Chicago Fire 10×09 “Winterfest” tried to be Hallmark, but it ended up on the side of Lifetime instead. Sure, we had a Santa and some Christmas decorations, Sylvie did get the funding she deserved for a program that is going to change many lives, and Violet and Gallo did up their will they/won’t they game…But we had way too much of Wendy Seager flirting with Severide, Chief Boden couldn’t remember he had Stella’s number and oh yes, the episode ended where it did.
Manufactured drama isn’t a new thing on TV; it’s just incredibly frustrating to see on a show that knows better, has done better. Writing around Miranda’s absence was one thing, bringing in Pelham another, and hey, even temporarily giving him the spot that should be Stella’s, a third thing, could have added up to something I probably wouldn’t have minded, if the show hadn’t required both Chief Boden and Severide, and at times, even Stella—who wasn’t even around to fully explain herself—to act OOC to get there.
So, let’s get into the Christmas cheer, the Stellaride drama for the sake of drama, Chief Boden’s sudden inability to use a phone and that thing with Violet and Gallo as we review Chicago Fire 9×09 “Winterfest”:
SANTA GOT RUN OVER BY A …TREE?
I appreciated the Mouch storyline as much as the next person, and I’m typically a big proponent of giving the characters that are sometimes treated as more “background” more stuff to do, but the problem with the Mouch storyline wasn’t the storyline at all, but the expectations surrounding it. Because this was the only part of the episode that felt even a tiny bit Hallmark-y, and it wasn’t even close to what I wanted, or what the fandom deserved.
Once again, this isn’t about the storyline. It was incredibly touching, to be sure, and I’m always on the side of Santa, okay? My favorite Christmas movie is Miracle on 34th Street. Plus, Mouch is one of my comfort characters on this show, the kind of upstanding guy who always means well and that reminds me of some members of my family. But again …what Hallmark movies are you watching, Mr. Haas? Inquiring minds want to know.
That being said, this did provide not just Mouch, but Herrmann, a chance at the kind of conversations I imagine are very common between first responders, and that is something I always appreciate. These people don’t just care, they care way more than they should, and that’s what makes them good at their job – but it can also be what makes the job harder.
DOES CHIEF BODEN NOT REMEMBER HE HAS STELLA’S PHONE?
The entire “Stella Kidd is gone” storyline has been written not just without Stella Kidd, which duh, she’s the one that’s gone, but without even taking her into account. Chief Boden and Severide have conversations about what she wants and needs, and …do they ever ask her? I’m supposed to believe/understand they do, and Stella is just unresponsive right now, for reasons the show will later get into, but it just …doesn’t quite click with the way they’re presenting everything.
It’s especially infuriating to watch Boden and Kelly discuss the decisions she’s gotta make as if they depend on either of them. Sure, Stella should communicate with Kelly, her fiancé, but Boden shouldn’t be asking him – if anything, he should be calling Stella. And I understand they need a Lt. and Stella is just not around, but the way the storyline is written makes it seem like the same thing everyone has praised Stella for, Girls on Fire, is only a good thing if it slots into a convenient place for everyone involved.
This is a storyline that can be solved with more time and focus, and with Miranda now back, hopefully we will get that. But that doesn’t make the way the show wrote a storyline about Stella kicking ass more as a problem for the men around her than a win for her any more palatable. No one’s celebrating her, and they should be. Hopefully, we at least get to see her and Sylvie sharing a toast to both their wins next episode. They’ve earned that.
SORRY GALLO, I’D PICK CHIEF HAWKINS TOO
Look, there’s something between Violet and Chief Hawkins, and honestly, I hope Chicago Fire goes there. I like Violet and Gallo well enough, despite the secondhand embarrassment Gallo made me suffer this episode, but he just has never shown he can or will be serious about her, not when it matters. And he can’t, shouldn’t, expect her to drop any possibility of anything else because he suddenly decided to put his feelings for her first.
Because the issue with Gallo is… he’s always had feelings for Violet, but I’m just not sure he’s ever chosen to prioritize them. And perhaps this is the wake-up call he needs, or maybe Violet will be better off with Chief Hawkins, who turned out to be not a knight in shining armor this episode, because Sylvie didn’t need that, but the helpful support she needed.
Sylvie Brett is a badass on her own, let’s make that clear. And Chief Hawkins went out of the way to help her, yes, but not because she couldn’t have done it without him. Instead, he did it because part of his job is helping his people navigate the political side, so they can do some good. And also, because he’s a good guy?
