When it comes to long-running shows, there comes a point where the show sticks to its format and goes through the motions of each episode until the finale. Most of the time, it works, and viewers come in week after week to watch their favorite characters.
And sometimes, the showrunners will completely shake up the format of an episode to tell a deeper story for the week, and that’s when some of a series best episodes can come from. That is what happened on tonight’s episode of Chicago Fire.
Rather than spend the hour juggling three or four different storylines, tonight was a focus on two of Firehouse 51’s secondary characters: Joe Cruz and Christopher Herrmann, and it only took place inside one location for two-thirds of the episode. The scenes were longer, structured in a way that the show has never taken before, and we get insight on two characters that have been with the show from the very beginning. Whether this was a planned episode, or adjusted for the sake of filming during a pandemic, it worked.
The episode hits the ground running: Herrmann walking around the firehouse having a good morning, while Cruz seems a little out of it, clearly with something on his mind. The team is called to a storage unit fire, and Herrmann says that while eating Chinese food with his family the night before, his fortune cookie said that today would be his lucky day (hence the episode title!) The 10-story storage unit has a fire on one of its upper floors, so the team readies themselves to climb a lot of stairs. However, Herrmann sees an opportunity to bypass the stairs and use a freight elevator instead, going up with contractor Trevor, and employee of the unit Holly. At the last moment, Herrmann brings Cruz on the elevator. As the elevator begins its way up, a cable burned by the fire collapses, crashing the elevator, and trapping the four inside the elevator.
What ensues is an episode of survival. Trevor’s leg is broken when some canisters of solvent falls on him, and Cruz and Herrmann help make a splint to keep him steady. With communications to the rest of the team gone, Cruz and Herrmann have to rely on their wits and quick thinking to help them survive this ordeal.
As the episode progresses, each character has a moment of reflection and awareness that helps them. It is revealed that the reason that Cruz was a little out of it at the beginning of the episode is because his wife, Chloe, is pregnant, and Cruz is trying to keep it secret. Herrmann tells the story of how when his wife was pregnant with their first child, she slipped on some ice and fell and hurt her stomach. Herrmann believed that the child was gone, but was perfectly fine. Trevor talked about how he and his high school girlfriend had a kid young, and how they were great parents even though they grew apart, until his son grew up and married a woman who drove a wedge into their relationship. While Holly doesn’t have any kids, she talks about how she never wanted to work at a storage unit facility, and that she’s been trying to be in the restaurant industry for years.
The situation worsens when another elevator cable snaps, leaving Cruz figuring out that if another one goes, the whole elevator will go down. Reflecting how his late friend, Otis knew his way around a circuit board, Cruz opens up the panel on the wall, but Holly is frantic and grabs the wires, short-circuiting the elevator, and knocking her out.
Herrmann suggests that they need to lighten the load of the elevator, because if they keep up the weight, they will fall and die. He comes up with the idea of emptying the solvent tanks through the bottom of the elevator, since they weigh a ton. This works effortlessly, and the pressure of being too heavy lightens up.
While it looks like they have to play the waiting game at this point, they get a small signal from their communications, and they hear that Mouch is down in the fire that the rest of the team is fighting, sending instant feelings of nervousness through Cruz and Herrmann, knowing that they can’t help their friend who might be dead. Cruz climbs onto of the cannisters and starts pounding on the ceiling panels of the elevator to knock the cables to the side so that they can escape.
As Herrmann’s fortune cookie would say, things got very lucky for our favorite firefighters. Cruz manages to knock the cables aside, they hear through their communications that Mouch is alive, and they can safely climb on top of the elevator, which is starting to fill up with smoke. As they lift Holly and Trevor out, Herrmann gets through to Boden, who sends the rest of the squad to safely get them out of the building!
Outside, Trevor asks Holly out to lunch before being put in the ambulance to take care of his broken leg. Goes to show that tragedy and adrenaline can really spice up a friendship into maybe something more. Herrmann promises Cruz that he will be quiet about Chloe’s pregnancy, and rushes over to Mouch to give his longtime friend a big hug.
As I said before, this episode was one of the best that Fire has had in years. The writing was superb and the direction and editing of the episode made it the most ambitious episode of the series so far. However, this episode would not have been possible without the spectacular and heartfelt performances from David Eigenberg as Herrmann and Joe Minoso as Cruz. These two carried the episode with emotion, humor, and dedication to the roles that they have been playing for nine years, and told the stories of the trials and tribulations that it takes to be a firefighter, a parent, and a human being. It was a fantastic episode, and I hope that the show, as well as the other Chicago shows, take a page out of this book, and format an episode like this, focused on one or two people in a tough situation. It helps keep all of the storylines in check, so that there isn’t a constant back and forth from remembering which storyline is which, and how it impacts the others.
But for tonight, bravo David Eigenberg and Joe Minoso, for their brilliant work on tonight’s episode, and I look forward to seeing how the rest of the season progresses.
What were your thoughts on tonight’s groundbreaking episode of Chicago Fire? Leave a comment below!
