Chicago Fire Season 8 Episode 12 recap: The Nick Porter of it all

Jesse Spencer as Matthew Casey. Taylor Kinney as Kelly Severide on Chicago Fire. Pic credit: Adrian Burrows/NBC

This week’s Chicago Fire had all the elements that make this show great. We had three parallel plots, and each of them served to round out this episode with all the aspects of a perfect night with our favorite firefighters and paramedics.

“And Then Nick Porter Happened” was as funny and dramatic as it was suspenseful — but I do admit it was mostly just funny and incredibly fun.

Starting with Stella trying to plan a surprise birthday trip for Kelly — I ship them so hard, guys. I love that after everything they’ve been through, they are the healthiest, happiest ship in this show.

Probably in the entire franchise, to be honest — and of course, everything goes terribly, hilariously wrong.

And then the school fire alarm thing had such a surprising plot twist in the end. I was one hundred percent sure that that headmaster guy was hiding something nefarious in the school basement, like a meth lab or something.

I really loved how that story was handled and how all the subplots in season 8, episode 12, “And Then Nick Porter Happened,” were all well-balanced throughout the episode.

That said, let’s dive into this, shall we?

Chicago Fire: The Nick Porter element

Look, I’ll be the first to say that everything about this felt very bittersweet. My heart is still very much shattered in a million pieces after Otis’ unexpected death, and I completely understand the dilemma Sylvie and Joe were in.

Rent is starting to get too expensive, but how do you rent out that room without feeling they’re somehow replacing Otis?

So when Mouch suggests his buddy Nick Porter needs a place to stay, and he’d be happy to take it, they finally give in and say yes to someone else taking Otis’ room.

But of course – of course – things do not go as planned, and Nick Porter turned out to be even more of a giant pain in the butt than we had all thought.

Because he’s going through a divorce and he’s in that “I hate my wife, but I love her and miss her so much” phase, the little time he spends in their apartment is a living hell for Joe and Sylvie.

From deciding he’s the one commandeering the TV, to drinking at 7 a.m. in the living room in his underwear, to forcing them to listen to him going on and on about his wife and showing pictures of her.

Joe and Sylvie decide they need Nick Porter to get the hell out of their apartment — and they need it now.

It takes Sylvie talking to Porter’s wife and begging her to take him back for the Nick Porter nightmare to end for them.

However, what I didn’t particularly like was how Foster made passive-aggressive remarks at Sylvie about renting the room to Porter. I get that she was struggling with her own rent, and she didn’t feel it was her place to suggest they rent the room to her, but I didn’t like the way she went about it.

In fact, I haven’t been super happy about how they’re writing this character for a couple of episodes now. And this is coming from someone who loves Emily Foster.

But in the end, Nick Porter was out, Foster moved in, and all was well.

The Chicago Fire school fire alarm drama

Again, I loved how they handled this plot. Firehouse 51 started to receive multiple calls about a school fire alarm going off, only for it to end up being a false alarm every time.

Casey and Severide started to get pissed about it — for a good reason, as it delayed an actual emergency that left a guy in critical condition because they had been busy going to yet another false alarm.

So they decided to investigate, but the private school headmaster stonewalled them every single time. I honestly thought the show was going to reveal he was a skeevy dude with a meth lab in the school basement or something.

But this story had one hell of a plot twist in the end. When they got the call for the third time, Casey and Severide locked down the school and made the team spread out to find the culprit.

And in the end, they found a little boy named Elijah, who recently transferred from a public school to that private school, and was bullied nonstop.

So in his innocent mind, he thought if he got the school in trouble, his dad would have no choice but to let him go back to his old school and his friends, where he thought he belonged.

That final scene, when he asks what he can do to fix it hit me right in the feels. And I love that Severide and Casey took him to the hospital to see the injured man, so he could give him a get well card, but also see the consequences of his actions.

A great story with a great resolution. This is why I love this show so much.

Other Chicago Fire highlights:

  • I cannot end this recap without mentioning my favorite ship and how adorable it was that Stella was so stressed out trying to plan a surprise trip for Kelly’s birthday. And I love that Herrmann was the one who gave the whole thing away just as Severide was walking into the room. He was so, so touched, and now my babies are moving in together, and all is right in the world. These two are going to be walking down the aisle by this season finale or by the beginning of season 9 at the latest. Mark my words.
  • I love the friendship between Ritter and Gallo. These two are so precious, and the fact that they became fast friends is fantastic.
  • I also love how absolutely chill Ritter is about his sexuality and how they are not making a big deal out of it. It’s so refreshing to see a show — especially a show about firefighters — to treat this as they should: as something completely normal. We’ve had women be open about their sexuality on the show before, but I don’t remember them having a gay male character. And I really, really love how they just gently incorporated this into the story, and it doesn’t define him as a firefighter or as a human being. It just is. And that’s fantastic.

Chicago Fire airs on Wednesdays at 9/8 on NBC.

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