It was good to see this Chicago Fire back to being smoldering with "A Nuisance Call."
Let's star with Hadley’s downfall: It's almost bittersweet, no? At some level I think he always wanted to get back to that level of friendship and camaraderie with the house and setting all of those fires was his way of doing so (albeit the method is completely crazy).
Kelly went out of his way to find the evidence to put Hadley away - the phone was a genius idea - but by the end of their encounter Kelly’s only goal was to save his life. In that moment, it wasn't about evidence or seeking justice, Kelly just wanted to save his former comrade and the rest of his team inside the building. It was a powerful scene of personal sacrifice and it served as a good answer to Gail’s question to Boden about wanting to do the job.
There needs to a reason why they wake up to deal with people who abuse the system, the budget slashing and the constant danger they face.
For most of men and women, the answer is always trying to help others. There’s no greater sacrifice or higher calling than serving for the benefit of society.
Speaking of Gail, her short conversation with Boden was more human. Gail is usually ready for a verbal spat, but the suicide of Shay and Dawson’s regular let some emotion creep up. She really wanted to know how they were doing.
Gail has to make some tough choices - it’s the job she was hired to do - and a lot of the dislike aimed her way is because of those decisions; but the rest of that dislike is from her combative nature. She’s always gunning to fight and win. That’s not always the best course of action in these types of situations. So it’s nice to see that beneath her exterior she does care about these men and women.
As for Clarke, while Chicago Fire Season 2 can get away with leaving his answer intentionally ambiguous, it was still, well, framed like he was the snitch. It’s a little contrived, but it allows for character building and scaffolding on his character traits. He came back a hero and battle hardened from Iraq - and being a mole would not fit him. He just kept his head down and did his job without trying to make enemies or give an impassioned speech of innocence. I’m really looking forward to getting to know him better.
Plus, pairing Mills and Clarke together is a great decision. They’re both the new guys and 51 has a few cliques that take some time to get in to. Mills is also in need of someone to talk to. He’s working through the knowledge of Boden’s affair and the house thinks he’s bitter over losing the rescue squad spot. Clarke is the only guy that doesn’t have any of that.
Shay and Dawson, I’m still having difficulty putting into words the horror that happened on their call. The man killing himself was completely unexpected. He was probably lonely and liked that Shaw and Dawson visited him. But killing himself was extreme and it’s causing a rift between them. Dawson’s never pulled rank on Shay before, they’re best friends and a team, but the suicide really shook them up.
Shay isn’t handling it well at all. She’s drinking more and she doesn’t want Kelly to know. Now she’s in a bar giving questionable glances to questionable women.
Dawson seems to be handling it a little better. The bruised rib situation with Griffin might have pulled her back to reality and she has one less worry now that she knows Jay is a cop. Jay’s persistence trying to talk with Gabi alluded to him being something more than just a lackey and it’s better that he fell on the side of good – Dawson deserves some happiness (even if it might be momentary). I wonder if the character resonates with viewers if he’ll make his way over to Chicago PD.
Finally, there’s Benny Severide. It could just be my love of Everwood coming up again, but I just love Treat Williams in a father role. He always comes packed with great fatherly advice in quotable form. He’s not without his own flaws, as Benny is still holding Boden accountable for having an affair with Mills’ mother all those years ago. While it’s also ambiguous whether Benny said anything about the affair to Gail, it’s still clear that Benny doesn’t like Boden is still keeping it a secret.
Two More Thoughts:
- Otis moving into the third bedroom. I’m not enjoying it. I like Otis, but he would be a better roommate with Mouch or Cruz. He doesn’t have a natural chemistry like Shay and Severide have together.
- The parking structure stunt was excellent.