Thursday, October 18, 2018

REVIEW: 'Chicago Fire' - Herrmann Exerts His New Power While Foster Fights for Her Patient in 'This Isn't Charity'

NBC's Chicago Fire - Episode 7.04 "This Isn't Charity"

Firehouse 51 is on high alert when a series of explosions rock the city. Herrmann adjusts to his new duties. Kidd gets a visit from an old friend.

In 2018, it has become very difficult to keep up with every television show out there. It's even more difficult to provide adequate coverage on this site about the episodes that air every week. Not every show can get full coverage because of my busy and hectic viewing schedule. As such, some reviews will now be condensed to give only some summary thoughts. But it also affords a space for me to jot down my thoughts on the various episodes. And so, here are my thoughts on this week's episode of NBC's Chicago Fire.

"This Isn't Charity" was written by Matt Whitney and directed by Batan Silva

Herrmann has a desperate desire to be liked all of the time. It's a quality of his that has only grown more tiresome and annoying the longer the show has gone on. The show is willing to call him out on it up to a point. It still needs to resolve everything in the end with him ultimately being able to have a point in his argument. That isn't necessary and really diminishes what the rest of the story is trying to do. Right now, Herrmann gets so mad with one of the firefighters in his new position on engine seemingly because he never comes to Molly's. He is angry at a subordinate for not contributing to his private business. Even his attempts to be friendly are horrifying. He's putting the bare minimum of effort in to get this guy to like him. And then, a switch happens where Herrmann's anger and decision to transfer him seems justified. It should all point out Herrmann's personality flaws that should keep him from any leadership position. He is still privileged in this world though so he will keep having this power even though he abuses it frequently with no awareness of his actions or consequences for them. Meanwhile, there are characters who should get the benefit of the doubt and be allowed to succeed again despite being defined by the one mistakes they have made. Ritter is bullied to the point of quitting from the fire department because he froze up during one of the worst fires the city has ever seen. And now, the plot machinations allow him to join Herrmann's team. That's beneficial because it allows another familiar face onto that unit even though Ritter has just been around for a couple of episodes. Elsewhere, there is no reason to distrust Foster. She is just fighting back against a reputation as a cheater. Everyone believes she has no good suggestions because she was forced out of her dream career as a doctor. And yet, she has the right instincts and is able to lead to the arrest of a coach brutalizing dozens of girls. That's a victorious moment that should create an even better friendship between her and Foster. However, these stories aren't as important as the ongoing drama on the job and in Severide's relationship with Kidd. A high school friend coming back into Kidd's life isn't an original story. The show actually did the exact same thing with Severide a couple of seasons ago when it first introduced April. She was a strong friend who eventually became a love interest. The only difference here is that Kidd is dating Severide and believes she has to heed his word about what he deduces about the situation. Sure, the show has always asked the audience to trust Severide at his word because he makes strong decisions even in the worst possible situations. However, he is very intrusive and petty here as well. That proves that he is still growing as a character. This story will more than likely hint at whether or not there is a future for the two as a couple. Seeing how it develops will inform the audience's opinion one way or the other. It is about time for some kind of shakeup to their dynamic - and apparently not one that comes out of Kidd having part of her lung removed during emergency surgery. And finally, the main plot with the grenades creates a terrifying threat even though it's not as intense as the story would probably need. As such, it's mostly just an efficient way to give the characters of the firehouse something to do for the week.