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
Chicago Med season 2, episode 7: ‘Inherent Bias’
Sharon Goodwin just can’t catch a break, can she? Now that she and Bert have finally started down their inevitable path to Splitsville, a new gentleman caller comes (back) into her life, and it’s DOA. “It” meaning not their love life, of course, but the guy himself.
We meet Reggie Dixon, a smooth-talking photographer Sharon dated right after high school who returned from Vietnam with a dormant parasite in his belly that waited four decades to hatch — that’ll make anyone think twice about taking immunocompromising steroid treatments for a stomach bug, alright. The two were lovey-dovey back in the day and don’t skip a beat in picking up right where they left off, now that Sharon’s single and ready to mingle. How’s this for a line?
Sharon: “They say you’re having trouble catching your breath?”
Reggie: “I can’t say you’re making it any easier.”
Sharon becomes reattached to him right away and tries to lord over Drs. Choi and Manning’s treatment of her new beau. Manning gives in when she calls for a Hail Mary treatment against their advice, because she wants to make sure she can look her boss in the eye for the next who-knows-how-long of her career. Choi, on the other hand, doesn’t give a rat’s posterior region about what Sharon thinks, because his doctoral duty is to the patient and her suggested treatment could cost this man a few final hours of dignity and comfort…and for what? Zero chance it would work? He’s got a point there.
The night is filled with examples of other docs not seeing eye-to-eye on patient care, and the results are very mixed as to who’s right in each situation.
Dr. Charles is treating a young patient named Pamela, whose mind is going fuzzy thanks to a heart condition that’s giving her mini-strokes. He uses it as leverage to loop in his daughter from the endocrinology floor for some of that face time she’s long been avoiding. What he finds instead, though, is that young Pamela treats him like a father figure herself, so he acts as one and overrides her consent for heart surgery with Dr. Rhodes, saying that as Chief of Psychiatry, he has the ultimate say in whether she’s competent enough to authorize this procedure. Sharon then overrides him because she’s inherently biased (hence, the episode title) towards extraordinary measures right now, given the plight of her ex-flame. But is Rhodes right anyway? The way Pamela gives Dr. Charles the “Who are you again?” treatment after clinging to his jacket for dear life just hours prior indicates her mind is slipping even further away — and something needs to be done before it’s too late.
It’s only salt on the wound, then, when Robin makes a move on Rhodes right in front her of nosy dad. Yikes! (And also eep!)
Meanwhile, Dr. Halstead’s ever-looming money issues come to a head in the breakroom and, overhearing his woes, Noah presents him with an offer he can’t refuse. Noah’s working with some techies to create a doc-on-wheels concierge-service app for which he could use an attending physician. Halstead agrees and treats a nosebleed patient at his office, easy money. It couldn’t possibly be that easy, though, he thinks. So, being from the floor that just looooves to load a patient down with lab work, he convinces the kid he needs to rule out a brain-eating amoeba back at the ED. Noah’s not too thrilled about the advice, but he’s happy to swipe the card once the kid’s bill jumps from $350 to several thousand. However, Noah’s got an unsatisfied (albeit paying) customer on his hands, and as he knows, an unhappy customer will spread the word faster than one of the infectious diseases that runs so rampant around Med these days. Predictably, he and Halstead happily part ways on Noah’s idea for a digitized doctoring device.
Option no. 2 for Halstead is this: Dr. Nina Shore’s willing to open up her home to her new beau, seeing as how she assumes things are moving along just swimmingly between them. His pointed glance at Natalie Manning, however, silently says otherwise to those of us in the cheap seats. What’ll he do?!
One person ready to hop onboard the love boat is April, who’s finally ready to take the plunge with Tate. He gives her a pair of memory foam slip-ins for her work shoes — it’s the little things, guys — and that makes her realize he’s a total catch and she wants to officially be Mrs. Tate. While Maggie might not be a fan of the news, Tate certainly is, and apparently he’s been saving a gorgeous (and massive) shiny bit just for this occasion. And suddenly April’s a liability at work, because the rock she’s sporting could easily blind everyone in the place if she’s not careful.
Problem is, her tuberculosis is starting to rear its ugly head again, as she suffers a coughing fit during her engagement celebration brouhaha at Molly’s. Noah’s the only one there to catch it, but will this change her decision to finally commit? Oh, right, and is she going to be okay? (Probably the first question we should’ve asked, but #TeamTapril.) Dun dun dun…
The other big story line of the evening is another round of the Reese-Danny drama. You might remember Danny as the runaway who escaped an underground sex-trafficking ring. He’s back with another stomachache, and while we last left him on a hopeful note, he’s got some bad news: The shelter he was staying at booted him in favor of a mom and her newborn, so he’s been sleeping on the streets. Despite Reese’s best efforts to coax some info out of him in a conversation with Erin Lindsay — so the police department can step in and protect him — he won’t spill any details about his assaulters. He suggests he could maybe stay with Reese, and she hesitates just enough to send him running from the hospital. Even if she was willing to give it a shot after all, it was too late. Charles is strongly against the idea, but he can’t stop her from going the extra mile with this kid. Choi, on the other hand, is willing to take to the streets with her in hopes of finding him, but that, my friends, is a story line that is to be continued…
Episode grade: B-
Any time Trudy’s stepping in for a guest spot, you know it’s just going to be delightful. Her stern exterior betrays nothing of the happy-go-lucky woman she is inside, and it’s always a treat to see her lighten up a touch, especially around Mouch.
Meanwhile, there’s a reason Erin Lindsay’s so often brought into the fold when someone needs to be prodded for info on one of the other shows; her soft tones and gentle demeanor are so far from her mentor, Hank Voight, it’s almost comical. She’s good at her job, even if she doesn’t get anywhere for the effort, like tonight.
Chicago MVP of the week: Matt Casey, hands down. The man single-handedly broke through a cement wall after performing a tracheotomy and saving a family’s relationship, all in one fell swoop. He’s a boss, plain and simple.
Steamiest Chicago couple of the week: Sharon and Reggie (RIP) get major props, as it was fun while it lasted to see Sharon all lit up like the Chicago Christmas Tree when her old beau whispered sweet nothings in her ear all day. It’s too bad their timing was so off, because they might have made the kind of couple she and Bert never were. But you’ve gotta give this one to April and Tate for finally getting engaged! We haven’t gotten to see much of their romance this season, so hopefully that’ll change now. Pretty please!