This has been an event in the making with the death of Leslie Shay. The episode begins with Severide and Dawson taking their evidence from the fire scene to Captain Cunningham in Arson, but the really big break comes when Severide receives a surprise call from Hadley, the arsonist he helped throw in jail. The severely burned inmate offers information on Shay’s murder in exchange for a new mattress better suited for someone in his condition with chronic pain. Severide only agrees after Hadley provides him with an anonymous letter he received that trumpets the Shay tragedy as purposeful.
The letter’s return address points to a vacant lot, which seems like a dead end until Boden reveals that the address is the location of the fire that killed Mills’ dad 20 years ago. It seems the cases are connected and span almost a few decades. With this new evidence Severide informs Cunningham and comes to the conclusion that they are dealing with a serial arsonist.
At Firehouse 51, Shay’s sister, Megan, arrives to seek closure for Shay’s death. She gets a first hand account of life inside 51 and the impact Shay made on the firehouse thanks to Dawson and Brett They even let her stay with them while she is in town and shared some great memories of Shay along the way. But it wasn’t till Brett invites Megan to shadow her during a call and she witnesses a typically intense encounter with a knife-wielding guy in an apartment courtyard and later tears up thinking of Shay and her line of work.
But a heartwarming moment came in the form of a dedication ceremony in honor of Shay. All the firefighters and paramedics choke back tears during speeches by Boden and Dawson, and few dry eyes remain after the unveiling of Shay’s name permanently engraved on the ambulance.
Later, Cunningham brings in the owner of the storage unit business and shows him mug shots of possible arson suspects. One person seemed familiar to him: Adrian Gish, a suspect with a history of being accused of arson but cleared every time due to lack of evidence. Severide joins Cunningham to ambush Gish at his work, except he ambushes them first and leaves a creepy impression that nearly goads Severide into fisticuffs. This scene was so creepy I was hiding under the blanket.
Meanwhile for Cruz and Otis they get the surprise of a lifetime when Otis allowed his Russian mother, Baba, to move into their apartment without any discussion. The timing conflicts with Cruz and Brett’s three month dating anniversary and, sure enough, when he invites Brett over for a little private time, Baba interrupts and ruins the romance. Party foul there Otis, major party foul.
For another couple Dawson and Casey, after a structure fire and intense rescue by Casey spurs a chat between the two of them. After talking honestly about the awkwardness of working together while still harboring feelings, they resolve to put their relationship on pause as opposed to ending it altogether.
At Molly’s, Cunningham interrupts the celebration to announce that the Arson Department will not pursue Gish – no direct evidence links him to either fire. She stresses that the case will stay open, but no official action will be taken. Livid, Dawson marches out of the bar and speed dials her brother Antonio. If Cunningham can’t handle the case, Chicago P.D. will.
Part 2 of #ONECHICAGO continues tonight with Chicago P.D.
Photo Credit: NBC/Chicago Fire
Chicago Fire Review: What Happened at Whiskey Point? (10×08)
Herrmann and Mouch played detective, as the tension between Gallo and new firehouse lieutenant Pelham escalated to new highs in tonight’s newest episode. With Pelham taking Casey’s spot, and Boden taking a liking to him, his job security is almost solidified. But his mysterious past of constantly moving firehouses made Herrmann and Mouch suspicious. What happened in this guy’s past that made him always jump around? And will he bring that past to Firehouse 51?
Somehow, Mouch got a confidential file on Pelham, and made sure to hand it to Boden, who found out in the file that Pelham was given the longest suspension in Fire Department history. When Boden asked what it was, Pelham was cryptic and said that it’s something he never wants to discuss. Kind of strange that he wouldn’t give those details to a commanding officer. And Boden just let it go, saying the episode title “What happened at Whiskey Point?”
Mouch discovered a rumor that Pelham punched a commanding officer in the face on a call at a warehouse fire at Whiskey Point, and a few weeks later, that officer retired out of the blue. Boden visited the captain, Stafford and asked about the incident. Pelham accused Stafford of stealing jewelry at the case. Stafford admitted he did steal the jewelry, and Pelham said he would keep his mouth shut if he returned them, and retired, and that Pelham is on the floater cycle because he hit a superior. Pelham took the fall for Stafford because Stafford was having a horrible crisis with his family leaving him, and was going off the rails.
Gallo once again disobeyed a direct order on a call to a house where the fire alarm was malfunctioning and the residents not home. Gallo found a way through an open window, much to the anger of Pelham. The two got into a heavy yelling match about how Gallo is apparently insubordinate, and Gallo retaliating saying he will be on 51 longer than Pelham.
