Finale Review: Chicago Fire

Episode Title: A Hell of a Ride

Renewal Status: Renewed for season two

Pre-finale Thoughts: Chicago Fire is one of my favorite new shows of the year. It’s really a show about the characters and the family they have created together. Yes, they fight fires and do the other occupational things that firefighters do, but that’s not the point of the show. The relationships between the characters are what makes this show worth watching. Leslie Shay and Kelly Severide have my favorite male-female friendship on TV right now and Shay and Dawson’s friendship is another great female friendship. When something goes wrong, the house bands together and it always brings me to tears.

I highly recommend this show to anyone who enjoys chosen families and engaging characters. It’s been a great first season and I was looking forward to seeing what the finale had in store.

Finale Thoughts: The main case of this episode was unnecessarily large. It felt like the writers were trying too hard to create some sort of extra large external problem for the squads because it was the finale. Unfortunately, because of that, the fire at the prison and resulting problems ended up being largely emotionally uneffective. The only moment of that that worked for me was Casey offering himself as hostage because Herrmann had a family.

After they got out of the prison, the episode finally showed what Chicago Fire can do. Herrmann’s ride to the hospital and the look on his face when the nurse brought his newborn son into the room was so quietly emotional. It wasn’t trying to create external tension, it was just highlighting a father’s worry about his wife and son. This show is at it’s best when it taps into genuine emotion and every scene with Herrmann and his son managed to do that perfectly.

Dawson checking on Casey in the end had a similar effect. Her romantic feelings toward both Casey and Mills are complicated, but she does genuinely care about Casey as a friend. He is hurting so badly over Hallie’s death and he needs a friend right now.

As happy as I am to see Sarah Shahi again, I don’t think I’m a fan of her pregnancy. Shay wants that baby with Severide so badly and they are going to be such good parents together that I don’t like the tension this will inevitably cause.

Hopes for Season Two: I want the friend that Casey ends up leaning on the most to be someone other than Dawson. Severide would be my first choice, since the pilot hinted at a close past friendship that seemed to be kind of dropped later on in the season. I would take any one else though. Dawson and Casey’s history is just too complicated to truly help him heal right now.

I want to see more of Dawson and Shay’s friendship. They are such awesome friends and they both need each other right now.

What I want most, however, is for the characters to continue to take center stage. This show is what it is because of them and I don’t want that to be lost in favor of the more procedural stuff.

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