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S09.E07: Dead of Winter

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A fire at a homeless encampment leaves Severide and Casey searching for answers. Cruz is shaken up after a close call. Ritter lends a helping hand to a victim.

Airdate: 02/17/2021

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Ugh, we’re back to ridiculous firecop investigation storylines, only now Casey got dragged into the stupidity. Good for the OFI guy for at least trying to live in reality. As it is, everything Casey, Severide, Ritter, and Boden did, like taking witness statements, collecting evidence, and having everyone in a firehouse reviewing surveillance tapes, would likely destroy any attempt at a real investigation or prosecution.

Funny how we’ve never seen Engine 40 before this thing with Brett(sey) and are guaranteed to never see Engine 40 or its lieutenant again after this oh so suspenseful romantic storyline. (But I’d be really happy if Brett/Grainger and Casey/Sydney worked out long-term.)

None of these adults seem to able to honestly communicate with each other. It’s almost as bad as a sitcom. Cruz, dude, you’re a FIREFIGHTER. I think your wife knows your job is dangerous, whether you’re lying to her about it or not. (When Severide needs to provide you with communication advice, rethink your decisions.)

Chloe is weirder than I remember. And, I hate to say this, but Cruz has been so underutilized and Chloe has been such a non-presence, that I don't feel invested in them having a kid who will almost certainly be named Brian in honor of Otis.

Was Kidd really sitting at the Squad table? Really? That used to be a big deal no-no for Truck and Engine people. 

This is the second time this season PIC Brett has loitered around on a call instead of rushing her victim to the hospital. Not a good look.

Mackey actually got creepier than Cruz…getting off on brotherly attention as the reason she pursued Gallo. Impressive. Was Cruz really trying to protect Gallo from her all this time?

I don’t remember Big Jim. The only homeless guy I remember 51 helping is the one who kept getting beat up back in season 5 or maybe 6, and Gabby/Brett helped him by intimidating the others in the camp to leave him alone. That doesn't sound like a camp mastermind, so it can't be the same guy?

I think Ritter is a decent firefighter but I totally get social worker/counselor vibes from him.

The show has very little momentum. I keep waiting for something, anything to happen, besides romantic shenanigans.(This might be a rare show where having so many original and near-original characters left after 9 years isn't entirely a good thing. For such a large cast, the dynamics seem limited and stale.)

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So the red shirt girl with Casey lasted an episode. Grainger might be on the mechanical Bull"$hit" with Sylvie a little longer but he will fall off. This show knows how to spread a stale story.

Sylvie couldn't tell that Grainger has a thing for her? She's not focused this week.

I thought cigars are passed out after the baby is born?

When Cap yells "Cruz is down". No one rushes in???!!!! Cruz should take all the cigars back.

Wonder where Cruz keeps the surveillance equipment in his apartment to watch Mackey 24/7?

Forget Severide ignoring Kidd for that long period, he's been ignoring us by not showing his brilliance solving a case in a while. Welcome back detective and side kick Casey! Next time be better prepared to run in the snow.

I think Dixon is still running. Someone better tell him to stop. The episode is over. Severide is not after him (for now).

Would Ritter be wrong to say "Sorry Captain. I'm off duty. I'll call her tomorrow"? Now he's under Casey's and Severide's spell/wing. Going out at night to find Vanessa in a dark alley and eventually finding a place for her to live. Good job kid.

Clearly Cap hasn't learned anything from the "great one", as he didn't know he was in possession of evidence.

Growth for Severide???!!! Learned his lesson from last week and has passed his wisdom to Cruz. Took 8 seasons but he's getting there.

Does Severide and Casey have a special deal with the police to have them show up 5 minutes later (sirens blaring) to make the arrest? Maybe they told them: hold off and it's free beer at Molly's tonight.

Sad to see Gallo fall so hard for Mackey this early.

Did a ghost call 911 to report the man down at the cemetery? Doubt the man or the clowns made the call.

Sylvie is afraid of clowns? After working with the people at 51 for all these years, seeing actual clowns should not be a problem to her now.

I think those clowns were really the writers of the show in their work attire.

I wouldn't want a piece of shrapnel to remind me I almost died.

Edited by mxc90
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On 2/17/2021 at 7:23 PM, dovegrey said:

None of these adults seem to able to honestly communicate with each other. It’s almost as bad as a sitcom. Cruz, dude, you’re a FIREFIGHTER. I think your wife knows your job is dangerous, whether you’re lying to her about it or not. (When Severide needs to provide you with communication advice, rethink your decisions.)

