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!
One Chicago Shows Announce 2024 Premiere Dates
It’s finally happening—our favorite One Chicago shows are coming home to us!
Chihards, mark your calendars and get ready to sit down in front of the TV on January 17 because that’s when Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, and Chicago PD will make their highly-anticipated and long-awaited premieres!
It’s truly beginning to feel a lot like Christmas… though I hope that turning around new episodes doesn’t mean that the actors will have to work through the holidays.
— Top 1% of Burzek shippers (@NBCOneChicago) November 20, 2023
Chicago Med returns for season 9, Fire for season 12, and Med for season 11.
Of course, the full NBC 2024 lineup will kick off on Jan 1 with America’s Got Talent: Fantasy League, which means they are wasting no time getting back into the swing of things following the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strike delays.
Law & Order franchises will have their moment on Thursday, Jan 18 with Law & Order: SVU and Law & Order: Organized Crime.
Part 1 of The Voice returns on Feb. 26, along with BC’s new Deal or No Deal spinoff, Deal or No Deal Island.
Quantum Leap and Magnum P.I., Lopez vs. Lopez, The Weakest Link, Password, That’s My Jam and The Wall currently don’t have a premiere date.
When Will ‘Chicago Fire’ Return? Here’s When Season 12 Kicks Off Filming
Fans have been patiently waiting for the 12th season of Chicago Fire, which was announced back in April by NBC.
The network renewed all three of the One Chicago shows at the time, including Chicago PD for season 11 and Chicago Med for season 9.
Typically, new seasons of the dramas would’ve started in September as part of the network’s fall lineup, however, production on the shows was significantly delayed due to the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. The writers’ strike ended a bit before the actors’ strike, which meant that the writing staff was able to get back to work penning the scripts in October, however, things remained at a standstill until the SAG-AFTRA union negotiated a promising contract with the studios and allowed actors to get back to making shows and movies.
Thankfully, with the strikes officially over, the shows are back in business.
According to a Chicago Fire Extras post on Facebook, the drama set at Firehouse 51 will be kicking off filming on Monday, Nov. 27!
And that means that we’re on track to get new episodes of the 12th season in 2024 as a premiere date has been announced as Wednesday, January 17.
With Chicago Fire back in business, it’s safe to say the sister shows are following suit—and we’ll have new episodes to watch sooner rather than later.
CBS already unveiled its lineup for regularly scheduled programming, beating out all the other networks to the announcement, but if theirs is anything to go by, new content will be landing as soon as February. Some of your favorite sitcoms and dramas on CBS, including the NCIS franchise, Ghosts, and the FBI shows, will all be kicking off after the Super Bowl.
And the good news is that Taylor Kinney’s Kelly Severide is making a comeback after a ten-month hiatus. Back in January, the actor announced a personal leave of absence from the series, but fans are surely eager to see him back on the firefighter drama once again!
One Chicago Shows Score a Massive Renewal at NBC
Don’t worry, your favorite One Chicago shows aren’t going anywhere anytime soon!
As the 2022-2023 TV season winds down, TV networks are already looking to the future, and the upcoming 2023-2024 broadcast season.
Per TVLine, Chicago Fire has been renewed for season 12, Chicago PD for season 11, and Chicago Med for season 9.
Fans will also be delighted to know that Dick Wolf’s other shows, Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU and Law & Order: Organized Crime have also been renewed.
“I’m pleased to continue my four-decade relationship with Universal Television and NBC,” Dick Wolf said in a statement. “All six shows being picked up again is the ultimate accolade to our incredible casts, producers and writers. I’d also like to thank our loyal fans who have kept our NBC shows on the air for what will be a cumulative 84 seasons.”
Renewals and cancelations are a big deal, with many audiences patiently awaiting verdicts for their favorite dramas.
What shows are you waiting to hear about? Let us know!
- The Buccaneers3 weeks ago
The Buccaneers Season 1 Episode 4 Recap – Homecoming
- The Santa Clauses2 weeks ago
The Santa Clauses Season 2 Episode 4 Recap – Miracle on Dead Creek
- Found3 weeks ago
Found Season 1 Episode 7 Recap – Missing While Indigenous
- The Santa Clauses3 weeks ago
The Santa Clauses Season 2 Episode 3 Review – No Magic at the Dinner Table!
- Sullivan's Crossing3 weeks ago
Sullivan’s Crossing Season 1 Episode 7 Review – Second Chances
- Sullivan's Crossing2 weeks ago
Sullivan’s Crossing Season 1 Episode 8 Review – Aftershock
- Holidays3 days ago
Virgin River Holiday Episodes Season 5 Episode 11 and 12 Review – Father Christmas
- Chicago P.D2 weeks ago
One Chicago Shows Announce 2024 Premiere Dates