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Chicago Fire “It Ain’t Easy” 

Chicago Fire “It Ain’t Easy”
Photo Credit:NBC



Photo Credit:NBC
Photo Credit:NBC

          “It takes 16 years to get from the truck to the squad, and only 5 weeks to get booted out” – Jose Vargas (Mo Gallini)

Wow, tonight’s episode of Chicago Fire was a super-emotional one.  Since day one, we’ve seen Severide (Taylor Kinney) struggle with his shoulder injury, masking it by taking painkillers that Michael Jackson wouldn’t even touch.  Sadly, so far, he’s gotten away with it, kept his job, and has gone on living his life.

Jose Vargas isn’t as fortunate.  We haven’t seen much of this character, but “It Ain’t Easy” is all about this man we barely knew.  The only thing we really saw is that he worked his ass off to make it to the squad and was so proud that very first day on the job.  Little did he know that would all be taken away in only a few weeks. The terrible part is it was all because of the suspected “fire-bug” Ernie that Chief Boden (Eamonn Walker) has been tracking for the past couple of episodes.  The fire that is set spreads to a warehouse and ignites some magnesium, which is inhaled by Vargas.  That causes permanent lung damage, thus forcing him to leave the squad and go on long-term disability.  The entire situation is so depressing because it’s the holidays, Vargas appears to have no family, and the only real friends and family were in that squad.

The good news is Chief Boden is onto the kid that appears to be setting these fires.  The boy’s parents are gone, but he’s staying in house rented to a man by the name of Raymond Merlin, who spent 8 years in Statesville prison for felony arson.  Surprise, surprise.!  It looks like Ernie has found a very bad father figure who has gotten him into doing his same bad habits.  Hopefully, he can be caught in time before someone gets killed.  A firefighter’s life has already been ruined, which is bad enough.

On a positive note, we finally get to meet Severide’s potential new love interest, Renee Royce, who we should recognize from Fairly Legal.  Severide saves her life in a car accident and shows up with fancy chocolates and a lunch invitation.  Even though Severide seems to bang everything that moves, he respectfully declines her invitation, but she is persistent and shows up again later stating, “”It’s been over 30 minutes and it still hasn’t worn off”.  So, Renee Royce and Severide have their dinner date, but the very cool thing is that he invites Vargas, who is obviously struggling and really just needs some company.  That would put off some girls, but instead, Severide gets a pretty good kiss for it and a nice comment, “Severide, you’re a good man”. 

That was the high note of the episode, but the episode ends in a very somber tone, and I think it’s an omen of things to come for Severide.  Vargas pretty much lost his entire career and life in a moment’s flash and is about to kill himself.  As usual, Lieutenant Casey (Jesse Spencer) is quick on his feet and makes Vargas remember some very good moments in his career:

“Remember that house and the photo album that was saved.  The house was lost, but the photo album was saved.  The family was so thankful, because the memories weren’t in that house but in that photo album” — Casey

Vargas is talked off the ledge with Casey telling him, “51 is always going to be your house”.  Vargas is completely in tears, and I don’t think there are very few viewers that weren’t in tears as well (myself included).

Renee Royce may see a good man in Severide, and from the beginning of the series, I have seen the goodness and integrity as well.   But, this guy needs to step up and face the music.  For Christ’s sake, Severide, grow a set of balls! Vargas was put on disability for a reason – he wasn’t fit to do his job and could endanger other people’s lives, including the ones he may be trying to save.  Severide is doing the exact same thing, which pisses me off.  The situation probably won’t end well for Severide but at least he has a chance to come back to the squad after his injury is corrected – that is something that Vargas didn’t have.

Most Memorable Quotes

  • “Why don’t you invite him back for apple pie.  Keep him close.  That’s the plan, right?” – Severide to Chief Boden
  • “I’d give you the finger but it requires too much energy” – Mouch (Christian Stolte)
  • “It’s been over 30 minutes and it hasn’t worn off” – Renee Royce to Severide
  • “51 is always going to be your house” – Casey to Vargas

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