I didn't like how Cruz threw Capp under the bus in his conversation with Chole. It bad enough that Capp barely gets any lines.

Edited by MaryHedwig
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Casey -"It's a good thing you were there.  I might have broken his jaw."  And then, at the trial, he gets to explain that he saw the guy buy some propane and he lives next door to the homeless camp.  That's certainly enough evidence of guilt right there.  Unless, of course, the property owner produced the intact propane canister at the trial and was acquitted.  Good thinking, Casey.  Can you say lawsuit?  And don't stick your foot in someone's door unless you want a knuckle sandwich, either.  This is Chicago.

How did the gravestone fall down on the injured guy?  Maybe the medics should have done just a bit more survey to see if he was injured anywhere else.  Nothing like jerking him to his feet and walking him to the ambo.  Loved the clowns, though.

Any other firefighter than Cruz would have been all over that injury story.  "Hey, honey, you gotta hear what happened today.  We went to a fire at a homeless camp, and there was an explosion and I got hit by shrapnel.  Look at this!  10 stitches!  No shit, there I was, thought I was gonna die."  It's ingrained in firefighters to brag, honest.

I did have to laugh a bit when Chloe bemoaned that they wouldn't have anywhere to bathe the baby, and Cruz said "We got six months yet."

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7 hours ago, mxc90 said:

When Cap yells "Cruz is down". No one rushes in???!!!! Cruz should take all the cigars back

I thought the fire scene was weirdly shot and staged, too. Like, Casey didn’t appear to react to a mayday call on his scene, which is very out of character, and Herrmann didn’t seem to react that a best bud was possibly dead or melted like Borelli. Then I remembered! Derek Haas interviewed a while back that the cast is basically filming different days because of COVID, and they’re using TV magic to make it look like they’re all together. The Squad cast wasn’t filming at the same time as the Engine cast or Truck cast. There may be exceptions, like Casey and Severide were obviously in the same shot and have been for most episodes (so those two are a quarantine bubble with the actors for Kidd and Brett). But take the cigar scene - I didn’t pay close attention but I think they were all socially distanced and/or there was some tight editing until the end when everyone left the room.

Between that and the really short turnaround for episodes, I’ll give them a pass on some of this stuff. This is the first time I noticed the weirdness so far. 

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4 hours ago, Dowel Jones said:

Casey -"It's a good thing you were there.  I might have broken his jaw."  And then, at the trial, he gets to explain that he saw the guy buy some propane and he lives next door to the homeless camp.  That's certainly enough evidence of guilt right there.  Unless, of course, the property owner produced the intact propane canister at the trial and was acquitted.  Good thinking, Casey.  Can you say lawsuit?  And don't stick your foot in someone's door unless you want a knuckle sandwich, either.  This is Chicago.

Yeah, this storyline. It was bad. And out of character. Dude buys a propane tank down the street and Casey wants to punch him. (Okay, the guy probably DID do it, given the anvils and how often he was coming around the scene/prying for information, but still. Pretty flimsy.)

And this is less a reply than a general rant:

It’s just so heavy-handed and reminiscent of a feel-good Saturday morning teen show, where our intrepid firefighters save the day and catch a crook! All in a day’s work… AYFKM. I said it about an episode last year (the couch burning one?), that it’d be more powerful and in line with a 9 PM drama for the characters to fail, to be powerless, and to struggle with that. For Big Jim to die and have no justice, because he is homeless, invisible, at the bottom of the pile in terms of priority, and, ultimately, forgotten. I dunno, Casey could’ve built the guy a nice coffin and had the house donate for a poorly-attended funeral, rather than having some patrol officers on call to cuff the perp as if he’s the captain of Precinct 51. The former would be in-character for Casey and probably a lot more fulfilling/powerful than this weird moralistic fantasy fluff.

And, while I liked Ritter’s story here, another option would have been that Big Jim died, Vanessa disappeared without his protection/camp, and Ritter couldn’t save her. I have some very loose and older connections with Chicago homeless shelters, and if you (general "you") talk to anyone who has been in that field for any time at all, they’ll be able to tell dozens of tragic stories, likes bodies of homeless men they tried and tried to help for months/years washing up murdered in Lake Michigan. You earn connections with people, and then those people are gone in a second, and sometimes you don’t have answers, and sometimes you have the answers you don’t want. You want to raise awareness, tell those stories over time, not a bunch of feel-good one-episode fantasies. (I’m not saying that all homeless individuals have tragic endings or that Vanessa couldn’t/shouldn’t be helped. I am saying I’d like more realism on the show. So, Casey could catch the suspect OR Ritter could help Vanessa, but both in one episode is too much unless the audience is 12.) (I also miss the earlier seasons when the show wasn't afraid to show the rougher side of Chicago.)

