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Chicago Fire “Warm and Dead” 


Photo Credit:NBC
Photo Credit:NBC

Wow, when we interviewed Chicago Fire star Eamonn Walker and Executive Producer Derek Haas last week, they said tonight’s episode was going to be a big one.  As we know with other TV shows, statements like this are often just hype, but not here.  “Warm and Dead” exceeded my expectations by a mile, and it was even better than “Merry Christmas, etc” which I had considered the best Chicago Fire episode to date.

There were multiple storylines in tonight’s episode but the main focus was on Chief Boden and his search for Ernie (Cody Sullivan), the firebug boy that he suspected in several petty arsons around the city.  However, these “petty” arsons suddenly become serious when the latest one kills someone.  Ernie is no longer just an arsonist.  He is now a murderer, and Chief Boden is dead set on finding him, not just to apprehend a very dangerous person but also to try and help him.  I must admit the storyline did not turn out the way I thought it would, and I applaud the writers for the element of surprise.  I had imagined Chief Boden getting Ernie to come forward, and then, trying to help him by getting him away from his “Uncle Ray”.  Instead, after reaching out to Chief Boden for help, Ernie is left to die in a fire presumably set by Uncle Ray.

One of the things I’ve always loved about Chicago Fire is that it’s completely realistic.  I’m not talking about the fire part of it because I know nothing about firefighting – I’m talking about the human element of the show.  After getting past the grief of Ernie’s death, the grief quickly turns to rage, and Chief Boden does succeed in finding Ernie’s killer and beats the crap out of him.  For that, he could be charged with assault at the very least, and it could cost him his career.  But, while it may have seemed over-the-top, I think it’s exactly what most of us would have done – at least it’s what I would have done.  Chief Boden had a connection with Ernie, and the CPD was doing virtually nothing in apprehending his killer.  So, he did what he had to do.   Not only was this fantastic writing, but Eamonn Walker did a extraordinary job in this episode.  He’s quickly becoming the star of the show in my eyes.

Next, we have the Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney) drama.  In the last episode, he decides out-of-the-blue that he’s going to Madrid with his girlfriend of maybe 5 minutes, Renee Royce (Sarah Shahi).  While the Chief Boden storyline was somewhat surprising, this one was quite predictable.  For those that did not know, actress Sarah Shahi has accepted a recurring role on the CBS drama Person of Interest, and unless, she was planning on balancing both, we kind of had the hint that Renee wasn’t going to be around much longer.  And, unless Taylor Kinney was going to leave the show, that means he was going to decide to not go to Madrid, which is exactly what happens.  The twist is in how he makes his decision.  He learns of an experimental surgery from Renee that could completely heal him, but the risk is that is could leave him half-paralyzed.  He can’t make a decision on his own, and so, he turns to his father (guest star Treat Williams) for help.  From what we can tell, his father was also a firefighter and was also injured.  The difference is now he spends his days just sitting around, doing nothing very meaningful.

          It’s better being half-paralyzed than completely – Severide’s father

So, Severide decides to roll the dice, have the surgery, and something tells me, he’ll be back to work in no time.  The only question I have is what about the living arrangements?  Shay’s (Lauren German) former, and very pregnant, girlfriend is moving in, and Severide isn’t going to Madrid.  That should be very interesting.

All in all, I thought it was an excellent episode.  It had fantastic writing, superb acting, and was one of the best of the season.  I was a little pessimistic with the last episode, which I thought was a little weak, but it looks like we may be back on track.  Nice job, Chicago Fire.

Most memorable quotes

  • We’ve got four kids.  I was counting on my sperm being too tired to make the swim – Herrmann (David Eigenberg)
  • I’m glad you’re making yourself healthy, even if it means letting you go – Shay to Severide
  • There is no replacing rescue squad, but you already know that.  That’s why you came out here, to have me talk you out of it – Severide’s father
  • Disappoint everyone, but never disappoint yourself – Severide’s father





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