Chicago Fire 10×17 “Keep You Safe” is about two couples and about two women. It’s also a little bit about the men who love them (yes, I’m using the “L” word, Hawkins). But it’s mostly about the women and what makes them the people they are.
In particular, it’s an episode about Stella Kidd, and how Season 10 has cemented her as the heart and soul of a show that I cannot imagine existing without her at this point. She was gone for a few episodes, and the show suffered. Not because there aren’t good storylines to be told without Stella, but because TV shows, particularly ensemble ones, need an emotional center. And though it could be argued Boden is and has always been that, in truth, the character that has grown the most, the one we relate to the most …and the one that has the most to offer storytelling-wise, going forward, is Stella Kidd.
This is no knock on the multitude of three-dimensional, interesting characters this show has or the relationships they’ve managed to develop. That we are here, that we care, that this show manages to bring comfort and joy is not just on one character or one actor, but on a team, but in front and behind the cameras. But, if after this brilliant episode, I want to take a moment to tell you all about how much I love Stella Kidd, well, then …I will do just that.
So let us talk about Stella, about Violet, and about the two ships at the center of this show (sorry, Gallo, let us be friends) as we discuss Chicago Fire 10×17 “Keep You Safe.”
STELLA KIDD – AND STELLARIDE
Despite the fact that Stella Kidd exists as half of the main ship on this show, Stella Kidd has never been just Kelly Severide’s anything. She’s been Stella Kidd, first and foremost. Stella Kidd the leader. The fighter. The survivor. And yes, Stella Kidd the woman, the lover, the fiancée. Because Stella can be all of those things at once. Women can be all of those things at once.
In this episode, we get to see the instincts of Stella Kidd, and not just the leadership instincts, but the human ones. Stella has a feeling, and Stella pursues that feeling, because someone has to. And she takes Kelly along for the ride, because Kelly is her partner, in everything.
And it’s Stella who solves the case, Stella who actually helps a woman in need. This doesn’t make Stella a hero any more than the things she does on a daily basis do because what she does is what we should all strive to do. But in a way, it does make her a hero, of sorts, because there’s a big gap between should strive to do and actually does.
In Chicago Fire 10×17 “Keep You Safe,” Stella’s past experience, her knowledge of what it’s like to be in an abusive relationship, is what makes her see the signs and what makes her act. But Stella isn’t just an empathetic, kind person because she’s suffered. And she isn’t just the kind of person who acts because she’s in a better place, emotionally. This is who Stella is, who she has always been.
But it is true that now, she’s got someone she can share the dark, scary parts with. Someone who will trust her, and who will follow her, no questions asked. Someone who will be more quiet presence than righteous anger on her behalf, because that’s what Stella needs, and that’s what Kelly Severide has learned to be.
If anything, though this is not a Stellaride episode per se, it’s an episode about why they work so well together. They’re individuals who each have their own things going on, but when push comes to shove, they are each other’s first call — for comfort, for support, or just as a sounding board. That’s what a true partner truly is.
VIOLET MIKAMI – AND HAWKAMI
Ironically, that’s what Violet seems to have found in Evan Hawkins. And I only say ironically because they burned hot and fast at first, and it could have been easy — for the show and for them — to dismiss it as just passion. But there’s more to it than that. Let us remember how this started, with Violet in that hospital and Hawkins just …being a good guy. And let us remember that he was that when Violet most needed it, when she was hurt and alone.
Sure, in this episode, we thankfully learned Gallo wasn’t the one who turned them in. And not just that, we see that the accusation really stings Gallo, a good sign that their friendship can indeed be repaired. But Gallo gave Violet every reason to think he might do something like that, and until he can own up to it, their friendship cannot be truly mended. Sure, Violet jumped to a conclusion when she should have asked, but it wasn’t a truly hard conclusion to jump to.
But back to Violet, who she is, and what she’s found in Gallo. This isn’t really a Violet episode as much as it’s a Stella one, so we only get to see the glimpses of the person she is around Gallo, and the person she is around Hawkins. And who Violet Mikami is …well, it’s a woman in constant motion. So is Gallo, in a way. When they circle each other, it’s like two puppies with too much energy running around. And that can work sometimes, but it has never truly worked with them.
Hawkins, meanwhile, is the calm Violet needs. And he’s that while he’s trying to do what’s best for both of them by taking a step back, and he’s that when he comes back and basically says, you know what, I don’t actually want space. That might be the smart thing to do. That might be better, for both. But he cares about Violet more than he cares about the problems their relationship might cause.
And you know why it works? Because the only thing Violet hasn’t gotten in the relationships we’ve seen is this kind of commitment. Violet deserved to be someone’s first choice, and Evan Hawkins has chosen her over everything, time and time again. How can we not root for that?
THE CRUZ FAMILY
The fact that this storyline has made me cry on two separate episodes, and not in a bad way, is one of the reasons why this show works so well. Sure, Chicago Fire 10×17 “Keep You Safe” has a lot of Stella. It has a lot of Hawakami. And it would be easy to focus on just that. But Chicago Fire has always been about more than one person, one ship. It’s about a family. Joe Cruz is part of that family, and by extension, that means we care about his family.
And what Joe and Chloe are doing, it’s not easy. But it clicked, from the beginning. Some things just do. And if Chicago Fire has done one thing well throughout its run, it’s sending the message that family isn’t just blood. That applies to Firehouse 51, and it applies to Chloe and Joe fostering Javi, taking him in, and making him part of their family.
Which means that, just like Makayla over on Chicago P.D., Javi is now part of our family. And family takes care of each other.
Things I think I think:
- We love us a protective, but not so much that he’s in the way, Severide.
- How long did Evan Hawkins last without Violet? LOL
- Me and the new paramedic are not simpatico.
- Though, was that a spark between her and Gallo?
- Not that I even want that, he, a la Will Halstead, just needs to be single for a while.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think of Chicago Fire 10×17 “Keep You Safe”? Share with us in the comments below!