Tuesday, January 21, 2014

REVIEW: 'Chicago Fire' Turns Off the Lights in a Simple Yet Chilling Hour - 'Tonight's the Night'

NBC's Chicago Fire - Episode 2.13 Tonight's the Night

When a drunk driver knocks down a transformer, the neighborhood is left without power on a frigid Chicago Night, with many choosing to ride out the night at the station in very close quarters; Casey continues to lie to both himself and Dawson about his condition; and the stakeholders in Molly's bicker about the bar's direction.

"Tonight's the Night" is a very effective episode of Chicago Fire entirely because of its simplicity. The show takes one interesting idea - what were to happen if the power went out in the neighborhood - and presents a multi-faceted story of the repercussions that result from it. Even the stories that seem thinly drawn so that the episode has something resembling a plot - the one guy's vendetta against Severide - seemed intriguing.

Like all of Chicago Fire's best episodes, it blends life-and-death stories with the lives of its characters in a way that is not too soap opera-y. It's important to note that even held up together at Firehouse 51 things never feel claustrophobic. Moments of levity make the characters more interesting and real - and those moments also made this hour feel real. It was amusing seeing Cruz and Mouch try to entertain the kids. I loved the symmetry of Boden walking in on Otis and Katie and then Otis walking in on Boden and his new love interest - whose name I have no clue about.

But the big stuff that happened also read incredibly true to what likely would happen if such an event actually occurred. Like Casey noted at the top of the hour - "When the lights go out, the wolves come out." Looting is a very real concern and it pleased me that the show didn't shy away from that. They realistically got Clarke into that situation at the local grocery store - with him seemingly having no way to protect the store's owner. Sure, the police pulling up all of a sudden was a pretty weak resolution. But it was a good story - even if it wasn't completely thought-out.

The plot involving Severide was the weakest story of the hour. Just because he threw you out of the firehouse because you were harrassing the brother of the man who killed your niece, means you will devote your entire time to exacting revenge on him? That just doesn't make a whole lot of sense. And it seems that story won't be going away any time soon - as he and his gang kidnapped Katie during the closing moments (because, of course, something dramatic had to happen in the closing moments).

Some more thoughts:
  • Number of Calls - Just 2. The opening call to the drunk driver that starts off the events of the episode as well as the family with carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Casey!!! If blood is coming out of your ear, then you have to admit that you are not fine!
  • So Molly's is becoming a lesbian bar. As long as all the regular characters can still be there too everything should be fine.
  • Rafferty calls Dawson the most likable person at the Firehouse - after the dog. I would not disagree with that statement at all.
  • Predicted what would happen with the elderly couple as soon as they first appeared. Glad, however, that neither of them actually died - that probably would have been too much.
  • Chicago Fire is also really pushing those cameos from Chicago P.D. characters. Those crossovers don't feel completely natural anymore.
  • Am I the only one who just doesn't see any kind of chemistry between Severide and Detective Lindsay?
  • Because of the Winter Olympics, that's it for Chicago Fire until February 25.