Thursday, October 24, 2019

REVIEW: 'Chicago Fire' - Kidd Doubts Her Leadership Skills at a Conference While Brett Helps Cruz with Chloe in 'Buckle Up'

NBC's Chicago Fire - Episode 8.05 "Buckle Up"

Kidd must prove herself at the National Firefighter Leadership Conference while the rest of Firehouse 51 is called to two eerily similar car wrecks. Mouch tries to keep everyone in the firehouse informed by starting a newsletter, but things quickly get out of hand. Cruz deals with a heartbreak.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of NBC's Chicago Fire.

"Buckle Up" was written by Matt Whitney and directed by Leslie Libman

Chloe breaking up with Cruz just as he was about to propose happened in the midst of the epic three-show crossover event. As such, it felt like that would be a crucial part of the ongoing infection story in the other two hours. It wasn't. It was confined to this show and wasn't addressed again until this hour. That is perfectly fine as well. It was just a little strange timing wise. This hour actually presents an argument for why Chloe broke up with Cruz in the first place. Before, it was simply because she was having vague second thoughts. And now, she expresses how she couldn't handle going through what Lily is experiencing after Otis' death. She can't bear the thought of him dying on this job. It's very dangerous. But it still ultimately ends with the two of them getting back together. They are engaged as well. It comes with the idea that this is an obstacle that they can overcome even though this fear may never fully go away. It comes as part of a relationship with a firefighter. It's a story the show has certainly told many times. But it still resonates because it is so personal. It means the firehouse gets to celebrate happy news. Brett is the only one who knows about this slight speed bump that the couple hit before making this commitment. And now, they can go on to build a happy future together. The show has proven that relationships outside the firehouse can work too. Boden, Mouch and Herrmann are all happily married. Meanwhile, Severide continues to step up as the perfect boyfriend that Kidd needs. He is there to listen to her when she vents. He is also there to offer advice when prompted. He knows she can succeed during this leadership conference. He is in her corner no matter what. He can't fix things for her. She has to step up and prove that she is worthy of her spot despite not being an officer. In the end, she is impressive. She earns the respect of everyone else present. Sure, the show probably cuts away from this specific story a little too often. It could have been fleshed out even more to show how rewarding Kidd's efforts to win over the entire group were. The final version is still fine though. Of course, the show also says that she is worthy of a promotion. As such, that could jeopardize her ability to continue serving at Firehouse 51. The show found a way to promote Herrmann without him having to leave the firehouse. That same tactic may not work with Kidd who is clearly destined for great things and has the support of everyone else at 51. That's a question for the future though. Right now, Severide and Casey's efforts to protect the city from disasters also extends to gathering evidence against a tow truck driver and his scam causing car accidents to collect money from the repairs. It too is a little simplistic with a neat resolution by the close of the hour. But again, it presents an uplifting view of the world in which the ability of firefighters to serve their cities extends far behind being willing to run into burning buildings. Sure, Mouch may doubt himself for a moment but he eventually remembers the wonders of this job and how he can save a life. This episode essentially talks about what it means to be a leader. There are so many deserving examples of leadership throughout this world as well. It's something Herrmann's son aspires to embody. He helps save a life too. His friend was doing something stupid. He performed CPR and got the appropriate help needed. His father may react impulsively. And yet, this is one of the better examples of Herrmann learning his lesson after lashing out at someone for doing something in the hopes of making things better. That is a familiar trope for him. However, this case allows it to be presented in a new light because it doesn't take long before he sees that his son truly was a hero even if he still has a high standard for such a person in the world. He has to lead by example. He does so here by reacting with compassion and understanding as well as the willingness to share that with total strangers.