A house fire tested their professional relationship like no other, as Pelham and Gallo worked together to save a little girl trapped in the blaze. The two saved the girl, and got out of the house with ease, upsetting Gallo as his family died in a house fire when he was a kid. This experience brought the two together, and Gallo apologized and promised he will be behave better.
Side plot A of the week: Sylvie and Ritter begging Violet to tell Gallo how she feels about him. It’s clear that she likes him, and has been insanely jealous of his flirtation with their mini-brewery investor Kara. The romantic tension between them has always been there, since they’ve been on again, off again. This came to a head when the stress of work and her personal life caused Violet’s appendix to burst while being reprimanded by paramedic Chief Hawkins. On the way there, a delirious Violet was ranting about her personal life, and made Hawkins believe that she was flirting with him.
At the hospital with Violet, Gallo said that he has a tendency to be dark and distant to the people he loves, because when he feels like those people always leave him.
Side plot B of the week: Herrmann started moving his things into Casey’s old office. Severide doesn’t like the idea of Herrmann having this office, since it usually goes to the truck lieutenant, which is Pelham. Not only that, but Herrmann tried to give himself an office in season 8, and nearly burned the place to the ground in the process. It was a back and forth of Herrmann annoying Severide with loud music, hammering in the walls. Herrmann tried to buddy up to Severide, making him burst with rage to Herrmann. Severide made up with him by bringing some cigars to his house.
Side plot C of the week revolved around Cruz befriending a future single mom on a call after rescuing her, and his introspective look at how there are different kinds of people raising kids in different environments. While he was freaking out over expensive preschools, this woman, Stacy, had to cut back on her finances and move around jobs because she’s a struggling single parent. Stacy knitted Cruz’s baby a little fireman’s hat, and gave him advice that her mom gave her about always sitting the positives of parenting.
The end of the episode had Severide drop a bomb that Stella is not sure when Stella will come back, since Girls on Fire is doing so well in Boston, and he’s nervous that they will be distant whenever she gets back.
Could this possibly lead to Stella and Severide breaking up, or possibly either of them leaving the show? It seems that that may be a big deal when the show returns for its fall finale on December 8.
As I have said a couple of times already, the show seems to really be setting up for Gallo to take some form of leading man role. So much of the last several episodes have revolved around him in some capacity. With Casey gone, and now some possibility that Severide could be headed out soon, they’re gonna need a new young looking firefighter to be the face of the show.
Cruz’s time today was great. I think they have been using this character as a great moral ground for the show, since he has such a genuine heart for almost everyone he meets.
Pelham may become a more recurring role as time progresses too. Brett Dalton is doing a great job as this struggling lieutenant trying to fight his way back into the firefighting command.
What did you think of tonight’s episode? Leave a comment below!
Chicago Fire Review: Whom Shall I Fear? (10×07)
Kelly Severide’s arson case continued on tonight’s brand new episode, and a brand new lieutenant takes charge at Firehouse 51.
With golden boy Casey gone, a new lieutenant was assigned to the Firehouse. This lieutenant, Jason Pelham (played by Agents of SHIELD‘s Brett Dalton), obviously works a lot different than Casey, because there still needs to be some drama at the end of the day. This was proven to be effective when Gallo and Pelham had a small standoff on a call already causing some tension with the change in leadership.
Boden is using Pelham to see if he would be a good fit to be the new permanent lieutenant, since Kidd is still gone. By the way, Stella has been in Boston for several weeks, which makes me wonder if she wasn’t cleared during filming of these episodes because of the pandemic.
Pelham looked into what made Casey so great, and tried to make amends with Gallo for the rest of the entire episode. It proved to be rather unsuccessful, because even Pelham showed a little bit of his superiority complex by enforcing his own rules to Gallo.
Boden told Mouch and Herrmann that Pelham has been floating between several firehouses over the last few years. While this seemed normal to Mouch, it raised suspicion in Herrmann, who thinks that there may be something deeper as to why Pelham would be floating around firehouses, rather than having one assignment at one house.
Severide continued his search for the arsonist responsible for the church fire, and together with Seager, investigated Sister Montclaire once again, and she revealed that Father Anthony had an accusation against him from a kid, but nothing came of the lawsuit. Their biggest lead, Father Anthony himself, died during complications in the hospital, which destroyed any possible leads to the arsonist.
