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…
Chicago Med Season 2, Episode 5: “Extreme Measures”
Anytime there’s a big-deal event going on in Chicago, it’s bound to produce some kind of disaster. Tonight it’s the Chicago Marathon, where a bystander is accidentally run over by an event-staff ATV and has to undergo major impromptu surgery right there on the sidelines. Unlike a lot of these instances, no one seems to notice or care there’s a guy lying there with his chest open while five medics have their hands inside of him, but, hey, it’s at least friendly to the extras budget.
The man’s name is Ignacio. He’s mowed down after the vehicle’s brakes fail and is suffering a lung collapse. At first, only April and Noah are there to help him, and neither are even remotely qualified to address this situation. Drs. Halstead and Shore are actually running the race and get paged to the scene, but take a good bit of time to arrive since, you know, they’re potentially miles away from the accident. Noah makes the split decision to make a patchwork chest tube to save the guy’s life, which means Halstead has to get deeper into the “extreme measures” (title wink!) response modality to buy the guy time ’til he can be transported to the hospital and go under Rhodes’ more capable care.
Both guys are making tricky calls here, and Halstead more than anyone can’t afford — like, literally, his malpractice insurance is breaking his bank account right now — to make an error in judgment. But he’s not the kind of doctor who can take a hands-off approach to save his own skin, so once Jeff Clarke arrives with a prep pack, he goes to town on clamping the patient’s aorta before he bleeds out and draining the blood from his lungs before he drowns. There’s a lot wrong with poor Ignacio, not the least of which is his rib has perforated his aorta — fancy talk for he needs a lot more than some sidewalk surgery to fix him. Way too many minutes go by before the guy’s finally moved to Med and put on stabilization machines, so there’s a chance his brain wasn’t receiving enough oxygen; he could be brain-dead and/or paralyzed by the delay.
Rhodes rides Halstead for his decision to use draconian methods like that, but, really, what else was he supposed to do? Fortunately for Halstead (and, of course, Mr. Ignacio), he eventually wakes up and can wiggle his toes, which means our dear doc is out of the woods and isn’t facing another professional crisis.
The scare has the secondary effect of bringing him and Nina back to the point of cutesy romantic behaviors, like him holding up the finish line so she can complete the marathon after their crazy day. And with that, he’s all “Manning who?” again. Which is…good? I guess?
Speaking of Manning, her patient situation is no picnic, either. She’s got an 8-year-old named Phoebe who’s suddenly losing her hearing and wants to talk to her daddy. With the help of Dr. Charles’ subtle investigatory skill set, she finds out the girl’s mother has illegally taken her away from her father on suspicion of abuse. Once it’s revealed Phoebe actually has a genetic bone disorder that might explain away the bruises on her skull, her sudden onset of deafness, and the fact that she can’t color in the lines as well as she used to, the mother is devastated. She’s basically kidnapped her child, and her suspicions turned out to be flat-out wrong. She’s carted away by Olinsky from Chicago P.D., and we’re left to only imagine that her justifiable reasons might triumph in the court system. But that’s a resolution for another day, I suppose.
Dr. Choi’s case makes three, as he deals with a woman who’s gone off her meds and as a result suffers from chest pains and heightened reaction to painkillers. She tells him she’s merely misplaced the pills, but Dr. Charles notices her lab work indicates she’s been eating cat food and may have been selling her meds to make ends meet.
When Mrs. Marlowe, the patient, gets a visit from her fancily accessorized neighbor/BFF, Choi reveals his secret talent of purse pricing and figures out Mrs. Marlowe is spending money on being fashionable versus feeding herself, and he potentially breaks some HIPAA violations to tell her friend about the dangerous ruse she’s been pulling. He gets the quote of the week for his synopsis of the situation when he says, “Pride: it can literally kill you.”
On that note, Reese decides to make amends with her absentee mother after seeing the great personal lengths Phoebe’s mom went to when protecting her from perceived danger, and Sharon Goodwin finally taps a divorce lawyer to get moving on her separation with Bert. Her glibness over giving up that ghost of a relationship is nothing a trip to a Hawaiian-themed bar with Rhodes can’t fix, apparently, so cheers to that.
Episode grade: B+
Chicago MVP of the week: Gotta give it up for Dr. Charles this week — he was all over it. From basically being Stella’s intervention sidekick to detecting the underlying story in both Mrs. Marlowe and Phoebe’s cases, he was on a roll. Maybe he should tell that to his daughter next time he sees her.
Steamiest Chicago couple: Last week, it looked like Halstead was having doubts about his budding relationship with the pretty path-lab doc Nina, but after the medical mania at the marathon, these two are solid…and cute to boot. Clarke and Manning are still fine enough, sure, and Casey and Dawson are still kicking the can along, but Dr. Halstead and Dr. Shore were the swooniest pair this week. Unless you count Sylvie’s unseen steam with Antonio or Rhodes and Sharon Goodwin are striking something up, of course, because that would be interesting.