Chicago Fire Review: Angsty and Cliche

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Sometimes a schedule change can be a good thing! 

Chicago Fire Season 6 Episode 14 & Chicago Fire Season 6 Episode 15 paired together almost perfectly, even though the cases were completely unrelated. 

Becoming Frustrated - Chicago Fire

Is there anything more cliche than a pregnancy scare?

Buying and taking the test led to some nice moments between Sylvie and Gabby. But as a commenter mentioned after Chicago Fire Season 6 Episode 13, what's going on with the relationship between the siblings Dawson? 

Actually, Gabby's attitude about her brother and her friend strikes me as being weird all around. She is neither super excited that two people she cares about could end up happy together nor extremely vocal about how terrible they are with one another. 

Sylvie [about Antonio]: It means I want to be with him. I want to give things a real try. I'm just so terrified of what he's going to say.
Gabby: If he reacts as anything but a perfect gentleman, you know he's going to have to answer to me.

It just doesn't seem in character for our feisty EMT to be so ambivalent, especially about the two people she's closest too after Matt. 

I don't know; maybe we're supposed to be getting an awkward "I'm staying out of it" vibe from her, but that's not what's coming through. 

Gabby's lack of emotional investment wasn't the only problem with Sylvie's almost baby though. 

Related: 21 Best & Worst Pregnancies On TV

Is there no other way for a woman to realize that she wants more from a man than to pee on a stick?

I'd much rather have had Stella or Gabby or, hell, Mouch, sit her down and explain that when you're not exploring your options, you're not keeping it casual.

Monogamy by default is still monogamy.

Sylvie: Why would my feelings be any different now? I wanted to keep things light, leave my options open, do me.
Gabby: I like this new attitude. It's strong, steady.
Sylvie: And... Who knows, if down the line, Antonio and I are meant to be together, then--
Gabby: Veering off course!

And playing the field isn't for everyone. Certainly not for Sylvie. This is not the first time that there's been an attempt to toughen up the Hoosier farm girl, and I wish it would stop. 

Standing up for herself and her friends with the homeless bully was one thing, but this idea that colder and more detached and self-interested equals stronger irks me.

Gunhots Inside the House - Chicago Fire

There's more than one way to be strong, and I don't think that Sylvie's romantic sensibilities get in the way of that. 

Stella: Look, I know that communication is not your first language, but what's going on with you lately? You've been dodging me, and just acting off ever since Otis got hurt. Can you just, for once, just tell me what you're feeling?
Kelly: [slowly walks up to Stella, looks at her intensely, and kisses her]

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What she maybe does need to learn is to clearly communicate her wants and needs to her partner and not just rely on fate.

She's not alone in this of course. 

Kelly is the ultimate brooder and basically can't communicate his emotions to save his life.

Related: 13 Hot Hookups That Were Worth Waiting For

That's why I'm still worried about him and Stella. Yeah, that kiss was hot. I wish they hadn't had sex at Molly's though -- I honestly couldn't stop thinking "eww, that's Mouch's stool!". 

But a kiss wasn't the communication Stella was seeking, tot after she gave him that super supportive speech and went to a memorial for his ex with him. 

Kelly: Hey, thanks for getting me there.
Stella: Anytime you need somebody to support you, I'm your girl.
Kelly [quietly]: I know.

Here's a crossover idea -- Kelly starts seeing Dr. Charles for some therapy to help him deal with his emotional repression.

Yeah, that's never going to happen. But maybe Matt will start stepping up more and helping his buddy out. 

Was I the only one that absolutely adored how Matt was eavesdropping on the conversations between Kelly and Stella? He's totally 'shipping them, and it's amazing.

Matt: For what it's worth, I get it. Running into burning buildings is one thing, but being stuck outside when someone you love is at risk... Hell, there's no training that can make that any easier.
Kelly: Casey, I told you, I'm, I'm --
Matt: I know what you told me. That feeling, that connection... It won't go away just because you don't want it to be there.

While I didn't think that Boden's advice to the Squad commander was wrong, it also wasn't very helpful. For all that the chief was dressing down Severide, he's also prone to letting him slide at the slightest reminder of what the lieutenant has been through. 

Matt, meanwhile, reminds him that Kelly's losses aren't a reason to hide, but why he needs to hold on tight. He's the one that's going to stop his buddy from wallowing in misery. 

Related: Enjoy UNLIMITED access to thousands of Movies and TV shows with Amazon Prime Video. WATCH ANYWHERE. CANCEL ANYTIME!

Casey's doing a much better job as a relationship role model to his best friend than this wife is. 

Herrmann: Firehouse nicknames are a sacred tradition. They are a sign of familiarity, brotherhood, and respect.
Otis: Hey, you know what, his name means half man, half couch. Guys, I'm just saying, words have power. Referring to me like a candidate changes the way I'm perceived.
Connie: Good morning, gentlemen. Who ordered the limited edition Dr. Who Tardis Lego set?
[Mouch, Herrmann, and Cruz bust out laughing]

But Cruz and Otis still are in the lead for the best example of how to be friends.These two always have each other's backs, even while they razz one another. 

I love the Slamigan arc. Cruz has needed this kind of validation for a while, and while I'm with him that the business is being rushed, ultimately, this endeavor will be good for him. 

His worry is completely justified though, and he needs to hire a lawyer to set up the business and look after his interests. 

Herrmann: C'mon, Joe, we'll buy you breakfast.
Otis: Yeah, I'm sure Denny's has a Grand Slamigan.

And why in god's name is he refusing Herrmann and Mouch's money? What have they done to contribute to this business, other than get way ahead of the game and spend money that wasn't there? 

