Wednesday, December 5, 2018

REVIEW: 'Chicago Fire' - The Firehouse Once Again Rallies at the Hospital for a Loved One in 'Always a Catch'

NBC's Chicago Fire - Episode 7.09 "Always a Catch"

Stakes are high when a massive car pile-up on the freeway impacts someone dear to the firehouse family. Brett and Foster encounter a harrowing call while Kidd and Severide find their relationship being tested.

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.

"Always a Catch" was written by Derek Haas and directed by Reza Tabrizi

Firehouse 51 has spent a lot of time in the waiting room of Chicago Med this season. First, it was Kidd during the crossover event. Then, it was Benny who died from his injuries. And now, Chloe is involved in a massive car accident on the freeway. Of course, this is a plot point of diminishing returns. It's perfectly fine for this to drive the tension a couple of times each season. It's still a device that works very well while giving legitimate stakes to this job for the firefighters and paramedics. However, it's been used a little too much this season. Moreover, there is less reason to care about whether Chloe will survive than Kidd or Benny. Plus, the show already told the story of a loved one dying unexpectedly. As such, there wasn't an outcome to this story that would be shocking and new that would require all of this to be told. Sure, Cruz has definitely become a more likable and favorable character over the course of the series simply because he's so much more rational than some of his counterparts. However, his romance with Chloe hasn't gotten a whole lot of screen time so far this season. It's a consistent relationship that proves that he is capable of having something steady in his personal life too. It's a welcome development because all of these characters deserve love in their lives. It's just another instance where the woman a firefighter is dating or married to happens to be offscreen a lot of the time. She only appears in order to prop him up when tragedy strikes. That's the same quality that appears in some of the other core relationships that get name-checked here - like Herrmann and Cindy, Boden and Donne, Otis and his girlfriend, etc. All of this means that there is no real reason to care about the outcome of this tragedy. But it does show just how decent some of the characters are who don't always get the main focus in each episode. Elsewhere, Severide has really become frustrating this season. He has long been a great character whom the audience can always empathize with. However, it's difficult to have sympathy for him when he sees his life as outside of his control. He believes a current is sweeping him away. He's being carried to various different points without really taking responsibility for how he got there. That's horrifying particularly in the context of him not wanting to fight for his relationship with Kidd. The show may ultimately prove him to be right about Kyle. He may just be friends with Kidd because he wants to have a romance with her at some point. That would be the conventional and lame way to resolve this story though. It would be more compelling if Kidd got to be right and the moral center of the relationship for a little while. That's if this is a relationship that is destined to last. Right now, it certainly seems better if she just walked away completely. And finally, Casey commits to his new relationship with Naomi. Of course, it comes at a time when they are both placed in a precarious situation. Sure, it's laughable when they sit down with the representatives from this company that see themselves as a good, wholesome family that are trying to make it as a small business. That's crazy considering they have the skills to just set up a new company under a new name after the initial scandal was exposed by Naomi. Plus, they can add new accusations against them because they appear willing to kill to keep all of this quiet. That's dangerous and proves that this show may also have the conventional perspective of journalism being a profession in which people's lives are on the line all the time. Of course, that's nothing new to this show either because these characters go running into burning buildings during every shift.