And the paramedics are usually just as bad with all their investigating and meddling (the fentanyl investigation with patrol officers ready to respond at Brett’s signal was ridiculous, too). STOP IT.

(Sorry for the back to back post.) (Oh, and sorry for the rant.)

Edited by dovegrey
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2 hours ago, dovegrey said:

I thought the fire scene was weirdly shot and staged, too. Like, Casey didn’t appear to react to a mayday call on his scene, which is very out of character, and Herrmann didn’t seem to react that a best bud was possibly dead or melted like Borelli. Then I remembered! Derek Haas interviewed a while back that the cast is basically filming different days because of COVID, and they’re using TV magic to make it look like they’re all together. The Squad cast wasn’t filming at the same time as the Engine cast or Truck cast. There may be exceptions, like Casey and Severide were obviously in the same shot and have been for most episodes (so those two are a quarantine bubble with the actors for Kidd and Brett). But take the cigar scene - I didn’t pay close attention but I think they were all socially distanced and/or there was some tight editing until the end when everyone left the room.

Between that and the really short turnaround for episodes, I’ll give them a pass on some of this stuff. This is the first time I noticed the weirdness so far. 

Now it makes sense. When Severide radioed Cap "is Cruz alright?". I was thinking: Cruz is right there, why can't Severide see him or just run over to him?

Thanks.

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I feel like all of Fire's "investigations" go like this though.  They play cop, they figure it out within 48 hours, and we're just to assume that they are always right.  Yay, case closed!  Whereas the cops can be wrong, Super Casey and Super Severide are never wrong!  (However, if they were with the cops when investigating, Dixon never would have got away because Jay Halstead can run anyone down. 😉 )

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Ugh, we’re back to ridiculous firecop investigation storylines, only now Casey got dragged into the stupidity.

Why do they keep doing this? Can't they come up with any interesting fire and rescue stories? They've got a whole spin-off for Chicago PD so why does this show spend so much time doing their own investigations? I don't get it.

Quote

I think those clowns were really the writers of the show in their work attire.

Ha!

Quote

Casey -"It's a good thing you were there.  I might have broken his jaw."

giphy.gif.a4bd94277551a6f5bf01dff1316c81c5.gif

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Please move on from this stupid Severide/Kidd drama or not storyline.

She’s got a nice body but Kelly can do way better than her anyways.

Also, looks like Casey put on some quarantine weight.

Edited by TM101
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2 hours ago, icemiser69 said:

And with all do respect to Casey, that dude that he accused of starting the fire would have beaten the crap out of him in two seconds.

Nah, Casey’s the guy who beat down Voight in Voight’s own house, beat a sex trafficker to death with a hammer, etc. I’d like to see Casey truly pissed off and throwing punches again, like in the old days, but just not about some one-off, nonsense storyline.

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1 hour ago, icemiser69 said:

I must have missed all of that. 

Season 1 and season 4. For the first 4-5 years of the show, Casey was written as a guy with a good heart and a strong, principled sense of “right” but with a hair-trigger, fists-first, black-out type of temper. He was kinda bad ass (and stupid), like demanding a bunch of rioting prison inmates take him hostage instead of Herrmann and going alone to talk down a bunch of gang leaders who had retaliated against 51 with a drive-by shooting. 

What I’ll say for this episode is that, historically, Casey will go to the wall for the underserved (e.g., a kid whose Voight's son paralyzed, trailer park fire victims, victims of a tornado getting fleeced, battered women, etc). That’s totally in-character for him. And I can see him probably wanting to punch the living hell out of a person he thinks murdered a homeless man for nothing more than minor inconvenience. It’s the moral superiority, black-and-white thinking, investigating, and bragging about wanting to break bone that’s not him, IMO. Half the shit he got up to in seasons 1-3 and partly 4 (like killing a person) he never told anyone about.

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Chicago Fire Anatomy is just plain sad at this point.

