teaches her to cook.
She takes his advice on how to get into the circle of trust by not waiting for an invite. Her master plan is to congratulate Hermann on his 20th anniversary and his surgical present with a cake. Not just any cake, but an anatomically correct cake showing a “rocket blasting off” so to speak in memory of his rocket that used to be able to blast off. The guys think it’s hilarious with even Boden chuckling a little. Yeah, chief is all laughs until he sees secretary, or should I say administrative assistant who really runs 51, Connie, looking disgusted. Uh oh.
Meanwhile, Dawson is back as Shay’s partner, and it doesn’t take long for these two to get into trouble, those crazy kids. Their first solo call is a gang shooting. They get the victim into the ambo only to be threatened by some gang members brandishing guns who aren’t happy the guy is still breathing. They chase after the ambulance, shooting at our gals. Luckily, they get away unscathed.
In the most telling scene of the night, Treat Williams is back having dinner with Kelly and Shay. The blonde is oblivious to the looks and innuendo filled conversation happening before her. But we know that Benny’s done something and by the look Kelly gives him, he knows that something went down. These two are so good together; they don’t need much dialogue to tell us so much. When Shay asks him about fishing, Benny says, “Never go out alone. Bad things happen when you go out alone.” Will we ever find out what happened to Keeler? I hope so.
Now onto the Daddy Jones master plan to get his daughter out of firefighting and into something more respectable like doing PR and popping out a few babies, hopefully male so that they can become fireMEN. An anonymous complaint has been filed about the rocket cake and Rebecca’s father wants her reprimanded. He wants her kicked out of 51. Boden and Casey feel like they have no choice and reluctantly go along with the plan. The Jones character is annoying but even more annoying is the good ole boy attitude conveyed. C’mon, Boden. In the words of your secretary last week, “Man up. You’re a firefighter.”
In the last call of the night, a stairwell has collapsed leaving a victim about to fall a long, long way down. Jones is the hero, getting him to safety, almost falling herself, and eventually making it safely down. I think that PR job is losing its luster.
The final Benny scene of the night has him meeting with Voight. Yes! I’ve been waiting to see these two powerhouses face off, and it’s not a disappointment. We only catch the tail end of the conversation with Benny asking, “What now?” Voight tells him to go home and stay out of Chicago for a while. Elder Severide looks shocked but agrees. Voight adds, “You’re a good dad, Benny.” Okay, confirmation that Benny just confessed to “taking care of Keeler,” right? Treat Williams, you’re such a treat in every scene, we don’t want you out of Chicago. You and Katie need to come back soon.
The final scenes at Molly’s are a fitting end to this rocket of an episode finally landing. I love it when the writers end the show at the bar. It’s kind of like the prerequisite family dinner on Blue Bloods. So good. Back to the show … Dawson is going to get to take the physical test she failed again. Casey called Lionel Jones to get it done. Dawson looks like she’s going to be mad, but old blue eyes calls her “my girl” and all is forgiven.
Next up at Molly’s, the big Hermann reveal. Cindy is about the cutest thing ever when she’s completely thrilled with her man’s gift of the snip. He breaks out the Jones cake and Cindy asks, “How did I get so lucky?” They are soul mates.
Finally, Otis tells Kelly that Lindsay called him to say that the CPD exhausted all their leads. Otis adds, “I guess that means Keeler’s still out there.”
“He ain’t out there Otis,” says Kelly. Oh, snap! Otis looks shocked; we’re shocked. So does Kelly know because of the guilty as hell looks of his dad? Was he there? Don’t leave us hangin’ ChiFi.
This week was an exciting blend of Hermann humor, a little action, and a bunch of twists and turns giving us a perfect segue into the final six episodes. The second season is shaping up to end strong, and I’m hopeful for some big shockers and more emotional scenes coming our way. Next week looks like it may be a Kleenex grabber. The promo teases that someone’s dead, and the guys are having to rewrite history to make this person into a hero. My guess is that 51 will be down one candidate by the end of episode 17. What do you think? Catch you back here next week, same place, same time. Maybe we’ll finally get that renewal from NBC we’ve been waiting for.
So many “best” lines of the night. Let’s go:
- Voight asks Severide if Shay’s his girlfriend. Kelly says,”She probably would be if she wasn’t a lesbian.”
- Hermann says Cindy would be doing backflips about the vasectomy “if she hadn’t put on the baby weight.” Ouch. Hint to Hermann, don’t mention that at the party.
- More Hermann humour! After his procedure, he shows up walking like he’s been on a five day trail ride. He says he covered for his strange gait by telling wifey, “I got hit in the nuts by a kid at a safety demo.” Hermann, you are priceless.
- Side effect of Casey’s brain injury? He’s developed a sense of humor. I can take this much more than the badass angle the writers were trying to push on us. After seeing the rocket cake, Casey says, “Obviously the twentieth is the gift of wood.” Jones apologizes for the cake to Boden and Casey. When she leaves, Casey asks, “Are we really gonna do this? This is like killing Bambi.”
- Best of the best goes to Shay. Dawson asks her what “part” of the cake she’s eating. She says “a part she’s never had in her mouth before.” Hilarious! Oh, I just thought of something to criticise. We need more of Lauren German as Shay.