TV Review: Chicago Fire Season 2 Episode 19 "A Heavy Weight"

Chicago Fire returned tonight dealing with the suicide of one of their own.

When a character commits suicide on a TV show, typically it will be at least a little bit shocking, leaving the next episode dealing with that aftermath, with each character reacting a little differently.

This certainly was the case with Chicago Fire.

TV shows often fall into the trap of devoting too much of that episode to the suicide, which drowns the audience in melodrama. For example, if Dawson went to Jones' dad this episode and had a screaming match. That would have been overkill.

Chicago Fire did the right thing and avoided that by having calls still, as well as some humorous moments.

However, like I said, it followed a typical formula of every character having somewhat predictable reactions. Predictable in a good way, of course.

Boden, being the leader, tries to make the squad understand that their shocked reaction is expected, seeings how they plan in the back of their mind to lose fellow firefighters in fires, not to suicide. He also says that they need to learn the signs better to help prevent what happened to Jones in the future.

He also gets a case of the living life with no regrets moment that happens after tragedy, and seeks out his ex-girlfriend Donna who he abruptly ended things with.

Turns out she's pregnant, so I guess we will see his reaction to that later. I think it's a nice wrinkle for a guy who claims he leaves relationships before they get serious.

The firefighter Severide helped returned tonight with a nice arc.

Severide, who was already clouded by his injury past, was even more eager to help him out because he needed to look himself in the mirror and say he tried his best, unlike with Jones.

Getting a few former Firefighters on his squad to come visit the guy was a nice Chicago Fire-esque touch.

Mills, who was the last candidate before Jones, played the blame game a little as he was able to relate to the harsh realities of the job.

This upsets Herrmann, who thinks Mills is trying to pin the suicide on someone.

The character who is still searching for answers in this episode is Dawson, after she is given a note from Jones telling her never let anything stand in her way. With the only clue being depression, Dawson fiercely defends Jones, perhaps being tragically reminded what it's like wanting to be a firefighter when no one else wants you to.

As much as I'd rather see Dawson pursue med school, this was a cool moment. Shay, given her past experience with suicide, takes on Clarke's old role and advises Dawson of the dangers of trying to rationalize an irrational act.

Speaking of Clarke, he is written off the show tonight after it is revealed he became a Lieutenant. I guess they realized they were juggling too many balls in the air. Still a strange episode to write him off.

Dawson has two more wrinkles throughout this episode. After discussing the inevitable opening for a candidate on 51, Boden drops the bombshell that Dawson won't be able to be a Firefighter and work at 51 under Casey because they're dating - setting up an ultimate choice between Casey and her dream of being a Firefighter.

That is amplified by Casey's reaction to the suicide, which is picking out a ring to propose. He recruits Shay on a ring finger measuring mission, which is where a lot of the humor in this episode comes from.

All in all, this episode worked for me. It didn't beat the suicide drum to death, it properly dealt with the serious subject matter in a very Chicago Fire way.

Was it the most powerful Chicago Fire episode ever? Not in my opinion. But when an episode does what you mostly expected it to do as well as this episode did, that's really all you can ask for.

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