While looking through possible patterns from the arsonist, Severide found a connection through a dumpster fire that was set two months prior to the blaze right by a Catholic church. At that church, the priest there said that some of the altar boys found defaced missals where someone drew pictures and wrote in them. In the missals, they noticed the same picture on top of the verse “the Lord is my light and my salvation.” This verse was on a picture that Sister Montclaire had on her wall, who said that the former groundskeeper, Muller gave it to her.
In the groundskeeper’s room, they found it completely cleaned out, but found a traces of ammonium nitrate fertilizer. At his house, they found the place covered wall to wall with plans, pictures, and writings about the church fires.
Muller sent a false alarm to a church to clear everyone out, only to set off a car bomb to hurt people Thankfully, everyone at 51 was already there, and managed to clear everyone out, but Muller killed himself in the blast. Boden saved a little girl before the explosion, and Pelham was right behind him to throw his coat over him, inspiring Boden to making him the new lieutenant for another month.
The only other crazy thing in the episode was showing that Sylvie was preparing to go see Casey in Oregon, but before she could go, he told her not to, since he’s doing a wildfire training course. The end of the Casey-Sylvie relationship is beginning, and Casey isn’t even around to see it all end.
Gallo is emerging as a big character in the growth of Chicago Fire. Casey was making him his protege right as he was leaving, and his standoff with Pelham was a big one in his future development. This, coupled with his mini-brewery business, is perfect headway to get this character growing to leading man status.
Those tensions with Pelham are going to stem into next week, as they teased another showdown between the two, where Gallo disobeys a direct order. And with the mystery of who Pelham is spanning over the next few weeks, it’ll be interesting to see what sorts of dominoes could fall, and possibly affect the firehouse as a whole.
What do you think of the new lieutenant? Leave a comment below!
Chicago Fire Review: Dead Zone (10×06)
Matthew Casey is gone, and a new era of Chicago Fire begins with tonight’s episode. Casey has gone to Oregon to take care of two kids he wants to be there for, but Firehouse 51 continues to run as normal.
Teamwork made the dream work for the episode, as multiple firehouses were dispatched to one location, but they both worked together to save a man who was struck in the chest by a basketball rim.
The confusion was the biggest part of tonight’s episode. Hackers got into the CFD’s central computer system, and shut down all communications, meaning everything needs to be done by hand. Mouch and Herrmann had the most experience in doing this before, so they took the lead on this case. The entirety of Firehouse 51 was assigned to work as the sole dispatch for the whole city of Chicago. They set up the whole firehouse with phones, maps, notepads and whiteboards to organize where people are, what their emergency is, and who to dispatch to the location.
It was incredibly stressful to see Chicago’s finest not be able to help anyone, when they know that they could. They took the whole firehouse out of commission while the trouble was sorted out. However, a man who’s garage was on fire a few blocks away, inspired Boden to send Firehouse 51 to the garage, despite being out of commission.
Severide teamed up with Lieutenant Sieger to take down the arsonist that set fire to the church from last week. After investigating the scene it was clear that there was definitely arson involved. The pastor told Severide that Sister Montclaire was the only person who was not anywhere near the church when the fire occurred.
After talking with her, she gave them the name of a former student, Mosiah Adler who was expelled after lighting someone’s hair on fire. After talking with him, he said that he didn’t do it, and that the incident was an accident.
Severide went to the Archdiocese to ask about Father Anthony, and they were informed that he’s an old school pastor, and he stalled on handing in his parish papers in that had funding details on them, and those papers were burned in the fire. Headquarters knows there’s a lot of convoluted information regarding the search, because its the word of a priest, or a delinquent who was expelled. When going to the Father Anthony’s place of residence, Severide found the priest tied up with a fire underneath him, with the arsonist sprinting out of the firehouse.
Severide called the firehouse and they worked to send backup as quickly as they could, considering they could only work with what they were given. The team was able to take the priest to the hospital, where he was placed in a medically induced coma, leaving the mystery of the arsonist still wide open.
The hackers were taken care of, and the 911 operators were back online by the end of the episode.
We got a vocal cameo from Matt Casey, as he called Sylvie wanting to set up a call schedule so they can make their long distance relationship work.
I would’ve liked this 911 dispatch storyline to last more than one episode. I think it was intriguing for the firehouse to adapt to a new situation such as this, despite how little they could really do to physically help people.
It’s clear to me that Severide is going to take the lead from here on out now that Casey is gone. At least this church arsonist is going to continue for at least a third week, as this was teased at the end of the episode. I’ll be intrigued to see how long this case goes, especially because they’re using Kevin Atwater from Chicago PD to help in the investigation.
What did you think of tonight’s first episode without Matt Casey? Leave a comment below!
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