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'Chicago Fire' season 3 premiere recap: This place will never be the same

Season 3 | Episode 1 | “Always” | Aired Sept 23, 2014

Sound the alarm, friends! Firehouse 51 is back in action. The Chicago Fire season 3 premiere starts right where we left off. In case you drank too many margaritas this summer (guilty!) and somehow possibly forgot (I could never!), we left off right in the middle of a call gone bad, leaving almost the entire firehouse—sans the newly wifed-up Chief Boden (Eamonn Walker)—in quite the precarious situation.

We were left with burning questions like: Who would beat the heat and make it out alive? Which of our beloved firemen would we have to extinguish from our hearts forever? And how many fire-related puns would I be able to fit into my season 3 recaps?

Finally, we have some answers. Well, come on, fire walk with me.

Again, we watch as Boden calls out for any member of his team to answer, but this time, instead of radio silence, we finally get to see the aftermath of the explosion. One by one, each member of Firehouse 51 makes it known that he’s OK. But when Severide (Taylor Kinney) and Casey (Jesse Spencer) call out for Ambulance 61 and there’s no answer, we know something is not right.

It’s Leslie Shay (Lauren German). Loyal, funny, vulnerable, stubborn, likes-to-drink-tequila-and-make-bad-life-decisions Leslie Shay. No matter how hard Dawson (Monica Raymund, a REVELATION) and Severide try to revive her, there’s just no coming back from that kind of head wound.


So we’re forced to say goodbye to one of the Chicago Fire originals. I’ll miss Shay for so many reasons. I’ll miss Shay because she challenged her best friends to be better people. I’ll miss Shay because she made me laugh. Most important, I’ll miss Shay because she was a character you don’t see often on network television—a complex, smart gay woman, who made mistakes but never apologized for who she was. So yeah, losing Shay is going to be hard—like, deep-into-my-second-bottle-of-wine hard.

It’s six weeks later, and the two people who knew Shay best are still grappling with the loss in major ways.

Gabby Dawson and her survivor’s guilt: Dawson, who at the end of season 2 passed her firefighter’s test, has stayed on as a paramedic at 51 until replacements showed up. Boden thinks it’s time for Dawson to make her transfer just as the new paramedic, Sylvie (Kara Killmer), arrives.

Dawson, of course, is hesitant to trust the newbie. (And it doesn’t help that Sylvie is basically a Shay clone—ah! Cylon?) Once Sylvie MacGyvers her way out of a sticky situation during one of their calls, Dawson realizes her precious Ambo 61 will be left in good hands.

But leaving Firehouse 51 isn’t Dawson’s real problem. During a flashback to the explosion, while working on the victim, Dawson decides to give Shay a lesson in the field and has Shay take the reins; she’ll have to take charge once Dawson leaves anyway. Well, the two switch places and BOOM, the place explodes, and Shay gets slammed in the head. THEY SWITCHED PLACES.


In one of the best scenes of the episode, we discover that Dawson has been going to therapy since the accident—a secret she’s been keeping from everyone, including Casey. Dawson has been voluntarily attending these sessions but, as her therapist informs us, she still hasn’t said a word. Her therapist reminds her that he knows how to deal with first responders like Dawson, that first responders “do things whether they’re ready or not.”

Finally, Dawson breaks down and admits that Shay is only dead because of her. Oh, Gabriella Dawson, you beautiful, flawless-skinned wonder, you’re breaking my heart.

Speaking of broken hearts:

Kelly Severide is an island: After six weeks with no word from Severide, and an impassioned speech from Boden about the house needing leaders, Matt Casey goes to find his hurting comrade. Luckily for me and every human with a functioning libido, Casey finds Severide out in the woods, chopping firewood in a tank top and avoiding his feelings.


I mean, COME ON. I know we’re not supposed to be in favor of dramatic tropes because “they’re lazy” or whatever, but a big ol’ muscly man putting himself in self-imposed isolation instead of working out feelings by heading into the woods and chopping things with an ax—I’ll never not be in favor of that. Also, later Severide shows up on his motorcycle, and I almost get pregnant.

Anyway, Severide doesn’t think he’ll be back to Firehouse 51, because for him it’s cursed. Casey, dear Casey, reminds Severide that their fallen brothers, like Shay, didn’t die for no reason; they died to save lives. He hands Severide Boden’s call log, which notes all the lives saved on every call the house goes out on. On Shay’s last call, 10 lives were saved.

It’s enough to bring Severide back.

While packing up Shay’s things from their apartment, Severide finds an old video the two made when they first moved in together, detailing a roommate-friendship contract. The most important rule is rule number 4: Promise to be there for each other no matter what. Always.

Oh boy, this one’s going to sting.

From the Firehouse 51 Bulletin Board

  • Finally getting to see Dawson answer Casey’s proposal was worth the wait. It was lovely and sad all at the same time. Of course Dawson didn’t want their engagement forever tied to that terrible day. Even better: Casey acknowledging how important Shay was to Dawson and promising to propose properly. This isn’t over. More tears next week, I guess.
  • Severide moving in with Casey and Dawson is the greatest version of Three’s Company ever imagined.
  • Mouch (Christian Stolte) and Trudy Platt (Amy Morton) are the true power couple of Chicago Fire. I love me some Boden and Donna (Melissa Ponzio), but it’s really no competition. Also, get that woman some red wine!
  • Herrmann (David Eigenberg) attributing the idea to franchise Molly’s to Shay tugged at my tiny heartstrings. I always loved their relationship. Ack! Another thing I’ll miss.
  • Is love in the air for Otis (Yuri Sardarov) and Sylvie? Please say yes. Otis deserves some romance.
  • I may or may not be making a still of Boden in his Led Zeppelin shirt into my computer background.

Well, how are we all holding up after that season premiere? Was the decision to kill off a character like Shay bold or boneheaded? Who else is dreading Dawson’s imminent move to the new firehouse? When will there be more woodchopping?

Chicago Fire, rated TV-14, airs Tuesdays at 10/9C on NBC.

TV Families | EW.com
February 23, 1990 at 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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