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'Chicago Fire' recap: The 'Chopper' problem

Season 3 | Episode 8 | “Chopper” | Aired Nov 18, 2014

It was a day like any other day—until it wasn’t. What Chicago Fire does so well in its latest chapter, “Chopper,” is remind us that the firefighters and paramedics from Firehouse 51 (and their real-life counterparts) are just regular people. They wake up and deal with roommate problems, go to doctor appointments, take in a Zumba class, even deal with their possible stage 5 clinger of a wife they just met and married in Vegas and bring home like everything is normal.

See? Firefighters: They’re just like us!

And just like us, their normal day can (and usually does) turn on a dime. The difference is that when their day goes from normal to not, it isn’t because they lost an important file (the files are in the computer!). It’s because, oh, I don’t know, buildings are burning, people are trapped in highly flammable vehicles, etc.

Needless to say, a helicopter getting hit by two kids playing with a drone and falling from the sky—only to leave an enormous line of victims and debris its wake—is not a normal day, even on Chicago Fire.

Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney) attempts to rescue victims trapped on a helicopter on NBC

Normal for Mr. and Mrs. Severide now includes some sexy time and a lot of annoying their roommates. Brittany Baker-Severide asks Kelly to call out sick and spend the day with her, but Kelly, ever the responsible adult, declines. When BBS sees she’s fighting a losing battle, she simply asks for Kelly to promise—no, but really promise—that he’ll be safe. Kelly kind of laughs it off, of course he’ll be safe … but there’s something a little off-putting about the urgency in BBS’ voice.

As Squad 3 heads to the scene of the chopper crash and Severide attempts to prep his team for what they’re about to face, he gets multiple text messages from his wife. He ignores them, of course, because he’s, you know, PULLING PEOPLE OUT OF DOWNED HELICOPTERS.

Once on site, Severide leads Squad 3 up to the roof of the building, where the helicopter is currently teetering. The team uses some ropes to steady the chopper as they pry open the door to free the three people trapped inside. As Severide pulls the final victim out, he ends up inside the helicopter. When the roof begins to collapse, the rest of Squad 3 holds onto the ropes just long enough for Severide to jump to safety.

Back on the ground, Severide learns that Brittany has been at the scene the entire time, mainly annoying Chief Boden, but also worrying about her husband’s well-being. She’s also left him 37 messages (what, like it’s weird?). Kelly isn’t happy, and Brittany tries to explain that she was terrified she would lose him.

Now, before you bring out the crazy-person pitchforks and run BBS out of town (I certainly had to put mine away), we find the newlyweds in bed again (makeup sex FTW!), chatting about Brittany’s giant “Kathleen” tattoo that she adds to over and over again in order to remember the pain of losing her sister. Mystery solved, sort of. The two connect over their shared grief for someone they loved. As Kelly looks over at a picture of Shay, he promises—no, but really promises—that he’s not going anywhere.

Kelly Severide cuddles up with his wife (Serinda Swan) on NBC

Sylvie Brett’s normal day starts with a little light reading, some out-of-class tips from her Zumba instructor, and asking her PIC for advice on firehouse dynamics. Mills thinks she’s inquiring about in-house relationships, but before she can clear things up, they’re at the site of the chopper crash and are, to put it mildly, very busy. Eventually, the two come across a victim in a van trapped by the back propeller of the helicopter. Is it just me, or does this helicopter have some seriously good aim?

Mr. Van Driver is less than grateful for the help and barks at the paramedics to leave him alone. Brett figures out why when she spots a bag of passports on the van floor and realizes the driver is up to no good. Mills has to run off to assist Dawson, leaving Brett alone to handle to situation. She tries to sass him into submission, but he pulls a gun on her. She continues to fix him up; he refuses to go to the hospital and flees the scene.

Post-shift, Brett notices the same guy tailing her as she drives home. And because apparently Brett is now a teenager in a horror film who can only make terrible decisions, she pulls over into a deserted alley. Her fear is all for naught, however: Mr. Van Driver just wanted to say thank you in his own creepy way, and gives her his card (which reads: “Gus: Anywhere. Anytime. ANYTHING.”). If she needs anything at all, he’s a guy who can get things done.

Run, Brett—run your little butt right to Zumba class!

From the Firehouse 51 Bulletin Board

  • Truck 81 makes some pretty impressive rescues at the chopper site as well: Dawson follows a trail of blood, as one does, and comes across a teen with a severe head wound. Turns out he and his brother were flying a drone, as one does, and it collided with the helicopter, causing this catastrophe. Casey finds the brother passed out in a transformer cage near a live wire (OF COURSE), but lives to tell the tale—and take his lady to a fancy hotel.
  • Herrmann was MVP of the hour, wasn’t he? He used humor to calm down the victim under the rotor, and doled some perfect dad-to-dad advice when Chief Boden needed it the most.
  • Boden and Donna learn that Donna has placenta previa, which is extremely dangerous for both mom and baby (boy). Even though Boden is terrified, he tries, very gallantly, to be there for his wife. But who will be there for me?!
  • Spotted: Joe Cruz moonlighting as a Zumba instructor in Pilsen. C was bringing the magic and bringing the funk. xoxo, Gossip Girl. Jeez! Word spreads just as fast around Firehouse 51 as it does on the Upper East Side. But those Gossip Girl kids wouldn’t be half as fun in Zumba class as our firefighters. Well, maybe Chuck Bass.
  • What’s up with the Dawson/Mills rekindling? It was great to see them working as a team again, but are we really going to go there?
  • Casey handing Severide an orange for some post-coital sustenance is still making me laugh.

Have you recovered from that intense hour yet? Still have doubts about Brittany? What do you think Brett will use her “Gus” card for? And if Kelly Severide is the Serena van der Woodsen of Firehouse 51 (because, obviously), who’s the Blair Waldorf?

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

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
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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