In this edition of our ongoing Midseason Report Card article series we’re putting the focus on Chicago Fire, a show that certainly had a number of ups and downs throughout the first part of its run. Note that we don’t necessarily mean that creatively; instead, we’re speaking more about the characters that are a part of the series.
Related Chicago Fire video! – Be sure to check out some more thoughts on the midseason finale below, and remember to subscribe to CarterMatt on YouTube for more updates. Also, be sure to check out our full One Chicago playlist for some other scoop.
The biggest creative challenge for the NBC series this fall was clear: Moving on past Monica Raymund and the character of Gabriela Dawson. There is no replacing her, and that’s something that has to be made clear. With that, the best thing the show could do is to cast people who are different from her. They did that with Emily Foster, who has been a wonderful addition on the paramedic team. She’s likable, entertaining, and she brings a little bit more LGBTQ representation to One Chicago — which is certainly always welcome. Watching her friendship with Brett blossom has been one of the most pleasant things about the new season.
What may be more polarizing, however, is the presence of Naomi, the investigative reporter who Casey eventually slept with in the fall finale. We do think that the series could have been a tad more explicit with some of Matt’s intentions and feelings here — we see the two of them being together as Matt reminded himself that he is still desirable. He’s probably more heartbroken over the apparent end of his marriage than he’s shown and trying to move forward may be him trying to mask some of that pain. This would probably be a little more understandable if it was spelled out a little bit more.
Taylor Kinney’s powerful story
There were a number of emotional hours throughout the season for different actors, whether it be Joe Minoso (Cruz), Miranda Rae Mayo (Stella), or Eamonn Walker (Boden); yet, we do think that Severide’s arc will be one of the most notable given that the loss of his father Benny is putting him down yet another spiral. It’s a place that he has been before and it may be a place that he’ll go again. While there is a part of us that clamors to see something different out of him when things go south, this is a part of who he is and it’s hard to change that. We still have hope for Stella and Severide and Chicago Fire probably does, as well — we just hope that Severide gets it together in the new year. For now, kudos has to go to Kinney for delivering on a great storyline.
Chicago Fire remains one of NBC’s best shows and to us, it is still the crown jewel in the One Chicago lineup. We found a lot of the stories this fall to be satisfying, especially the battle against Gorsch, Stella and Severide, and also the arrival of Emily. While Casey and Naomi’s plot was not perfect, we at least do understand the emotional place the writers were coming from. Here’s to hoping for an intense premiere … especially on the other side of that cliffhanger. Grade: B+.
What did you think about the first half of Chicago Fire season 7? Be sure to share right now in the comments. (Photo: NBC.)