We don’t watch One Chicago just for the ships, but there are many ships to watch in these shows. So, in the interest of keeping up with one of the most important parts of Chicago Fire, Chicago PD and Chicago Med, we’re going to be examining the progress of the featured ships every week, in a roundtable.
This is in now way meant to be exhaustive, and we’ll only be talking ships here – check out our full reviews if you want more. If you, however, want to see us talk about the love lives of our favorite doctors, firefighters, paramedics and cops …well, this is the place for you.
There wasn’t much movement in the way of ships on Chicago Fire, except for more of the boys being dumb, in what appears to be some sort of competition to see who’s dumber. Who’s winning for you? Casey or Severide? How long do you expect the issues with Stellaride and Brettsey to last? And finally – how would you solve these issues if it were up to you?
Lizzie: Severide is winning. By a lot. Casey’s being obstuse, and we’ve talked a lot about his problems, but he is basically trying to do what Brett asked. Stay away. He could, and should, just communicate what he wants, but that’s an inside problem. He doesn’t know how to fight for what he wants, doesn’t understand that he even can. So, even though I think it’s dumb, I can understand what Casey is doing, or what he thinks he’s doing.
Severide, on the other hand ….he should know better. In fact, I think he does know better. He just has decided his opinion on this matter is the most important one. He saw a sword and thought falling on it was only his decision, and now that he’s impaled he’s like I will live with the consequences of my actions, instead of just asking for help before he bleeds out.
I don’t anticipate the Stellaride issue lasting till the end of the season, though, mostly because they’re an established couple. Brettsey, however, considering this is them getting together for the first time, might. TV sure does love to make plots that should last two episodes and one good conversation last for an entire season, doesn’t it?
As to how would I solve it – I probably wouldn’t have handled either the same way from the beginning. The Stellaride issue is the kind of thing Severide should have talked about someone, like, if not Stella, at least Casey, so someone could tell him not just that his whole POV is silly, but that …there’s really nothing he can do now. He doesn’t understand what being a woman is. This was going to happen anyway! Like, I promise, even without them actually being together, they’re gonna think the same thing. And if they weren’t, they’d have some other nasty shit to say about Stella. That’s being a woman in the workplace.
So, he’s entirely misguided, and I just …wish the show was doing this storyline to point out this exact thing. I just don’t think they are. And I hope that Stella, the character I fell in love with and got back into this show for, can tell him a thing or seventy when he finally understands how badly he’s messing up and how little his falling on the sword actually helps her.
Brettsey wise …why is Matt getting a love interest again? How does that help his development? Ah, yes, it doesn’t. Sylvie, I get. I don’t have to like it, but I get it. Matt, I absolutely do not. This was about Gabby, and it should have continued to be about Gabby, not about external issues that, I fear, might obscure the Gabby problem by the time they’re ready to deal with it.
It would have been enough to have Matt get jealous, reevaluate his feelings, realize he truly is over Gabby and he wants to fight for Brett, without adding Sydney to the mix. But hey, I guess my way has a lot less silly drama and we can’t have that?
*insert I’m tired gif*
Raquel: Difficult question … can I answer that they are both idiots in the same way? But if I have to choose … Severide. At the end of the day, Casey tries to respect what he believes to be an immovable decision of Brett, without realizing – because, you know, men are like that and they don’t realize much most of the time – that the key is to SHOW her that her fears are just that, fears, and are unfounded.
But Severide is just being obtuse under a false premise of “protecting” Stella, as if she needs to be protected because she is some kind of damsel in distress or something, and nothing is further from the truth. All Severide has to do is TRUST her and respect her and their relationship enough to not hide anything from her.
Unfortunately, I think problems are here to stay. Severide’s regression doesn’t look like it’s going to be fixed anytime soon and right now Brettsey is dealing with a huge issue, in fact, this Gaby thing is the biggest issue the couple have to deal with, so I don’t expect it to be resolved anytime soon because both must deal with very deep fears and demons.
They must build the endgame in a solid way and from the foundations because if the first scene of the episode shows us something, it is that we are going on double dates and seeing two friends complaining about the frustration caused by their husbands and two husbands being two lost puppies trying to understand their wives. But to get there we have to travel a road … a hard, long and arduous road but, as Oliver Queen said, nothing worthwhile is easy.
As for how I would solve all these problems, I have it clear: COMMUNICATION. The big problem that these couples have is that they don’t communicate. Severide doesn’t tell Stella anything about what’s really going on and neither Casey nor Brett have really talked about why Gaby is no longer an issue with each other, they just get carried away with fear.
Logan: Oh, man, I don’t even know where to begin with this multilayered question. Let’s start with this, after that opening scene this week Severide is definitely winning the prize for ultimate dumb boy. Casey is trying to do something he was asked to do. Severide is just being stubborn.