It's completely reasonable to have them make a financial investment, just like the Molly's crew did. If they're all going to be making money as owners, they all need to pony up some cash. 

Related: Chicago PD Season 5 Episode 18 Review: Ghosts

I just can't believe they sent salesmen out into the field without having a production line set up. It's too bad Otis wasn't involved, he'd have had them on some kind of Fire Station Kickstarter site. Have they even filed for a patent?

Connie: [stares down the guys, fax in hand]
Mouch [nervously]: We'll reimburse the department for ink and, uh, paper, of course.
Connie: [keeps staring, doesn't offer fax over]
Mouch: You change your hair, I like that. [nervously grabs fax]
Cruz: Pretty.
Connie: [rolls eyes and walks away]

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Guys, I have to believe that Otis is going to be okay. Where would the show be without Yuriy Sardarov? Otis, the underdog, is the heart of 51, and booting him would just be too awful.

But I do expect him to be sidelined for a while. Even without the (temporary) paralysis, getting shot in the neck is not something where you're at work the week after. 

Can somebody explain why the chief of another firehouse was involved in that discussion with Boden though? Does Gary Cole have a minimum appearance clause in his guest contract?

What did he think, war's gonna break out on the streets of Lincoln Square? What kind of parent lets their kid collect guns in Chicago?!


I admit I'm a little impressed that the whole angsty teenage gun obsessed boy story didn't get pulled in light of recent events and the current political climate. 

While I do think that the writers managed to bring a new angle of consideration on the topic of gun hoarding, I also felt like the way the situation with the kid -- and his father -- was handled was too tepid.

Related: Chicago PD Season 5 Episode 16 Review: Profiles

How, exactly, is a 17-year-old (I'm guessing, but the kid seemed to be treated as a minor) legally acquire so many guns? In Chicago, which has notoriously strict gun laws?

Gun Collecter's Father: I just want to thank you, and say how awful I feel about, about every thing's that happened. [sits] I didn't know.
Joe: How could you not know?

Even if he crossed state lines into Indiana, it's hard to fathom that the father wasn't aware.

Excusing his lack of interest in his son was a bizarre choice -- it doesn't quite play into the narrative of neglect and the broken family after all. 

And those Instagram pictures should have been flagged by hundreds of people, warranting a call to PD, which in turn would notify the parents. 

You screwed up. You can't change that. But he knows that you never meant for any of this to happen. Now you can keep this from getting worse. Give your dad a chance to forgive. You owe him that much at least.

Joe [to gun collector kid]

As for Cruz's forgiving the kid, that also didn't sit right with me. The behavior exhibited by this teenager was deliberately the kind of behavior that rings warning bells for mass shooters. 

Just because he accidentally lost his cache of weapons and ammo doesn't change the road he was headed down. Just because he can't (and shouldn't) be charged with that kind of crime doesn't mean that he's some poor sick soul who just needs love.

Related: Chicago PD Season 5 Episode 15 Review: Sisterhood

Joe's forgiveness stops the story too soon. It's not a real exploration of the gun crisis in this country; rather it's a cheap ploy to take advantage of a divisive topic. 

Stella [watching Kelly season the brisket]: You need help with that?
Kelly: Ha! Did Hank Aaron need help hitting home runs?

But who knows, maybe the writers will step up and keep the conversation going. Otis' replacement will be heading to Firehouse 51 on Chicago Fire Season 6 Episode 16, so the story still has juice.

I'm not holding my breath though.

While Herrmann works through his Otis related feelings, Stella has trouble keeping her new relationship on the DL.

Cap: It's my squad-iversary.
Cruz [annoyed]: He made rescue squad on this date nine years ago.
Cap: Exactly.
Kelly: Didn't you have to go back for retraining seven years ago?
Cap: Once in squad, always in squad.

This is the problem with all of your friends also being your coworkers. She better keep her mouth shut because I don't think Boden is ready to acknowledge another intra-house romance, especially one involving an officer. 

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He'll be dealing with his own "interesting news" though, so maybe it won't even ding his radar. 

His radar is pretty good though. 

Look, okay, we had a terrible moment last shift. We nearly lost one of our own. So for the next few hours, I want each of us to put aside our anger so we can show this city who we are.


So what did you think of "Looking for a Lifeline" and "The Chance to Forgive"? Join us in the comments section to share your thoughts!

Will Sylvie be able to stick to her resolve and get over Antonio, or is his blind date part of a big misunderstanding? Does Matt need to go back for a refresher course in distancing himself from victims, or is his investment a good thing? 

What are the odds that Lily will move to Hawaii after seeing Otis through being shot? Can Kelly and Stella make it work, or will his inability to use words for feelings cause problems down the road?

Look, you have to know, and trust me when I say I've dealt with this before, if she doesn't want to go, she's not going. It doesn't matter how many brochures we give her or if we walk her inside the front door, *she* has to decide she wants it.

Burgess [about the abuse victim]

If you're jonesing for some sweet Firehouse 51 drama, remember that you can watch Chicago Fire online anytime, anywhere (with an internet connection). 

And for those ride or die #ChiHards, check out our past Chicago Fire reviews!

Looking for a Lifeline Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (68 Votes)

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

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Chicago Fire Season 6 Episode 14 Quotes

This is no longer the squad table, this is now officially the Gabriela Dawson nap-time area.

Gabby [stealing Cap's new recliner]

Cap: It's my squad-iversary.
Cruz [annoyed]: He made rescue squad on this date nine years ago.
Cap: Exactly.
Kelly: Didn't you have to go back for retraining seven years ago?
Cap: Once in squad, always in squad.