My love for Chicago Fire and Chicago PD is too overwhelming to write about in under a 50,000 words so instead let’s try focusing on one aspect: #OneChicago. This past week there was a two-night event crossover between the shows centering on a bombing at a cancer fundraiser/10k race. Some might say that just a year after the horrifying events of the Boston Marathon bombings this might be distasteful and sensationalist, I don’t necessarily agree but there are moments of such outlandish Michael Bay-style patriotism even I had to roll my eyes. I’ll try to leave out some major details in case spoilers aren’t your thing. First up was Chicago Fire which aired the night of Tuesday, April 29th; we open the show finding out Herrmann is getting a trial run as acting lieutenant of Truck 81 while its usual leader volunteers at Race Against Cancer. He’s nervous and flustered while Chief Boden silently assures he’s more than ready to handle it. Since NBC has been hyping this even for weeks everyone already knew shit was going down later that day so you can just mentally insert your own dramatic irony trumpet noise. Then we pan over to the race where the firehouse power couple of Casey and Dawson are prepping the FD/PD tent. Struggling a few feet away is rookie cop, Kim Burgess and after a moment of camaraderie we are introduced to three people. The only reason people get introduced on these kinds of shows is if 1) they will be joining the cast or getting their own spinoff, 2) they will be royally fucking up a main character’s life for 2-4 episodes then disappear forever like that chick you experimented with in college, or 3) they are red shirts. Two of the three newbies are 9-year old girls so they might as well be fitted for a Starfleet uniform because they are basically walking emotional targets. The other fresh face is none other than The O.C.’s Hailey Nichol. I know she’s been in other things but everyone on that show is permanently that character in my head. Hailey, or “Holly” (I mean, come on, they hardly even tried to change her name) is the new pediatrician who just moved here from New York. Uh-oh. We’re three minutes in and here’s a doctor. Shit will definitely be getting cray. Dawson walks into the hospital looking for runner registration and we come across a former reoccurring doctor: grumpy Arata. He grumbles some curt remark about being too busy to help her because he’s “saving lives”. Well, obviously he will be the redeemed hero by the end of this. Very soon after that we see the two girls run past Casey with balloons in their hands, laughing. The symbolism is getting real heavy here, guys. Then the bomb goes off. Most of the episode centers on the two girls’ lives which hang in the balance, one with fatal liver damage and the other non-responsive from brain trauma while Casey and Severide crawl through the collapsed rubble looking for Dawson. The standout moments for me is Dr. Scowly-Pants Arata being a sass-master and doing everything he can to save Crushed Liver, literally every firefighter of color from the house goes on a hunt for the second car bomb even though they are way less experienced with bombs and trained to handle fires or rescue, and of course the small snippets of Voigt’s crew. Now on Wednesday night on Chicago PD we were able to see the behind the attack. Voigt’s not-so-happy, definitely-dysfunctional work family swoop in and realize they are supposed to be taking orders from *gasp* the FBI. Quick aside, I love that shows about local police the feds are the annoying obstacle but on shows like Criminal Minds or White Collar the local police force is always in the way. ANYWAY, Voigt hates not being top dog so after two minutes of interviewing staff and witnesses, something that is plebian and below the level of expertise of his department, he decides to start an investigation all on his own. Someone did not get hugged enough when he was young. The rest of the episode plays out like the normal PD formula. Lots of tricky lying bastards and leads that hint at something bigger. The only real gripe I have is that when the team finds out Burgess’ niece is one of the injured her partner shows up and she falls into his arms, explaining how bad it is. Which would be fine EXCEPT he was in the Fire episode already with her. I understand it’s for the benefit of viewers who hadn’t seen the first part but I want more awkwardly tense and inappropriately intimate moments between her and Ruzek. Or maybe even strong, character developing moments that don’t involve Burgess interacting with men? What a lofty and foolish idea, Denise. Stop that. Of course the team solves everything. They are beautiful and flawless but the hardest part of this show in general is believing how much Voigt gets away with shit. Granted, that was the hard part to swallow during his original run on Fire. He straight up uses violence and sometimes torture to get information out of these scumbags and the FBI literally let him. Umm, no. I don’t think that’s how it works. Then again, on Fire Boden, Cruz, and Mills could have actually waited for the bomb squad to show up to disable the second car bomb but they didn’t because that wouldn’t be as fun to watch. And what’s the point of prime-time television if it isn’t fun to watch? What stuck out the most for me was how much of an emphasis was placed on the two doctors: Sass-Mater and Hailey-From-The-OC. Dr. Sass-Master even goes as far as to tell this heart-wrenching story about his first real break into the medical field that ended in his dad dying. WTF? Then Dr. Hailey-From-The-OC ushers in her whole family to watch as her little sister’s mortality slowly washes away. Not only were they given names but back story and depth?! It almost seemed like this was a two-show, two-night backdoor pilot for Chicago Med. I can see it now: Chicago Med– “Saving lives isn’t as easy when it’s your own.” We already know a handful of the hospital staff from Fire and PD so why not give us ANOTHER spinoff? There’s Kendra, the black lesbian doctor and young, pediatrician dude who is cute but not so cute he would be an arrogant surgeon, and then there’s funny but loose with the rules EMT #1 and EMT#2! If NBC and Dick Wolf really want to sell this Chi-town lifestyle on me then I practically demand a hospital show, damnit!
For six years Agent Denise has been working undercover on the front lines at Comics Unlimited. It is in this store where she reads, sells, organizes, and acts out comic books new and old. You can track her capricious thought process and love/hate affinity for shitty television on Twitter: @ironpissed or on Tumblr: www.immortalironpissed.tumblr.com