Chicago Fire - “I am the Apocalypse” (Recap & Review)

The team behind Chicago Fire really know how to create an atmosphere. We see these vast worlds created in movies such as the recent Marvel films where characters can interact with each other and where you might see Easter eggs from one story spread throughout other movies. Chicago Fire was such a hit that the team created Chicago P.D., a show that would be in the same 'TV reality' as Chicago Fire. This is something that fans have come to enjoy. It makes it more realistic, can provide interesting, full stories, and the crossovers are fun. The main thing that makes both shows successful is the excellent writing. I'm not usually a fan of these types of shows, but the writing, the creative stories, and the cast drew me to these shows. Tonight's episode of Chicago Fire advanced the storyline, but mostly served as an introduction into a possible new show, Chicago Med.


I had been wondering if we would ever see a Chicago Med every time Chicago Fire or Chicago P.D. was at the hospital. It only seems natural that they would focus on the hospital and provide a look into the medical world of Chicago. I became even more interested as they started introducing new characters who would presumably work at Chicago Med. We have been introduced to new characters including Dr. April Sexton, (Yaya DCosta) an old friend of Severide and Dr. Will Halstead, the wayward brother of Detective Jay Halstead. We saw more of them and the other characters tapped for Chicago Med tonight. I'm just as interested in seeing these characters and watching these stories as I am with Chicago P.D. and Chicago Fire.

The episode begins with Dr. Will Halstead (Nick Gehlfuss) leaving his brother's house. He's on his way to the hospital, but it appears he doesn't plan to stay because he wants to go back to New York. Meanwhile the firefighters find themselves at the scene of a gas leak. It's just as dangerous and intense as usual as they rescue men from the roof as an explosion happens in the building. They must act quickly so they help transport some of the victims to the hospital. While they are on their way, we meet Dr. Hannah Tramble (Laurie Holden, 'The Walking Dead'). I was excited to see that she might be joining the Chicago Med cast because I think she could add a lot to the show. Will sees her lying behind a broken refrigerator, which she soon fixes. He seems surprised by her. There's not much time because there's word that the firefighters are bringing in a group. Will and several firefighters try to separate the victims from the gas leak and the people who were there with the flu. It seems like this was a lot to handle at this point. However, the real danger becomes apparent when a man climbs onto a chair, claims to have something worse than Ebola, and then blows himself up with a grenade. Severide pushes him away from the others, which saves them from the blast, but he knocks himself unconscious while doing it.

This creates a panic amongst the people in the hospital. The firefighters must prevent them from leaving because they could all be infected with an airborne disease now. Hannah makes Will let her into the blockaded area so she can help the others. I think this is an interesting choice and could be something they explore later. Will tells Mills that Severide has a low percentage of making it, but Mills tells him that he doesn't care and that he has to help him. Will accepts this and tries to help Severide. Meanwhile Dr. Daniel Charles (Oliver Platt), the head of psychiatry, helps Chief Boden talk down an angry man outside the hospital. I think he is a great choice and I can see him fitting into the show nicely. They are containing the situation as the Chicago P.D. cavalry roll in. Of course, we get a guest by Jay and other members of the P.D.

Hannah, Mills, and Brett are working to save Severide. Mills performs expertly in this scene, but Hannah must perform an emergency surgery on Severide. While unconscious he has visions of him and Shay throughout the whole episode. The citizens and the firefighters are well aware that they could be infected and it's getting to some of them. Casey sees that the firefighters are thinking about what this means and says, “we do our jobs, help these people, don't let the rest mess with your heads.” This is what they needed to hear. It's always good to see Casey step up. Dawson and Will are working to save an older man. The woman who is going to determine if there was an airborne disease arrives as Casey notices black smoke coming from the ceiling vents. They discover an electrical fire. Cruz and another firefighter have to go inside to give them working extinguishers, which puts them at risk too.

We meet another possible cast member of Chicago Med, Sharon Goodwin (Epatha Merkerson), who is the head of the hospital. The parents of the bomber show up and she leads them to Detective Halstead and Dr. Daniel Charles. They say their son left a note apologizing for not being honest with them and that he is off to finish his quest. They are surprised and mortified by what he has done. Their son worked at an infectious disease lab and it's revealed that he injected himself with something that would have made him a walking biological weapon. While they are working on finding out what the disease might be, the disruptive man from earlier argues with Casey and would have hit him in the back of the head if Dawson didn't call out for him. It's clear that they still care about each other. They checked on each other immediately after the blast, she watched him closely during this altercation, and they find each other later as well.

Meanwhile Hannah completes the surgery and Severide is stabilized. Will, who started the show wanting to leave the city and who was doubtful of Severide's recovery, was surprised and said, “I love being wrong.” I think it's clear that Will will stay in Chicago and is finding many reasons to do so. They figure out what the bomber injected himself with so the lady tests Herrmann's blood to see if they were exposed to the disease. After a long break, Herrmann addresses the firefighters and the room and says, “it's not contagious.” In truth, I didn't expect it to be, but I did think they played the episode well and that it was intense in all the right moments.

Although this was largely a backdoor pilot for Chicago Med, we did see some story progression for the members of Chicago Fire. Many of them have moments of reflection on what could have happened and what they do now since it didn't happen. Will sees Hannah crying by herself on the floor and joins her. They share a moment again, which makes me wonder if there might be more to their relationship in the future. The gang goes to Molly's, which is almost necessary at this point. Brett and Mills discuss him rejoining the firefighters. I sort of like him as a paramedic though. There is a cute tension here that makes me wonder if they might have a relationship later as well, although I like her with Cruz. Then Chief Boden and the head of the hospital, Sharon Goodwin speak about the day and the effort of the people. Boden says, “To the good people of Chicago Med. You made us proud today. We are very grateful for what you do for the city.” Sharon says, “Every time those doors crash open, there are good people, people at the top of their games on the other side.” This really feels like an appeal to the audience and an explanation of what Chicago Med could be. I think it will be successful and will fit in with the other shows. I do wonder if it will air on Monday or Thursday. Could it give Grey's Anatomy some competition? We are left with two scenes that will likely become more important in future episodes. Casey and Dawson are about to get intimate, but they agree that it's only a reaction to the day. How will this affect them? Severide tells April that he doesn't remember anything from the day or from what happened to him. It's clear that he does remember or that something else is going on in his mind as he turns and faces the camera with an eerie look in his eyes. How will his visions of Shay and his close bout with death affect him?

We shall find this out and more on the next episode on April 21. Get excited if you're interested in the crossover aspect of these shows because there is another crossover event coming on April 28 & 29. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Chicago P.D., and Chicago Fire will all be part of the event. It could be only so long until Chicago Med joins that list.

Review by: LBurden

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