Coffee Table News
Why Is Taylor Kinney Leaving ‘Chicago Fire’?
Shocking news Firehouse 51—Taylor Kinney is exiting Chicago Fire.
Deadline reported the news on Friday, Jan. 20, revealing that the actor, who anchors the show as Kelly Severide, will be taking a break from the series.
Kinney has been a staple on the Dick Wolf drama since its inception in 2012 and is a huge reason why the series has retained such a dedicated viewership.
While an official reason was not provided, and a rep for the show did not offer a comment, sources close to production told the outlet that Kinney is taking a “leave of absence” to deal with a personal matter. No word on what the situation is.
The cast and crew were reportedly informed of the leave right before the news broke, with the writer’s room likely having to rewrite scripts to accommodate the change.
It’s unclear whether this will be a permanent leave, nor is there any info about how he will be written out for now.
Kinney has not addressed the news himself as of writing.
This is the latest shocking exit in the #OneChicago world as Jesse Lee Soffer, who plays Jay Halstead on Chicago PD, exited earlier this season, while Brian Tee hung up his coat earlier this season on Chicago Med after portraying Ethan Choi since 2015.
See All the Photos From ‘Chicago Fire’s Halloween-Themed Episode
Firehouse 51 is gearing up for Halloween.
New photos were released from Chicago Fire’s Oct.19 episode titled “Haunted House,” and it looks like the squad will get to indulge in a little bit of mischief and mayhem before being called to save lives.
Check out the synopsis for Season 11 Episode 5: “Firehouse 51 hosts a Halloween open house; Kidd and Severide help a young girl after she gets kicked out of her home.”
And check out the photos below:
Chicago Fire Finale Review: The Magnificent City of Chicago (10×22)
Wedding bells are ringing, and Casey makes his grand return for Chicago Fire’s epic season finale!
After Severide got jumped by a gang last week, it was time to plan a wedding! Herrmann gathered the entire firehouse together, and gave everyone (except Emma) jobs that will secure the quickest wedding setup in history. Stella even asked Boden to give her away at the altar. Despite the writing saying that Casey might not show up, Casey showed up! It was great to see Jesse Spencer back in the role we’ve gone so used to seeing him play for the last ten years.
With Sylvie back in the house, she threw Stella a surprise makeshift bachelorette party, which was freaking adorable. On the other hand, Casey and Severide had one of their old fashioned bro moments, since it is most likely going to be the last one we see of them.
Disaster struck as the venue they thought they had booked, had to go back on their word, as a previously cancelled wedding decided to be back on. Casey came to the rescue once again, as he bought out a tour boat for all the guests, and the captain of the ship will be able to marry Severide and Stella.
Severide started to meet with several officers who were looking to start a case against Thomas Campbell, who runs a narotic ring and organized the attack on Severide after the food truck case. While heading to talk to the investigators, Severide was attacked again, but shoved the henchman out a window in self-defense. Regardless, Severide still committed to testify to help the investigation.
The showdown between Emma and Violet came to a head as well. Sylvie returned to Chicago, and Violet filled her in on all of the blackmailing schemes that Emma has started up against her and Hawkins. Hawkins went to his higher ups and wanted to find a way for Violet to somehow escape this situation, even if he had to take the biggest hit for it.
A house fire brought some news to light about Emma. Violet, Stella, Gallo, and Emma were helping a pregnant woman next door neighbor who was hit with debris, when the fire started spreading to their location. Everyone else was calm, but Emma wanted to high-tail it out of the building without everyone. The fire stressed out Emma, and she bolted, abandoning the team inside. The team who had the guts to stay helped deliver the woman’s baby with flames all around them.
Hawkins, who arrived at the fire, saw the whole thing unfold, and discarded the blackmail, and fired Emma for abandoning her crew.
Casey gave Gallo his favorite axe, as he doesn’t use it a whole lot out in Oregon. This is quite literally the passing of the torch for the future of Firehouse 51, as Gallo is sure to grow as a firefighter in future seasons.
At the end, the wedding began, with John Legend’s “All of Me” playing, and I rolled my eyes since that was one of the most cliche things possible. They both had adorable wedding vows which I’m sure actors will use for future audition monologues.
Chief Boden danced during the party, and I think that’s the only important thing I’ll ever need to see on my screen the rest of the year. However, the door did close on Sylvie and Casey, as she decided to stay in Chicago, and he is going back to Oregon, where his life really is.
It wouldn’t be a finale without a cliffhanger! As Stella and Severide begin their honeymoon in a cabin, a mysterious truck silently arrives, assuming it might be someone hunting Severide.
This was a great finale! It tied up the loose ends of Emma’s situation (see, I told you there would be a loophole to get her out)! We also got Casey’s full conclusion, and even though it is the end of his time here, we at least get Sylvie back in Ambulance 61. Who knows, maybe they’ll continue to reference Casey in every episode like they did after he left. Season 11 is sure to be some great twists and stories, with Severide having to go against this narotics ring, and adjusting to married life. I think sparks are in the air for Violet and Gallo…again.
What did you think of tonight’s season 10 closer? Leave a comment below.
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