Chicago Fire Season 5 Episode 18 Review: Take a Knee

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Like Kelly, I am not a happy camper after watching Chicago Fire Season 5 Episode 18.

Not only is Anna inexplicably cutting bait, but the Lee Henry plot was unbearable. Thank god for Gabby and Sylvie (isn't that always the case?), the best ladies to learn the job from.

Oh, and Matt did some stuff that wasn't horrible or boring or confusing. Yay for Matt, I guess.

Stella Kidd - Chicago Fire

I'm trying to come up with the words to describe how annoyed I was by Lee Henry's storyline, but I'm experiencing mini rage strokes, so bear with me. 

The premise was fine, I suppose, but my god was it poorly executed. I get it, the Colin Kaepernick kneeling thing is a story again, because maybe nobody in the NFL will hire him because of it -- or maybe because he's not a reliably strong player? I don't know, I watch TV, not sports.

But please. If you want to take this "issue" on, do it right, with a reasonable representation of the situation. Or at least explain to the kid how his battle is different.

You are a Herrmann before you are an American, which means *I* TELL YOU WHAT YOUR RIGHTS ARE!

Herrmann [to his son]

I remember being in high school, and how riled up we kids got about vending machine changes, or the time they threatened to ban flip flops. But I wasn't stupid enough to think that the way to protest those was by refusing the pledge of allegiance. No, I started a petition and threatened to stage a sit in.

Kaepernick's protest is in support of the Black Live's Matter movement, and references the very actually important issues of police brutality and the number of people of color who die at the hands of those sworn to serve and protect.

So now listen, Lee Henry. You definitely have the constitutional right not to say the pledge of allegiance. You also have the right to be a jackass.


Big difference between that and raising the price of a coke by a quarter.

Then there was the white, educated male calling said protest "inflammatory" "hate speech." I would have given him "disruptive," but please, sir, tell more about what constitutes hate speech from you position of privilege. 

Parent Teacher Conference - Chicago Fire Season 5 Episode 18

I understand Herrmann's "punishment" from a certain perspective. Making the kid understand that the ensurement of our rights and privileges can come at a cost is a valuable lesson. But it was a little heavy handed that every single veteran in that room had visible scars.

And it ignores the civilians who also work to protect our rights from more domestic threats. All together, the storyline was poorly thought out and felt pretty slap dash.

At least there were some great Mouch/Boden/Herrmann scenes though!

Mouch: Donuts.
Herrmann: What?
Mouch: My advice is bring donuts.
Hermann: That's your advice for everything.
Mouch: Yeah. Because it works.

Severide's daddy issues also didn't really gel for me either. I mean, we all know that Benny is dick in a million different ways, and we know all about Kelly's man-whore past, but why would he think Anna would assume he's just like his dad?

Honestly, I just felt like Benny didn't really add anything to this arc other than a conveniently awkward time for Anna to stage an escape. And that development felt rushed.

I mean, I think we could all tell things weren't going to be smooth sailing for these too. A super romantic ice skating date does not make up for the fact that you have no support system outside of your boyfriend in a new city. 

#Annaride - Chicago Fire Season 5 Episode 18

It's pretty obvious that something happened at the hospital that shook her up. I can think of a few possibilities.

Her cancer could be back, and she's trying to spare Kelly the pain of watching her die, knowing that he didn't save her after all.

She found out about his past with April, or maybe another nurse, and now realizes just how much of a player he really was.

Or, my personal favorite, one of her patients turns out to be his previously unknown child, and she either feels betrayed that he didn't tell her, or thinks he's a terrible deadbeat, or both.

I think we're wrong for each other Kelly, and I think we've been idiots not to see it.


I really hope that this is something they can work out. Anna is too cool in her own right for her to leave #OneChicago. How many times to I have to mention that she'd make a great addition to Chicago Med before somebody listens?

Speaking of Med, Sarah Reese is certainly keeping busy updating the firehouse on their rescues. 

I enjoyed Matt and Kidd working that case together, but didn't really think it was anything wonderful. I'd give it a solid "meh" rating.

We do more than fight fires... - Chicago Fire Season 5 Episode 18

I'd much rather have spent more time on the guy trapped in the freezer with his hand caught. Only two details made it stand out in my mind.

The drug dealer with the machete. An actually machete. Which he just pulled out of NOWHERE. 

And Matt replying that kid was "bigger than Louie" when Gabby asked how old he was. Am I the only one hating the fact that Louie's dad had a super big family to take him in in the case of, say, an exceedingly tragic car accident?

Smash a Window Season 5 Episode 18 - Chicago Fire

Gabby may not have a kid at home, but she's still proving how great a mom she'll be at the firehouse. I absolutely loved the story with the trainee. 

Not only did it highlight Gabby as a great teacher and paramedic, it highlighted some different aspects of her and Sylvie's personalities. Which in turn highlights why they work so well as partners. 

AND it set up another story. 

Retraining - Chicago Fire Season 5 Episode 18

Please take a minute to fully appreciate the gif above. I adore the contrast between Sylvie's interest and Dawson's contained outrage.

I really hope that we get to see Ambo 61 at their retraining session, and see more of that. Especially because I can see Gabby eventually having to come around and admit she did learn something, and that retraining was a good idea.

You know she hates being proved wrong. 

Gabby: Retraining? Retraining? Like everyday isn't retraining already? I should be the teacher of that class. Hell, I am the teacher! Name one thing they're gonna say to me that I haven't seen or done 100 times!
Matt: I can't. [shared looks]
Gabby: Look, if they want to pay me to sit in a warm classroom instead of freezing my ass off helping the citizens of Chicago, then be my guest.

There was one other very small detail from "Take a Knee" that I thought was great. It was a small thing, barely dwelt upon, but I really hope that it's setting up something bigger down the line.

Joe Cruz saved that guy's hand. 

I'm not in awe over the hand itself -- though I would have been if there had been more detail and special effect gore.

Fingers - Chicago Fire Season 5 Episode 18

No, I was just really proud of Cruz for insisting to his lieutenants that they save the fingers, and then quickly coming up with an idea to make it happen despite their initial dismissal.

Joe Cruz: Rising Star of 51.

Rule number three -- Save lives first, worry about consequences later.

Gabby [to trainee]

We want to hear what YOU thought of "Take a Knee" down in the comments section!

Is Anna gone for good? What do you think of Herrmann's parenting decisions? Who gives better advice, Mouch or Boden? Feel free to jump in!

Remember, you can watch Chicago Fire online

Take a Knee Review

Editor Rating: 3.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (51 Votes)

Elizabeth Harlow was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She left the organization in October 2018.

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Chicago Fire Season 5 Episode 18 Quotes

Kelly: So he's free to go?
Trudy: To be your problem, yeah. Benny, next time I'm not calling your son.
Benny: Thanks, Trudy. I'm sorry I threw up in the holding cell.

Mouch: Donuts.
Herrmann: What?
Mouch: My advice is bring donuts.
Hermann: That's your advice for everything.
Mouch: Yeah. Because it works.