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Chicago Fire Season 8 Episode 5 recap: Stella Kidd is our fearless leader

Chicago Fire Season 8 Episode 5 still
Jesse Spencer as Matthew Casey and Taylor Kinney as Lt. Kelly Severide in Chicago Fire Season 8 Episode 5. Pic credit: Adrian Burrows/NBC

Recap of Chicago Fire Season 8 Episode 5, Buckle Up

Last night’s Chicago Fire was the calm we needed after the rollercoaster of emotions this season has been so far.

After dealing with Otis’ very sudden death — which I’m still not over and will sob about until the end of the season — the emotional fallout of the tragic events in the mattress factory; Brett leaving (and thankfully coming back to 51 sooner rather than later), and a flesh-eating bacteria terrorizing the city, we definitely needed an episode to just take a deep breath and just focus more on the human aspects of the firefighters and paramedics of 51.

The fifth installment of Season 8, titled “Buckle Up”, had a very back to basics feel to it and honestly? I could not have been happier. My poor heart can’t take all the emotional whiplash we have all been through in the past four episodes, so this change of pace was more than welcome. But let’s break this baby down, shall we?

Detective Severide 

I’ll be honest and say I have a love/hate thing about Severide deciding to go rogue and investigate stuff on his own. I love it because he’s so tenacious and badass and determined to solve these cases and help people that it just endears him even more to me. 

But I hate it because Severide has an obsessive streak to his personality, so when things like this happen, he tends to get a one-track mind and focus all of his energy on it, with little to no regard for his own safety. Need I remind you of how obsessed he was with Benny’s old case in late Season 7? I think not.

At least this time everything turned out okay and it was a fairly easy case. When the 51 crew gets two different calls on bad car accidents on the same day, they realize someone is causing them on purpose in order to profit from the damaged cars at an impound lot. On the second accident, however, the guy causing them wasn’t so lucky and got badly injured. 

When Casey and Severide realize what’s going on, Kelly gets into detective mode and quickly investigates and gets the guy to confess what was really happening and how the tow truck guy that “helped” in the first accident had actually hired him to cause the whole thing. Once Severide has everything in place, he calls Jay Halstead to the scene and delivers the bad guys to the police with a big red bow. We stan one firefighter slash detective.

But what I really, really loved was watching Severide being the ultimate supportive boyfriend. Being in love has worked wonders for our Lieutenant, and we just love seeing Kelly happy, okay? After all he’s been through these past few seasons, he deserves it.

And that brings us to the other major plot in “Buckle Up”.

Stella Kidd is a badass leader

Stella is probably my favorite character at the moment, and I just love how she’s usually this confident, badass firefighter, who manages to balance her personal life with her life at 51, plus her gig at Molly’s. That and Miranda Rae Mayo has chemistry with a wall if she wants to, so whoever she’s sharing a scene with, you can bet your ass she’ll thrive.

That being said, Chief Boden hand-picking her to a Firefighter Leadership conference got her all kinds of nervous and terrified that she would be in way over her head. She’s been preparing for this for the past couple of episodes, but by the time Kelly sees her off, she’s a pile of nerves.

And with good reason. After all, when she gets there, she quickly finds out two things: one, she is one of the only two women in the entire event; and two, they are all ranking officers and she’s just a regular firefighter. So she’s obviously freaking out, feeling entirely out of place and out of her element, and thinking she’s going to fail the whole thing, and that Chief Boden just made a colossal mistake when he chose her instead of Severide, Casey or Herrmann.

But with an injection of confidence from her man Severide — and can we please talk how Supportive!Kelly is the best Kelly ever? — she finally breaks through her fears and makes a bold move during one of the drills, which earns her the admiration and support of all the officers there, including the Chief who was running the whole thing.

We later find out that Chief Boden pushed for her to represent 51 and the Chief running the event agrees with Boden’s assessment: Kidd definitely has a lot of potential. And I really, really hope this means that this is just the start of Stella’s road to becoming a lieutenant this season.

She deserves it and it would be amazing to see a woman in a position of power at Firehouse 51. Don’t get me wrong, I love our boys, but Stella would kick some serious ass as a Lieutenant.

Other highlights

  • Brett and the whole Burn Notice extravaganza was absolutely hilarious. I’ve always liked her, but it feels that Kara Killmer has been imbuing Sylvie with more confidence since last season, and I just love seeing her in her element and confident in what she does and what she knows.

    But what I really, really love about Brett is that she’s a total nerd and she’s not afraid to show that side of hers to anyone. Taking charge of Mouch’s measly newsletter and turning it into a full-fledged newspaper? Classic Brett. That entire subplot was as amazing as it was hilarious, and such a breath of fresh air after such tense and emotional episodes these past few weeks.

  • Joe and Chloe! I’m so, so happy that Brett decided to meddle because our boy Joe is not only back together with Chloe, but he actually proposed. Oh, I love love. Between Joe and Chloe, and Kidd and Severide, my heart is so full after this episode.

Chicago Fire airs every Wednesday at 9/8c on NBC.

Brazilian journalist. Crazy about TV. Currently in love with DC and Marvel superheroes, Chicago's finest, clone conspiracies and dystopian futures. You can reach her at... read more

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