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Chicago Fire - One Hundred - Review

Typically (or at least in this TV fan’s opinion), the best episodes of a show come before the one hundredth. I’d not only argue that Chicago Fire is having its best season yet, but that it has what it takes to get to two hundred. But I’m getting ahead of things! Sheesh, can’t I just enjoy one hundred? Yes, I can. It was a heck of an episode.

“This place was built on Chicago soil.”

Molly’s is struggling and Herrmann is frustrated. We don’t need to take a stroll down memory lane (though you should, it’s fun) to know Herrmann’s business ventures pre-Molly’s were not exactly successful. Hoping to avoid yet another business failure, Herrmann lets Otis come up with a plan to save Molly’s. As it turns out, Chicago Fire isn’t the only thing turning one hundred! Once the team discovers Molly’s is about to celebrate its one hundredth year, a blowout party is planned complete with as much press advertising as possible.

Mouch points out that any press is good press, but Herrmann’s, “Tell that to Richard Nixon!” shows how skeptical he is. When a reporter turns up to cover Molly’s celebration, it’s clear Herrmann’s fears had merit. As luck would have it, Molly’s was once frequented by Al Capone and was the sight of a notorious mob massacre. Still think any press is good press?

Apparently, the answer is yes. Truck arrives to what Herrmann is expecting to be protesters and instead finds a line of people begging to get in. Not only that, but Crime Tours officially placed Molly’s on the tour list! The icing on the cake was seeing Cindy, as it always is. It’s a true testament to the writers’ ability to create meaningful characters, because even though we don’t see her often, I think she and Herrmann have my favorite relationship on this show.

But back to Molly’s! What would a milestone be without a touching Christopher Herrmann speech? It’s clear his speech was not only to the patrons of Molly’s, but also from the writers and producers to the show and its fans. “It’s built on love, and you can feel it every time you walk in here…New friends, old, it’s nice to look back, but us, we always look to the future. So here is to the next one hundred.” It was an inspiring speech, apparently, because moments later, Dawson and Casey were in front of a judge getting married with their entire 51 family (and Antonio) behind them. This scene was everything, and the only words spoken were “I do.” So. Much. Crying.

This really did feel like the closing chapter of a book. But this is a series, so it’s time for the next book. These characters have come a long way in one hundred episodes, with Casey leading the way. Might he take a back seat to Severide in this next chapter? It certainly seems like it’s time for Severide to begin his own life-changing journey.

But before we look ahead…

“That’s really lame, using a noble profession like that to impress women.”

Mirror, mirror, on the wall…Oh, Severide. It’s about time a one night stand end horribly for him. Severide’s date doesn’t believe for one second that he’s actually a firefighter and tells him, “That’s really lame, using a noble profession like that to impress women.” The brief and hilarious moment gives way to a story arc for Severide that will span at least the next handful of episodes, and perhaps the rest of the series. Just after his date leaves, Severide takes a look in the mirror (both literally and figuratively) and begins what will hopefully be an alteration of character.

He starts by asking Casey, “Seriously man, what am I doing?” and you get the feeling he doesn’t just mean sleeping around. This is potentially a full-blown life crisis. Severide is questioning everything and I couldn’t be happier about it. Why? Because this could be the game changer we’ve all hoped for in regards to Severide from the very beginning. Is this when he really turns things around? Not to mention, Casey and Severide now have a getaway planned and if we don’t see that happen I’ll revolt (not really, but I’ll be upset).

Still don’t think he’s turning it around for good? Sure, it’s only one episode. But the questions he’s asking and decisions he’s making are lasting ones. For starters, after suffering a nasty-looking burn on the first call of the night, Severide eventually (after some protesting) ends up at Chicago Med with his former Squad mate Jeff Clark. While there, Clark requests a bone marrow match test from Severide for a cancer patient of his, and though Severide initially refuses, he ultimately agrees by the end of the hour. Not only that, but he also turns down the opportunity to go home with women from Molly’s, to the shock of his friends. It might seem minor, but it doesn’t, right? Because it’s huge!

If the promo for the winter premiere tells anything, it’s that things are going to get worse for Severide before they get better. Here’s hoping it just helps him turn things around for good.

“You know how much I love you, right? You mean the world to me. And I think it’s important for you to know that no matter what anybody says or what anyone else might call me, I will always, always be your dad. That word means everything.”

As expected, Dawson struggles early on with what marriage now means to her in the wake of her parents’ divorce. The good news is it doesn’t seem to be affecting her relationship with Casey. In fact, their biggest concern this episode isn’t their relationship—it’s Louie. I can’t thank the writers enough for choosing to forgo what could have been relationship doubts between these two. We’ve been there, many times. Instead, they reaffirmed our faith in Casey and Dawson as a couple and focused on how the couple will handle being parents.

Adoption is officially on the table but with one catch—Gabby will be filing as a single parent, which doesn’t necessarily hurt, but also doesn’t help her chances. Of course the two end up married by episode’s end, so that problem is nonexistent!

Matt has been ready for fatherhood since before this show began. Don’t remember? When we first met Matt, he was on the outs with his girlfriend/fiancĂ©e Hallie because he wanted kids and she didn’t. When Andy’s widow Heather went away to prison for a while (yeah, that happened), Casey took care of her two sons. At the start of this hour, Louie called Matt, “Matt”. By episode’s end, he was calling him “Dad”. It might have taken longer than Matt (or the fans) would have hoped, but it seems fitting that he officially became “Dad” in the show’s one hundredth episode.

The question is, how long will he stay “Dad”? Within the first few minutes, Casey sees someone lurking outside the house. He sees the mystery man several times as the hour progresses, but I think we all knew who he was the second we saw him—Louie’s biological father. And shocker! (not really) He wants Louie back.

Other fun moments/observations from the episode…

Sylvie is terrified of clowns, which makes having to treat one difficult. And in true 51 fashion, she’s then teased about it after with a series of jokes. Love it. (But also hate it because clowns are creepy.)

Tony and Capp! Though they lurk in the background, these guys are in virtually every episode and have been from the very beginning. Capp has had a few shining moments, but it was nice to see the both of them stand out a bit in the one hundredth outing. I particularly loved Capp trying to play “grabass” as a word in Squad’s Scrabble game. “If I had a nickel for every time my mom said, ‘Harold, stop all the grabass…’” First of all, hilarious. Second, did we know Capp’s name was Harold?!

The major call of the night was one of my favorite calls ever. In a massive accident, we bounce between all three teams—Squad, Truck, and Ambo—as each works to save lives separately from the others. Odd, I know, as you’d think it would be the unifying calls with everyone working together that would be my favorite. I do love those, don’t get me wrong, but this was something different and refreshing we’ve never seen before. Even if was only a one-time thing, I enjoyed it. I did find it a bit strange though that in the one hundredth episode, of all episodes, there wasn’t an actual fire (no, the fireball doesn’t count).

It wouldn’t have been a true celebration of one hundred episodes without Antonio. I’m glad he made an appearance! I do wish Boden had been a bit more prevalent in the episode, but all around, this was one of Chicago Fire’s best. Here’s the next one hundred.

What did you think of the episode? Is this actually (finally) the beginning of a new Severide? Will Casey and Gabby be able to keep Louie? Looking back, what are some of your favorite moments from the show? Looking ahead, what would you like to see? Share your thoughts below!

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