Chicago Fire Season 8 Episode 14 Review: Shut It Down

Television

Another day, another lived saved.

It may be in the job description, but Chicago Fire Season 8 Episode 14 continued to show just how much the firefighters at 51 go above the call of duty.

As the gas company CEO said, they really are heroes.

Though the show is called Chicago FIRE, 51 has been playing detective as of late. 

This is, in part, helped along by the continuing “case cause of the week” trope.

Boden: Then you need to shuut down those mains and find the problem:
Gas company CEO: No, you’re talking about turning off the heat to a few hundred thousand families in the dead of winter.
Severide: No, we’re talking about saving lives.
Casey: That explosion nearly killed a little girl. She’s in a coma.
Gas company CEO: We are in agreement about the severity of the situation, but if I turn off the heat, that could kill people too.

This time, it was 51 trying to find the cause of the recent uptick in gas leaks. 

On Chicago Fire Season 8 Episode 12, it was the firefighters trying to find the person responsible for the repeated false alarms at a private school, while the first half of Chicago Fire Season 8 saw Severide working a closed arson case while detailed to OFI.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially when both sides of an incident can be understood.

Boden, Casey, and Severide’s concerns about the gas company needing to shut off the main to find the source of the problem was more than valid. Without a quick solution, more lives could be in danger.

The gas company’s CEO argument about lives also being in danger if hundreds of thousands of people went without heat in the dead of winter also had merit.

It was a balancing act to try to find a timely solution, but fortunately, things worked out in the end.

If the little girl from the gas leak explosion had died, then we may be having a very different conversation, as the loss of life, especially a child, would have skewed my opinion more toward 51’s stance about the immediacy of the problem.

That first call also stuck with Gallo, which is unsurprising considering his past.

Gallo: That girl was 7 years old. I guess I’m having trouble getting her out of my head.
Kidd: I get it. I’ve learned that when you catch a really brutal call, you know the one that stays behind your eyes when you close them at night, that’s when you gotta rely on the firefighters in your house. We have a circle here that never closes. So you talk to whoever you need to, whenever you need to, and we’ll be there for you because that’s how it works.

As revealed on Chicago Fire Season 8 Episode 6, Gallo lost his entire family in a fire when he was just a child. It was that experience that motivated him to be a firefighter.

So, of course, the little girl, who happened to be the same age as his sister when she died, and that call would be hard to shake.

Though deeply affected, Gallo still managed to keep his head when he went out on other calls, as opposed to previous instances when he flew off the handle.

This is not only a sign of growth for Gallo as a firefighter, but of him feeling more at home at 51.

Gallo’s starting to realize that he’s no longer alone, and while he lost his family as a child, he found a new one at 51.

That comfort allowed him to confide in Kidd without prompting.

Even though Gallo didn’t share the intimate details of what he experienced as a child, he was still vulnerable with her in a way we haven’t seen him be with anyone beside Casey.

Kidd: Hey boys, you hear Gallo got cooked this morning? Welcome him to the club.
All: Hey.
Cruz: You’re a real firefighter now.
Kidd: Hey Herrmann, show him your scar.
Herrmann: Shut up. All right, look, back in ’92 I pulled a couple of newlyweds out of a burning vehicle. Cindy, she says it kinda looks like Texas.
Cruz: Burning embers got caught up in my collar at a boarding school fire about six years ago. Hey Tony, show him you ears.
Tony: Always wear your hood Gallo.
Gallo: OK, where was yours?
Kidd: Ha, nice trice. Only Kelly gets to see that one.

He’s slowly coming into his own, and the more I see of the character, the more I feel for and love Gallo. 

Like I’ve said, no one can replace Otis, but Gallo is a great addition to the show.

Speaking of additions, Firehouse 51 could really use a lesson in communication. 

This is the second episode in a row where things have got lost in translation.

Both instances also have Cruz as a common thread, but this time, even though the misunderstanding was on Cruz’s part, Severide was more at fault.  

Severide could tell Cruz was stressed about the wedding planning, yet it didn’t click that he needed to step it up until Kidd clarified things.

I get that Severide had other things going on, but he could tell his friend was struggling. It shouldn’t have taken a conversation with Kidd to realize Cruz needed more from him.

Being a best man isn’t just choosing a venue for the bachelor party; it’s about being there for the groom and showing up, both figuratively and literally.

Kidd: You stood him up?
Severide: What? No, I was busy trying to keep the city from exploding. Cruz understands. I found him a venue.
Kidd: Kelly, when I said Cruz needed your help, I didn’t mean that he needs a party planner. I meant he needs his best man.

Severide eventually got the message and had a heart-to-heart with Cruz, who is still experiencing doubts.

Cruz has been plagued by cold feet ever since Nick Porter shared his marital woes, and I’m starting to wonder if we’re about to have a runaway groom on our hands.

Severide seems to have quelled Cruz’s fears for now, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they resurfaced.

What I want to see if Cruz talk with Chloe about his feelings instead of confiding in everyone else.

This is a conversation Cruz needs to have with the bride-to-be, but since we haven’t seen Chloe in ages, that may not be possible.

The more time that passes, the more uncertainty I have over whether the wedding will happen. 

I guess only time will tell.

Lastly, I’m not sure when it happened, but Casey has become Brett’s “person.”

He’s the one she goes to whenever she’s facing big life decisions, such as getting engaged and moving away or contacting her birth mother.

Brett: I changed my mind
Casey: Oh boy.
Brett: I know. I just, I didn’t want some stranger ruining what I have with my parents. It’s a silly thing to worry about because she can never come between us. So if that’s the case, what am I so afraid of? My point is, can I have that envelope back?
Casey: You saw me get rid of it.
Brett: So you’re telling me that you didn’t go back and dig it out of the trash as soon as I was gone?
Casey: Are you gonna yell at me again if I did?
Brett: Uh wait. Stay with me while I open it?
Casey: Of course.
Brett: Oh. It’s just a name and an address. My mother’s name is Julie, and she lives right here in Illinois. Rockford.

Brett feels comfortable enough to confide in him, and in return, Casey shows up in a big way.

He’s always there to listen or lend a hand or do whatever he can to help Brett out.

Casey even knows her well enough to take a letter he was supposed to throw away out of the trash because he knew eventually Brett would want it.

That sort of closeness and insight isn’t born overnight; it’s born from years of knowing someone and friendship, of being there for someone when no else is, of seeing them at their best and worst.

It’s the strength of that relationship that makes me believe Casey and Brett have what it takes to make it last, as long as Dawson stays in Puerto Rico.

Some stray thoughts:

  • Did anyone else catch that Herrmann at least got a seat at the table when Boden, Casey, and Severide were going over the recent uptick in gas-related call?.

    He didn’t join in on going down to the gas company and meeting the CEO, but it was progress, especially after he revealed his dissatisfaction to Mouch regarding his promotion to lieutenant on Chicago Fire Season 8 Episode 13.

  • I’m not sure who came up with these new pairings, such as Kidd and Gallo along with Mouch and Ritter, but I’m really loving seeing the show mix it up. More please.

So what did you think Chicago Fire Fanatics?

What are your thoughts on the series’ recent turn in the “case of the week” trope?

Will Cruz make it down the aisle or bolt before the vows?

Has the series convinced you that Casey and Brett are OTP?

Hit the comments below to let me know what you think. If you missed the latest episode, don’t worry. You can watch Chicago Fire online right here at TV Fanatic.

Jessica Lerner is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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