"Hanging On" continued a recent hot streak of Chicago Fire episodes.
I still have no idea how they should market this show, but it fits in no genre that I can think of and therefore suffers from a lack of viewers. It's a drama in the traditional sense, with a tinge of procedural and a family feel. What made its star shine this week?
It's so refreshing that people don't dance around their issues on Chicago Fire. Hermann taking on the homeless man's brother when he died alone in a warehouse instead of under his brother's roof and Casey charging into Detective Voight's office are just two examples. Casey didn't stop there, either. When everyone at the police station looked quizzically at him, he shouted, "Why is everybody so afraid of him?"
How often does that happen on television these days? Not enough.
I really dislike the storyline of a corrupt cop trying to bribe and hurt a fireman to keep his drunk driving son out of jail. It's nauseating. It's comforting that Chief Boden and the crew have Casey's back and the Chicago Police Department have decided to look into the situation, but Voight is so smarmy I'd rather they just jump him in the street. I realize that's counter productive to everything I believe is wrong with the situation in the first place, but sometimes vigilantism has its draw.
What I didn't get was why they were trying to hard to find whatever gang banger supposedly slashed Casey's tires and then Hallie's. How do they know Voight didn't do it himself? He's a nut. Nobody was even following him, so he had no problem pulling over Hallie and scaring the heck out of her with yet another threat to Casey. It would have been a career killer to pummel Voight with whatever that tool was he had in his hands - but I'd like to know if Boden found Casey just before he made his move. Is he Batman?
I don't know how long Kelly thought he was going to be able to keep up pretenses of doing his job with his shoulder, but when he was on the roof hanging onto a man with only that shoulder between one of them and death, something has to give. No amount of painkillers in the world can give you the strength you need with a bum shoulder to keep up with that kind of physical activity. At some point he's going to end up ripping his arm right out of the socket. Prostituting himself for drugs, no matter how attractive the woman, was really scraping the bottom of the barrel.
Gaby and Shay grow on me more every week. Kudos to Shay for not falling for Kelly's play at getting her to supply him with more drugs. She gave him a real option to get treatment and he chose against it. She's a paramedic, not a pusher. Gaby shoving her foot into a victim's friend's chest as he tried to force his way onto the ambulance was classic. She gets in trouble for things all the time, but everything she does if for the best of the victims she treats. Someone should shadow them to get a better picture of just how good they are.
It's too bad Mouch was unable to keep her case from going forward. She has absolutely no luck. Well, her luck might get better if Hallie can't take any more strain from all of this Voight stuff and she has a chance at Casey, but rebounds are never a good idea, even when the seeds have already been planted for something to come up later.
On the fun side? Hermann getting caught up in a pyramid scheme and Otis playing lawyer to get him out of it. I really need some friends like the guys at Station 51 because they seem capable of almost anything. They cook, save lives, get your thousands refunded and then take your out for a night on the town, all after cleaning up your mess with a dirty cop.
Another Chicago Fire, another enjoyable hour of television. I don't have any complaints about the show, the acting, the stories or the direction. Last year I complained that Wednesdays were barren of good entertainment, and this year I'm practically overwhelmed. I hope this one makes the long-term cut.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.