Chicago Fire Season 5 Episode 21 recap: The calm before the storm?

Severide (Taylor Kinney) and Kannel (Kamal Angelo Boden) talk before a call on Chicago Fire

Last night’s Chicago Fire was a bridge. It was that kind of pre-finale episode that sets everything in motion, so that next week all hell will break loose. And while it may have been a bridge, it was almost too slow, too calm.

Maybe it was because the main focus of the episode were secondary characters, but it felt like the episode kind of dragged. Cruz has been charged with conduct unbecoming due to the incident at the bar he used to work at and was fired from last week.

The guy he was trying to remove from the premises saw his CFD tattoo and is now suing the department for it.

So Cruz is desperate throughout the episode, because Chief Boden told him that, at best, he will get a slap on the wrist; at worst, he could get fired from the CFD because of this. But Mouch tells him not to worry, that he’s totally got this.

He would talk to his buddy in the legal department and the guy would make those charges go away. That there was nothing to it and that Joe was worrying himself sick over nothing.

But as the episode went on, things just got worse and worse, especially because Mouch doesn’t seem to be on top of his game anymore.

He didn’t know his buddy had retired and that a new guy was now calling the shots in the legal department; he didn’t know what the procedure for these kinds of cases was anymore and he even dropped the ball during a rescue, so things were not going well for him either.

The fact that an old friend of his told him at the beginning of the episode that, maybe, it was time for him to retire didn’t help at all.

So Cruz ended up getting a 60-day suspension without pay, which could not have happened at a worst time.

He had already been fired from the bouncer gig at the club after that incident, and now sixty days without pay would completely destroy him.

Also, I sure as hell hope they’re not trying to replace Cruz with Kannell. I like the new guy just fine, but Joe has seniority and I like him a lot more.

Casey (Jesse Spencer) tries to explain to an opposing alderman the details of his proposal

Elsewhere, Casey’s political ideas are not going so well either. In fact, it feels like everything went wrong for everyone in this episode.

Matt was trying to pass a bill that would support first responders, but another alderman was completely destroying his ideas, telling the media that the only reason Casey wanted to pass that bill was for his own personal gain and of his fellow firefighters.

Poor Casey gets into a meeting with the guy, explains in detail what that bill is all about, but the bastard goes behind his back basically ends any possibility of support he might have from the other aldermen.

Meanwhile, Severide is trying to work through his grief and keeps telling everyone he’s fine. And he tries to prove that by throwing himself into work and demanding the absolute best of everyone.

It’s Kannell’s first shift with Squad 3, so Severide is on him for the entire shift. In the end, they kind of bond over their own losses and I think, maybe, Kannell can be a great support buddy for Kelly at the moment, so he doesn’t derail like that last time with Shay.

Finally, the best storyline of the night was definitely Papa Dawson showing up at the Firehouse. It’s been a while since we’ve last had a good Dawson drama and I am certainly intrigued by how they are going to handle this storyline with her father.

The last time we saw him, he had announced that he and Gabby’s mom were getting a divorce – in the middle of their anniversary party, no less — and Gabby did not take it well.

So it seems that she hadn’t talked to him in a while when he seeks her out at work. It takes the entire episode, but we finally find out what’s going on with him and he gets blindingly drunk at Molly’s and Herrmann has to call Dawson in to drive her father home.

Papa Dawson is not doing so well after the divorce. He confesses that his wife was the one who knew how to handle the house and the bills and that, now that he is alone, he has already spent all his retirement money and is up to his eyeballs in debt.

Also, he doesn’t have any money to pay rent on his new place, so the landlord wants to evict him. Gabby obviously tells him that he’s still got her and that she wouldn’t leave him alone to fend for himself.

Now, I’m interested to see how this is going to play out and if the guy he owes money to will come after him. This could be a great hook for a crossover with PD, but I think we’re out of time this season already.

Chicago Fire: Other things to note

1. I absolutely love the friendship between Kidd and Severide. Whether that turns into something romantic or not, they have this great chemistry and they genuinely care about each other. Not to mention, Kidd is a great influence on him, so I am definitely on board with whatever they decide to do with them – as long as they remain at least friends.

2. It was so good to see those quiet Dawsey moments. They have been together for so long now, that sometimes their scenes are just kind of thrown to the backburner, but I really loved last night’s little moments. I missed seeing them together.

3. And last, but definitely not least, have you guys seen the promo for the finale next week? It looks so intense and absolutely amazing! Check it out…

Chicago Fire airs every Tuesday at 10/9c on NBC.

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