Thursday, October 31, 2019

REVIEW: 'Chicago Fire' - Gallo's Latest Reckless Action Causes Casey to Be Very Concerned in 'What Went Wrong'

NBC's Chicago Fire - Episode 8.06 "What Went Wrong"

Cruz and Severide suspect foul play when a fire started by an elderly woman turns deadly. Kidd, Foster and Brett create a women's-only lounge. Firehouse 51 celebrates some good news.

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.

"What Went Wrong" was written by Jamila Daniel and directed by Sanford Bookstaver

It takes a lot for Gallo to open up about why he directly disobeys Casey's orders here. The audience understands the motivation right away. He is isolated in the backyard of a house fire. A kid tells him that his parents and grandmother are still inside. It serves as an immediate connection to Gallo's own tragic backstory of losing his entire family in a house fire. As such, he feels personally motivated to ensure a better outcome this time around. All of that is immediately understood. Boden is the only person at Firehouse 51 operating with the full story though. Gallo has the story that he is accustomed to telling. It serves as his motivation for becoming a firefighter. He wants to look back and be inspired by the heroes who saved his life and offered him salvation in his darkest moment. However, he is still processing the trauma. He is still mourning the loss of his family. He is wracked with guilt over the suspicion that he could have saved his younger sister's life. There may have been nothing more he could have done. If he went to help her, then he easily could have died as well. He could have died when he entered the house right when the rest of the truck was venting it too though. That is very dangerous. It creates a perilous situation where he is no good to anyone. He quickly gets knocked back on his feet. It's the latest reckless action he has made on the job. Casey and Severide recruited Gallo because they saw a young guy with potential for greatness. But now, a pattern seems to be emerging of him needing to be the hotshot young hero who rushes into burning buildings without a plan because he has to prove something. He doesn't. He needs to rely on the people at Firehouse 51. Boden tells Casey the details of Gallo's past in the hopes of helping put all of this into better context. People know that Gallo is being punished by Casey. However, the exact details aren't widely known. Casey waits until Gallo is willing to come to him to dissect the truth. This personal drama has the potential to hinder his career as a firefighter. It also has the potential to make him a truly great member of this firehouse. He has to be willing to be his true and authentic self with the people who work alongside him. He needs to be a part of a team who understands and respects the orders being given to him. It's a team effort to save lives. It's a dangerous job. Sometimes, they are forced to grieve together. And yet, they can make a huge difference both in the heat of the moment and in the immediate aftermath. Severide has a hunch that this fire wasn't an accident. He can't just buy into that conclusion knowing that a woman died as a result. He and Cruz are on a mission to prove what happened. Their fears about the father didn't bear out. Instead, it was the mother who put her family in harm's way because they needed more financial support. It's a destructive time for this family. Their entire lives are changed in an instant. It proves that the first responders instinctively know how to read people and what their intentions are. Severide knew something didn't line up. He investigated and made a difference. That's what everyone should aspire to do. Of course, it's complicated that the show wants to be highlighting the importance of teamwork while also being slightly judgmental of Brett, Kidd and Foster's desire to have a women's lounge. It's a solid idea that simply has broad execution. It doesn't really make sense that female firefighters from other stations come to this place to relax. It feels more like a place for these three to escape while on shift. It's a fascinating idea condemned to being nothing more than an episodic interest. It has merit but the show overwhelmingly wants to state that such inclusion would tamper with the cohesive nature of the firehouse in a way that wouldn't be good in the long run. That's not entirely earned.