True to form, tonight’s episode of “Chicago Fire,” entitled “ A Power Move” has the members of Firehouse 51 rolling out on a few harrowing calls, but that action really seems to pale in comparison to everything else that’s going on with the elite squad.
In fact, there are so many things tumbling around that it’s a bit dizzying to keep up with it all, but definitely in a good way.
Without giving anything away about tonight’s excellent episode, here’s an attempt to drop some information on what’s going down with the members of 51.
Chief Bowden continues to feel the heat from the steely Gail McLeod, the CFD consultant. McLeod has been on Bowden since she first told him that 51 is a ‘problem house.’ Now, given an ultimatum by McLeod, Bowden’s back is against the wall and he’s faced with a decision that he clearly doesn’t want to make.
Severide continues to spend time with his current fling, Russian beauty Zoya, but the ‘relationship’ takes a turn when Zoya reveals her thoughts about where the couple should be headed.
The proprietors of Molly’s bar, Otis, Hermann and Dawson, are still feeling the wrath of Arthur, their fellow ‘part owner’ who’s shaking them down for his ‘cut’ of the profits.
To further complicate matters with Arthur, Dawson finds herself in a relationship with Jay, someone she thought was just a bar patron who’s really a cop trying to take down Arthur. But in the meantime, Jay continues to work undercover as Arthurs ‘henchman’ a role that makes Dawson extremely unsure about her involvement with him.
Casey continues to act as guardian to fallen firefighter Andy Darden’s boys while their mother is in prison serving out her sentence for vehicular manslaughter that she received when her friend was killed in an accident in which she was driving drunk.
Mouch steps up his efforts in his bid to become union president with the aid of campaign manager Isabella whom Mills has been seeing. But with Mills still carrying a touch for his ex, Dawson, his time with Isabella may be running out.
And then there’s Shay. After having witnessed the up-close suicide of a man on a recent call, Shay doesn’t seem to realize the poor life choices that she’s making. She’s begun to slowly unravel and while she thinks she’s handling her emotions, others are starting to notice that things are not as they should be.
Taylor Kinney, who plays Shay’s roommate and closest friend within Firehouse 51, Kelly Severide, recently talked about Shay’s journey, saying, “Suicide is something that really happens on the job. We’ve had paramedics talk to us about it and how it affects them. Shay internalizes it and then it just flies out. She’s acting out because of that right now and yes, people will get involved.” He clarifies, saying, “Dawson’s trying to figure out how to get in touch with her and they’re butting heads. We’re all trying to figure out how best to deal with her to help.”
And finally, there’s Benny Severide. While he and son Kelly might seem like they’ve reached a truce in their acrimonious relationship, Dad has some things up his sleeve and with arevelation in the closing moments of tonight’s episode, his true agenda will become clear to his son, undoing whatever bonds may have been built.
Got all that?
This episode, like every episode of “Chicago Fire,’ moves swiftly and if you think watching all of the intersecting storylines is tricky, try creating them.
To plot out all of the intricate moves, Executive Producer Matt Olmstead explains “We’re lucky. We trust the fates.” But then he reveals the actual process, saying, “In the beginning of the season we map out all the episodes and you kind of light a fuse early on about something and you trust you’re going to find it on the other end. Thus far we’ve been fortunate in finding our way back to where we started. We’ve yet to feel painted into a corner.”
President of Wolf Films and the force behind that show, Dick Wolf, is quick to praise Olmstead and head writers Michael Brandt and Derek Haas, saying, “It’s really a credit to Matt, Michael and Derek that this works. He goes on to describe the methodology to the madness that results in the tightly scripted drama, disclosing, “They have this white board and it has ever character down one side and every episode going across and you look at this and they look like mathematical equations because we have sort of a rule that unless it’s a big story you don’t want it to go more than three episodes but then you’re also arcing things over the course of 22 to 24 episodes.” For clarification he adds, chuckling a bit, “It’s like literally rubbing your stomach and head at the same time, and patting yourself on the ass.”
With that 'power move' in mind, sit down, strap in and get ready for tonight’s complex and compelling episode of “Chicago Fire.”
“Chicago Fire” airs at 10/9c on NBC.