Chicago Fire Season 12 Episode 4 Review: The Little Things

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There isn't much to work with here, so we'll just have a good time chatting about Chicago Fire Season 12 Episode 4.

Why else would the hour be titled "The Little Things" if it wasn't going to go the day-in-a-life route?

With a close-knit firehouse and multiple calls, even the little things can add up to a lot.

House on Fire - Chicago Fire

What do you do if you aren't invited to a friend's wedding? Well, make that two friends. That's even harder to digest.

If you're Joe Cruz, instead of addressing the situation directly, you devise silly reasons why you may not have been invited.

Watching the Action - Chicago Fire Season 12 Episode 4

Sure, Brett has told everyone that she and Casey are keeping it small and personal, but Joe would fit that bill.

He'd be higher on the list than Capp or Tony, even if Tony did help her with the very cool fire effect she used on the invitations.

When you think of a small, intimate wedding with this group, you imagine every one of the people they work with and maybe a couple of outsiders.

That's not exactly how it worked out, but it's close enough.

Mouch Searches for Victims - Chicago Fire Season 12 Episode 4

Cruz overthinks things a lot, but this time out, I think he rather enjoyed the idea that if he wasn't invited, it was because he and Brett dated.

Everyone knew they dated, right? Capp and Tony had to be pulling his leg when they acted like it was news to them.

There's something special about being an ex, especially if you're still in each other's lives. Oddly put, it's a bit of an ego boost to think that your presence at an ex's wedding might make everyone uncomfortable.

It couldn't have been anything else. Brett's feelings toward Cruz were evident when each time she was called away, she put Julia in his arms. That's a level of trust you can't create overnight.

Sylvie Helps a Victim - Chicago Fire Season 12 Episode 4

But who would have thought Capp would be the wise one, wondering aloud what we were thinking at home? Why don't you just ask her?

Of course, it was an honest mistake, and he was definitely invited, but it was cute to see Cruz wrestling with someone amusing again rather than on a large scale as he did with Severide and the lieutenant's position.

Walking out the door while appreciating the paper effect on the invitation gave him the warm fuzzy feeling of being loved and included.

What more could you ask to come of your impending wedding?

Boden on the Scene - Chicago Fire Season 12 Episode 4

Exes and children were a theme that continued throughout the hour.

Boden was wrestling with a family issue when his stepson James visited him for help with Boden's ex, Shonda.

Shonda's always had a knack for getting into dicey situations way before I came into the picture. Apparently, she had got herself into a heap of debt. Said she was struggling for years, just couldn't take that drowning feeling anymore.


Boden is such a good man, and he immediately chalked Shonda's issue up to his lack of involvement in their lives. It was even worse when he discovered she was actually guilty of trying to fence fentanyl.

The idea of drowning in debt is easy for many to understand, but thinking that playing fast and loose with your freedom is not.

Nightmare Scenario - Chicago Fire Season 12 Episode 4

No matter how much debt I've been in, crime has never seemed like an option to solve it. But we're not all the same, and if you see others in your life getting away with crimes and not paying the price, it might seem like an easy solution.

The hardest part for Boden was carrying the burden of not being there enough for James after his marriage to Shonda ended.

Kids from broken families go through so much, and getting close to and counting on adults in your parent's life is a prime example of the levels of hurt that can come their way.

Even if you're old enough to know rationally that the separation had nothing to do with you, that's a profound loss that's hard to shake.

Gibson Rescues a Little Girl - Chicago Fire Season 12 Episode 4

It's hard to shake for the parent, too.

Despite Shonda's preference that James didn't learn the truth about her situation, Boden led with that and thought he lost James all over again as he reacted to the news.

With a little time, James put it all together, and he understood how much his mother had been floundering in the past six months. He's going to have a hard time adjusting to his mother being behind bars, but he won't be alone.

Boden is back in his life; this time, he'll hold onto James.

Firebug Alert - Chicago Fire Season 12 Episode 4

The story of the little firebug was another indication of how divorce affects children.

We don't know how much Harper knew about her mother and father's intensifying marital woes, but she knew enough for it to affect her negatively.

After the garden fire, Harper lashed out at Alicia, saying she didn't like her being on the phone. Was it simply a cry for attention, or was it the call she was on that instigated the rage needed to set something on fire?

Herrmann jumped to Harper's defense as any parent does, and Alicia was right behind him on that. But Herrmann's kids really were setting fires as a thing kids do while Harper was doing it to draw attention to her unhappiness.

Herrmann In His Helmet - Chicago Fire Season 12 Episode 4

I couldn't help but think that it was a case Severide would have investigated right alongside Stella if he'd been home. She got wrapped up in the case, hoping to save Harper from doing something she'd regret, like harming herself or another.

Stella wasn't in time to do that, but since Alicia survived the fire, maybe Harper will get the help she needs without Alicia's ex rushing in with custody papers.

But Alicia was right. That's exactly the kind of issue that parents use to gain the upper hand during an ugly divorce and custody battle.

At the very least, it drove home the point that Stella loves Kelly.

Smoke Billows Around Carver - Chicago Fire Season 12 Episode 4

She was pretty upset at what Van Meter said about the ATF list, and I think he was wrong, but the case softened her anger. They can get through this, and when he's home, it will be on the table for discussion again.

Hopefully, another few fires don't have her feeling the opposite by then.

That was about it for Chicago Fire, other than more movement between Violet and Carver. She's in full denial mode of what they're building, but her eyes tell a different story.

What did you think of "The Little Things"?

Drop below and share your thoughts in the comments!

The Little Things Review

Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (35 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on X and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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Chicago Fire Season 12 Episode 4 Quotes

Now she's got two reasons to not invite me to the wedding.


This is a disaster. What kind of a squad lieutenant puts you two in charge of a baby?