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Chicago Fire - Badlands - Review: 'Get S.M.A.R.T'

Chicago Fire is off to a great start for season eight! Let's discuss what happened in episode three of the season.

Brett Is Back!

Brett has returned to 51 after her detour to Fowlerton and I couldn't be happier. Seeing the house surprise her was enough to make your heart swell and it also looks like she and Cruz will be roomies again. I was hoping this would be the case because losing Otis was hard on Cruz and having that bit of normalcy return will be a good thing for his continued healing.

The elation was still fresh when the bell went off and our ambo 61 ladies found themselves faced with a call involving corruption and abuse from a despicable prison guard name Houghton. Brett and Foster meet the target of his wrath in a juvenile prisoner named Isaac. The refusal of Brett to let it go once she saw what was happening quite possibly saved several kids from a grim fate in the Badlands, a place in the prison that has grown a reputation for despair and pain. This is why Brett is needed at 51 and made the right choice to come home to her family. Can you imagine Foster having to take that on with the partner she had in the prior two episodes? It would've been a disaster even with Chief's backing. The show always seems to shed light on things that are hard to imagine happening, but they do and it is sad. Brett also met a social worker name Ryan that helped to get Isaac transferred. Will the show do the predictable thing and maybe have him be her rebound from Kyle? I am not sure, but there seemed to be a spark between the two at the end.

The Tech Of It All

The powers that be at headquarters deciding 51 should pilot the new S.M.A.R.T. technology obviously never took into consideration the sheer headache it would cause for old school smoke eaters like Boden and Hermann. The only setting the program had was sheer annoyance and also got Casey into an interesting introduction to the technology age, albeit in a completely different way!

Casey seems to have finally shaken off the rust and is ready to casually date, which I think is something he has needed after seasons on seasons of romantic drama. His attempt to channel his inner Severide may have backfired epically, but at least he seems to be having fun with a side of regret. I do think Jessa the tech girl researching him is something he wasn't expecting as he dates in this new digital age where someone can practically find out what color underwear you have on with the click of a mouse. Jessa and Casey fizzled very quickly thanks in part to the SMART system losing its mind at episode's end. Perhaps Casey can take this dating lesson moving forward and stay away from the ladies who like Hard Kombucha (I still do not what that is, so if you know help me and Casey out and explain).


After losing such an established character in Otis, the show has been in a precarious position to find someone that doesn't 'replace' him because that can't ever be done, but compliment others on Truck. To me, they have found that gem in Blake Gallo. Yes, it is early and we still haven't seen all facets of Gallo but his backstory is something that makes his passion for firefighting believable. The revelation that Gallo left out about losing his family when he told the house the story seems to have helped to make Chief see him in a different light. I don't blame Boden for being apprehensive when it comes to Gallo's heroics, he just lost a firefighter and isn't keen on members of his house making risky moves. I really hope the show lets Gallo grow and learn and not do what it has done in the past to some of the promising firefighters that have come through its doors, because he does have shades of both Casey and Severide in him.

Other Thoughts:

* Boden picked Stella to represent the house at a promising leaders conference in Springfield. I think this was a great choice even if Stella herself did not think it was. Seeing her go through the stages of self-doubt and hesitation with Severide by her side to support was a sweet moment for the episode. Stella was a great choice by Boden who never does anything without really thinking it through.

* I am loving Severide giving Casey some advice on how to date. Their friendship scenes are something I can't ever get enough of!

* Give me your thoughts..... Casey's lingering look at Brett and Ryan at the end, coincidence or pang of jealously? I still can't pin it.

* Chief throwing the computer out the window was hilarious, no other way to describe it!

* The Ferris Wheel accident is a case study in why I don't believe in pop up fairs. You shouldn't ride anything that can be set up and torn down in the span of a day, and I will never be convinced otherwise.

That is it for now. Next week is the annual crossover and the concept looks pretty intense! What did you think of the episode? Drop your comments below.

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