Chicago Fire 11×03 “Completely Shattered” is a quiet, calm episode until it’s not, until it shatters us, just like the title says. But the problem with Chicago Fire 11×03 “Completely Shattered” isn’t even the way it throws away the promise of a great character and a fan-favorite ship; the problem is that the show does all that while proving that it remains way too married to an idea that hasn’t worked in quite a while.
There isn’t more to talk about, not this time. The fun parts of the episode, the camaraderie, the way the personalities really, really work … even the cute Stellaride moments we get, none of that matters right now. Because the problem is, right now, we cannot trust Chicago Fire. We never have been able to, really. It’s just that the good parts of the show always manage to lull us into a false sense of security.
In a way, this is the curse of long-running procedurals. There’s an idea that the show is bigger than the characters, and that fans will continue watching no matter who they remove from the equation. It’s not true, though. Fans aren’t married to the idea of Chicago Fire. Fans don’t watch because of the name, much less because of the actual calls. They watch because of the people. And in his short time on the show, Evan Hawkins had, surprisingly so, become one of those people fans watch for.
Hawkami had become one of those ships.
Much of the credit for that goes to Jimmy Nicholas, who came into a role that was supposed to be, at first, an antagonist of sorts to Brett, and then a fun distraction for Violet while the show got her back together with Gallo. Except, Jimmy Nicholas and Evan Hawkins ruined the best-laid plans of the Chicago Fire showrunners, and then continued to do so, over and over again — with assistance from Hanako Greensmith and the chemistry she and Nicholas share.
No one was mad, though, of course not. TV fans are quick to recognize that sometimes lucky accidents make for the best ships. And so they were in pretty quickly. Not casually, either. When fans love a ship, they truly love a ship. Which makes this moment extra devastating. Because of the possibilities, yes. The lost promise. The scorching chemistry that we will be deprived of. But also because after Chicago Fire 11×03 “Completely Shattered” we all recognize that this is all leading to a very obvious place, a return to Violet and Gallo as a couple.
Except, how can we be expected to just jump back on that? We remember who Gallo was most of last season. A few episodes of Alberto Rosende smiling at us cannot change that. Even a season of that will probably not do the trick.
It’s a little like the last season of How I Met Your Mother — or at least the finale, which is considered one of the worst of all time. The reason for that is simple. People don’t hate it because the show didn’t set up Ted and Robin. They did. Very early on. And then, the show kept going. The story evolved. Characters changed in a way that made it so the ending the creators had originally planned didn’t fit them anymore. And then, the creators went for that ending anyway. Even if it didn’t make sense. Because it was what they had originally planned.
Pot, meet the Chicago Fire kettle.
Violet and Gallo didn’t make sense anymore. And killing Evan Hawkins, a fan-favorite character, to make way for a ship that very few people were even invested in anymore isn’t just shortsighted, it’s heartbreaking.
There are many things I still love about Chicago Fire. The family dynamics really work. Stella Kidd exists. Stellaride is a ship I adore. But today, this show hurts more than it brings joy. Because today, this show got it wrong. Chicago Fire 11×03 “Completely Shattered” got it wrong. And today, it’s hard to believe that they will truly get it right with the other things we care about. We’ve already lost too much, in ways that make very little sense.
Things I think I think:
- Yes, Severide, ALWAYS SUPPORT YOUR WIFE.
- Boden, do you not trust Stella? I’m side-eyeing you a little here.
- NOT THE BABY GOATS.
- Violet’s FACE when she sees her boyfriend.
- I’ll take an entire hour of small stakes drama. Please, give it to me.
- “He is a ridiculously good guy.” He was — he truly, truly was. And I hate that I knew this was foreshadowing.
- Severide delegating the washer/dryer thing? HILARIOUS.
- But seriously, what did Boden expect when he said yes to Stella? Of course, pure chaos would follow.
- Adulthood is noticing the finishings in TV houses.
- Someone please explain to Severide that he is not a cop. Like, stop running right at danger, dude. Remember you promised your wife?
- We deserved to keep Jimmy Nicholas.
- Derek Haas, are you a sadist?
- I’m going to be very honest here: I don’t think it’s possible this show will ever get me to care about Violet and Gallo again. Like, I don’t see it. Not after Hawkins. Not after creating a ship that was so good, you had to kill half of it off for Violet and Gallo to even be a possibility again.
- But man, kudos to you Mr. Nicholas. For making this character more than any of us had any right to expect. We thank you for every minute.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think of Chicago Fire 11×03 “Completely Shattered”? Share with us in the comments below!