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'One Chicago' recap: 'That Day'

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Elizabeth Morris/NBC

Chicago Fire

type:
TV Show
Current Status:
In Season

Chicago Med and Chicago P.D. are now both on winter hiatus, so tonight it’s all about Chicago Fire. Even without the other shows, though, there’s plenty to unpack with the week’s single episode, so here’s what went down in One Chicago this week.

Chicago Fire Season 5, Episode 6: “That Day”

A lot is happening at Firehouse 51 this week — so much so that the last-minute gutwrencher that gives this episode its name is somewhat underserviced, even. Perhaps Dick Wolf & Co. were doing us all a favor by not bearing down too hard on the 9/11 memorial moment that comes in as the clincher tonight, because goodness knows this country doesn’t need anything else to be sad or anxious about right now. But Chief Wallace Boden’s words that “the future is here” after he recounts the heroism of those first responders’ actions in and around the rubble of America’s gravest hour could foreshadow a future interest in moving outside of the Windy City for yet another spin-off devoted to his old FDNY friends? Hey, it could happen … there’s not much room for another Chicago expansion after Justice kicks off, after all.

But first thing’s first. Sylvie and Antonio have finally, FINALLY taken their flirtation to the next level. Sylvie pulls the old lingerie-under-the-trenchcoat routine during an impromptu visit to his apartment and declares that this is not just a housecall for sexy time or fodder for her next steamy book chapter; she really likes him, and he likes her, too. Relationship, consider yourself developed.

Gabby Dawson, meanwhile, finds herself sweating for an entirely different reason. While she’s en route to pick up a girl who’s been impaled by a skylight after playing on the roof like a bona fide doof, she runs over a pedestrian and puts him in a coma. Gabby wasn’t going over speed, and her sirens were on full blast, but somehow the guy still stepped right into the line of traffic and made a man-shaped dent in the EMS hood as a result of it.

His son hires a hotshot attorney to run the city for all its worth — and Gabby, too, for that matter — and what’s worse is that the CFD Powers that Be aren’t planning to have her back on this issue, even though she and Sylvie are both adamant that the collision couldn’t have been avoided. As Casey rightly points out, the city has deep pockets, and this attorney is throwing up blinders to the guy’s history of suicide attempts because all he can possibly see right now are dollar signs if he goes full speed ahead. Dawson’s not one to suffer being called a “sweetheart” by said council or back down from an opportunity to clear her name, so she decides to confront the comatose patient’s son with the (circumstantial) proof that he jumped in front of their ambo on purpose. He seems surprised by this revelation of his self-harming history but doesn’t precisely drop the suit just yet — either we’re left to believe he will see reason, or he, too, will ignore the evidence that’s piled up before him right now.

Meanwhile, Boden is playing father figure to another young firehouse hopeful, and this time it’s his actual son — er stepson — James. James agrees to spend a few shifts at the station to learn the ropes and decide for himself if this is the life for him, but he doesn’t seem too hot on the idea of running into burning buildings until he hears Boden wax poetic about the test of faith and hope that the September 11th attacks took on those on the ground the day after, as they relentlessly peeled back concrete but found not a single survivor amidst the buildings’ wreckage. Does James have a future in uniform now after laying eyes on one of the first responders’ finest moments of all time? Quite possibly.

NEXT: Casey and Severide finally face off[pagebreak]​

One person who’s no longer in search of a new career path is Herrmann, who spends a day in Casey’s Lieutenant shoes and learns that he’s probably not the right guy for a leadership post and all the paperwork and bureaucratic bologna that’s attendant with such responsibility. It’s a good thing Casey has the foresight to offer him some training wheels before the position is ever formally offered to Herrmann because if there’s anything we’ve learned from the Lieutenants, and the Chief of course, it’s that there’s no turning back once you’ve gotten to that level.

Speaking of command, Casey and Severide finally square off over last week’s dangler issue — that is, whether Darren actually set the house fire that destroyed his wife so horrendously — and they’re both sticking firm to their suspicions on the issue. Casey thinks he committed arson from afar somehow, but Severide is too wrapped up in the on-site grief he witnessed from Darren to believe he had anything to do with her death.

At the Chief’s command, they’re forced to buddy up for one final round of investigation to make their official incident report, with both signatures on the dotted line. Upon first glance, there’s no smoking gun to prove that Darren was able to set the blaze and walk away quickly enough to get where his alibi put him at the time the inferno commenced. Casey’s fully willing to surrender the issue after seeing the place again, but it’s Severide who puts on his thinking cap and peels back the electrical plug where the fire began and finds something incredibly damning: an internet connection linked up to the outlet. That’s … unusual. Especially in this digital age where phone apps can remotely control things that are linked like this.

They turn the evidence over to the arson investigation team right away and confront Darren themselves. Severide seems especially disappointed that his hunch about Darren was wrong, but Darren confesses to what he did and proves that Severide wasn’t totally incorrect in reading his anguish as legitimate. Turns out, Darren staged the fire in an effort to collect insurance money to squash the family’s debts, and his wife was supposed to be at her sister’s house at the time the fire began. It was only upon returning to the scene that he found out he was charring his spouse alive, and that’s why he crawled back in and so convincingly begged for her safe retrieval from the blaze. Darren’s still going away for what he’s done, but at least both Severide and Casey can sleep easy knowing that their gut instincts, while miles apart, were still each somehow right and that justice will be served.

Crossover notes:

  • Antonio, Antonio, Antonio. He’s the crossover king at this point, but this week has to rank among the most … satisfying cameos he’s ever had on the show, no?
  • Maggie from Med is sure quick to offer the suggestion that Herrmann saved that girl’s life by having the team under his temporary command hoist the skylights girl onto truck and transport her themselves. How could she actually know that just from the few lines she’s told about her condition? It’s just more convenient for storytelling’s sake, that’s how.

Prizes:

Chicago MVP of the week: Gotta give this one to Kelly Severide for going the extra mile, despite his own read of the situation, by checking the wall plug. Without that, Darren would have definitely walked away from this. Plus, his quick thinking and action in rescuing the second victim of the evening — a girl pinned between a semi and some cement railing, was the kind of lowkey heroism that he doesn’t get enough credit for. Props to Herrmann for issuing the earlier transpo call, though, and of course everyone else who mustered up the strength to hold the truck up so Kelly could do his life-saving duty.

Steamiest Chicago couple of the week: Obviously, OBVIOUSLY, it’s Antonio and Sylvie. They didn’t go anywhere near a blaze and they still managed to be the hottest temp of anyone tonight. This one’s gonna last, guys.

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