Are the characters on this show actually firefighters or do they just moonlight as them?
Casey and Gallo joined Severide in playing detective, Mouch decided to spend his free time as a mailman, and the entirety of Firehouse 51, sans Boden, took it on themselves to become temporary law enforcement and engage in a high-speed chase.
If anything, Chicago Fire Season 8 Episode 10 was less about fighting fires and more about 51 going above the call of duty.
As unrealistic as this may be, these characters' heroics only continue to show why after eight seasons, fans keep coming back for more.
To start, Severide is finally back where he belongs. It took a few episodes, but he finally has returned to Firehouse 51.
When Severide was detailed to OFI, I knew he'd be back at some point, but I wasn't sure about the when or how.
Van Meter: I’ll hand it to you, lieutenant. You got a flair for the heroic. You went well about the call of duty to apprehend a professional arsonist while freeing an innocent man.
Severide: Just doing what I was assigned to do.
Van Meter: And in the process you broke, let’s see, one, two, I’ll round up and say a thousand standing orders, maxed out your overtime for the year, nearly got yourself killed to close a case that was already closed.
Van Meter: Severide, you are one of the most gifted investigators that I’ve ever met, and you’re fired.
Having him be "fired" for his overaggressive tactics was the perfect way to wrap up the story though.
It made complete sense why Severide would be let go.
There's only so many rules you can break before your boss realizes that maybe things aren't working out, and almost getting yourself killed in the process doesn't help your case.
In addition, his firing also means that he held up his end of the deal with Grissom. Well, sort of.
Arsonist: Why? Why’d you come back?
Severide: I’m a firefighter.
He did help clear some of OFI's backlog, but Seager's throwaway comment toward the end of the episode revealed more staff had to be brought on to help lighten the load.
If Grissom were to show up in the future, the commissioner may not be very happy with his protege. There's no telling how far he could take things, as evidenced by his past behavior.
Then again, Van Meter may have been able to smooth things over, and Severide is in the clear.
My guess is it depends on the availability of Gary Cole, who plays Grissom.
Seager: I know it’s not quite as exciting as all that, but I pulled another case I think would be right up your alley – distillery, out near the Port of Chicago. They’re claiming industrial espionage. Headquarters detailed some extra staff to OFI to help lighten the load, but frankly, they don’t have your eyes. I thought maybe you and I could grab lunch tomorrow, just to talk it through.
Severide: Listen, I appreciate you keeping me in mind, but I need to put my focus back where it belongs: with Squad 3 and House 51. Sort of keep myself tied down to one thing.
Seager: Hear you loud and clear lieutenant.
Either way, the one thing this episode did provide clarity on is that the Wendy Seager train officially has left the station.
After actively pursuing Severide for the past few episodes, despite knowing full well he has a girlfriend, she finally seemed to take a hint.
Granted, Severide could have been clearer upfront about everything, but the lieutenant didn't even realize there was some ulterior motive until Casey pointed it out.
Oblivious or not, Seager was laying it on pretty thick this episode, and thankfully, Severide showed her to the door.
Mouch: I’m a fellow public servant, working out of Firehouse 51. Anyway, we were at the scene of an accident yesterday with one of your colleagues, and I seem to have inadvertently brought this back to the station with me on the sole of my boot.
Postal worker: Sir, I cannot accept this item from you without an address or proper postage.
Mouch: Right, but look here. Someone already paid for the postage.
Postal worker: There’s no address on this item.
Mouch: But don’t you have some sort of dead letter office?
Postal worker: That is strictly for items already within the postal system. I cannot accept this item from you without an address and proper postage, sir.
Mouch: You know what the problem is here?
Postal worker: That your item doesn’t have an address or proper postage?
Mouch: No, no. The problem is a chronic lack of respect for written correspondence, a dereliction of the solemn vow you made that neither snow nor rain nor gloom of night would stop you … however, it goes.
Postal worker: Next.
The one good thing that came out of this whole Seager mess was a stronger, united Stellaride.
This time around, there were no stolen kisses, fits of jealousy, unreasonable demands, nor breakups. Just two mature adults navigating the ups and downs of a mature relationship.
As a side note, I have to applaud Kidd, in specific, for how she handled herself this episode.
She was more than a little peeved that Severide was so chummy with Seager but kept in jealousy in check.
I really don’t want to be getting in the middle of your drama, but I have to say my piece. There are three women on this shift. We need each other. We can’t be doing this. So I am asking, for a minute, set aside your own stuff and just hear each other out because 51 needs you, and I need you. Truce?Kidd
Kudos to her for realizing it would have been more than a little hypocritical to go off on Severide, especially after everything that happened with Tyler last season.
She also gets points for being the voice of reason when it came to Brett and Foster's arguing, or rather Foster picking fights with Brett.
Everything that happened between the paramedics was the direct result of Foster feeling bad about herself and needing to prove just how smart she is.
Delaney: So Morris over there, he kicks the door down, and guess what he finds? Twins – little girls about 4 years old. Channel 9 News got a shot of him coming out the front. He had a kid under each arm. That was a hell of a fire. You guys missed out. How much do I owe you?
Herrmann: 6 bucks.
Delaney: I thought it was 3.
Herrmann: Well, there’s an extra tax for local celebrities.
Seeing your medical school classmates pass you by is rough, but it's no excuse to treat your partner and close friend like an inferior, especially if you remember that you had the chance to redo your residency after being kicked out for cheating.
If Foster had wanted to be a doctor again, she had the chance, yet she chose to stay a paramedic.
Foster made those decisions herself, and it was unfair to take her anger out on Brett, who has done nothing but be friendly and supportive since the day they met.
