Season 4 | Episode 10 | “The Beating Heart” | Aired Jan 5, 2016
Welcome back, Firebugs! I’d wish you all a happy New Year, but somehow I doubt anyone could’ve truly enjoyed the holiday season knowing that Christopher Herrmann was writhing around in the back of Molly’s with a stab wound to the gut. C’mon, Chicago Fire! Putting Papa Herrmann in harm’s way is simply not cool. Who else would give the gang heartfelt life advice while simultaneously making terrible business decisions? NO ONE.
As Boden so correctly puts it, Herrmann is “the beating heart of 51,” so naturally, after Herrmann is discovered by Dawson and Otis, the entire house ends up in the hospital waiting room. Freddie Stabs-A-Lot got Herrmann real good: The knife went through his liver, diaphragm, and lung. Dr. Rhodes (Colin Donnell) and his handsome face inform us that they gave Herrmann a blood transfusion and are going to wait and see if his liver stops bleeding without surgery. The whole situation is very critical, but the guy is just so gosh-darn good-looking that I think everyone feels pretty okay about it.
Eventually, 51 has to head out for their shift. Cindy doesn’t have to shoulder this alone, though; Gabby will be there for support—Herrmann is her mentor, after all (this relationship makes liquid shoot out of my eye holes). It’s a good thing Gabby is around, because things start to go downhill real fast.
The bleeding hasn’t stopped, and Herrmann crashes. Dr. Handsome brings the firefighter back, but has some bad news: He’s suffering from TRALI (Transfusion-Related Acute Lung Injury). Herrmann has reacted badly to the blood transfusions and is in respiratory distress. If it happens again, which is likely if he has to go into surgery for his liver, Herrmann might have to be intubated. Not even the handsomeness can make that sound better.
Dawson confronts Dr. Handsome about his choice to wait out the bleeding—Herrmann is a fighter and a man of action, not someone who would sit and wait—but the doc promises he’s doing everything he can. Dawson’s not convinced.
Needless to say, the rest of Firehouse 51 is having trouble concentrating while on shift. Perhaps suffering the most, though, is Joe Cruz, who feels responsible since he introduced Sir Stabs to the crew. The combination of guilt and a lack of leads as to Freddie’s whereabouts leads to Cruz going on a solo investigation to find the troubled kid.
Cruz pays a visit to the seedy gang leader Freddie would run to when in trouble. Well, Seedy Gang Leader isn’t very friendly. He wants Cruz to get lost, and demonstrates this by shoving a gun in Cruz’s face. Like, dude, where are your manners?
Luckily, Severide and the rest of Squad 3 pull up in their truck. Seedy Gang Leader lets Cruz leave unharmed, but probably the best part of Cruz’s day is when Severide gives him a comforting arm squeeze. Makes the whole thing worth it, I bet!
Cruz leaves the Freddie Hunt up to Ruzek, his beard, and the rest of Chicago P.D.‘s Intelligence Unit. Imagine his surprise when 51 gets called (they’re having the busiest day) to assist the police in bringing down a man they’ve chased onto a very unstable fire escape … and the man is Freddie. Cruz wants to be sent up on the ladder to talk Freddie into safely coming down. Freddie resists, it gets extremely dicey, but eventually Cruz is able to convince Freddie to do what he says.
Cruz, hanging off of the truck’s ladder, multiple stories in the air, gets the scared kid down and Freddie is immediately put into handcuffs. Cruz reminds Freddie that he brought all of this on himself and deserves what’s coming. You’d think this would relieve some of Cruz’s guilt, but it’s not until the big guy gets a one-on-one with Herrmann that he can truly let go.
You guys, what can I even say about this scene? Joe Minoso is just a complete all-star. Cruz confesses to Herrmann that the only reason he didn’t want Freddie to die is because he wants the kid to rot in jail. He’s heartbroken on so many levels. Herrmann, of course, is so lovely even in critical condition: He tells Cruz that what he was trying to do for Freddie was a great thing, and he doesn’t blame Joe at all.
Cruz’s relief is short-lived, sadly. Every machine in the place starts beeping—Herrmann is bleeding out. Dr. Handsome rushes him into surgery, even with the looming threat of TRALI and the knowledge that it might be to late to do anything more for the ailing firefighter.
And on that harrowing note, Chicago Fire slides seamlessly into Chicago Med and we never learn the fate of Christopher Herrmann. Just kidding! You can totally find out what happens to Herrmann if you watch Med. That’s what a crossover’s all about, son!
The Firehouse 51 Bulletin Board:
- What was more swoon-worthy? Mouch telling Trudy that marrying her would be his greatest honor or Mouch calling Herrmann his best friend and better half? Do not make me choose because it is impossible.
- “That proposal was really messy and half-assed, but then again, so are you. But you are also the kindest and most honest man that I have ever met and I would be the luckiest girl on earth to call you mine. Randall McHolland, will you marry me?” Trudy should be in charge of every proposal ever.
- “Hey, you’re an idiot. A big, beautiful idiot.” AND THEN CROTIS TOUCHED FOREHEADS.
- Oh, Chili. Jimmy and Brett are on alert because this week their bud is agitated, aloof, and crying alone in hospital waiting rooms. What do we think? Bipolar disorder?
- Sure they only interacted for a few seconds, but I’m already waiting for Cruz and his nurse to mash faces, take it to the altar, and have little bald babies. We all felt that heat. Let’s make this happen, people. We all deserve a win after tonight, don’t we?
Chicago Fire airs Tuesdays at 10/9C on NBC.