Last week on Chicago Fire we used three quills and filled several scrolls of parchment with all the notes we took to keep up with all the backstory the writers crammed into 43 minutes of television. This week there is still plenty of story to go with the daring feats and heroics but the pace is a little more manageable.
We start the episode with Severide, the resident cocky bastard, as he runs into Darden’s wife and kids at a coffee shop. The kids are thrilled to see him, Mrs. Darden, not so much. Severide says he meant to call and she calls him on that bit of bull. She goes a step further and tells him that Darden never would have been a firefighter if it weren’t for Severide. After she walks away Severide looks like he’s going to cry and I almost feel bad for the guy.
Severide take his sad eyes and yells at Candidate Mills for not holding the ladder the right way because “men die when they relax.” Oh Kelly, you can growl and stomp your feet all you want but we know that under all that you just want someone to rub your belly and tell you you’re a good boy.
After taking Mills’ head off he wanders over to talk to Shay and we get our first Shawson sighting. I would like to thank the costume department for making these t-shirts part of their official uniform.
The ladies are chatting until Severide walks up and waves weakly like a teenage boy approaching the Plastics. Dawson take one look at him and gives Shay an epic eye roll before leaving so he can ask Shay for some more pain meds. She gives him some but tells him this is the last time. He’s all “yeah, sure, no problem. I don’t really need them, I can totes stop any time.”
Shay is about as convinced as we are and we’re left to wonder why the hell she’s risking her job to help this guy out? We know it’s not because she wants to get into his tough-guy pants.
Back at the station Severide asks Casey how the Darden kids are doing and Casey lets him know that they will be coming to the barbeque that weekend. Severide then beelines it for the Chief’s office to ask for a few more shifts, say starting that weekend preferably during the hours of the barbeque? Chief says the barbeque is mandatory fun and Severide leaves with a walk that “oh man do I have to?” He’s really working his inner teenager hard this episode.
The alarm rings but instead of a fire it’s Herrmann back visiting. The Chief takes the opportunity to tell everyone that they will be meeting up later to talk about what went wrong when Darden got flambéed and everyone is thrilled.
The Chief then introduces the new lady in the house who will be doing some accounting. She’s the daughter of his Navy buddy so he tells everyone hands off. While new girl, Nikki, isn’t exactly my bag of chips, Shay takes the opportunity to tell Dawson that she thinks the new girl is hot.
Nikki, however, is making all kinds of eyes at Severide. He should probably come with a warning label.
While Shay and the boys ponder the hotness of office girl, the alarm goes and we’re off to another heroic adventure. This time a construction site collapsed and three people are hurt. We can thank this OSHA violation for the answer to our prayers to see our lovely ladies in firefighter gear. Next let’s ask for them to make out, shall we?
Severide jumps into an unstable hole in the wreckage to help this guy who I think has an acting credit for every show on television.
Peter’s badly hurt, his foot is wedged under some debris and he’s got internal injuries too. He starts talking to Severide as only the about to die ever do on television. He talks about his wife Georgie and tells Severide not to wait too long to get married. They call for a trauma surgeon to come lop off the guy’s foot but then the timing gets short and instead they give Severide a saw to do it himself. Peter asks if Severide’s got a phone before we see Severide emerge from the pit and tell everyone around to forget the surgeon because it’s a recovery mission now. He’s strangely not covered in blood for someone we are meant to think just cut a guy’s foot off. This is the guy you want carving your Thanksgiving turkey.
When the crew is all back at the fire house Herrmann twelve kids are there to thank Shay and Dawson for saving their dad’s life. They have a picture and Herrmann’s wife hugs the ladies while Severide continues his pity party because he knows he’s not getting any hugs from Darden’s wife or artwork from the kiddies.
The hits just keep coming for Severide at the review of Darden’s death. Basically, Darden got toasty because Severide failed to vent the back of the house. Severide walks out in the middle of the presentation and we catch up with him in the bathroom. Is he there to channel his inner Cady Heron? Nope, he’s there to shoot up his shoulder. “Yeah, I can stop any time. I only do it at parties, or on the weekends, or when I get blamed for my best buddy’s death.” Yep, he’s got it totally under control.
