Chicago Fire 10×02 “Headcount” is about heroes. The ones we notice, and the ones we don’t. Everyone on Chicago Fire is a hero, even if they don’t always go viral. They’re heroes because they risk their lives, and sometimes their careers, to put others first. They’re heroes because they do it without expecting anything in return. And yes, they’re heroes because the reason they do all of those things is that they care.
Matt went viral for the rescue from last week, and to be honest, Matt deserves the recognition, he’s deserved it for a long time. But he isn’t the only one who does, as this episode made clear. Herrmann saved a kid with his quick thinking, and yet the way in which he and Sylvie did it will likely end up costing him. It’s absurd, even considering that the rules are there for a reason, and that more often than not the rules do save lives. If your rules are so strict that they can never bend to a world that doesn’t conform to rules, then what’s the point of them? They will always end up hurting the very same people they’re meant to help.
And these people are trying to help. Absolutely everyone. From Joe, who is struggling, mightily, and whose struggles I’m happy to see are not being swept under the rug, but are also not going unnoticed. Because his struggles shouldn’t go unnoticed in the kind of job he does, and the only way to treat this storyline with the care it deserves it to let it explode when it has to, which is soon. In a show – and in a world – where people talk to each other, yes, Stella would notice and yes, she would casually mention it to the man she’s gonna marry, as you do.
Then there’s Sylvie, who has a good plan, one who could actually help a lot of people, but who now has to jump through hoops to please someone who doesn’t exactly look like they can be pleased — someone who would put rules over people. It’s a bad situation, and one that is, sadly, all too common. Good ideas and good people are sometimes beholden to antiquated rules and bosses who would rather worry about protocol than lives. I don’t anticipate Sylvie giving up, and I’m really glad she’s getting this storyline, but it’s clearly going to be a struggle before it can be something we celebrate.
And this is where the absence of Boden starts to weigh heavy, even before he has even left. On the long run, is this new position going to allow him to help many more people? Yes, the answer is clear. But on the short term there are still a lot of people under him who are not as kind, or as empathetic as he is, and now we will sadly have to deal with those in a way we maybe didn’t before.
On Chicago Fire heroes almost always win, even if, like in this episode, they don’t get the recognition they deserve. And yet, how could they? How can you ever recognize the people who do this job enough? Often something bad has to happen for the general public to take more than a moment to celebrate first responders. We went through a pandemic and we still don’t appreciate doctors enough, after all. We all remember to thank firefighters on the anniversary of 9/11, but that’s about it.
But the thing is …despite Gallo’s momentary joke, despite the ribbing and the fact that everyone at Molly’s was ready to stop everything to listen to Casey’s interview, these people don’t do it all for recognition. If that was the only reason they did …well, they wouldn’t be where they are. You can’t do this job only to get something in return. Or at least, you can’t do it well.
Which is why they will keep on doing it, even when it’s hard. Even when there are roadblocks. And even sometimes, like Joe, when they should be taking a break and asking for help. That’s the good and the bad. I’d rather not have any of the bad, but that’s not life, and it’s certainly not TV. So all I ask, as we prepare for whatever bad is coming, is that these people get to face it together. Because that way, I’ll be sure that, no matter what, these heroes will find a way. Not a way to win, or a way to fix everything, but a way through, as best as they can.
It’s what heroes do.
Things I think I think:
- The Brettsey scenes we’ve been getting feel both like the show taking advantage of the honeymoon period and a little message of reassurance for fans.
- Now where’s my Stellaride/Brettsey double date?
- Or at least some ribbing. I understand in this episode it was much more important to make fun of Matt, and I even applaud it. But gotta make fun of the new lovebirds at some point.
- SHEETS ON FIRE.
- SHEETS ON FIRE.
- I’d pay good money to read that book, despite what that lady said.
- Griffin Darden!! Now there’s a callback.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think of Chicago Fire 10×02 “Headcount”? Share with us in the comments below!
Chicago Fire airs Wednesdays on NBC.