Chicago Fire Season 6 Episode 21 Review: The Unrivaled Standard

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Sometimes you have to trust other people's faith in you.

And sometimes tragedy just can't be avoided. If you weren't choked up after watching Chicago Fire Season 6 Episode 21, you're made of sterner stuff than me. 

Herrmann's story really took a turn at the end. And in the middle. Watching his plot play out was like an emotional rollercoaster. 

Renee Royce Returns  - Chicago Fire

Colannino started as the guy we all love to hate. Well, not hate. But he was annoying. People who yell at kids sporting events are the worst. Unless you're idiotically paying thousands of dollars with the idea that your child is a future Olympian, relax. 

But then the writers hit us with that backstory. And like Herrmann, who didn't empathize with him? Okay, trying to fix all the mistakes you made with your first kid by overcompensating with the second isn't great parenting, but it's understandable. 

Related: Enjoy UNLIMITED access to thousands of Movies & TV Shows with Amazon Prime Video!

David Eigenberg is usually assigned to comic relief duty or is doling out advice to others. This was a nice change of pace for him. 

It was more effective because he's usually playing the funny man. It exaggerated the grief that we felt with him. The rock bottom of despair doesn't move, just the height from which the character falls. 

It will be interesting to see how this death affects him in the long term. Calannino wasn't a close friend, but they were more than just two guys who worked for the same boss. I expect we'll see more fallout from this tragedy. 

Mouch: I thought you swore off kids sports forever after that hockey fiasco a few years back.
Herrmann: The kids are never the problem. It's the parents.
Sylvie: Do you include yourself in that?

The most exciting story was the push to get Boden appointed commissioner. 

The idea of Kelly and Severide going around and campaigning for their chief was very sweet. They were (mostly) purely motivated, and I loved watching them talk to different people about why he'd be a good pick. 

But the mayor's aide may have a good point. I'm not sure that taking down a slum lord running an arson ring is equitable experience for running a 5,100 person organization. 

Firefighter: Even if we get Boden's name out there, how do we know he'll make the kind of deals he needs to land the job?
Severide: He probably won't. It's just not in his blood. But if you ask me, that's exactly the kind of guy the department needs.

Grizz putting his hat in the ring is going to make things trickier. And not just because that guy will play dirty and use every single advantage upon which he can seize. 

Here's a question for you: Do we, the audience, really want Boden to get the job?

He could be great at it, but where would that leave our story? Grizz moving up to Commissioner and Boden replacing him as previously planned really makes the most sense. 

The thing is, people in this city respect you. And it's because of something you taught us since day one. You get respect not just by earning it, but by giving it. It's why we would follow you anywhere and why we think others would too. I know you've been feeling like you don't have anything left to teach us, but I'm telling 'ya, you do. And you should be teaching from a higher perch, where every firefighter in Chicago can benefit from it.

Matt

While most of the stories were touching and heartfelt and utterly satisfying, I was disappointed with the much-hyped Return of Renee.

I wasn't expecting it to be the drama fest as it was promoted as, of course. Anytime something is super hyped in the #OneChicago world, it turns out to be one giant nothing burger. 

But I was expecting ... more. 

So I'm thinking, who is the smartest, most knowledgeable firefighter with just enough rugged good looks who could sway a jury?

Renee

There weren't any interactions to justify Stella's insecurity or Gabby and Sylvie's flirtations with pettiness. And while we want our characters to have flaws, jealous cattiness is below the tenor of the show. 

The big problem with Renee's reappearance is that it felt like a cheap publicity stunt set to coincide with her new NBC show, Reverie, from the producer of Extant. It kinda plays into that oh, so messed up comment from Mama Severide ... like, just barely.

The situation with Renee had nothing to do with Kelly's lousy behavior, though. It's just a sad incident where a woman made a mistake and then made another, bigger mess trying to fix it. 

Related: Extant Canceled After Two Seasons

Am I the only one not feeling Joe and Sylvie? 

They don't have a ton of chemistry, although there is a spark there; that's not my issue. I think their friendship and respect for each other is more important than continually being hot for each other anyway. 

But they still have all the same issues as they did before. If that was a barrier to starting up again with Antonio, why should it work for Brett with Joe?

Look, I hate it when you get mad at me. But just for the record, I hate it even more when you don't.

Joe [to Sylvie]

I loved Capp's eager interest in the soap opera happening at Chez Crotis, but I have to wonder if risking the roommate dynamic is worth it. 

It feels like they're both idealizing each other. They may live together, but a roommate is an entirely different relationship than a boyfriend. They need to ask Stella about that. 

Unfortunately for me and my ambivalence, this relationship is going to happen. It's hurtling towards us like an express train, for better or worse. 

Related: NBC Cheat Sheet: What Will Be Renewed?

What was your take on "The Unrivaled Standard"? Does Boden have what it takes to become Fire Commissioner or should he manage his expectations?

What do you think Renee is really doing? Will Joe ever act on his feelings for Sylvie, or will Capp let the cat out of the bag? 

Share your thoughts and insights in the comments section below! And remember, you can watch Chicago Fire online with us anytime.

The Unrivaled Standard Review

Editor Rating: 3.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (43 Votes)

Elizabeth Harlow was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She left the organization in October 2018.

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Chicago Fire Season 6 Episode 21 Quotes

So I'm thinking, who is the smartest, most knowledgeable firefighter with just enough rugged good looks who could sway a jury?

Renee

Mouch: I thought you swore off kids sports forever after that hockey fiasco a few years back.
Herrmann: The kids are never the problem. It's the parents.
Sylvie: Do you include yourself in that?