TV Review: Chicago Fire Season 2 Episode 16 "A Rocket Blasting Off"

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Chicago Fire is back.

The bulk of this episode deals with the ongoing mystery of what happened to Keeler as well as whether or not Severide and the crew had anything to do with it.

This of course allows for more cross-pollination of characters between Chicago PD and Chicago Fire. Voight questions Severide at the top of the episode, who claims he was home and Shay was out during the time period Keeler disappeared. Naturally, Voight warns him he's going to need a better alibi than that if he wants to not be considered a suspect.

Otis is grilled by Lindsay, who says he was drinking by the lake. He later goes to Cruz and asks him to lie and say they were together.

Not sure how that would have helped if Otis already told Lindsay he was alone drinking by the lake. I get the idea though.

The question of whether or not someone on Chicago Fire had something to do with Keeler disappearing took a turn out of left field when Severide's father Benny showed up. After meeting with Voight, it is understood that Benny had something to do with it, and that they will end up sweeping it under the rug. Again, Chicago Fire is great at restrained writing.

Communicating all this with just a "what now?" from Benny was great. The more restrained = the more tension in a scene because it is more realistic.

Imagine trying to write that scene with Benny saying something like "Voight I couldn't stand having Keeler walk around free after what he did to my daughter so I had him killed." Barf. What a nightmare.

The story ends with Severide telling Otis Keeler is gone, leaving Otis to stare suspiciously at Severide walking away in the bar.

I like that the story is for the most part wrapped up, but that there is a little loose end left over with Otis which they can explore if they feel like it.

Dawson and Herrmann were at the center of the side character stories this week. Herrmann for his 20th anniversary with his wife announced he's getting a vasectomy. Naturally, the group found this to be an odd choice. After a few scenes of the group doubting the result of this and reminding Herrmann of his track record with bold ideas, the story took some surprising turns.

After a sweet moment reflecting with Mouch, Herrmann's wife ended up loving it at the surprise party at Molly's. It was the right choice.

Yes, Herrmann is a man with bold ideas who sometimes leaps before he looks. But he is also a human being who knows his wife better than anyone on the squad.

At the same vasectomy party, Dawson celebrates with a tapas party with her family.

She endures more sexism as she tries to register for the physical exam with the academy again after failing the first time.

I of course am not fond of her still trying to be a firefighter, but it was a sweet moment when she realized Casey called in a favor to get her registered.

Jones found herself dealing with sexism as well, after she gives Herrmann a joke cake for his vasectomy. Someone (it's implied that it's Connie) filed a formal complaint anonymously citing a hostile work environment. The fact that they use the cake later at Molly's only goes to show how rough Jones has it at 51.

Her father gives orders to Boden and Casey to find a reason to get her kicked out so she can take the job he has lined up for her outside of a squad.

Besides fanning the flames of an old argument between Dawson and Casey, it is interesting they put a potential ticking clock on Jones.

It'll be interesting as well to see if Dawson tips Jones off, despite Jones having cheated her way into the squad.

My final thought this episode had to do with the ambulance call. With an average of roughly 3 calls per episode, I don't put much thought into them. They are all well done, but most of them end with nothing changing the narrative for the characters. However, sometimes that happens and yet I am still blown away by it.

That happened with the ambulance call this week - Shay and Dawson respond to a gunshot victim and are chased by the shooters. The radio helps them escape by directing them to a safe location until the cops show.

It all felt like a mini action movie - very cool.

Chicago Fire seems to have for the most part wiped the story plate clean for now. I look forward to seeing what story emerges next episode.

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