I want to point out that Chief Hawkins was an easy out if the writers were interested in breaking Sylvie and Matt up, instead of continuing with the long-distance storyline. They didn’t take it. Instead, they’ve set up Chief Hawkins as a love interest for Violet. That isn’t meant to be a certainty for a Brettsey future. Of course, that will totally be up to Jesse Spencer’s availability going forward, but it’s a pretty clear indication of where things stand right about now.
Before, I would have said no more Chief Hawkins, please. Now, I’m like …give me more, please. And that’s saying a lot.
STELLARIDE DRAMA AHEAD?
Why the drama? No, really, why? I mean, I understand very well that couples go through ups and downs; the setup for this down just seems very contrived. Stella Kidd not communicating her emotions. Stella Kidd not telling Kelly what she wants and/or needs? And Stella Kidd going on this particular journey a season after the Stellaride storyline was about Kelly not communicating and how she felt about that? Stranger things have happened, I guess, but not many.
The problem, of course, is that we haven’t been privy to how Stella feels. Perhaps, if the next few episodes give us that, we can reconcile with this situation and feel confident that it will be a temporary bump that will only serve to strengthen the couple. Because if Stella saw how Girls of Fire was doing and thought, “is being Lt. what I really want,” then …that would be understandable. If she couldn’t find the words to tell Kelly, well …that would be understandable, too.
But the show needs to literally show, not tell this story.
When the relationship between these two began, Stella was more or less in the background as Kelly faced a lot of the issues that got him to the place where he could be the man Stella Kidd deserved. If this is going to be about exploring some of Stella’s insecurities, about peeling a layer of the onion that is my favorite character on this show, I’m in. Sign me up. But there doesn’t need to be manufactured Stellaride drama for that to work.
Couples grow together. And so much of that is understanding that as much as much as you are a unit, both have the right to find new horizons. Your partner will be there, will support you, and yes, will grow alongside you. Sometimes it’ll get tricky, but love is about making those adjustments. Stella has made many to be with Kelly. He’s had to make fewer. Am I upset about a possible storyline where it’s his turn to be her rock? Absolutely not.
I just want it done right. In a way that doesn’t forget that Stella Kidd loves Kelly Severide and Kelly Severide loves Stella Kidd, and the rest…The rest might be bumpy at times, but they can figure it out, together.
Things I think I think:
- The dog was one of the highlights, okay?
- Sylvie and Violet’s friendship was one of my favorite things about this episode.
- Fun to get a Casey mention that proves he’s still in contact with his friends, and from Severide, not Sylvie.
- But also, Stella, don’t get on a plane without letting the man you’re gonna marry know.
- Gallo this episode gave me so much second-hand embarrassment I almost couldn’t watch his scenes. Like, whyyyy. Just whyyyy, in general.
- Ritter knew what was up. I mean, except for the beer part.
- I typically love Chief Boden, but like …again, whyyy.
- Why are men?
- I guess we’re meant to assume that, since there’s no mention to the contrary, Sylvie is spending the holidays with Matt? We did get some crumbs this episode, after all.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think of Chicago Fire 10×09 “Winterfest”? Share with us in the comments below!
Chicago Fire airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on NBC.
You’re so right it doesn’t make sense that Stella would just stop communicating with Severide after what they went through last season of Kelly not talking to her and Yes chief boden has Stella phone number he could’ve called her himself. Plus I don’t understand why make Stella go through fighting to be a Lieutenant that she wants so badly for her not to get it and Yes Pelham is great for a temporary Lieutenant but it belongs to Stella. But I do think Pelham will have a hard time so I hear Pelham has heard a lot about Stella and how loved she is but when he finds out that the person that chief boden wants has a Lieutenant is her can’t wait to see how that going to go over plus I heard that Stella loves Truck 81 she is definitely going to have problems with him being the Lieutenant. And Pelham is trying to be friends with Severide but I can’t wait to see what going to happen when Pelham finds out that Serveride and Kidd is a couple. And now they make him the Lieutenant for now how is he going to handle knowing that kind of information
This kelly and Seager story is making me want to finally turn my back on this show. I have been a loyal watcher since the start and this woman trying to I dont know act like a man I guess and saying crap like “this is gonna happen” and Kelly just going with it seems like a truly dumb move for the writters. Nobody wants to see even a hint of him maybe cheating on Stella. Worst story line ever.
I would rather see Stella have to leave the show for a minute because of girls on fire (if that’s what they are doing) than see her leave because Kelly becomes a bad guy and cheats on her.
I hope they get rid of Seager. She is a horrible character and way to forward, it’s almost embarrassing to watch the writing for her.