Chicago Fire Season 8 Episode 3 Review: Badlands

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It's good to have Brett back. 

She wasted no time returniing to the station and jumping feet first into what she loves doing best on Chicago Fire Season 8 Episode 3. .

She's passionate about her job and cares about people, and she couldn't get the same feeling or make the impact she did with Isaac in a small-town as a part-time EMT.

Carnival Ride - Tall  - Chicago Fire Season 8 Episode 3

Many shows explore the corruption found in prisons and detention centers. It's horrific when CO's and others abuse their authority.

It was the case with Isaac and the others at juvie. One look at Isaac lying in the hospital bed and all you could do was gasp.

Related: Chicago Fire Season 8 Episode 2 Review: A Real Shot in the Arm 

Ironically, if not for the way the shady CO was behaving when Brett and Foster arrived at the scene, they maybe would've bought that Isaac got into a physical altercation with another kid.

Helping Riders  - Chicago Fire Season 8 Episode 3

The CO behaved like there was something to hide, and it made him suspicious before Brett and Foster could hear Isaac's story.

He was in bad shape, and it's scary to think the detention facility would have allowed a kid to die in their custody rather than have him checked out and risk exposure.

Isaac: I was so scared.
Brett; It's OK, Isaac, I'm right here.
Isaac: Tell him I'm sorry, alright?

Isaac was terrified to explain what happened to him, which meant Brett and Foster didn't have much to go on when they tried to take it up with anyone who would listen.

Related: Chicago Med Season 5 Episode 3 Review: In the Valley of the Shadow 

Isaac's mother was dismissive of her child's abuse, and it was upsetting. From where she stood, Isaac made a choice with his gun charge, and he was in the facility for a reason.

She also preferred her son to be disciplined in juvie rather than experience what the streets had in store for him. However, if she was going to hold that belief, it meant she had blind faith in the system and the people within it.

She shouldn't. Haughton was terrorizing children getting away with it.

What kind of person are you trying to railroad a 15-year-old child?


The name of the installment was based on the place he took his latest victim, the Badlands. It sounded like in addition to beating the kids himself, he had the children fighting one another.

Related: Chicago PD Season 7 Episode 3 Review: Familia 

The show could've benefited from exploring the storyline more. We didn't find out the full extent of what was happening in that facility until the end of the hour when the other kids started yelling about it.

Hermann Chats it Up  - Chicago Fire Season 8 Episode 3

It would've been a better angle if Brett and Foster had more than one kid to speak to about all of this. The show could've expanded beyond Isaac for this case.

It also felt like they rushed through this storyline, and it was resolved too quickly and easily.

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The facility was willing to go down covering for Haughton and anyone else who was guilty of misconduct. It was disgusting how they dismissed the women and how confident they were that nothing would happen to them.

If anything else happens to Isaac, we'll make sure you go to prison for the rest of your life. Try us if you don't think that'll happen.


When they brought Isaac into the room to strong-arm him in to denying anything happened to him, it was enraging.

Severide Checks His Surroundings - Tall  - Chicago Fire Season 8 Episode 3

Haughton was dumb enough to threaten Isaac when he was still within hearing distance of Brett and Foster. He spoke the truth once he realized it was his best shot of escaping Haughton and the others.

In the real world, there is no way they could take the facility down and having them back off with something as simple as a threat to take the confessions of a few kids to the public.

It worked out, but it wasn't the most realistic. I'm happy it did work out, though.

Brett: How do you like the new guy?
Boden: Eh, jury's out.

Brett has returned, but Casey's focus was on Jenna.

Casey's taste in women remains questionable. She was giving off all kinds of flags well before she admitted to googling him and knowing everything about him.

She was a little bit crazed, and Casey shouldn't have fallen into bed with her. Fortunately, after Boden's display with her computer tech, Jenna was over Casey.

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The smart house was funny, and I thought Boden was going to snap with that endless blaring and noise. Everything doesn't have to be run through a computer.

Our team is not the type to appreciate a smart house, and that's OK. The like to keep things simple and to the point. They function better that way.

Casey's One-Night Stand - tall  - Chicago Fire Season 8 Episode 3

How do we feel about the new guy, Gallo?

He's coming in after the loss of Otis, so he's bound to rub people the wrong way for the simple fact that he isn't him.

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The Shadowhunters alum is likable in this role. Gallo is earnest and a go-getter, but Boden was wary of him.

Boden: This is a dangerous job. He's not bulletproof.
Casey: Understood.

Boden didn't like how impulsive Gallo was. He felt like Gallo didn't take the job seriously and glamorized it.

Shooting the Breeze - tall  - Chicago Fire Season 8 Episode 3

Gallo takes huge risks. On the outside, it makes it seem like he's only in it for the attention and to be a hero.

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After losing another one of their own, Boden had reservations about Gallo's motivations. He judged him a lot, but the worse assumption he could make was that Gallo was in it for the wrong reason and never experienced anything.

Severide: Chief still all up in your business about Gallo?
Casey: He just needs a little time to see what I see, that's all.

His background story is heartbreaking. He was the lone survivor of a house fire when he was 12. The firefighter who saved him welcomed him to the firehouse, and Gallo spent all of his time there.

They became a family for him. For Gallo, firefighting means more than Boden can understand.

The Kidd Improves - Tall  - Chicago Fire Season 8 Episode 3

After hearing his story, Gallo is the perfect fit for the team.

Stella was one of the first to give him advice. She's good at putting people at ease.

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It's that leadership quality that Boden sees and appreciates. It's why he wants her to get her scuba certification.

Stella almost let her Imposter Syndrome get the best of her.

Kim Helps Out - tall  - Chicago Fire Season 8 Episode 3

She's so used to sexism; she thought Boden had ulterior motives.

Severide was nothing but supportive of her, and their relationship is strong, healthy, and adorable as hell.

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They've been so perfect for so long. When does the other shoe drop? They're too good to be true in their relationship right now.

It feels like something will come and disrupt their harmony sooner rather than later.

Over to you, Chicago Fire Fanatics! Do you like Gallo and what he has to offer?

How upsetting was the case with Isaac? Hit the comments below with your thoughts.

You can watch Chicago Fire online here via TV Fanatic. 

Badlands Review

Editor Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
  • 4.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.8 / 5.0 (54 Votes)

Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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Chicago Fire Season 8 Episode 3 Quotes

Isaac: I was so scared.
Brett; It's OK, Isaac, I'm right here.
Isaac: Tell him I'm sorry, alright?

Brett: How do you like the new guy?
Boden: Eh, jury's out.