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One Chicago recap: Week Seven

Matt Casey saves the day (again)

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Elizabeth Morris/NBC; Matt Dinerstein/NBC

Chicago Fire

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season

Three cheers for the Cubbies! It took 108 years to break the curse, but the Chicago Cubs defeated the Cleveland Indians in a World Series Game 7 nail-biter that had all of the Windy City faithful in celebration mode. As a gesture of solidarity for Wednesday’s momentous event, Chicago P.D. was pushed back a week in anticipation of the series finisher — but Chicago Fire and Chicago Med continued on as planned. So, let’s talk about those, shall we? Here’s what went down on an unexpectedly (but understandably) abbreviated One Chicago round this week:

Chicago Fire season 5, episode 4: ‘Nobody Else Is Dying Today’

You gotta love a good “Lieutenant Casey Saves the Day” episode. Sure, there’s still a little of the increasingly overplayed drama about how he and Gabby Dawson are managing their newfound co-parenting arrangement — say goodbye to that golf game, Matt — but overall, this week showcases his unwavering ability to switch gears on the fly into survival mode and MacGyver his way into self-salvation. It’s a welcome relief from all the friction his budding career in politics has caused, to be sure.

Casey puts on his alderman hat for a Saturday stroll to the warehouse of a containment company the city is set to contract with, and given the haphazard way in which its aluminum shavings are strewn on the floor, it’s no surprise things go south pretty quickly. The forklift operator, Ken, not only has his teenage daughter hanging around the place — which probably runs contrary to a dozen codes — but he sucks at operating a forklift and stabs a giant vat of sulfuric acid within minutes of Matt’s arrival. The poor employee who was standing in the gush path dies in a way that seems better suited to The Walking Dead.

Bossy boss man isn’t supposed to have the lethal liquid lingering around the place, of course, so instead of calling for help like he’s supposed to, he takes a detour to his office to destroy the evidence…because the stuff dumping out everywhere isn’t enough proof of his wrongdoing? Okay. He’s made to pay for his mistake when the fumes overtake him and leave Casey, Ken, and his daughter, Laurel, stranded in an unfortunately well-ventilated breakroom that’s basically a slow death trap.

The acid is quickly filling up the facility, and when it makes contact with that stash of aluminum, the reaction is bound to be explosive — so Matt’s got to think fast. Not only is he trapped in a cement room with a lot of air holes that threaten to leak the toxic fumes into their airspace (and no help is on the way from his squad, at least not yet), he’s also stuck in there with two helpless hacks who don’t contribute much more than drawn-out soliloquies about their father-daughter woes. Sure, Laurel finds the painter’s tape that seals off the vents and squeezes through the small hole Matt manages to bust through the wall — good thing he knows fire extinguishers freeze concrete? But she takes, like, a million minutes to get herself going on her last assignment, because she apparently thinks that crucial moment of escape is a great time to chit-chat about her fallen mom. Groan.

Ultimately, she does get hold of the squad, but whatever time they might have had to spare in the rescue was lost in her drawn-out diatribe, so by the time the truck arrives, the place is already spitting with flames. Dawson is among the rescuers arriving on scene, so whatever eye-rollage she might’ve had over Casey not picking up Louie from day care on time is vanquished by the sight of him all roughed up. This is how they do make-ups on Chicago Fire, folks.

On a completely unrelated note, things aren’t quite going as planned with Mouch and Sylvie’s publishing venture. They get a bite from one of their many queries and are excited to hear the company wants to put their book into immediate circulation…but as it turns out, the place that’s willing to greenlight their project is one of those scammy pay-to-print deals, so they have to rethink their strategy.

Sylvie and Dawson have a tiff over Dawson’s chest-thumping response to a bossy senior-citizen advocate who wanted to call the shots on a patient’s care, because it gets Chief Boden in hot water with his own bosses. Sylvie stands by Dawson on the matter, but she doesn’t like having to go against the grain when it comes to higher-ups, so she plainly warns Dawson to never put her into that kind of position again. Capiche?

She realizes the partner tension might make a good story line for the book, but Mouch has another idea — why not have the ladies make out instead? Sylvie eventually approves the idea via text message, and Trudy’s befuddled to find the message about Sylvie being cool with two women kissing on Mouch’s phone. She confronts the two at Molly’s, but her frown quickly turns upside-down once they explain their little side endeavor. Better yet, she tells them in so many words, “Hey, knuckleheads, I know a guy.” Yep, Trude’s got an inside connection at a publishing house, and she’s tickled to death about what they’re working on — because TRUDY IS JUST THE BEST — so she’ll gladly pass along her intel.

Last, but not least, Otis and Cruz are still trying to formulate some kind of roommate banter-y story now that Cruz’s brother bit is toast and the Russian fiancée story is all played out. So, they take it to Mars. Yes, Mars. Apparently, Otis has had some lifelong dream of manning a mission to colonize the Red Planet, and Cruz is happy to oblige him with a little scam-prank artistry of his own.

How Cruz suddenly has the know-how to falsify an entire web operation and convince Otis he’s made some shortlist of Martians-to-be is beyond me, but Otis falls for it. That is, until Cruz whips out the cricket protein powder as an alternative culinary option to all the astronaut food Otis has been sampling to prepare for his fictitious journey. Otis gets him back good, though. When Cruz visits Molly’s after the warehouse debacle, Otis has him try his new spicy margarita recipe, and Cruz digs it…until he finds out the special ingredient is the cricket powder, of course. Turnabout’s fair play at Firehouse 51.

Episode grade: B+

NEXT: Love is in the air…and something else is in the gut