“Chicago Fire” recap (1.16): “Come on, be realistic.”

Casey confronts Cruz in the garage. He yells and screams and stomps and points and tells Cruz that maybe he’s dead inside and doesn’t care if he lives but he can’t keep putting others in danger. Casey tells him that Cruz can either turn in his badge or Casey will go to the cops and both of their careers will be shot. I get it, this episode is all about protecting family, whether it’s real family or the family of the fire house. Can we just get back to Shay now?

Oh look, ask and ye shall receive. Shay and Clarice are looking at a nice apartment in a good school district. In spite of being worried about the 32 flavors and then some of diseases she may have gotten from Mickey the petri dish, Shay is doing her best good man in a storm impression.

Clarice gets off the phone with the lawyer and says that they’re worried that Shay’s needle stick will be discoverable in the custody case. Gee honey, so sorry that you have hepatitis but could you have waited until after we got custody, you’re possible illness is really mucking up my life. Clarice is a terrible person and the worst kind of Slytherin.

Severide has found his way to the psych ward to see Renee because that’s what every girl dreams about as a follow-up to being ditched two days before the wedding and being confronted in a strip joint. She claims that Severide is just gliding through like and never suffered at all after they broke up and meanwhile she’s been in hell, giving lap dances to the Barney Stinsons of Chicago, and she tries to storm off but the thing about a locked ward is you can’t go anywhere without a key. So her exit goes from righteous and melodramatic to comedic and kind of sad.

The bar owners are working hard spackling, and doing demolition like a couple on HGTV when Herrmann discovers a safe hidden in a wall. He doesn’t want to open it but he’s the only one. Dawson is wearing her best “lesbians please hit on me” football jersey and she looks adorable.

Casey and Christie are sitting in a bar figuring out their babysitting schedule for their mom. Casey has drawn up some cider house rules for mom about her curfew and how the door has to be kept open whenever she has boys over. Mom walks in and has an awkward reunion with Christie. I wish I could care about this story line but the Casey clan has less personality than a box of bran flakes.

Whaley and Severide chat about Renee. Severide tells him that she was mad, lashing out, and that seeing her wasn’t such a good idea. He thinks Renee is spinning out and thinks maybe he made it worse. Whaley thanks him for helping and they get all mushy since its Whaley last shift. “Sorry it didn’t work out with my sister, bro. But, you know, you’re kinda cute. Wanna get a little bromantic tonight?”

Cruz is sitting in an empty pew while a priest rattles on about cutting down trees that bear bad fruit and throwing them into the fire. Cruz fidgets, and loses his composure. Tears well as he looks at the burns on his arm and wonders if he’s the tree that bore the bad fruit. A child turns around and tell his mom that he sees a fireman. Another grown-up nods to Cruz in respect sending Cruz over the edge with guilt. Cruz bolts from his seat and heads for the door, shedding his uniform coat as he goes. He pauses to throw it in the donation bin at the back before he leaves, exposed to the elements.

The crew is called out to work with the bomb squad. Some guy who was turned down by the police academy four times killed himself and left his apartment wired to explode. They have to get into the apartment by cutting through the floor of the one above it. I’d love to hear that conversation when they try to make a claim on their renter’s insurance. As Severide is about to leave it to the bomb guys, they discover a woman inside and she’s been stabbed. The place is rigged to blow in a big way but Severide packs the lady’s wound and they get her out.

Back at the firehouse Cruz hands Casey his badge. Casey says he’ll talk to Boden but Mouch watches the scene as it happens and follows Cruz to the equipment room. They sit, surrounded by the coats, helmets, boots, and other gear that keeps them safe and signals to the world who they are. Cruz admits to Mouch what he did when he found Flaco in the fire.

He breaks down, curses himself for thinking that god was handing him the answer to all the problems he had with Leon. He can’t forgive himself for putting Mouch, Otis, Herrmann and the others in danger because he was weak.

Mouch forgives Cruz and then rushes to stop Casey from talking to the Chief. Mouch explains to Casey that Cruz needed to be forgiven and asks Casey to think about how far he would go for the ones he loves. How far has he gone for them?

Casey finds Cruz and wordlessly gives back his badge.

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