As a first time viewer of Chicago Fire with no prior knowledge of the series, it was surprisingly easy to jump right in and care for these characters after watching Chicago Fire Season 7 Episode 18.
At the tail end of the Chicago Fire Season 7, the relationships are holding strong, the characters are well developed, and it felt a lot like watching a family deal with the drama that inevitably comes from working one of the most dangerous jobs in a city as volatile as Chicago.
There's some tension right off the bat between the female bartender (moonlighting bartender, come to find out), and Severide, and the heart-eyes are obvious from the jump.
It was pretty clear right away that there was something between these two, but slightly unclear if that was a new something or an old something to be rekindled.
Soon after his precious mug was sold off to a drunken bar patron, Herrmann makes an appearance, and boy does he make an impression.
While the conversation between Herrmann and Boden was slightly maddening (you don't need to scare your kids for them respect you, guys), it established for this first-time viewer that these two care about their families and raising their children right.
Kudos to you guys, even if the philosophy seems a bit misguided.
You're not doing your job as a parent unless your kid is scared to death of you.Hermann
Enter Joe Cruz. Already, someone to be adored, it seems, just by the pure childlike glee that seemed to come over him upon learning that he was getting a commendation.
It always induces a bit of paranoia in these types of shows whenever characters get excited about anything, so naturally, the worst was expected to happen.
This character is a total stranger to me at this point but is endearing already, and his relationship with Sylvie in this episode is downright adorable.
Then we get to the first fire of the episode, and of course, someone is trapped in the house. Things go okay; they contain the fire and rescue the victim, who turns out to be someone from Boden's past, and he honestly seems a bit shaken right from the get-go.
The men of Chicago Fire are apparently just open books when it comes to feeling things for the women around them.
That feeling of paranoia was all too right, wasn't it? Of course, Joe couldn't just get that award without something going wrong and forcing him to question if he even deserves it.
He makes a rookie mistake, and Severide is disappointed, which might be putting it lightly. It's hard to say someone is disappointed in a decision you made when it could've ended up with someone dying. No wonder Joe looks as upset as he does.
But he seems to be (don't know him too well yet) some of the comic relief in this series, which has to be appreciated considering the gravity and intensity of the content otherwise.
Maybe you should ponder that situation for a while, instead of struttin' around here, shaking your ass.Severide
Look, sometimes, we need a little struttin' and ass shaking, Severide. It lightens the mood of having to save people from burning buildings all the time.
Pretty much right after this is when Stella appears again but this time in the firehouse, revealing herself as one of the crew and not just the friendly neighborhood bartender. Definitely not complaining about that, as she is already one that is extremely fun to watch.
Herrmann's quasi-panic attack about that mug is the most precious thing ever, and it's very clear right after this moment that this bean needs to be protected. He attributes all of his luck to a stein with a pupper on it, and that's basically the definition of precious bean.
Enter Jay Halstead. Cue me grinning from ear-to-ear. In a past life, I may or may not have been a huge fan of Linstead (Chicago PD's Erin Lindsay + Jay Halstead = Linstead), so of course, it was great to see a familiar face. If crossovers like this are frequent in the Chicago verse, color me happy.
Joe, you don't have to feel guilty about receiving this award, but of course, you're going to. That's how these things work. Severide's words are weighing heavy on him as he takes the letter from Halstead, and then he lies to his pals about what the letter even is!
Be proud of yourself, Joe. You earned it, despite the fact that you made a mistake. The mistake doesn't invalidate (what I'm guessing is) years of hard work and dedication to the people of Chicago.
Jasmine's back to have a chat with Boden and she's really giving off some vibes. This all adds up when they start discussing their past relationship, and then her let's-rekindle-our-high-school-romance eyes start to come out swinging. And then the kiss!
You're already rattling cages, Jasmine. Just ask for help and don't make things complicated.
And then Herrmann's quasi-panic attack turns not-so-quasi, and, as they should, Stella and Brian realize that they need to get that stein back. Poor Herrmann. Y'all wrong for that.
The story takes a turn from here to focus on Boden and Jasmine and things get a little dark. As expected, some shady stuff is going on with this lady and it's very evident to Boden when he shows up at her house and she basically tells him to get lost.
She's got domestic abuse victim written all over her face and Boden can tell, because he's not an idiot.
On the bright side, Stella convinces drunken bar patron to give her back the stein (for a steep fee). Thank goodness. Herrmann deserves to be reunited with his stein, and $100 is a small price to pay for his peace of mind, am I right?
Except, of course, things never go to plan, do they?
Ugh, Mouch. Way to crush the happy ending. Literally.
As expected, Boden doesn't take things with Jasmine at face-value and goes back to her house only to find her being attacked by her own son.
This kid can't be a day over sixteen and he's holding a gun to Boden, clearly not in his right mind. Pretty well placed plot twist, not gonna lie.
One of the best moments of the episodes happens next when Herrmann realizes that losing the stein is not the reason for his so-called bad luck streak.
The relief on Stella and Brian's faces is fantastic, and Herrmann's none the wiser, happily ignorant of the fact that Mouch gave his precious stein a brutal death.
Losing that mug was the best thing that ever happened to this place.Hermann
There's some angst brewing with Severide and Stella that is intriguing, to say the least, and some unboxing of these two's past is in order. But if the conversation between him and Emily is any indication, there's some serious pain and history there.
And then Joe's commendation ceremony. Gotta hand it to these guys, all these firefighting heroes of Chicago are pretty much strangers to me, but this moment may have caused some watery eyes.
Severide comes through with the speech, showing Joe once and for all that he's completely deserving of this award. The look of pride in return on Joe's face is one to remember.
That's what not only makes him a good firefighter, but a good man.Severide
All in all, this episode was entertaining, intriguiging and overall a fun ride. The characters have chemistry that come from years of being together in the trenches, and there is a lot of love and trust that is undeniable. If you're like me and you're new around here, don't fret, you can watch Chicago Fire online along with me!
As a new viewer, it created excitement for me to go back to the beginning and understand the origins and how these relationships came to be.
And, much to the dismay of loyal fans, I've got until April 24 to catch up.