TV Review: Chicago Fire Season 2 Episode 10 "Not Like This"

Not Like This had some heavy lifting to do. With the McLeod cliffhanger that this episode would be their last shift, they had to realistically find a way to get rid of her. I think Chicago Fire achieved that tonight.

The series of events were set up well. Bringing the kid back Severide saved in "Joyriding" to get signatures was a nice touch and nice way of intertwining stories. It helps to give the show a more serialized feel, rather than one and done guest stars. That being said, I must admit I overshot my evaluation of Isabella and her usefulness.

Armed with the fact that McLeod didn't have to close a house and that she was using it to get a large bonus, Isabella proved incredibly useful in using the Senator to help save 51. The innocent question about politicians making closing decisions by the kid was a good way to chain both these building blocks together.

Plus, it was fun to watch Isabella not let McLeod squirm out of signing the papers to save 51.

It's a great sign that Chicago Fire is this unpredictable with characters you think are on their way out, when instead they find a way to still make a deep impact on the show.

The second biggest character story involved Clark and his wife's ex who is trying to collect 2,000 dollars he says he lent her. After a big argument where Clark threatens him, later in the episode Antonio says he's dead. Two .45 caliber bullets from a Marine issued pistol found in him later, and Clark is looking like the main suspect. The gun in his trunk from a few episodes ago provides a great sticky situation.

Certainly he didn't kill him, or at least we the audience would have seen it. But the ex got Clark so wound up, he certainly had the means and motive to do so.

Combine that with the treats in front of eyewitnesses, and you have a lot to try and disprove.

With Antonio saying it was a Marine pistol, I feel like someone is setting him up. He had to go in for questioning, so I guess we will find out when the show comes back from break in 2014.

Now the biggest personal character story revolved around Casey and Dawson. With their romance budding, they declared early in the episode that they would tell everyone at the end of the last shift about them. During the episode, Dawson gets accepted to the Firefighter academy. Initially this idea felt shoehorned into the episode and out of left field. For one, they made it known that Dawson was looking to get into med school. That's what made her jealousy of Haylie so great - it was like a finished version of herself with the guy she liked (Casey). Casey seemed to agree with me, telling Dawson she leaps before she looks sometimes.

Combine that with the awkward "women can't lift as much as men" sexist argument with Herrmann, and I wasn't seeing the purpose of this story idea. However, once Shay forced Dawson's hand into announcing that she was accepted, the purpose became clear. Right after, Casey and Dawson had a tiny spat, where Casey didn't understand why she wasn't going to look at all her options like he suggested.

Dawson took that as a sign of Casey not supporting her. In true Chicago Fire fashion, a call interrupted the conversation.

With a new romance, and a long break coming up for the show, an argument between them was a perfect setup (and indicator) for something really bad to happen to either character.

Chicago Fire did a great job cranking the tension to a remarkable level- newly dating, and now arguing going into a call.

Sure enough, an accident happens. As Casey is doing his best kick return impression carrying a baby in his coat like a football, he gets blindsided by a collapsing beam that might as well of been a member of the kickoff team flying in for a clobbering tackle. Except worse: this beam knocked him in the head. As they got him out, the blood visible through his gas mask gave me chills - even though I know they aren't killing off Casey.

Just like I knew 51 wasn't going to get dismantled. However, I didn't mind knowing that, because it provided for scenes like the ones with Dawson and Severide working on Casey in the ambulance on the way to the ER. Monica Raymund's talents truly shined there as she was struggling to hold in her emotions.

I take the Mills "I'm a Firefighter" speech to mean he's not moving over to Chicago PD. It's a shame, because that could be a great story. However I think since he spearheaded saving the house with Isabella, it makes sense for the character now.

So apparently it is an epidural hematoma for Casey. Undoubtedly scary, as we cut this week right before he goes into surgery. It's all how they handle his recovery. I would have liked to see Severide deal with his surgery he had a little bit more before they threw him into work again.

Here's to hoping Chicago Fire takes the time necessary to do a serious injury like this justice. Maybe give Casey some kind of lasting damage (nothing horrific) from this to make it feel like he didn't completely heal.

They have enough Firefighters to run around, Casey can stay out for awhile. Plus it'll isolate him from everyone except Dawson so they can have a lot of character building moments from this.

A great episode to lead into the break. Again, just my thoughts.

Any potential negatives I brought up here were mostly things I would have liked to see, or things in which I couldn't see their value until after.

When it was all said and done and the dust was settled, this was another stellar episode of Chicago Fire on par with the same great quality I've come to appreciate. See you when it is back in 2014.

Oh, and more Shay + Dawson please. So glad they're back on track. I want to see Shay help Dawson through this ordeal, just like when Dawson saved Shay from her trouble. They're awesome together.

Photo Credit: Seat42F