Chicago Fire Season 8, Episode 8 recap: Every second counts

Chicago Fire Season 8, Episode 8 recap
CHICAGO FIRE “Seeing Is Believing” — David Eigenberg as Christopher Herrmann. Pic credit: Adrian Burrows/NBC

There’s so much to unpack about last night’s Chicago Fire that I don’t even know where to start. In an episode that made me publicly cry at the airport while I waited for my flight, this week’s Seeing Is Believing had so many subplots that it almost felt we would run out of time before they could wrap everything up.

However, that doesn’t mean it was a cluttered episode. On the contrary, it worked. Chicago Fire Season 8, Episode 8, had Herrmann as the main star, and let me tell you, he was relentless in his pursuit of justice.

Every second counts and Christopher Herrmann will make sure of it

I love Herrmann, man. I really do. He’s like the papa bear of Firehouse 51, always looking out for everyone. So when Engine 51 responds to a call where a woman had 25% of her body burned due to a fire that could’ve been prevented, Herrmann makes it his mission to get to the bottom of it.

It turns out that she had left a candle burning, and some embers fell on the couch. In the 30 seconds it took her to walk to the kitchen to get a fire extinguisher, her place was suddenly up in flames.

Herrmann thought it was suspicious, so he decided to stick around and investigate it. To his surprise, the company that made the couch was the same that made those mattresses in that factory fire that took Otis’ life.

It turns out that they use highly flammable materials to make their products — something that is essentially gasoline in solid form — which is why the poor woman’s house burned down so quickly.

After that, Herrmann is so enraged — and you know his temper — that he makes it his mission to make the company’s CEO listen to him and make some serious changes to the company’s safety standards.

So when the guy refuses to talk to him, he camps out in front of the company, and then ultimately, he decides to give him a front-row demonstration on just how flammable his products are.

The CEO is so horrified that he visits 51 with his kids to personally thank Herrmann for opening his eyes, and let him know that he’s making changes effective immediately for higher safety standards and other materials that are not a fire hazard. That last scene at Otis’ monument made me cry in public, so there’s that for how emotional it was.

Kidd and her climb up the ladder

Stella is by far my favorite character, but I felt awful for her this week. Chief Boden thinks she has great potential, so he’s giving her all sorts of opportunities, such as representing 51 at that Fire Seminar a couple of weeks back.

Of course, our Kidd excelled in all the drills at the event and showed great leadership potential. So now, Boden is giving her yet another opportunity to further her career.

He assigned her to be an instructor at the Academy, but it’s for the Physical Conditioning training. She’s excited, but kind of dreading it, because it’s been a long time since she went through that training herself as a cadet.

When she gets there, the Chief at the Academy tells her he expects her to lead by example. This means she actually needs to do all that training with the cadets.

That means she’s exhausted all the time now because her shifts at 51 are already grueling. And now, with physical training on top of it, our poor Stella feels the effects of a punishing schedule. The problem is that it starts affecting her performance at 51, which earns her a lecture from Captain Casey.

While Casey didn’t yell at her, he sounded so disappointed that it probably felt even worse than if he had yelled at her. Kelly tells her she should take a shift off to recharge, but she refuses because she doesn’t want to disappoint Boden when he’s putting so much faith in her.

Let’s see how long she’ll be able to juggle this. I hope it doesn’t all blow up in her face.

Other highlights

  • Severide started working at OFI with Seager, and they investigate an old fire that had been written off as suspicious. However, Kelly being the detective that he is, they end up finding evidence that the insurance company paid a private investigator to say it had been arson, so they wouldn’t have to pay the claim. In the end, they make things right for a woman who had lost her business, and Severide loves the feeling. Which I hate because he belongs at 51 as the Squad 3 Lieutenant.
  • Foster needs a new job to make ends meet, so Sylvie gets her a gig as a spinning instructor. While Brett thinks her friend went a little too drill Sergeant on an otherwise chill class — which was completely hilarious — Foster’s class is a total hit to her absolute surprise, and she’s hired on the spot.
  • I’m so glad Joe is doing so well, man. He deserves having some good stuff in his life after losing his best friend so tragically. So he got engaged, his business is taking off, and he’s happy. And I couldn’t be happier for him.

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