First aired:24th October 2014
Jesse Spencer – Lt Matt Casey: Truck 81
Taylor Kinney – Lt Kelly Severide: Rescue Squad
Monica Raymund – EMT Gabriela Dawson: Ambulance 61
Lauren German – EMT Leslie Shay: Ambulance 61
Charlie Barnett – Peter Mills: Truck 81 Candidate
David Eigenberg – Christopher Hermann: Truck 81
Corey Sorenson – Andy Darden: Truck 81
Teri Reeves – Hallie Thomas
Eamonn Walker – Chief Wallace Bowden
Mo Gallini – Jose Vargas: Truck 81
Joe Minoso – Joe Cruz: Truck 81
Yuri Sardarov – Brian ‘Otis’ Zyonececkheryl: Truck 81
Christian Stolte – Randall ‘Mouch’ McHolland: Truck 81
Synopsis: Chicago: Two fire trucks (Truck 81 and Rescue Squad 3) are responding to a house fire. There’s someone in the attic, so Matt Casey and Andy Darden go in, a vent is needed, but rescue squad and their leader Kelly Severide don’t put a vent in the roof, believing it to be a Truck 81 job and a resulting backdraft blows through the house, killing Andy.
One month later and at Firehouse 51, the two Lieutenants are still fueding. Chief Bowden wants this dealt with, so they can welcome the new firefighter Peter Mills.
Paramedics Dawson and Shay attend a shooting, one of the injured hides and then steps out and points guns at them, the pair talk this person down and the police take him, before he is taken away by the police, who hadn’t cleared the room before Dawson and Shay went in.
There’s a call and the trucks speed out of the station. This time it’s a car crash, a woman and her daughter are pulled from the car, both suffering burns. The girl is in the ambulance, but flatlines. Dawson gets her heart started again, performing a procedure that she shouldn’t have.
After the trucks return, Casey hands a box of Andy’s belongings to his widow, who is still angry over her husbands untimelly death. Kelly meets with Shay who gives him an ampule of some drug. Matt is then visited by Hallie and we learn that she’s his ex-fiance, he moved out after they disagreed on having children, they are in a limbo and don’t know how to move forward from here. Dawson and Shay are informed that there may be an investigation regarding their saving of the little girl’s life. To break this tension, Dawson convinces Mills the new guy to hit on Shay. It’s a bit of new guy hazing as Shay is a lesbian.
That night, while Chief Bowden is in a boxing match, Truck 81 is clled to a massive building fire, this is the first call for Mills. The crew get everyone out, but after a floor collapses, Casey and Hermann are fall through the floor to one below.
Rescue Truck arrives and Severide’s team rescue the firefighters and Shay and Dawson race Hermann to the hospital, as he presents with a numothorax. Severide and Casey, save one another’s life in once safe they start putting the fire out, in the presence of the city’s Mayor.
The next day, the off shift crews are at the hospital waiting to hear about Hermann’s condition. They are all having their own dramas, but in this moment as always there are there for one another.
Notes: There is a plethora of procedurals regarding crime, medicine and the law, but due to if nothing else the budgetary constraints, not so many regarding firefigters. With tension and action set-pieces pretty muc built into the concept, that is a shame and why Chicago Fire stood out. This was not on the docket originally, but was added at the request of the MIGHTY Rosie, who wanted something different from sci-fi and comedies that little this blog, since she has been with me for 90% of these 1st episodes, it would have been a bit cheeky if I didn’t give this a try and it proves that she is right a hell of a lot more often than I am.
This is the story about one group at a Chicago firehouse. We get to see them in action whilst on shift, but also see the team in their off hours and the dramas that come out of that. There is a mix of seasoned firefighters, some newer recruits and a pair of paramedics, so there’s a good ensemble cast assembled. No one is particularly bad here, the worst are simply just there and we have solid perfomances from Spencer and Kinney, who are clearly set up to be the show’s leads. Their strained relationship feels earned, despite only being the first episode and Eammon Walker is great as the Chief, all stoic front hiding a furnace of anger and determination. We get the usual unrequited love, drug addiction and relationship dramas that you expect in a procedural with a ensemble cast and it does seem to be a little shallow in it’s execution.
But that’s where the action fills in the gaps. With fire and disaster being such a big part of the show, the tension grips you. In the first ten minutes we lose a cast member and it’s clear that no one is particularly safe. The effects are the kind that makes you forget it’s special effects and you are just pulled into the drama and that papers over the cracks of the writing to make you invested in the characters. When Hermann is hurt, you feel for him and wonder how he’ll cope, given his financial situation, The guy has been on screen for less than ten minutes and you’re already caring about him. Is it trope-ridden? Yes it is, some of this is very paint by numbers, but it is executed so well that I had to pause this show several times, because I was pulled into it so much that I had not been taking notes. It’s as mainstream as hell, but it’s a good show and really worth giving a try.
Does it work? Yes, there is a reason this type of show keeps getting made, it’s just more rare that it’s fire based.
Does much need fixing? Apart from fleshing out the rest of the ensemble cast? Not so you would notice.
Does it stand up? Very well, it looks and sounds really good.
Do I want to watch the next one? I did and have watched one or two a week since watching this.
Did I enjoy it? Yes, this is a quality show.
Overall: 5 out of 5. I am glad I gave this show a chance.