This week’s One Chicago saw two of its most controversial figures come face-to-face with their individual impulsivities on Chicago Fire and Chicago Med (Chicago P.D. had a bye week), and the results were vastly different for each of them. Here’s our breakdown of what happened to Chicago’s finest:
Chicago Fire Season 5, Episode 2: “A Real Wake-Up Call”
This week brought the kind of triple-gut wallop that makes this show so watchable. Stella’s dealing with the fallout over Grant’s attack and what it means for herself and Kelly Severide; Matt Casey’s facing the repercussions of using his position of governmental authority to help Dawson jump in line to foster Louie; and Jimmy Borrelli’s antagonism against the Chief has devastating consequences for both of them. We’re only two episodes into this thing, but Chicago Fire is known to get heavy very quickly, so here we are.
First of all, Grant manages to pull through the gruesome neck wound Severide gave him after he tried to attack Stella in the alley last week, but surviving the slice is only half the battle…maybe not even that. The police determine Severide acted out in defense of Stella (despite the suggestive previews pegging him as possibly getting in trouble for the brutal beatdown), but when they prod Stella to press charges against Grant for attempted murder, she declines.
Letting him back on the street to prowl around for her again isn’t a wise move, and Severide and Dawson do their best to open her eyes to what she’s doing by letting him loose. Grant’s not going to magically heal his own mind, and Stella knows that as well as anyone — but doesn’t think a stint in prison will resolve anything, either. She politely tells Severide to step off (Stelleride’s dunzo, for now) and turns to Chicago Med‘s Dr. Charles for support convincing Grant to check himself into a mental hospital for the help he really needs. This is when we get the big reveal: The reason for her generous sense of forgiveness is she’s been in his shoes before with battling addiction. Grant was the one to pull her out of her own mess as a teenager, so she’s not eager to see a judge throw the book at him just yet. However, she’s also done trying to help him herself. She doesn’t mince words to say that they are, from here on out, finished, and his recovery road is a one-man journey. And with that, we’ve made it through the Grant gauntlet in one piece.
Severide’s been a perpetual single-to-mingler with very few (and very brief) moments of monogamy, so it’s a little surprising to see him so bummed about the opportunity to live it up in some of Chicago’s hippest clubs with one of the town’s most viral party boys. Maybe he’s ready to settle down with Stella after all? Would he dare?
Speaking of a happy home front, things are getting really sticky between Casey and Dawson. Again. While Casey’s making a play for Foster Dad of the Year with little Louie, the consequence of having the kid around is he’s being blackmailed by a fellow alderman for the time he got Dawson some special treatment with the city’s child-services department. He might’ve been doing a good deed for a boy in need with his actions, but the public might just see it as another instance of a crooked politician thinking he’s above the rules and waiting lines everyone else has to deal with.
When he tells Dawson how Alderman Dearing is shaking him down for votes on issues he doesn’t agree with, Dawson’s response is for him to do “whatever it takes” for her to keep the kid. Casey’s moral dilemma is written all over his face: He got into this gig to help people, and his hand is being forced to sign off on things he doesn’t believe in. Count on this to be a big problem for him, Dawson, and Louie going forward.
The biggest woe of the night, though, goes to Borelli, whose impaired sense of judgment costs him dearly. Herrmann, Mouch, Otis, and Stella are all willing to formally challenge Chief Walker’s insistence that Jimmy be back on squad, especially after they hear him violently dogging Chief Boden at the bar. If threatening a walkout is the only way to make sure he gets time to clear his head, they’re willing to step into some potentially deep waters to get there. But before Boden can call Walker to get the ball rolling, the bell sends them all off on a rescue mission.
A hideous truck driver bearing explosive containers ran a red light, nailing two other vehicles, one of which has a woman trapped inside. The volatility of the scene causes Boden to draw the team back until a fire is put out — an explosion is imminent — but Borrelli refuses to follow orders and decides he’s got enough He-Man strength to give her car a shove away from danger. Unfortunately, he walks right into a blast upon approach, which burns half his face and costs him his left eye. At the hospital, Walker does little more than shrug over “what a thing” his decision to let Jimmy back has caused, but Boden is torn up about the kid’s fate. Jimmy will live, but he’ll never fight fires again, and he’ll bear this damage for the rest of his life. As frustrating as he was, Chief Boden always sympathized with his perspective, and he certainly didn’t want Jimmy’s removal from the team to come at such a grisly price. Sob.
The one bright spot in all this grief is the authorial partnership Sylvie and Mouch have established with their budding writing career. She’s heavy-handed with the edits, which throws him for a loop at first and conjures up some creative differences, but after he gives her draft a thorough read, he’s impressed with her skills and wants to move forward to see how far they can take this thing together. After she and Dawson are called to the scene of a bajillionaire writer whose dog nipped her face in a moment of surprise, Sylvie’s all in, too — she wants that lush penthouse with a view, and being a paramedic isn’t gonna get her there. So what if she’s got a little redundancy in her syntax here and there; “sinuous curves” sell books, people.
Episode grade: A
NEXT: Dr. Halstead makes a dangerous decision…