I mean, “it’ll blow over”? Really? Stella is relentless about getting you to watch The Bachelor, Severide. Do you seriously think she’s going to be the first to cave in this situation when you’re the one being mysteriously distant? (Insert CJ Cregg “Wow, are you stupid” gif here.)
As for how long these issues will last, I think the earliest possible resolution for either ship is midseason around episode 7 or 8. Brettsey may go longer into the back half of the season but with a different situation to work through I hope.
Lastly, how would I solve their issues? Oh, man, you’re asking a fanfic author here so believe me I have ideas. The thing is I understand that they want to make the story dramatic for television and write something that will keep viewers coming back every week and on the edge of their seats but for me keeping true to the character’s growth should come before plot.
The issue I have with these particular plots is that it feels as if the writers have decided to pick and choose which parts of Casey and Severide’s growth from season 8 to ignore. So far, for Casey especially, it feels as if his personal growth has been set back two seasons. Severide for me has been more consistent, until this episode anyway. The plots should be tailored to the character in their current stage of development. You should pick apart the character for the sake of the plot.
So, if it were me, Stella moving out would shake some sense into Severide. Remember last season when she was being secretive about his birthday and Kelly was adorably worried something was off between them? What happened to that guy? Bring him back. I understand him wanting to protect Stella, but if she’s all but officially moved out then I think it’s safe to say he’s hurting her more than he’s protecting her. If I were writing it, that’s the moment Kelly would realize he screwed up and tell her what’s going on.
Now, would I have Stella immediately understand and let it go? Absolutely not. He has been attempting to make decisions for her and he left her completely in the dark while he did. That is not okay and Stella should make sure he knows that. I would have them working through that conflict from episode 6 to the end of episode 8. What tv writers don’t realize is that viewers actually enjoy seeing couples communicate and work together.
You don’t have to have them completely besotted with each other while they work through it. They can still be frustrated and insecure while communicating with each other. Use that! It would be refreshing to see in prime time on a major network. You can get at least three solid episodes out of that and I am sure professionals are capable enough to write it convincingly if fanfic authors can.
Brettsey is a different sort of challenge because I would have approached everything after episode two differently. This ship had beautifully organic angst already built in. I agree that Gabby needs to be addressed and that Matt might not be clear and an answer to Sylvie’s question. They hooked up last year and since them he’s talked to no one about it. It seems he’s avoided it all together. That’s not healthy. He needs to deal with that. I would have used the 24 hours between his leaving Brett’s apartment and showing up for shift to have Matt sit down and think about Brett’s words and his feelings for Gabby. That conversation in episode three should have been a lot clearer than it was. Brett and Casey have always communicated fairly well with each other. Why does communication suddenly become impossible after they kiss?
I still would have had Brett ask for space. She deserves to step back and protect herself, but I would have had Matt more forthcoming about why he’s confused or what he doesn’t understand about Sylvie’s concerns. I would have had him realize that, yes, he does have issues to work through and I would have had him acknowledge that at least to Severide during their cigar chat.
I like Sylvie having a love interest. The poor girl hasn’t had any action since Kyle while Matt has hooked up with someone new and his ex-wife. So, yes, with Matt’s answer and his confusion over Gabby, she deserves to have someone focused on her who can make her a priority. Matt also needs to see Sylvie with a serious relationship contender to realize that if he doesn’t act soon, she could be the one who got away. He needs that pressure and an urgent timetable to prioritize his growth.
Matt, on the other hand, does not need a love interest. To give him one feels forced and betrays the organic conflict already built in to his and Sylvie’s friendship. As Matt told Severide, Sylvie has been the only one on his mind. He knows who he wants. He doesn’t need to see someone else to discover that. Instead of a love interest for him, I would have liked to have seen a new Chaplain. We haven’t had one since Kyle left and certainly not one as memorable as Orlovsky. (Still mad they retired him for a temporary love interest.)
Watching Matt talk through some of the trauma he’s been through (apart from Gabby and his marriage) would have been insightful, refreshing, and interesting. It would have allowed the audience to understand Matt’s “I don’t know” at the end of the second episode, which has still not been elaborated on, and made his side much more sympathetic. Plus, every character on Chicago Fire needs counseling and it would be appreciated if the show could use it to highlight the importance of mental health.
Not only that, but it would have allowed for a few very poignant and angsty conversations between Brett and Casey. If Casey is working on himself but not improving as quickly as he’d like while Brett moves on with Grainger then I can imagine he’d be more vocal with her about his progress. Which would lead to Casey being frustrated with himself and trying to cope with his jealousy while Sylvie is conflicted over moving on and waiting for Matt on the off chance he can convince her he’s officially let Gabby go. This gives you the same pining, jealousy, and tortured emotions while furthering Casey and Brett’s individual growth. It’s also different and more inline with something adults in their thirties would go through. As a bonus, it doesn’t feel like something you’ve seen on the CW a million times over.
