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'Chicago Fire' recap: Red light, green light

Season 3 | Episode 3 | “Just Drive the Truck” | Aired Oct 7, 2014

Well, that was an intense 15 minutes, wasn’t it? The rivalry between Firehouse 51 and Firehouse 105 finally came to a head on the latest installment of Chicago Fire, a big ol’ truck-flippin’ head.

Within the first three minutes, our guys are out on a call, when they spot Lt. Welch’s truck racing to the scene as well. As we fortuitously learned last week, the first truck on scene is in charge (hey, thanks, writers!). Cruz (Joe Minoso) is willing to speed to beat them, but level-headed Casey talks him down.

We get it, Casey, YOU’RE PERFECT. Why don’t you just go watch some other woman’s kids while she’s in prison, or something, okay?

Just kidding, you’re the best.

Anyway, we’re led to believe the other truck has either gotten stuck in traffic or passed them when—BOOM—it slams right into Truck 81 and flips it on its side. When Mouch is covered in blood, you know things are not okay.

The accident throws our favorite firefighters into chaos, to say the least. Though aside from Mouch, who ends up with a corneal abrasion and a sweet eye patch, Firehouse 51 leaves the accident fairly unscathed. Firehouse 105, however, is not so lucky.

Their driver, Molina (Glenn Stanton), is taken from the scene unconscious and with a crushed leg. His house buddies immediately blame Cruz, claiming he blew a red light. Not even Cruz himself can confidently say that the light was green, and the big teddy bear is forced to answer some police questions and take a breathalyzer. If Molina doesn’t make it out of surgery, Cruz could be charged with manslaughter.


Cruz tries to apologize to Welch and his buddies, but it only escalates things. The guilt becomes almost too much to bear for Cruz, who begins to seriously doubt his innocence. Even a patented “The firehouse believes in you, Joe!” pep talk from life coach Matt Casey can’t pull Cruz out of his funk; the guy is really torn up inside.

But then, during an impromptu benefit at Molly’s for Molina’s family, the good news comes through: Molina is up and talking. Talking so much, in fact, that he admits Welch gave him the go-ahead to beat Truck 81 to the scene no matter what. In the end, all the blame lands on Molina and Welch. And just when all that yelling about Molina being his best friend was helping me see Welch as a human being rather than a cartoon villain. Oh well, suck it, Welch!

Cruz isn’t the only member of Firehouse 51 having a rough go of it. During the firetruck collision, Peter Mills has another one of his spells like last week’s and falls from the roof of the truck. Severide orders Mills to see a doctor, who diagnoses him with BPPV, a form a vertigo, and pretty much crushes all hopes of Mills ever getting back on Squad.

Mills can’t accept it at first, mainly because if he’s not a firefighter, who is he? Cripes, Chicago Fire, I’m just one woman here. I’ve only got one heart and two arms. I can’t possibly comfort another firefighter in the throes of a shame spiral! Can we just group-hug later with Severide?

Chicago Fire

Meanwhile, the Chief encourages Mills to seek out his father’s family, even though last week his mother warned him against it. He finds Leonard Mills, his grandfather, in the hospital battling stage 4 cancer. When Leonard realizes who Mills is, he embraces him, so glad to finally meet his grandson.

Reconnecting with his father’s family gets Mills thinking about why he became a firefighter in the first place: to follow in his dad’s footsteps. Newhouse (Edwin Hodge) feeds Mills this sweet line about shoes not fitting but not having to go barefoot through life—as men typically do while in the middle of a one-on-one basketball game, I imagine. Regardless, the idea of forging his own path is an interesting one for Mills, and when the opportunity arises for Mills to take over Dawson’s spot on the ambo now that she’s a firefighter, he seizes it.

From the Firehouse 51 Bulletin Board

  • Chief Boden and Casey hatch a plan to make Dawson Firehouse 51’s new candidate. Casey and Dawson will have to postpone their wedding, but other than that, it should be great, right? DOUBTFUL. However, I did enjoy how happy the rest of Truck 81 was when Dawson gave them the good news. They’re all best buds!
  • Our dear Kelly Severide is still reeling from the loss of Shay. He can’t bring himself to even go into the hospital to see Molina, and goes AWOL for the 48 hours between shifts, missing Mills’ messages about his medical condition. Doesn’t look like things get any easier next week either, as Severide goes all Keanu Reeves in Speed and tries to stop some psychopath on a subway train. Pop quiz, hot shot.
  • Trudy Platt is a goddess. The way she sass-mastered her way into 51 and took care of her man was inspiring. Also, we’re all calling Otis “Mustache” now, right?
  • I think NBC is missing out big time on some multiplatform storytelling: How about a web series called Cruising with Cruz? It’s all about Cruz and Casey driving around town, and every episode ends with Casey singing “I love it when we’re Cruz-ing together.” I’m no TV executive, but I think it could be a hit.

Well, my firebugs, how relieved were you to see Cruz vindicated in the end? Is this the last we’ll see of Welch? We’re all in agreement that having Dawson as the new candidate is going to blow up in Casey’s face, right?

Chicago Fire airs Tuesdays at 10/9C on NBC.