Chicago Fire 10×04 “The Right Thing,” examines just that, what the right thing is, as it presents a few characters with choices about what they want to do going forward. For Matt and Sylvie, however, the two characters this episode focuses on the most, these choices are barely choices. Instead, they are certainties. There’s nothing they can do except what feels like the right thing.
For Sylvie, it’s this program that’s going to be the first step in changing a system that is broken, because it’s not putting people first. For Matt, it’s putting something – someone – other than his job first. And though these are diametrically opposing decisions the two of them are making, that doesn’t mean their decisions cannot coexist, that their relationship is going to end because of it. And no, I don’t believe it means Matt is leaving, at least not forever.
When we were ways for Stella to get that Lieutenant spot and be able to stay at 51, no one came up with this one, right?
All joking aside, “the right thing” is, at times, a very ambiguous idea. What is right? Except, in this case, the right thing is obvious. The right thing for Matt is to help the Darden boys. Not just because that’s what Andy would have wanted, but because that’s who Matt is. That’s who we’ve known for ten years. How can we love Matt Casey and ask less of him? We can’t. We shouldn’t.
But how can we have Chicago Fire without Casey? How can Firehouse 51 go on without him? That makes even less sense, and I do not believe for a second the show is actually going there full time. I believe Matt will find a way to make it work with the boys – in Chicago. Even if it’s hard. Even if it takes a while. Because that’s who Matt is.
Raising two teenagers isn’t easy. It takes a village, they say. And does Casey want the same job he had before now that he’s responsible for two kids? I’m not sure what the answer is. Casey probably isn’t sure what the answer is. That’s what this season is about, figuring that out. And it’s a much more interesting storyline for Casey than I expected the show to give him — and an infinitely better one than throwing silly obstacles Brettsey’s way.
Sure, there’s an outside possibility this is about writing Jesse Spencer out. I don’t believe it is but let us entertain it for a second. If you were writing Matt Casey out at this point, what would you do to make it satisfying, for at least a part of your audience? The answer is simple, you bring back Gabriela Dawson. You don’t even need to bring back Monica Raymund, but you make Casey leaving about her. You give him doubts, you make him reconsider his life, and then you reunite them somewhere, off-screen, and have a heartbroken Brett moving on with her life, somehow. Maybe with hunky Chief, or something.
You don’t bring in the Darden boys, establish his relationship with Sylvie as something with a future, something he sees lasting, something he wants to invest in and then just …have him give up because doing the right thing for these boys means giving up on everything Casey wants for himself. This isn’t the 1800s and Casey isn’t a romance novel heroine. And even in romance novels things usually work out somehow.
Just because the right choice is clear, doesn’t mean the right choice is easy. Ritter had a chance to prove that this episode, as well, as he ran to save a man who clearly despised everything about him. He didn’t do it for that man, though, he did it for himself, because that’s the type of person Ritter is. And earlier, as the whole of 51 stood up to defend him inside Molly’s, they did because they’re his family, and they have his back.
They’ll have Casey’s too. Now he just needs to figure out that he can’t – he shouldn’t be raising two teenagers alone. That isn’t truly the right thing, for anyone.
And the reason why it’s not is that …self-sacrifice isn’t healthy. Giving up everything for others – whether that be in a romantic relationship, or not – is not a good thing. I’m sure Griffin and Ben will be thrilled (well, Ben might pretend he’s not) that Casey’s staying, but will they be thrilled when they realize all he’s giving up for them? When they see how much that eats at him? Is that the best Casey can do for this family he’s trying to create? And, more importantly, is that the best situation Casey can put the boys in?
The answer is no, and I believe he’ll come to see that soon enough. So will his family, back in Chicago. And then, well, if hunky Chief could be convinced to give Sylvie’s paramedicine idea a chance, why can’t the social workers be convinced the best thing for Griffin and Ben is to be around a tribe of people who will care?
Yes, there’s drama coming. But no part of this drama is about people not caring for each other. Before, Matt Casey had a chance to leave Chicago, and follow Gabby. He didn’t. He chose the city; he chose his Firehouse 51 family. We were there through that. We saw him give up. We know very well what that looks like …and it doesn’t look like this.
Now, however, Matt is making a different choice. Not for romantic “love,” but a different choice, nonetheless. And that, well, that says a lot about what Matt really values. And it’s probably the reason why, in the end, he’ll be back to Chicago.
He just won’t be coming back alone.
Things I think I think:
- Domestic convo right off the bat? And “for now”? This is a lot of good foreshadowing.
- Yeah, this dude replacing Matt is too good to be true.
- Cruz looking good!
- They didn’t have to show me the leg. They didn’t.
- “I’m not in any kind of relationship with Violet.” YEAH, RIGHT.
- The Chief tagging along for a shift is kinda fun, actually.
- If you can cook, Matt, you get to brag. That’s the way it works.
- “He’s nice to look at”/” That’s what I’ve been saying.”
- But, but …I miss Miranda.
- That Sylvie assumed her only fan is Matt is kinda cute, but also kinda sad.
- Other people love you, Sylvie!
- Sure, as soon as you bring in the Chief, someone brings out the knives.
- Matt and Sylvie checking in is heart eyes.
- WHY WOULD RITTER BE ON A DATE AT MOLLY’S?
- The entire 51 standing up for Ritter is my aesthetic.
- Heroism is running to save the person who just made it clear that, to him, you are less.
- Glad the Chief told Sylvie it was Mouch.
- Hahaha but WILL Casey be back next shift? And will he be back to stay?
- Awww, Ben. He *does* remember.
- Mouch and Sylvie doing this paramedicine thing together is gonna be FUN.
- Getting to see more of Ritter’s relationship was good. I’m sad we’re seeing it just as it’s ending, though.
- Sometimes letting go is the right thing.
- HOW MUCH IT CAN HURT TO DO THE RIGHT THING INDEED.
- Punch me in the gut, that might hurt less.
- At least we didn’t end it with the longing stare.
- Not that the ending is any better, lol.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think of Chicago Fire 10×04 “The Right Thing”? Share with us in the comments below!
Chicago Fire airs Wednesdays at 9/8c NBC.