Tuesday, March 18, 2014

REVIEW: 'Chicago Fire' - Casey & Boden Decide What to Do with Jones & Gabby Has a Stalker in 'When Things Got Rough'

NBC's Chicago Fire - Episode 2.17 When Things Got Rough

Severide is reminded of his own past by a man he saves from a car accident and feels compelling to help him; Casey and Boden grapple with how to dock Jones per her father's orders; Mouch and Dawson have troubles with the opposite sex; and an emotional call to duty creates ripples throughout Firehouse 51.

Every couple of episodes Chicago Fire presents a call that shakes the crew at Firehouse 51 to their core. The difficulties and tragedies of this profession are all very much real. And every once in awhile, there's a story about a father laying on his wife and young kids to protect them from the fire in their house. That opening call reverberates throughout the hour as everyone finds their own way to cope with it. And then, comes the wife who brings a lawsuit against the station because they didn't get there soon enough to save her husband too. It's her way of trying to make some kind of sense from this whole situation. And the emotions of the entire plot pay off really well. I just wish there was more weight to the legal aspect of it all. There simply is no real case here. The characters know that and the show knows it too. So we're never really left questioning how this suit could effect the station. And that does lessen the impact of the story by the end. So while the emotions were all right, the execution wasn't always there.

The other great part from "When Things Got Rough" was the dynamic between Casey, Boden, Dawson and Jones over Jones' father's request to make up some issue to get her disqualified. It was literally only a small thread but it was just enough to hint at good things to come. I love that things are thawing between Jones and Dawson. TV could use a lot more female friendship. I'm intrigued to see what push back Casey and Boden will get over deciding not to do what he asked.

But the other two stories of the episode - Severide trying to help the guy and Dawson & her "stalker" - felt like filler material to give those characters something new to do. I'm guessing that this guy pops up in Severide's life as a way to remind us of the struggles Severide was facing a year ago but also to show how far he has come since then. That thematic tie-in didn't really work for me. Then, the Dawson story felt like it was just going for the cheap twists - like him popping up and the camera zooming in on her face before cut to commercial and then the reveal that he may not be as creepy as he seems. None of it really worked at all and the sooner the show can get past it the better.

Some more thoughts:
  • "When Things Got Rough" was written by Andrea Newman and directed by Jann Turner.
  • And then there was Mouch searching for romantic advice from Shay which was just awkward and trying too hard.
  • But hey, Otis and Cruz got that apartment. A thread I thought the show had forgot about.
  • However, the show is also trying to blow right past the Katie-Vince Keeler story. The last episode left so many things open-ended and made us infer things about certain characters. It barely gets mentioned at all this week.
  • But hey, Shay thinks Severide and Detective Lindsay should be a thing too.