Personally, I want to see character growth being expanded upon not reversed. Give me any plot that accomplishes that goal and I’ll be happy. Currently, Chicago Fire is not doing this. So, while I still love Stellaride, Brettsey, and the show, I’m watching warily at the moment. I’m hoping they prove all my assumptions wrong and pull off something that feels as if the characters grow together instead of regress together but I’m prepared in case they don’t. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst, isn’t that what they say? Well, it’s the perfect slogan for Chicago Fire’s ships at the moment too.
Last episode we got Burzek crumbs and a lot of Upstead, and this episode it’s the other way around. Would you be happier with some balance or are you okay with the show focusing on one ship and then the other? And what are your feelings about where Burzek is going from here on forward? Are the new developments going to push them together or pull them apart for good?
Lizzie: I’m not a big fan of this thing Chicago PD does where it’s like ONLY ONE COUPLE CAN EXIST AT ANY GIVEN TIME. I’m especially not a big fan of it going onto season 8, because I’m scared it means they just won’t try again with Burzek while Upstead is together, cause, like …too much happiness ruins a show or something? I don’t know. I’d like to see some balance. Even if they got both couples back together at the same time, that doesn’t mean there aren’t many more stories to tell, and if you, as a writer, can’t find stories to tell with people in romantic relationships, then maybe that’s a you problem?
That being said, sometimes you get an episode about x character and that will, of course, mean the person in a romantic relationship with that character – or heading there – will get more of a chance at the spotlight. I think that’s normal. I just want a bit more balance, in general, and hope the show isn’t about to sabotage one couple so the other can get a share of happiness.
As for Burzek, I think this is actually what Adam needs to be able to finally prove that he has changed, that he is now the man Kim has always needed him to be, that he can be there for her, that he isn’t scared, he wants this future with her. In fact, I even think he’s got every right to question her motives now, because …that’s just what partners do. Kim doesn’t need a yes man, she needs someone who will check with her, who will challenge her, and who will tell her the truth. Even when that hurts. So in that respect, I think that’s a good sign for their relationship that Adam isn’t afraid to speak his mind.
Going forward, I just think he needs to really commit to this, and then he needs to show Kim that he will be her partner in life. That means calling her out when he thinks she’s wrong, but it also means supporting her, no matter what. And I think both of them need to understand that yes, a part of their closeness might come from the trauma they experienced together, but the rest …the rest cannot be explained by trauma. Trauma isn’t the only thing bringing them together.
But I’m actually super optimistic about where this is going, storytelling wise. It feels like a definite choice to deal with some of the issues that have foiled these two and to have them become the kind of OTP we always deserved. I, personally, have never liked them more than I do now.
Raquel: I believe that balance is always the key and the ideal. That said, I also think that, in some specific moments, they need to focus on a couple, even if I miss the one who doesn’t develop as much.
The emotional situations that we saw in this episode and in the previous one about both couples were really serious and deep, if they had focused on both, inevitably some of that depth would have been lost and then, perhaps, we would have stayed halfway in the story about both couples. So … yes, I prefer balance, but I understand that occasionally, they need to focus on a couple. And that’s fine with me.
I think Burzek are headed to get back together and this time forever. In fact, I think Kim told us exactly what is going to happen to them. She wants the wedding, the children, the family … and all that will happen with Adam. They’re endgame. It’s a fact for me. But it is also a fact that it will not be easy.
Everything is written in this episode. With huge neon signs. Kim is ready for something more … and she wants it with Adam. She still loves him, which is why she tried to push him away at first because she is convinced that Adam is not ready for that yet, even though he thinks he is. She already believed him once. She already had the beautiful proposal with him, she prepared the wedding of her dreams … and he failed her.
She forgave him but that is a thorn in her heart. And she just couldn’t go through that again, suffer the same thing again because she’s not sure she can survive this time. So she is terrified to believe Adam again when he tells her that he is ready to live it all with her. That is the reason why she prefers not to believe it and she is convinced that Adam is not ready, that this is not what he wants … and that he may never do it.
But here’s the thing: Adam does want it. He is looking forward to living it all with her. He loves her. He is sure that he wants to marry her, that he wants to have children and a family with her. It’s just … what he feels and what he will always feel. His heart belongs to her. No one else. And it will always be like that. Now he just has to prove it to her, he just has to make Kim look him in the eyes and see the truth reflected in them … and both of them have to dare, together, to take that leap of faith.
