TV Review: Chicago Fire Season 2 Episode 8 "Rhymes with Shout"

New and familiar faces populated "Rhymes with Shout" tonight.

Two main stories dominated this episode. One revolved around Leon, Cruz's little brother. After witnessing a little girl get gunned down in their neighborhood, Cruz and Leon are informed by Voight and Detective Lindsay (her first introduction as a cast member of the upcoming spin off Chicago PD) that an increase in Leon's former gang in the area was to blame. Voight then becomes typical conniving Voight and threatens to look into the fire that killed Leon's former gang leader Flacco if Cruz didn't let Leon go back into the gang and become a CI. After some kind of terrible advice from Casey who tells him to "trust that he'll make it out on his own this time" (seriously, what?), Cruz is forced to watch as Leon leaves to join the gang again. It was interesting to watch Detective Lindsay use the unfortunate death of their 10 year old neighbor to strong-arm and convince Leon. Their cop unit seems ruthless when it comes to getting what they need to take down the bad guys. It was also great to see the Cruz character get some real meaty stuff to play with.

I'm a little apprehensive with Cruz getting Zoya to marry him to stay in the country. On one hand, it kind of fits his character - he gets passed over a lot by women for other characters on the show when he just wants to pour his energy into a relationship no matter how it happens.

On the other hand, marriage for green card stories have been beaten to death so we will see how this plays out.

If anything, Chicago Fire has earned my respect so I will wait and see how it works out. Whether it is figuring out they rushed into this too fast or happily ever after, it's all in the execution.

One character that I would think is approaching her end is Isabella, who is dating Mills. This episode they went to a black tie event and met a black senator where Mills accused her of using him to make her look good because of his race.

Since Mouch's election is over, the only thing tying her to the show is her relationship with Mills - I don't think her friendship with Dawson is strong enough to keep her around if she breaks up with him.

I don't think she's overstepped her welcome yet, but unless she's folded somehow wonderfully into the cast for the future, let's hope she's phased out at the appropriate time.

One story from the previous episode I was eager to see unfold was Severide's half-sister Katie, from one of Benny's old marriages. After this episode, it seemed like she had a good head on her shoulders despite the fact all her family had deserted her - she had a steady job and a future goal of opening her own catering company. However after being invited to cook for the firehouse by Severide and not showing up, it was clear that she had some trust issues to say the least. Things were left with Severide giving her space and telling her that he's not Benny.

I kind of like an ambiguous ending here. It puts Katie in a space where if they need to put her on the back burner for now and deal with other stories, they can do that.

But it also keeps her ready and available to have more story with Severide if and when they think of the next great step in their relationship to become closer brother and sister.

I bring up this idea because it is looking more and more likely like Severide will play a major role in dealing with Shay's downward spiral. She was absent for most of the episode, explaining in the beginning that she has transferred out of 51. We later found out that Devon had been given a key to Shay, Otis and Servide's place - and robbed it of everything.

There was a strong piece of bookends written here with Devon and Otis discussing a Battlestar Galactica helmet in the beginning and then Otis noticing it was gone. It was a nice restrained way to bring up Devon's name as the culprit before actually bringing it up when Shay was crying.

It was a bit of a hairpin turn, but sometimes that is okay. Like Cruz proposing to Zoya, we will wait and see why Devon decided to rob her girlfriend and her two roommates.

Now the other main story this episode was Casey and Dawson hooking up. To do it in one episode was a huge task, but I think it worked out here. Things started off not on the same page between the two of them, with Casey wanting to try and Dawson telling him that they've been down that road before. Of course there was a call that directly involved them both - where Casey had to cover Dawson from flames that erupted from a smashed car.

Monica Raymund stole that scene, saying everything she needed to say with her facial reaction to Casey saving her afterwards without actually having to say it. Shay not being there helped show how after her, Casey was the person that Dawson confided in the most.

The simple thank you she gave was very genuine.

I liked the slow piano score used when they discussed their relationship as well - it was sweet and not melodramatic. It seems like it'll be a recurring score for emotional interpersonal moments, which I also like.

The final move to put Casey and Dawson on the same track was Dawson telling Shay's (temporary) replacement that she's taken. Now when you read that, it doesn't mean much. But it was all in the subtlety of the scene and how it was delivered. Dawson almost blurted it out, and her facial expression made it seem like she was thinking "did I just say that?".

If my interpretation of that is right, the scene landed true to me. Sometimes you can convince yourself and convince yourself you feel a certain way about something, until you finally say what you really feel out loud.

That was the moment where she realized she may still have feelings.

My same track metaphor works nicely seeings how the last scene involved Dawson getting dressed up presumably to go see Casey, and opening her door only to find Casey waiting there before they kiss and the episode faded to black.

Now have I seen dramas where the main characters don't all hook up with each other (Mills/Dawson/Casey, etc)? Of course. But I can't be biased there - Chicago Fire isn't one of those shows. It's the procedural format - doesn't matter if we're in a firehouse, police station or hospital - characters will hook up with other multiple main characters. I love a good romance as much as any other form of drama or tension. If there ever was a long term couple that was waiting to hook up, it was Dawson and Casey - it's no surprise Chicago Fire has already put them together.

They've been fearless in their storytelling up until now. Jesse Spencer and Monica Raymund are two of the show's strongest actors and have undeniable chemistry with each other. So much so that when it was hinted at and then abandoned for a Dawson/Mills story, it cast a giant shadow over that relationship.

Just like the advanced TV viewer knew Boden wasn't going to retire, they also knew Dawson and Mills wouldn't last.

Now, that's not to say they didn't do a great job of tying up that romance and entering this one - they did. That's just the nature of the beast with this type of drama storytelling.

Great episode as always. I'm looking forward to more Katie/Severide development down the line, as well as Shay's inevitable personal demise and reconciliation with 51, especially with Dawson and Severide.

Photo Credit: ChicagoFirePD