TV Review: Chicago Fire Season 2 Episode 12 "Out With a Bang"

Out With a Bang was immensely satisfying. Let's get into the episode and I will explain.

Out With a Bang puts us in the Firefighter Academy during a test for Dawson and her class. During the test, Dawson sees the other girl cheating with her phone. This is an interesting sticky situation for Dawson.

For one, if word got out to class she ratted on her, it'll look like she's trying to take out the competition. Secondly, the teacher/student relationship already hit a few bumps with Severide and Dawson so it'll be interesting to see this play out.

The girl expressed her interest in Severide before he tried to kick her out, so they'll probably end up dating and make things even more complicated.

The other girl in the class redeems herself by helping Dawson during a seemingly ongoing issue with feeling claustrophobic with her mask on. I've already talked about my opinion of her being in the Fire Academy to begin with, so I hope this manifests itself into something more, and she drops out.

But I doubt it. That part itself played out fine.

Casey's health, much like Severide's last season, continues to diminish after a major injury. They had some subtle (shoving an antagonistic person to the door in a burning building a little too hard), and not so subtle (shoving a guy for no reason in a restaurant) examples of Casey's rage. Dawson is again in a sticky situation after this, when Casey presses her on searching for an apartment together.

That's ultimately heading for a dramatic turn soon. Severide's heart to heart first with Dawson for help then later to Shay was great TV. Here's hoping Casey and Dawson deliver.

There was quite a bit of humor this episode. Whether it was Shay's "going all hetero" speech to Otis, Severide and the chainsaw to Otis asking his sister out, the Mills reporter prank, not a prank, turning into actually a prank or Boden delivering some very porno-like dialogue to a woman who invited him over.

It was fun to watch the range of some of these actors. Mills in particular.

They gave Allison, the paramedic in charge, a sad past with her being a former resident at the hospital who dropped out when her husband died. Naturally designed to make her character less antagonistic.

Sort of indifferent to this without more development besides Shay reaching out and offering her support.

Later on if Allison sticks around, it would be interesting to see her reaction to Shay's desire to have a child (if she still wants one).

This episode saw the conclusion of two stories, which intersected with themselves quite nicely. Set up last episode, the bank actually owns Molly's. Now they need a 10% payment of the total value of the bar to the bank to keep it, and were denied an extension.

Concurrently, Shay is tracked down by the lawyer she was avoiding.

Turns out he is just a trustee, and Darryl has left everything to her. After visiting the apartment where the suicide happened and having some PTSD flashbacks to the dried blood still there, she meets his brother.

Things take an interesting turn when after Shay promises to give everything to the brother, Clark (after seeing proof Darryl was in the navy) does some digging and tells Shay Darryl's brother has been stealing his pension for years.

Que a quick angry rant from the brother to Shay to piss her off just enough, and Shay ends up saving the day by keeping the money and giving it to Molly's and saving the day.

Now, why is this all satisfying? Chicago Fire has been great, as I said, at misdirection and not letting someone like me (who actually has a degree in TV writing) guess where stories are going. However, this episode was different. Many of the stories (humanizing Allison, making Casey worse, giving Shay Darryl's assets when the bar needed money to stay afloat) all had very predictable endings / next scenes to them. And by predictable I mean three words into the scene I knew how the story for the rest of the episode would play out. Now traditionally, that is cause for great concern. But this was just satisfying on every level.

Why? Because after I knew where they were going with a story, I realized it is what I would do with the story if I wrote it. If a story is right, it's right - don't question it or make it more complicated than it needs to be. There is a time for witty misdirection, and there is a time for just great storytelling even if the story isn't unpredictable.

All this goes to show is two things: it's all in the storytelling and execution. Something Chicago Fire has understood since the pilot, and hasn't strayed from since.

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