Then there is the fact that she fears that it is all due to the trauma. What if they are so united by it? And maybe yes but, as Adam tells her, what is wrong with it? What they both feel is still real. Yes, the trauma of losing their child made both of them let go and just feel, bond … but that doesn’t mean it’s not real. In fact, maybe it’s more real than ever because when you’re desperate, when everything in your life collapses and your sanity seems to be hanging by a thread … nothing else matters and you just feel, you just let your heart take over.
I think what has happened in this episode is going to bring them together, although it will be somewhat slow. It’s the perfect opportunity because Adam can show Kim that he really wants everything with her. In fact, he’s already started doing it when he made it clear to her that his fear about Kim adopting wasn’t that something would change between them. Because nothing for him changes. It’s just that he doesn’t want Kim to be lost in pain and making such an important decision for the wrong reasons because the truth is … that she can’t save all the lost children.
Adam is concerned about Kim, hoping that she is okay and is not a reaction to the trauma. But adoption doesn’t change anything for him and this is the beginning of Adam fighting to get Kim back and to show her that his heart and everything in him belongs to her and that he is not going anywhere. But, as I mentioned, it will be slow because Kim will not trust that fact overnight, she will need time and I’m here to watch Adam fight to get Kim back and watch him like a father with that adorable little girl.
Also, although it is not the case, have you noticed how Adam puts his jacket over Kim? It’s these little details that make me fall in love with them and show that Adam couldn’t be more in love. It’s just a small gesture that just shows that he can’t stop thinking about her and that he’s there for her, no matter what.
Logan: Going from Chicago Fire to Chicago PD is always a little jarring for me because while Fire has always tried to balance their ship coverage PD never has. I think personally I’d enjoy it if it were a little more evenly sprinkled throughout. That way everyone gets at least one major glimpse of their favorite character or ship each week.
As for Burzek, maybe it’s wishful thinking, but I do think this will eventually push them forward. For right now it seems like a setback but if Adam really does want “all of it” with Kim like he claims then it shouldn’t set them back for long. Right now, I think he’s coming more from a place of concern for her. He’s afraid she’s not considering the whole picture and is going to end up hurt. It’s a valid concern but it’s one that’s well intended and one I think they can overcome. We just need to give it a little more time, as frustrating as that is.
We went from watching Mancel rise to watching them crash in the span of two episodes. What are your feelings – and hopes – regarding this storyline? Can this show sustain a happy couple? Do they even want to? Previous seasons seem to point to no.
Lizzie: Part of the reason it’s been hard to invest in Med sometimes it’s that …it just gets to be too much. My favorite character, Will Halstead, is shell of his former self, bad decision after bad decision, with no end in sight. Ethan is following that same path, and considering what he did this episode, is there even a way back for him and April? I’m not sure.
And then there’s Mancel. Like, I get it, this show thinks they need drama drama drama, but there’s enough of that with the patients! They can have some happiness. And, at this point, I don’t even care if they’re together or not, I would just like the show to pick a lane. Any lane. Just one, and stay there, please.
Raquel: I think this story is quite forced for Mancel. That is to say, they barely slept together and are already having some fights that, honestly, seem like schoolyard fights. I understand that Natalie doesn’t want to have illusions but it seems somewhat incoherent that she sleeps with him and then breaks up with him in the span of…2 minutes? Especially since he seemed just as excited and spellbound by her as she was by him. I mean, she didn’t even give them a chance and if that was going to be the case, why start it in the first place?
It just doesn’t make a lot of sense … I would have understood this story if the couple had had a few episodes of just enjoying their new relationship. So it is logical that the fears begin to flourish on both sides but not in such a sudden change and then at the end of the episode to turn completely again. Frankly, I feel like I’ve ended up with a headache from spinning around without any apparent sense.
So, between them and Chexton, I think they don’t want happy couples on this show or at least resist it, although I hope that changes. Happy couples for the win!
Logan: I don’t think Mancel’s done. I think it’s awkward and they need to really talk. But like Brettsey and Stellaride, I think this is a bump and I think it might force them to deal with things they haven’t talked about yet. I was concerned about them moving Mancel too fast last time, but now I’m not. To me this plot is a classic “two steps forward, one step back” scenario. To me, it says there’s some thought going into how they have these two deal with their feelings and their individual histories while showing them learning how to communicate the hard way. Mancel’s not done. It’s just beginning.
As for can this show sustain a happy couple? Well, precedent says no. Right now our only happy couple is Ben and Maggie. (No, that’s not a suggestion! Leave Ben and Maggie alone!) Chexton to me feels as if they’re moving toward irreconcilable differences just as Manstead did before them. It’s not looking good for Med right now, but I still have hope they can turn that around. Which they should do immediately so they don’t frustrate their audience so much that they alienate them.
One Chicago airs Wednesdays on NBC.