Tuesday, December 3, 2013

REVIEW: 'Chicago Fire's Casey and Dawson Have Sexy Times While Cruz Fears for His Brother's Life in 'You Will Hurt Him'

NBC's Chicago Fire - Episode 2.09 You Will Hurt Him

Boden prepares to counterattack McLeod in a final effort to save the firehouse from closure; the romance between Dawson and Casey escalates; Cruz cannot stand being left in the dark by Voight over Leon's progress; Severide and Katie make up for lost time; and Otis feels uncomfortable living with Severide and Shay after Devon's latest escapade.

I'm honestly surprised by the brevity of the Joe Cruz and his brother and the gang plot. But also surprised in a good way. Joe Cruz is one of the few characters I don't really have any kind of connection with. Most every other character I have some feeling towards but with Cruz I feel absolutely nothing. So I have the feeling the show senses that too. They won't hesitate giving that character a big plot like this to do. But they also know that plot can't eat a big chunk of the screentime they have. Did this two-episode plot change my opinion on Cruz? No, it did not.

The Cruz plot itself was just odd largely because of its placement in the season. It had the stakes of something that would belong at the start of this season. If the show swapped this plot with the serial arsonist story I do think it would have flowed better. It's placement near the end of the fall run was odd because the rest of the stories around it have largely been percolating this entire season. Thusly, I have a connection and an investment in seeing how those will play out while the Cruz story is just there. There to help fill up 42 minutes of screentime.

But I also found that plot to be very emotional manipulative in this episode. Early on, the show makes it a point that Cruz cannot listen in with the police in order to make sure that Leon is okay. Then, during the climatic action, it's suddenly okay for Cruz to be there? That's a plot point derived in order to set up an emotional moment later when Leon has to be sent away. It just didn't make a lot of logistic sense.

Elsewhere, there was some easy breezy stuff that was just pleasant. I like Casey and Dawson and think that they are interesting as a couple. Right now, they are just in the blossoming phase where all they want to do is have sex all the time. That's fine for the moment but I really want to see them deal with some big issues. That way I know if they are a couple I actually want to root for to fight for and with one another.

And Severide was bonding with his half-sister Katie. He showed up for her at her graduation and threw her a surprise celebration at Molly's. That's a good big brother. Right now, the show is building this dynamic up. Tonight, we met Katie's mom who's just astounded by how much Kelly looks like Benny. I'm intrigued to find out where this budding dynamic will go.

Lastly, Dawson and Shay made up and are friends again. That was the highlight of the episode - even though it was a small part of it. Their rift came in a very natural progression after the guy killed himself in front of them. Their friendship is one of the most enjoyable things about the series and for the show to truly test it at this point will only make it grow stronger. Shay was on a very self-destructive path lately. She was pushing everyone away and the person she did let in then turned around and scammed her out of her entire stuff. I didn't necessarily like Shay's passioned plea over the phone to Devon for her to return Severide and Otis' stuff simply because I never liked Devon. However, seeing Shay standing on the bridge was a strong indicator of how fall she has fallen. Dawson is the only person who could naturally fix Shay and their reunion sequence was a very strong moment.

Some more thoughts:
  • Number of Calls: Just 2. Neither were that inventive or exciting but they served their purpose. The second really just to set up that final moment with McLeod.
  • And speaking of McLeod, I really have liked this plot and I like Michelle Forbes but that character has grown increasingly one-note as of late. Her entire purpose and drive is to shut down Firehouse 51. I suppose that's what she was all along. But when the story threw in Boden's possible retirement, it was an interesting thing to watch. So it has lost luster in the last two episodes even though the stakes have gotten even higher.
  • Hermann is gonna take the Lieutenant's test again and Clarke is still unsure of where he stands with his wife. Yes, those plots were also touched on in the hour.
  • Yeah, Shay's replacement paramedic was just the worst.