Chicago Fire season 5 episode 21 review: Is Mouch leaving? Other issues

Chicago Fire season 5 episode 21 reviewJust as you would expect given that we are so near the end of the season, Chicago Fire is only heating up and becoming more intense. We got a prime example of this very thing on Tuesday night with a story about grief and several forms of heartbreak.

The person who was perhaps experiencing the most heartbreak was Mouch, who had to start wondering if he wasn’t capable of doing the job anymore. He wasn’t there for Cruz in the midst of being questioned about his role in the bar brawl, and because he didn’t know about the right rules and regulations, Cruz got suspended for sixty days without pay. It could have been worse, but it absolutely could have been a lot better.

From there, Mouch made a variety of other mistakes, including one out in the field and some struggles around the firehouse. He had an offer to dive into a sales career, and at the end of the episode, it was something that he was clearly considering. This makes sense when looking at the show from a realistic standpoint, largely because of the fact that this sort of stuff happens. People leave jobs. We just don’t want to see it happening here largely because of the fact that we like Mouch, his relationship with Platt, and we don’t want to see him go anywhere.

As for some of the other stories in the hour, Severide was channeling his grief in a surprising way. He wasn’t drinking, and instead, he was focusing mostly on his work. We’re pleased about this in two different ways: The writers aren’t regurgitating old material, and to go along with that, we’re seeing that Kelly actually has learned a thing or two from Anna. Also, he found an unlikely partner to share his grief with in Jason Kannell. He was hard on him at first after arriving to Firehouse 51, but the two guys bonded over a project that Jason was working on during some of his off time.

The stories for Casey and Dawson

Over the course of tonight, the two were dealing with very different problems. For example, we saw Casey struggling to get a First Responders measure passed in the local government in the wake of what Kannell went through. Unfortunately, he learned the hard truth about politicians in this episode: They lie. He’s not really any closer to anything now than when he was at the start of the episode.

As for Dawson, she learned a very different sort of truth over the hour: Her father was struggling. Since the divorce, he went through his retirement and no longer has a leg to stand on. Now, she’s left to help him get his life back together.


You could make a case that this episode could have been even bigger thanks to everything going on in some of these characters’ lives. Yet, for everything we saw over the course of tonight, it felt like vintage Chicago Fire — a punch right to the feels. Great characters and organic storytelling. Sometimes, a show doesn’t need to be any more than what it is. Grade: A-.

What did you think of tonight’s Chicago Fire episode? Share some of your thoughts with a comment below!

Meanwhile, be sure to head over here to preview what is coming up on next week’s big Chicago Fire finale. (Photo: NBC.)

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