Chicago Fire Review: Saying Goodbye

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"It Ain't Easy" reintroduced the suspected teenage arsonist we met in "Two Families," and this time the firehouse wasn't quite as welcoming.

If there's one thing we've learned about these men and women, it's that that they look out for their own first. If Ernie started the fire that moderately injured Vargas' lungs, you knew he was going to be in for a world of hurt.

It turned out that the injury to Vargas may have saved his life, making it kind of hard to be angry at the person who started it. After an examination, they discovered he was well on his way to emphysema, continuing the lifestyle of a firefighter with all the dangers of inhaling smoke and other toxins would only speed up the ride to end his life. Vargas had to retire.

As always, I teared up. This time it was when they gave him a goodbye gift of his helmet, signed by the entire house. 

Dawson & Severide

Sarah Shahi debuted this week. After being rescued by Kelly, she dropped by the firehouse to give him some chocolates and ask him to lunch. Renee Royce was a forward woman, for sure, but Kelly was dead wrong in his assessment that she was attracted to him because he rescued her. Is Kelly the hottest drug addled character on television with salt and pepper hair? He has my vote. I think he had her's as well.

Could Kelly getting involved with Renee finally be the catalyst to get him out of his drug cycle? Maybe caring for someone other than himself will make him realize he has something to lose, and that his life is worth saving. As it stands, I don't think he cares enough about his life stop his habit and get the help he needs. 

With Vargas having a hard time leaving the house, quite literally - he came back immediately after he retired and didn't leave - Kelly made himself even more irresistible to Renee by inviting Vargas to their dinner. There are good things coming for Severide. I can feel it.

Vargas, on the other hand, was completely lost. Dawson and Casey were having their big moment after Casey helped her with some home repairs and they were ready to share dinner, listening to Aimee Mann's "Save Me" when Casey got the call. Vargas was on the ledge, contemplating suicide. He had nothing else and didn't know what to do. My grandfather was a fire commissioner. The fighters never left the job. They may have retired, but they were always in the game. Time will tell how involved Vargas stays with House 51.

Tonight was a night of unfinished stories. Boden didn't give up on Ernie, and yet we're no closer to understanding what's going on in his life. My guess is he was kidnapped or something and is living with this "Uncle Ray" who served time for arson. I'm feeling pretty good that Ernie is a victim of some sort and Boden's on the right track.

We also had Cruz's brother Leon, deeper in gang territory than ever. He was jailed and bonded out, but Cruz wasn't satisfied. He paid a visit to the dudes in control, but even threats didn't keep Leon safe. He landed at Joe's feet after being tossed out of a car, battered and bloodied. Will the rest of the firehouse come to his aid like they did for Casey when he was being terrorized by Voight?

So much was left up in the air, but a lot was moved along, as well.

Next week will be the mid-season finale with a promise that the last two minutes will take our breath away. Since Chicago Fire comes close to doing that every week, I can't even imagine what's in store. In the meantime, check out the Chicago Fire quotes, add your own if they were missed and drop your comments on the episode below.


Editor Rating: 4.2 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (54 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


The Captain can't act....kill him off, bring someone else in or promote one of the studs. Its hard to watch!


Great episode yet again but I really want Severide to finally get busted about his injury. Hopefully it happens next week. It has been getting too out of hand and so many people know about it so he should get it checked out.
Also, have we now dropped Mills's sister as a possible love interest for Kelly? It seemed like that was where we were heading a couple of weeks ago. I would still love to see that happen. Also, I'm loving the possible love triangle but only if it ends with Mills and Dawson together. She needs to stop pining over Casey and realise that it's Mills.


@Blu - I saw Renee as someone who was tired of the dating scene and high schoolish tactics and just decided to GO FOR IT and ask the Super Hot Fireman out!!! (and can we really blame her?) I hope she gets Kelly to fix his shoulder!!
Awesome episode - kinda confused about Vargas - especially when someone suggested he can now ride Harleys with his brother (who moved to Phoenix or somewhere) - obviously nothing is holding him in Chicago - MOVE TOO!!


I just started watching this show two weeks ago and I am already hooked! What a great group of people they have at Engine 51! Can't wait for the finale and the beginning of the next season. Great Review Carissa, as always.


LOVED IT....i felt bad for VARGUS....was glad to see the gang there for him....liked that kelly invited him to dinner with him & his date...i HOPE no one gets killed or seriously HURT, before kelly gets that shoulder WORKED ON.....this is a 5 STAR show and eppy.....and KELLY SEVERIDE is MY reason for watching this show. alisa


Loved all the Casey/Dawson moments! Mills seems more like a little brother than a love interest for Dawson... at least to me. Felt so bad Vargas, I hope there is a way to keep him around. Glad the Chief is getting more screen time!


★★★★☆TV Sarah Shahi back on the peacock. Life.ᵔ.ᵔ
@Blu agree Renee definitely suspicious. @rechilders85 Agree Boden really showed why he holds the title of Chief. Vargas SL was great TV. Alot of character and story development this episode. Also letting the urgency build without resolution is brave. I like that ,and hats off to the writers. Next week looks amazing. Can't wait. .


Great episode. All season I was wondering what would happen to Vargas because they seemed to go out of their way to show him frequently and yet not give him anything significant. Seemed like such a sweet guy...I felt so bad for him. I didn't like the Renee girl and how forward she was. She has me suspicious! The way she latched onto Kelley even the way her "accident "happened, I feel like there is some sort of set up or something. I didn't get great feelings from her at all. I think the opposite, him getting involved would make matters worse with him accepting his injury.
Casey and Dawson. So its officially a love triangle or a square when adding his fiancee and Mills. Awkward. I love the chief. He truly cares about his people and people in general. He's on the right path with this kid apparently. Uncle Ray must be responsible for the fires. This show gives me fuzzies and has me wanting to chill out in a firehouse somewhere.


I really like this show, and I am glad that they decided to stick with it and give it a full season. I'm thinking that maybe I missed something based on the review - I thought that Vargas was diagnosed with the COPD as a result of the injury he received (breathing in Magnesium will do that to you!), not that they found the condition as a result of the injury... Anyway, other than that, I like the introduction of Renee - she seems like she could be a strong character and I hope she has some influence in this Kelly and his shoulder situation. Also like Dawson with Mills, not Casey - they don't seem to have any chemistry as fas as I'm concerned. She just gives him puppy dog eyes and moons over him a lot. Also, never go to the gang about your brother - I could see that coming a mile away. Can't wait for next week though.


Since us Sunday pay cablers are slumming on commercial channels by Wed ......Chicago Fire has been a good watch in Wed nights ....First fire dept show that makes It kinda real on the fire sites ....

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Chicago Fire Season 1 Episode 9 Quotes

Look at you, all lit up light a Christmas tree.


Kelly: Miss Royce?
Renee: Yes?
Kelly: There's a well known phenomenon where people who have been rescued become attracted to the men that help them. Believe me, this will wear off in 30 minutes, tops.