Severide now drags Casey along to be a CFD cop, and do all the investigating work for OFI and CPD. Now it's the buddy pairing if Super Severide and Super Casey. Having them constantly investigate these cases, to the point where they're using duty time to do it, is just not practical, and way outside the purview of their roles. And actually confronting the suspected arsonist, at his house, could have gone wrong so many different ways, especially if the guy was armed. 

The Severide-Kidd drama is just old. And if I were a chief, I would have removed Stella's name from the list. If you're going to let relationship drama with your Lieutenant boyfriend stop you from taking the Lieutenants test, then you don't need to be an officer. Stella is just plain pathetic these days, and I can no longer take her seriously as a firefighter.

Cruz is stupid. Just like with Severide, why not just come out and say what really happened. What was the point of keeping it from her? It's a close call at work, and she's accepted that you have a dangerous job. I blame the writers again, who just seem to want to make drama for the sake of drama, but it just looks foolish.

Gallo and Mackey is just a joke. 

I would be happy to see Sylvie make it work with Grainger. That is If she can avoid longing looks at Casey, that Grainger will notice like Sydney did.

The one redeeming thing about this episode was Ritter helping the homeless girl. That's the only good I could take from the show.

Edited by WinJet0819
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2 hours ago, WinJet0819 said:

The Severide-Kidd drama is just old. And if I were a chief, I would have removed Stella's name from the list. If you're going to let relationship drama with your Lieutenant boyfriend stop you from taking the Lieutenants test, then you don't need to be an officer. Stella is just plain pathetic these days, and I can no longer take her seriously as a firefighter.

Not to threadsit, but, yeah, the exam storyline with Kidd has been very disappointing. For one, her trying to promote has been all about Severide and, to an extent, Boden. It’s barely Kidd's storyline...it's about her, but it hardly includes her.

For two, the writers have done nothing to SHOW that Kidd is a leader-in-waiting. Herrmann was consistently shown to be Casey’s trusted right-hand and many times took over scenes when Casey was incapacitated; when Herrmann was promoted, it wasn't a shock. What has Kidd done? She hangs back, grabs O2 tanks, and comforts victims. Kidd has never stepped up to run a real scene (not even when Casey was dangling from the aerial a few eps ago) and has not shown actual leadership during calls (that I can recall). All we’ve seen from her is that she can run a simulated scene during a training exercise, runs an after-school program, and saved Severide one time (the other time, she ignored her O2 alarm and nearly died). Imagine how much better the show could be if we were shown things instead of told things.

For Kidd’s part, she needs to ask for leadership opportunities. When Herrmann was preparing to take the exam, he asked Casey to let him run Truck 81 for a shift, while Casey supervised. I would LOVE to see that with Kidd! She needs to ask Casey for more responsibility on Truck. Instead, she has nonstop dogged her boyfriend to give her a tour of Squad and then quit when he ignored her. Sorry, Kidd, but I'm inclined to agree with the white shirts: you're not ready, and you are getting ahead because of your boyfriend and your boyfriend's connections, and, when you couldn't get ahead with your boyfriend's "support," you shut down and quit. 

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4 hours ago, dovegrey said:

Not to threadsit, but, yeah, the exam storyline with Kidd has been very disappointing. For one, her trying to promote has been all about Severide and, to an extent, Boden. It’s barely Kidd's storyline...it's about her, but it hardly includes her.

For two, the writers have done nothing to SHOW that Kidd is a leader-in-waiting. Herrmann was consistently shown to be Casey’s trusted right-hand and many times took over scenes when Casey was incapacitated; when Herrmann was promoted, it wasn't a shock. What has Kidd done? She hangs back, grabs O2 tanks, and comforts victims. Kidd has never stepped up to run a real scene (not even when Casey was dangling from the aerial a few eps ago) and has not shown actual leadership during calls (that I can recall). All we’ve seen from her is that she can run a simulated scene during a training exercise, runs an after-school program, and saved Severide one time (the other time, she ignored her O2 alarm and nearly died). Imagine how much better the show could be if we were shown things instead of told things.

For Kidd’s part, she needs to ask for leadership opportunities. When Herrmann was preparing to take the exam, he asked Casey to let him run Truck 81 for a shift, while Casey supervised. I would LOVE to see that with Kidd! She needs to ask Casey for more responsibility on Truck. Instead, she has nonstop dogged her boyfriend to give her a tour of Squad and then quit when he ignored her. Sorry, Kidd, but I'm inclined to agree with the white shirts: you're not ready, and you are getting ahead because of your boyfriend and your boyfriend's connections, and, when you couldn't get ahead with your boyfriend's "support," you shut down and quit. 

