Chicago Fire loses one of its own

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If I come across a little grumpy this morning, y’all have Chicago Fire and the Season 3 debut to thank for that. We all knew going into Tuesday night’s new episode that it meant the end of the line for one of our favourite Firehouse 51 characters, but … damn. Did it have to go down like that?

In case you haven’t seen “Always,” you’d better grab Trudy another bottle and stop reading, because you’re definitely going to be spoiled. We’ll catch you guys later. For those of you sticking around, can I just say it again? Damn.

Sure, we’ve had some rough times with Leslie Shay in the past, especially when she went all emo and stayed out all night drinking in Season 2. But her relationship with both Dawson and Severide was one of the best reasons to tune into the show. We need more strong female characters and friendships on television; we shouldn’t be taking them away. And to think, a part of me was still holding out hope for a Severide/Shay baby.

But, I suppose the decision has been made, and all that’s left is to dissect how it all went down and what that means for the show going forward. Obviously Severide is going to be the person most affected by all of this, and he’ll need to be handled with kid gloves going forward. Shay was always the one who knew how to handle him when he went into his dark, disappearing moods, so someone will have to fill that void. Showrunner Matt Olmstead has confirmed that the broody firefighter will be moving in with Casey and Dawson for moral support, so that will lead to a ton of interesting conflict—especially since Casey and Dawson are now engaged. Or at least they will be in the near future.

What’s beautiful about the way the episode played out (in a very morbid way) was that we didn’t see the languishing death scene that tends to come with this kind of drama. Shay was there, and then she wasn’t. It felt very true-to-life and instantaneous, the way it actually feels when someone you love is ripped from you. It’s part of why fans are mourning this morning, and it’s something that is going to haunt Dawson moving forward. The scene in the therapist’s office was so well done—from Monica Raymund’s quivering lip to her full-blown meltdown—you understood the sense of relief and anguish that came with admitting out loud all of her guilty feelings for switching places with Shay.

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Moving forward, it’s obvious that this death is going to resonate throughout the first half of the season. Dawson will have to decide if she can leave the firehouse for her new gig at a sexist, unsupportive place. Severide will jeopardize his relationship with Lindsay because he won’t know how to emotionally handle it. Chief will feel guilty that one of his own was lost, especially as he prepares to welcome a new baby. Mills will face the physical repercussions of the explosion (I don’t buy that he’s 100 per cent healed) and perhaps even feel guilty if the storyline has him considering taking Shay’s place on the EMS team. The rest of the guys will attempt to find solace together, leading to more buddy-buddy moments. And new EMS worker Sylvie Brett—an actual breath of fresh air in that dreary place right now—will have to find her footing amongst it all.

Sounds like a pretty jam-packed season to me.

Firing off:

  • Were there any dry eyes in the house during the flashback scenes, especially the ones involving Severide?
  • Was I the only one hoping against hope that the death was a red herring and Shay actually was still alive in a hospital bed somewhere? My stomach sank when we saw that picture.
  • On a lighter note, it’s fun to see that Mouch and Trudy are still a thing. And that the latter really, really enjoys her wine.
  • Sounds like we’ll be getting another Molly’s soon. Perhaps some of the PD guys need a new watering hole? I know I could use a drink after Tuesday night.

Are you devastated? Excited to see all of these stories play out? Furious over losing such a cool gal? Let’s have some group therapy below. In the meantime, let’s just all enjoy this little preview of next week’s, shall we?

 

Chicago Fire airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on NBC & Global.