With some reshuffling and tension-filled drama, "Professional Courtesy" brings Chicago Fire blazing back after a rough start two weeks ago.
The biggest problems of the premiere were fully addressed with a simultaneous push outwards for suspense and drama and a very smart/focused effort to focus on just a few characters at a time – instead of working everyone in and doing so in mediocrity.
Casey’s run-in with Detective Scary Pants Voight was downright bone-chilling as he attempted to force, bribe and scare Casey into changing his statement from the accident. So much of the scene was done with so little, and the atmosphere of change when The Chief walked in was palpable.
The Chief’s no-nonsense attitude and complete disregard for Detective Voight’s attempted threats was rather awesome. It gave Casey just the right amount of reassurance he needed, and while I didn’t doubt that Casey would make the right decision, things were sure looking to get messier for a moment before The Chief stepped in to support his man.
Severide, on the other hand, is around a completely different kind of supporter, and he’s about one small injury away from being completely sidelined from Rescue for good. It sets up an almost no-win situation for him as his nerve and spinal damage make for incredible pain, but going under the knife for a fix could end up giving him a permanent disability leave, or his recovery time could end up sidelining him out of his job for good.
Severide’s dilemma sets up a classic character study, and I hope Chicago Fire decides to really go there with it. His actions are setting up a web of deceit, theft, cover ups, abuse, addiction and physical and emotional pain that involve more than just him - and because of all the weight that is on his shoulders he’s a ticking time bomb mentally and physically. And that’s not even taking into account some of his extracurricular activities this week.
Finally, there’s Mills. One of my favorite stories to watch is the struggle between family commitments and workplace obligations. His mother knows first hand the fatal danger that comes from his line of work, and all Mills wants to do is continue the family legacy in the firehouse rather than the diner.
Overall, while there are still a few rough patches here and there Chicago Fire is showing continuous improvement. What did you think of the episode?