There are many layers to working in public service. You go into it because of a sense of duty and responsibility to do the right thing, but that doesn’t mean certain aspects of the job don’t take their toll. This week on Chicago Fire, Boden, Herrmann, Dawson, and Casey all have their share of atypical job hazards to deal with. In spite of the hardships, not one of them ever questions their own integrity, candor, or respect for the job. At the end of the day every sacrifice is worth it, and they end up where they need to be.
Herrmann is up for a promotion so Casey gives him a shot as Acting Lieutenant for the day. Herrmann can get a feel for the job and Casey can give notes if needed. Herrmann’s taken over for Casey before, so the mechanics of being a leader he is familiar with. What he is not familiar with is the paperwork, or the bureaucracy. Herrmann has always been a harbinger of candor, something that being in charge doesn’t always allow for. He’s not about to sign over liability for saving a girl’s life just because it didn’t follow protocol. The truth is that Herrmann is fine where he is. His wisdom is quintessential for the house. Just because other firefighters with his years of experience move up the ranks doesn’t mean he has to if he doesn’t want to.
Casey needed the temporary breather to deal with another matter anyways. He still believes that the husband of the woman he couldn’t save from last week’s fire killed his wife. His mission to prove it really upsets Severide. Boden isn’t all that thrilled with Severide and Casey’s bickering, and so orders them to find the truth and write up a final report together. Casey is just about to throw in the towel on his theory until he and Severide find proof of guilt. An Internet cable to a specific piece of hardware means the husband could have planted a fuse and detonated it by sending a network signal. To be fair he wasn’t trying to kill his wife, he was just trying to torch the house so the insurance money could be used to pay off his debts. Nevertheless his wife died. The end result has nothing to do with the intentions.
Dawson is in a hell of a lot of trouble when she hits a pedestrian with the ambulance. Not only do the stuffed shirts assume guilt before proof of innocence, but the son of the man she hit sues her and the CFD for millions in damages. The only reason for the suit is greed, the son hasn’t cared about his father in years. Not to mention the victim has a history of substance abuse and suicide attempts. The only thing Dawson can rely on is the truth. Hopefully knowing about his father’s suicide attempts will give the son a reason to drop the lawsuits.
Boden worries about Herrmann and Dawson with this week’s events. Boden takes defending his CFD family very seriously, but he has another family he is determined to do right by. Though his marriage to stepson James’s mother didn’t end well, Boden will always think of himself as James’s father. He wouldn’t be a firefighter at heart if he didn’t see if his son could take up the mantle. That part of teaching his son doesn’t work out so well, but there is something else Boden can do for James. He can lead by example. You see Boden has been avoiding going to a reunion in New York with a bunch of 9/11 first responders. Too many terrible memories of being unable to find anyone can take their toll. Seeing his house and James’s reaction to the first responder snapshot gives Boden the courage to do what he has to do. Boden can do right by his family, and the family can do right by James and himself. Boden needed to go to New York. He needed see where the Twin Towers once stood, so that he knows there was a Rebirthing of sorts in the city. There’s always hope, even when you can’t see it.
What did you think of the way Chicago Fire tackled these on-the-job issues?
Chicago Fire Season 5 Episode 6 Review: "That Day"
Chicago Fire seeks out the truth of the matter in this week’s episode about job hazards and readiness.