Fortunately, Foster came around and had to decency to explain to Brett what was going on.
Foster: If you have something to say, say it to my face.
Brett: Will you stop acting so entitled? You have been on my case since yesterday. You had no business questioning my medical ability on that call. I am the paramedic in charge, and we had a patient’s life on the line.
Foster: That’s exactly what I spoke up. I have the experience, and a nasotracheal intubation …
Brett: Is a risky procedure, but it is one that I have personally performed dozens of times in the field.
Foster: OK, well, I couldn’t have known that.
Brett: Emily, you didn’t have to know that. It wasn’t your call to make. You may think that your education makes you a better paramedic than me, but I earned my as PIC after years of experience in the field. I chose this life. It wasn’t a backup plan, it wasn’t a consolation prize, so if you don’t respect that fact, maybe you need to see if some other house will take you in because I am losing my patience, fast.
Her apology doesn't make up for the way she acted, but it was enough for Brett to forgive her.
Blue skies are ahead for these two.
Elsewhere, if viewers needed any clarification on Alberto Rosende's status as a cast member, look no further than Gallo's new love interest Violet.
In the OneChicago universe, having your own love interest is akin to being a series regular, which Rosende now is.
Ritter: She wasn’t what I was expecting.
Gallo: Really, what were you expecting?
Ritter: I don’t know. Someone scarier, but she seems cool and smart and cute.
Gallo: Dude, she’s not cute.
Ritter: Gallo, I’m gay, but I’m not blind.
Gallo and Violet's banter was cute and funny. Ritter summed it up best when he said, "I guess this is how overachievers flirt."
Though they seemingly agreed for their hookup to be a " one-time thing," fans know that on TV, that's code for a long, arduous and messy relationship, chock full of classic tropes.
Their burgeoning relationship may not be as easy as it seems, as things seem to be heating up between their respective firehouses.
Introduced in this episode was the firefighters and paramedics of Firehouse 20, most of whom 51 views as "glory hogs."
Violet: Standing order 12?
Violet: In the interest of preventing any medical complications from spinal injury, any patient with an indication of neck trauma should have the administration of a cervical collar before transportation.
Gallo: You memorized that?
Violet: You didn’t?
Gallo: OK, Violet. Quiz me.
Violet: Standing order 89?
Gallo: A patient whose behavior suggests a lack of cognitive capacity can neither consent to nor refuse care. Boom. S.O. 41?
Violet: Duh, contamination of a crime scene or evidence is to be avoided. Please, that’s really the best you’ve got.
Ritter: I guess this is how overachievers flirt.
These firefighters seem more focused on looking good and making the front page of the local newspaper than putting in the time and hard work it takes to be a firefighter.
With the redrawn boundaries, 51 and 20 are likely to "run" into each other from time to time, and if this episode was any indication, a storm is brewing.
I'm rather excited for this setup, as it's been ages since viewers have seen two firehouses battle it out.
Usually, some sort of "big bad" person of authority gets thrown into the mix, and fans end up watching the same thing play out season over season.
Boden: What’s your assessment in terms of getting our tool back?
Police officer: Oh, none.
Casey: Excuse me?
Police officer: No disrespect, but the department’s got a lot of high priorities. I know you do important work, and you need your tool.
Casey: Someone could have died. If we’d been called straight to another incident …
Police officer: I get it, I get it. I’m on your side. I’m just saying how it is. These guys aren’t criminal masterminds. Eventually, they’ll get cocky, get caught, and then we’ll get your property back to you.
That person stirs up trouble at 51, our favorite firefighters fight back and are punished for it, and just when you think they're down for the count, they find a way to turn it around. Rinse, wash, and repeat.
A conflict between two firehouses offers up a whole new set of challenges for 51 and should make things slightly less predictable for the rest of the season.
Some stray thoughts:
I didn't care about Casey and Gallo's hunt for the missing fire equipment, but at least we got one heck of a chase scene out of it. Usually, such theatrics are reserved for Chicago P.D., but Truck 81, Squad 3, Ambulance 61, and Engine 51 all got in on the action.
Was it extremely ridiculous? Yes. Highly improbable? Definitely. Entertaining to watch? Unquestionably.
As a note to self: Never pick a fight with 51; you will lose.
Mouch's whole time playing mailman felt like the definition of filler, though I did appreciate that viewers got to learn a little bit about why Mouch holds letters in such high regard.
Little about Mouch's life pre-51 is known, so this small tidbit of information about his father and his childhood was a nice touch.
Of course, I couldn't help but feel a little bad over my disdain for the plot when it was revealed a soldier had sent this letter to his wife before he died, and that letter was the last thing the wife would get from her late husband.
Is was super corny but also kind of sweet.
Did anyone else think Gallo may have been talking about a male paramedic during that first season, as he avoided pronouns.
And was anyone else sort of bummed when it was revealed to be a woman, as this most likely means Gallo is straight and can't date Ritter? I guess I'll have to settle for them being adorable besties like Cruz and Otis rather than an OTP couple.
Has Stellaride always had that little musical tone that plays during key moments in their relationship like Dawsey, or is this the first time?
For reference, I'm talking about the very end of the episode when they kiss, accompanied by some musical notes in the background.
So what did you think Chicago Fire Fanatics?
Has Severide safely escaped Grissom's wrath and Seager's advances?
Do you ship Gallo with Violet or Ritter?
Is Firehouse 21 the next "big bad" obstacle for 51?
Hit the comments to let me know your thoughts. If you happened to miss the midseason premiere, don't worry. You can watch Chicago Fire online right here at TV Fanatic.
Jessica Lerner was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in October 2021.