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'Chicago Fire' fan recap: A bromance for the ages

Season 3 | Episode 15 | “Headlong Toward Disaster” | Aired Feb 17, 2015

With the discovery that Shay was murdered, the hunt for her arsonist, and then that whole baby-in-a-basket kidnapping escapade, the last few episodes of Chicago Fire have been a tad … bleak. So, the relatively lighter “Headlong Toward Disaster” was a nice reprieve.

Don’t get me wrong, this is Chicago Fire we’re talking about, so there are still intense calls, romance DRAMA, and arms caught in pinsetters at bowling alleys; you know, the usual—just, not the highest, life-or-death stakes we’ve seen.

Most of the levity stems from the beauty that is The Bromance of Matt Casey and Kelly Severide. It was nice to have an episode that focused on one of the series’ core relationships. Those boys have come a long way since we first met them (remember when they hated each other?! IF YOU CAN EVEN FATHOM THAT), and now here they are doing what best bros do: working together to stand up to the man, defend their buds, and, of course, deal with some lady troubles.

All three of these pillars of friendship are tested in the form of Chief Pat Pridgen (Matthew Del Negro, otherwise known as Hot Dad from Teen Wolf), Boden’s replacement while he’s on furlough to deal with his father’s death. It takes Pridgen about five minutes to rub Firehouse 51 the wrong way: He brings in Lt. Welch (yes, that Welch) to fill Newhouse’s absence on Squad. (Newhouse is on furlough, too, last we heard. Furlough, so hot right now.)

When Casey, Severide, and—somewhat inexplicably—Dawson plead their case as to why Welch is bad news and unwanted at 51, Pridgen is quick to put them all in their place. It’s clear from the start: Pridgen is no Chief Boden.

And if it wasn’t clear from the Welch conversation, it is made crystal by poor Otis’ predicament. Firehouse 51 is called to a bowling alley to deal with the aforementioned arm stuck in the aforementioned pinsetter. Though Pridgen barks orders to the team, Severide overrides them: He and Casey take the lead and free the victim in no time because, hello, they are THE BEST OF FRIENDS.

Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney) works to free a man trapped at a bowling alley in NBC

The victory is short-lived, however. As 51 is cleaning up, Otis slips and falls in the middle of the lane. It’s embarrassing for sure, but made even worse when Pridgen starts taunting Otis while he’s still on the ground. Pridgen christens him with a new nickname: Gutterball. When Casey speaks up on Otis’ behalf, Pridgen puts him back in his place once more. Everyone is uncomfortable.

The awkwardness continues when Casey discovers that Beth (Bree Williamson), the girl he went home with after the luau, is also the newly minted ex-wife of Pat Pridgen. So new, in fact, that Beth shows up at the firehouse to have Pridgen sign their divorce papers.

Casey tries and fails to break things off with Beth; instead, he ends up sleeping with her again (naturally). And Severide, although obviously amused by his buddy (“It takes five hours to break up with someone?”), is concerned that Casey might be tempting fate. Casey takes this advice to heart and officially ends the relationship: “You know you’re in trouble when Kelly Severide thinks you’re behaving recklessly.”

And then they laugh and hug and make friendship bracelets for each other, I’M GUESSING.

Meanwhile, Pridgen is still being a top-notch ass. He won’t let the “Gutterball” thing go, is pretty derogatory when talking about his ex, and then he does the unthinkable: He pulls Severide aside in an attempt to dig up some dirt on Casey, whom he believes is a poor leader and disrespectful. Severide shuts him down immediately, making it clear to Pridgen that Matt Casey is his good (best!) friend, roommate, and a great firefighter. Pridgen does not take it well.

New Firehouse 51 Chief Pat Pidgen (Matthew Del Negro) ruffles feathers on Chicago Fire.

Out on the next call, Pridgen puts Casey to the test. Rather than sending Severide and Squad 3 into the burning house first, as is protocol, he sends Truck 81. Severide doesn’t like this at all, but is powerless to stop it. Otis, looking to prove himself after the bowling alley incident, steps up and makes a big save—except he bites off more than he can chew and needs to be rescued by Severide and Welch.

If you thought Pridgen would just let that slide, well, have you been reading this recap at all? He begins to harass Otis again, but having heard enough, Casey loses it on the interim chief.

Now, Pridgen has been undermined one too many times, and reams out Casey and Severide for their continued insubordination. He reminds them that he’s in charge and wouldn’t hesitate to take formal action against either of them. This time, however, he simply orders them to have the entire house wash all the station windows—in 15-degree weather.

In the end, Casey and Severide take the punishment on themselves because they are GENTLEMEN and leaders—and also, they probably just wanted some alone time.

From the Firehouse 51 Bulletin Board:

  • Boden is having a tough time adjusting to life on furlough. This self-proclaimed “leader of men” (it’s accurate but also a little pigheaded, no?) doesn’t know what to do with himself when he’s left to tend to a baby. Luckily, superdad Herrmann is able to talk him off the ledge.
  • Though Dawson shares some flirty moments with Casey when he stops by to fix her sink (be still my heart!), any hope for a quick Dawsey reconciliation is dashed when Welch informs her that he saw Casey and Beth together. This was your decision, Gabby—live with it!
  • Brett learns that Celia, the tweaker she saved during the weather emergency, isn’t getting much support at home and wants to help. When Celia’s mom shuts Brett out, Cruz helps Brett find a loophole: The doors of Firehouse 51 are always open to Celia when she needs them. Cruz is just winning the boyfriend game from all angles at this point.

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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