Shay and Dawson are tooling around in their rig chatting about whether or not to flash their favorite doorman when they get called to a bar to help a guy who got into it with the bartender about terminology. Things start getting ugly so the ladies take Mr. Charming Drunkard out of the bar as he belts out “God Save the Queen.” Lauren German’s face is perfect and always hilarious even when she’s in the background of a scene. It’s worth keeping an eye on her and not just because she so pretty.
The charmer tries to push his luck with Dawson and grabs her ass before passing out on the gurney.
As they fix up the drunk guy in the cape they chat about who Dawson is going to bring to the picnic and then Shay mentions Casey and Hallie and Dawson’s face does this:
While her words are all “What? I don’t care. I mean, I don’t like him. Tell me everything.” She tries not to do a happy dance when Shay tells her that rumor has it that Casey has moved out. But, whatever, it’s not like Dawson likes him or anything.
When they get to the hospital to drop off the guy they have now covered in makeup so he looks like one of those creepy clown dolls in A’s lair they run into Hallie who says she’s coming to the picnic after all. Dawson runs into doctor dude from the pilot because all doctors conveniently work together and nervously invites him to the picnic. Her nervousness at asking this guy out begs the question “Dawson, have you seen you?”
At the picnic Mills is hazed into wearing his dress blues but uses the uniform to pick up chicks. We get our first glimpse of Shay’s date and learn that she and Shay can’t have known each other long when she can’t remember that her date is from Alabama.
Miss Alabama and Shay sit at a table with Dawson and boring doctor when Casey and Hallie show up. Shay tells Hallie that Dawson wants to be a doctor and Hallie offers to let Dawson shadow her at the hospital. Clearly she doesn’t know that Dawson would rather play doctor with her ex-fiance.
Casey gleefully helps Darden’s kids break the ice at the pick-up football game while Darden’s widow continues to be icy toward Severide. Office girl is all about warming him up but he blows her off. Hallie catches sight of Casey chatting with Dawson and has a pang of jealousy that clearly shows she understands the power of a well-placed tank top.
Severide and Nikki kiss at his apartment when she comes by to drop off his jacket. She’s not sure to believe him when he says he’s just blowing her off to watch the Cubs. The next morning Miss Alabama comes down into the kitchen while Severide’s having breakfast. Wait, wasn’t that Shay’s date? Yes indeed it was because a second later down she comes and gives some sweet lady kisses before Alabama leaves.
Perhaps now we know why Shay is willing to help Severide out with the pain meds. Clearly their friendship goes beyond just work colleagues if they are sharing an apartment and giving each other crap about stolen yogurt. She may also have a head injury because what the hell is she wearing?
Our plucky paramedics are cleaning out their rig and talking about Dawson’s date. She describes the world’s best sundae with whipped cream, ice cream, hot fudge, and a cherry on top and then says that boring doctor is the spoon. Shay gets lost somewhere it the neighborhood of “whipped cream” as she relives her own whipped cream shenanigans with Miss Alabama. She gives poor Dawson that look people who score regularly reserve for their friends who can’t seem to catch a romantic break.
The team heads out to deal with a car crushed beneath a fallen window washing cart. One of the teens gets out and the other doesn’t. A distraught mother arrives on scene and Casey isn’t sure if her daughter made it or not. Sufficiently traumatized by the horror of being a parent who raised a child only to see her killed by the random act of the universe, Casey shows up at the hospital to ask Hallie to be with him again. Overnight he went from the guy who thought having kids is all fun games of football in the park to the guy who grasps the overwhelming, all-encompassing, and relentless terror of being a parent. He says he doesn’t want to fight about having kids anymore and just wants to be with Hallie, because you know the universe is a bitch and we could all die any time. It’s a killer proposal, take notes ladies. Presto! They’re re-engaged! It’s going to make Dawson shadowing Hallie in the hospital deliciously fraught and angst-ridden.
The episode ends with Severide missing out on drinks at the local bar because he’s visiting Georgie, Peter the construction worker’s widow. Yeah, now we know Severide didn’t cut off that foot and that Peter didn’t make it. Severide takes out his phone and sits while Peter says good-bye to his wife. I would be lying if I said it didn’t get a little dusty last night around this time.
What did you think of this episode? Are you loving the Shawson scenes as much as I am?