That's how I feel about it, totally nailed it. 

I have been really disappointed in her overall arc...when she turned up she was like the complete opposite to Dawson who couldn't function as a firefighter without running to her SO for approval, confidence, to garner support when people were 'being mean to her' (for not doing her job mind you) and Stella is now just Gabby 2.0 with regards to she can't function without running to Severide every second minute, putting other firefighters in danger to save you because you ignored basic firefighting 101 to save your boyfriends wang. Needing to sit on his lap at work at every opportunity. And don't start me on the fecklessness of the Girls on Fire program which thankfully died a quiet death, except we got a tweenager being an Admin person in a busy firestation with zero experience. Really?

And yes, if you drop out of the promotion race because said boyfriend is being a tosser then you are not ready to be a leader of anyone. Boden should've said, sorry maybe next year if you can demonstrate that you are capable and committed for more than a hot second and don't crumble at the first MINOR non work related obstacle.

So what started as a strong female character in a male dominated field is now no more than any other female character who's whole existence is validated by being in a relationship. Same shit different female character in the one chicago universe.

Edited by Guildford
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On 2/22/2021 at 8:56 PM, Guildford said:

That's how I feel about it, totally nailed it. 

I have been really disappointed in her overall arc...when she turned up she was like the complete opposite to Dawson who couldn't function as a firefighter without running to her SO for approval, confidence, to garner support when people were 'being mean to her' (for not doing her job mind you) and Stella is now just Gabby 2.0 with regards to she can't function without running to Severide every second minute, putting other firefighters in danger to save you because you ignored basic firefighting 101 to save your boyfriends wang. Needing to sit on his lap at work at every opportunity. And don't start me on the fecklessness of the Girls on Fire program which thankfully died a quiet death, except we got a tweenager being an Admin person in a busy firestation with zero experience. Really?

And yes, if you drop out of the promotion race because said boyfriend is being a tosser then you are not ready to be a leader of anyone. Boden should've said, sorry maybe next year if you can demonstrate that you are capable and committed for more than a hot second and don't crumble at the first MINOR non work related obstacle.

So what started as a strong female character in a male dominated field is now no more than any other female character who's whole existence is validated by being in a relationship. Same shit different female character in the one chicago universe.

Boom!!!

And all this stupid drama does is prove the rumors right about her only making it as far she has because of Severide. Needing him to tell her "You got this Stella Kidd" is just pathetic and weak. And it's an insult to all female first responders. She's a walking contradiction. She says she made it through the firefighting ranks, alone, with nobody helping her, but yet, she was willing to turn down a career-changing promotion because her Lieutenant BF ghosted her and isn't giving her encouragement. If she came up the firefighting ranks, alone, and fought to get to where she is, she should be able to do the same thing to get the Lieutenant promotion. And it's a bad omen. Imagine if she makes Lieutenant, and again, she has relationship troubles with Severide, and lets the issues drag into her work and leadership and she winds up getting a firefighter killed. It could be a set back for future female lieutenant candidates. White shirts in charge will take one look at them, and immediately think how Stella Kidd got someone killed.

It's an issue on all these shows. Upton turned down job offer from the FBI just so she could have a romantic relationship with her partner. I really can't believe Dick Wolf, the L&O czar, has let this One Chicago franchise devolve into this. The personal relationship dramas are just suffocating a lot of the storylines. And that's not how this show was when it first started.

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I'm beginning to think that Stella's storyline was only written to try to "fix" the intra-office dating problem:  Severide is her superior.  But once she becomes a Lieutenant, they are even... 

Voila!  Viewers can no longer have an issue with it!  (Please note the sarcasm.)  

It's stupid if true, but I wouldn't put it past them at this point.

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On 2/17/2021 at 7:42 PM, mxc90 said:

 

I thought cigars are passed out after the baby is born?

 

They are.  And in my not so humble opinion, the name should also be kept back until after the birth.  Tell people, and you'll get all sorts of unwanted advice and thoughts.  "Ugh, that was my great aunt's name.  She was a monster."  "Wow, I went out with a guy with that name who dumped me for the class slut."  "Really?"  Once the baby is born and thus "real", people are much less likely to criticize your name choice (at least to your face).

Herrmann: "Cruz is having a baby."  Sorry, he's not.  His wife is.

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