Even though this week features an incidental doubleheader from Chicago P.D. that was probably only caused by the World Series-centric schedule, there is a common thread between the back-to-back midseason closer episodes and what happens on Fire. All three installments revolve around the brutal consequences that can arise when things go south for our heroes…for both the public and themselves.
Here’s what went down on One Chicago this week.
Chicago Fire Season 5, Episode 5: “I Held Her Hand”
Lt. Matt Casey has always had something of a hero complex about him — that’s why he’s taken on the second job as an alderman, why he essentially ran recon on the nightclub kingpin he did construction work for, and probably why he stepped up to get Dawson first-consideration privileges during Louie’s foster-care arrangement, even when he wasn’t exactly in favor of the situation. Sometimes, it works out for him, like when he saved the father and daughter (not to mention, himself) from certain death by sulphuric acid a couple episodes back. This week, it does not…and those few losses are so much more excruciating for him than any high he might experience from the many wins.
Is his campaign for justice for the victim of the day a sign he’s unwilling to accept that sometimes he can’t save everyone, or is there really something more to what happened during that terrible fire than anyone, even arson investigators, may believe?
This week we’re asked to pick a side between him and Kelly Severide — as far as whose instincts we trust more — and it’s a truly tough call. On the one hand, Casey’s conviction is completely convincing, and Kelly’s judgment hasn’t always been on-point this season (see also: the Travis Brenner character). On the other hand, the evidence is stacking up to suggest the woman who died such a gruesome death was not murdered by her husband and the fire resulting in her unthinkable end was, indeed, an accident and not arson.
It’s a total “to be continued” situation, of course, as we near the midseason finale for this show, but for now we’re left with little else but Casey’s gut feeling — based on a char line at the scene, the woman’s sister’s concern that the husband may have been responsible for her death due to their crumbling marriage, and the husband’s tearlessness at her funeral. Is it enough to prove anything, when Severide’s scooped out surveillance footage proving the husband wasn’t on scene when the fire started and had to literally fight the guy to keep him away from the blaze? Hard to say. But Casey seems pretty sure he’s right on this one, and when it comes to things like this, he usually is.
Meanwhile, Mouch and Sylvie have hit a snag in their plans for authorial significance. Trudy’s old roommate just loves what they’ve written with their book (tentatively titled Sheets on Fire, but also possibly called Flames of Desire) and wants to give them $25,000 to publish. Great news, right? Well, it would be if Sylvie hadn’t accidentally left the manuscript in the copy machine and flagged the CFD’s public relations chief on their misuse of city resources — and the bad rep their stories about sexy time in the squad house would earn the department. The ultimatum he issues them is an iron fist: Publish this and your day jobs are done. What to do, what to do?
Mouch seems like he’s giving up on the penthouse dream of being a bestseller, for now, but Trudy does offer him a consolation prize by having her book club — which includes Otis, of all people — lap their praise on his work. That’s something at least, right?
Sylvie distracts herself by taking on the mantle of a high-school dream girl for a poor kid whose “promposal” for the homecoming dance went terribly awry. Not only has he gone viral for all the wrong reasons — his fall and GI bleed-upchuck routine has gotten a million hits and counting — but he didn’t even get the date! Poor kid. Sylvie knows she’s something of a siren and accompanies him to the dance instead, making all the guys at school (and the girl he originally asked) quite green with envy.
Speaking of teenagers, Herrmann and Boden are both dealing with some youth-revolt issues themselves. House 51 has been repeatedly hit by a graffiti tagger whose calling card, SLVR, doesn’t bear any gang affiliation (or, it seems, purpose). Herrmann’s especially ticked about the insult and vows to get revenge…until he finds out the artist is just some kid trying to impress his friends. Despite his frustration over the repeat vandalism, Herrmann goes full-on dad status with the smart-mouthed kiddo and kills him with some kindness. As a token of solidarity, he gives him a station T-shirt and says he can wear it to earn some cool points instead of running around and ruining city property. Yep, all bark and no bite, that one.
Same goes for Boden, who’s resistant to 21st century-style communication and wants to speak to his stepson, James, via an old-fashioned telephone call. Eventually, he caves and sends him a text (complete with a smiley-face emoji, no less), and James returns the favor by paying him a visit in person, which is as old school a communication device as they come. As James joins the chief, his wife Donna, and their son Terrence for the impromptu visit, Boden seems to ooze a sense of completion he’s been missing in his stepson’s absence all this time. Yay for positive family feels!
Episode grade: B+
NEXT: Antonio’s out…