Was I the only one scoffing at an unconscious Severide floating face up in the Chicago River despite being in full turnout gear on Chicago Fire Season 6 Episode 12?
Well, it's time to eat crow. I should have known the technical advisors wouldn't have screwed up such an important detail. But we weren't the only ones to doubt the buoyancy of fire gear -- these firefighters in Tennessee had to put it to the test.
I may not be great at David Letterman's Will It Float? challenge, but I do know a thing about primetime TV. So I was less than shocked when Kelly was safely back with his comrades in under five minutes.
I'm more disappointed that Kelly's almost near-death experience didn't snap some sense into Stella.
Don't get me wrong, I really like Daniel di Tomossa's HazMat Zach, but there needs to be a payoff to the interminable will they/won't they of Severide.
Yes, HazMat Zach is objectively the better choice -- broader interests, better communicator, no known history of repressing emotions and numbing his feelings with excessive drink and numerous women.
Kelly: Went through the concussion protocol. Flying colors. I'm fine.
Boden: And if you weren't, you wouldn't tell me anyway.
But dammit, #Stellaride has been brewing since Kidd's arrival at 51. And since angry and dramatic breakups with lots of scheming for revenge are one soap opera element missing from the Chicago franchise, there's no option but for them to get together.
And then for us to find out that everybody else at 51 has been making bets in a pool? Because of course, they would.
As much as I love the comradery of the cast and how the firehouse is one big family, it effectively eliminates an entire segment of plot arcs based around intra-house conflict that could lead to real character development.
Not that conflict is the only way for a character to grow. Sylvie is an excellent example of that this season.
Okay, sure, fine, she had conflict with Hope early on, but a lot of her growth is super relatable, the kind you do when you're in your twenties and single for the first significant amount of time in your real adulthood.
She fell back into a relationship with an ex, but had the wherewithal to cut it off, she's not hiding her capabilities with more traditionally masculine skills, she's learning to stand up instead of worrying about keeping the peace.
Homeless Woman: This is my house. This is my street. Go home, skanks.
Sylvie: No, this is not your street. It's *mine.* Along with his, and his, and theirs. You know who else's streets these are? Every paramedic and firefighter in Chicago. We've been on every block in this city and helped someone on every one of them. And all those people we've helped? They're on *our* team. Not yours.
She's doing all of these things for herself, and I love it. I'm not too sure about her decision to reach out to Hope in the end, but I understand why it would be appealing to confront her former BFF in the aftermath of the adrenaline provoking speech.
I'm just glad she didn't ask for Herrmann's advice on the matter.
Who knows what convoluted fire-based metaphor he would have come up with for her?
If it weren't for the fact that Christopher's been pulled into every single pyramid scheme that's ever been imagined, the idea of him being a life coach wouldn't be completely laughable.
We've seen him give plenty of great advice over the years, and his biggest problem trying to tackle this role was that he trying to fit himself into somebody else's cookie cutter idea of a life coach.
Cruz called that one spot on.
Otis: What just happened?
Mouch: You see, the "F" is for you're f--[blender turns on]
What did fill weird about Herrmann's oh-so-humorous career exploration is that it was the B-plot to a super creepy, super relevant main plot about sexual harassment.
The situation with the photographer was obviously supposed to be some timely reference to #metoo and #timesup, but it was highly disappointing.
This should have been the crossover event. Not as exciting as what's coming up, which will have lots of explosions, but the gross complacency around sexual harassment that is finally starting to be confronted in our country.
To be clear, I'm not at all upset that such an idea was taken on, just that it was handled so very badly.
From the implausible fact of the photographer recklessly violating Dawson's privacy when he's only been on the location for a few hours to the part where Gabby wasn't given the agency to confront this man on her own but rather had the menfolk handle things.
Although I will give Monica Raymund props for what I considered to be an excellent acting decision and letting Gabby's accented dialect come through more than usual as a signal that she was seriously shook.
I think that if we start wondering one life has more value than another, we can't do our job.Boden
Considering she wasn't given any actually lines to communicate how violated the incident made her character feel, Raymund found a way to give Gabby a voice while the writers tried to make this about all Matt.
I appreciated Boden's speech to Casey, because yes, a life saved is always a win, but it didn't really address my issues with the framing of the whole incident.
Maybe Fire's woman problem isn't limited to the cast.
There'll be even fewer women in 51 on Chicago Fire Season 6 Episode 13, because Gabby and Sylvie will be going undercover with Antonio.
The fact that it's the ladies being lent out to PD makes me think that the previewed attack on Trudy is rooted in misogyny. Happy Women's History Month, everyone.
But don't worry, we won't be spending a full 45 minutes wrapping up Intelligence's case against some MRA douche. Nope, romance will get some attention too.
Gabby: Didn't we have an understanding? No five story jumps into the river?
Matt: I told you, I'm trying to qualify for Tokyo 2020. High dive. Gold medal. Got to get my practice in where I can.
Cruz may finally try and tell Brett how he feels, which is probably a huge mistake. Otis is totally right about messing up the roommate situation, and Cruz needs to examine his feelings and determine if they're real or he's just missing what was easy.
We'll also get to see a staple of firehouse life that somehow hasn't been shown before -- kids' birthday parties! Herrmann will have to work with Connie to fix a scheduling mishap.
I can't wait for the gifs of the shade she throws him.
Gabby: Uh-oh did Kelly get stood up tonight?
Kelly: Nah, I just wanted to hang with the old married couple.
So what did you think of "The F Is For?" Disappointed that Stella and Kelly still aren't on the same page? Eager to try Herrmann's life-coaching services? Ready to try Whirlyball?
Let us know in the comments section below!
Elizabeth Harlow was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She left the organization in October 2018.