Wednesday, November 20, 2019

REVIEW: 'Chicago Fire' - Gabby Returns to the City and Has a Memorable Time with Casey in 'Best Friend Magic'

NBC's Chicago Fire - Episode 8.09 "Best Friend Magic"

An unexpected visit throws Casey for a loop. Severide sets out to exonerate a wrongly convicted arsonist. Kidd pays the price for burning the candle at both ends. Cruz goes on a mission to fix one of Otis' old toys.

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.

"Best Friend Magic" was written by Derek Haas and directed by Reza Tabrizi

For the first six seasons, Casey and Gabby were the core romance of the show. They were the coupling who kept being pulled apart before coming back together. It felt like they truly belonged together. And yes, they had many wonderful and romantic moments together. It was made more complicated by Monica Raymund's decision to leave the show after six seasons. The narrative allowed Gabby's story to end in a way that resonated throughout the overall narrative. And yet, there is always the sense that there is unfinished business between Gabby and Casey. That's what makes it so exciting when she returns here. It's sudden. No one at the firehouse was expecting her to reappear. But she is back in Chicago for a few days. She returned because she wanted to see her friends and loved ones. It also allows her and Casey to come back together. It's a very sweeping episode when it pertains to the emotions they still share. Since Gabby left for Puerto Rico, Casey has done his best to move on and hopefully find romance elsewhere. He remains one of the most eligible bachelors in Chicago with seemingly every women making a move for him. Of course, the past year has seen the narrative build up the possibility that something more could happen between him and Brett. Their friendship has strengthened. It has even gotten to the point where others at the firehouse believe that it's inevitable that they will become romantically involved. It may be Casey repeating the same pattern of going out with the paramedic at Firehouse 51. And yet, their connection is special. This episode doesn't explore that though. In fact, it may complicate it because the audience may ultimately feel conflicted. This hour highlights just how great Casey and Gabby are together. They were always a strong couple. Right now, they aren't together purely by circumstances. She feels the calling to be of service elsewhere while he is determined to stay in Chicago. That could easily change at any moment. In fact, it's fascinating to see how this season is seemingly setting up potential for what could happen in these characters' lives after they leave 51. Boden loves the leadership structure as it currently stands. It has been successful for so long. And yet, it would be just as rewarding if Casey and Gabby got back together while serving the people of the world. It would also be just as meaningful if Severide stayed at OFI because he is making a significant difference in people's lives. He continues to have a very separate story at the moment. He doesn't really get the chance to interact with Gabby once more. The show is more interested in Casey and Gabby reconnecting without dealing with any of the uncertainty that is present elsewhere. It's simpler that way. Things still eventually become complicated. Everyone is realizing just how much Otis' death is still affecting them. Kidd is exerting herself too far and placing lives at risk both on the job and off shift. That's very precarious. It's a huge wake up call for not just her but Boden as well. They have to be responsible for one another. They need to understand where their limits are. Those are conversations that need to happen. They need to have that respect in the pursuit of leadership responsibilities. Being in a position of power means caring about the safety and well-being of others. These firefighters serve their community. They are there for the worst traumas. They need some healing from time to time too. It's so emotional to watch as Cruz discovers an old video of Otis. That is special because it hits in such a solid and powerful way. It brings back all of these beautiful memories even though they are bittersweet because he is no longer alive to enjoy the various adventures that go on at the firehouse. New people have come in to start their hopefully lengthy careers. But it's important to remember the past and reflect on its lessons from time to time. The connection is still potent between Casey and Gabby. They can easily fall back into that pattern at a moment's notice. That may always be a lingering concern preventing either of them from ever moving on fully. They may always hold out hope for such a romantic reunion. That may be perfectly fine as well. It just puts the priority on the show to figure out if it actually wants something to happen between Casey and Brett. If so, Gabby will remain an important part of the conversation that will have to be discussed. That will keep her engaged in this world though. That connection will always be felt even though she is no longer in Chicago. Meanwhile, the cliffhanger with Severide feels like a situation he will likely escape because he always does. It mostly feels like it comes together quickly in the end just to produce some tension heading into a brief hiatus.