Chicago Fire Season 1 Review “Professional Courtesy” – Dirty Cops And X-Rays

This episode of Chicago Fire focused more on the drama than the runs, but there was still a lot to take in. Let’s dive in!

Firehouse Runs

The first run deals with a young man, drunk behind the wheel. Due to his drinking at least half–if not all–of a six-pack of beer, he caused another car–containing a man and his boy–to topple over, nearly falling from the freeway onto the lower streets below. The squad get there and help the injured, but once Casey goes back to see about the drunk driver, he’s disappeared. Instead, we find out he’s the police detective’s son, and the evidence of his drinking has been cleaned up. Sadly, no cop will vouch for what Casey saw when it comes to the accident. We later find out the injured boy is paralyzed.

The second run involves a man who was trying to kill himself. He jumped from his apartment building, but got impaled by the wrought iron fence on the way down. If I had Chief Jones’ input, I’d know how true-to-life this scene actually was, but for me, it was very thrilling and informative. The cast seemed like they really knew what they were talking about. It was a little like Star Trek, when the cast starts spout off information that sounds like a foreign language to viewers. But, that’s one of the things I like about Star Trek and I’m glad this show embraces the techno-babble as well. It makes me comfortable.


This episode was a lot more drama-centric, it seems, than the last episode. Casey’s subplot with Detective Voight, the “dirty cop” (Jason Beghe) is on Casey’s tail, urging him to comply with his wishes. First, he tries to bribe the squad by sending them a massive TV to replace their broken one. Casey orders for the TV to be taken back to Voight, causing Chief Boden to pull him aside and tell him about what’s happening. Sometime before this, Casey has been advised by Dawson’s brother, a by-the-book vice cop, to lay off Voight–Voight has serious connections with gangsters, and things get really ugly really fast with anyone who tries to take him on. Later on, Dawson’s brother and Casey are in the chief’s office, telling him about what happened. Once the father of the injured boy comes to the station to bring them a “Thank You” cake as well as news that a report states he was the cause of the accident, Casey decides once and for all to write the correct outline of what happened, with the chief backing him. Chief Boden also backs him up when Voight takes Casey to a bar to bully him. We’re certainly going to see more of Voight, especially since we see him give Casey an ominous look-over as he drives by Peter Mills’ mom’s diner. I must mention, though, that Casey is an honorable guy through and through, because he uses his second job, his own construction business, to build the injured boy’s family a nice wheelchair ramp. The guys on the squad help, too.

Speaking of Peter Mills’ mom’s diner, Mills’ mom is very nervous about him becoming a firefighter. He wants to follow in the footsteps of his dad, who died during a run. Mills’ sister, Elise (Alexandra Metz), tells him that the only way their mom will be all right with him following in the family way is if she’s reassured nothing will happen to him. Mills figures one way of doing that is by inviting the crew to the diner for some food and TV-watching. Mills’ mom takes Casey aside to tell him how worried she is, and Casey promises to look after her son.

In other news, Severide is facing dire health issues. Shay (who I hope I’ve been calling “Shay” instead of the actress’ real last name, “German”) forces him to get a check-up, and it turns out his neck is basically broken. He has a pinched nerve in his C5 vertebrae, located in his neck. The ER doctor, Shay’s friend, says he needs surgery, which could put him out of work for six months to a year. He doesn’t want to get surgery because he loves his job, but she says that the symptoms could get worse, ranging from relatively mundane things like weakness in the hands, to something much more serious. The way she put it, it sounds like it can get life-threatening over a period of time. Keep in mind, this injury happened a month ago, during the “Darden Incident.” Severide’s already feeling the effects of the injury–that’s why he keeps doping up all of the time. At the very least, Shay is thinking of her job by telling him she can’t be his supplier anymore. Severide needs to make some decisions, fast.

Oh, and Severide is also dealing with the new payroll lady. According to NBC, the payroll lady’s name is Nikki Kahler. I could have sworn her last name was Wachowski or something like that. Either I’m wrong, or Chief Boden has some serious mushmouth going on sometimes. If you saw the first episode, you probably know what I’m talking about. Anyway, she and Severide are cavorting in the locker area in the engine bay–not once, but twice! The second time is when her dad happens to pop up, and when her dad figures out what was going on, he stops by Severide and Shay’s apartment to give him what-for. He says Nikki’s engaged. So apparently, she’s a bit unprincipled along with being good with numbers.

Also, a firefighter named Vargas is transferring from the truck to the squad. Severide’s a bit put off by him since it seemed like he insinuated that Severide’s time is winding down, but later on, when Vargas meets with Casey in private, Casey tells him congratulations.

Chief Jones’ fact-checking

Overall, there didn’t seem much to fact-check on in this episode, since a lot of it was just basic drama.

Chief Jones didn’t have a chance to watch the episode, but when I called to ask about the runs taken in this episode, he said all of it was possible. However, the one thing that was not possible is getting away with cavorting in the locker. Jones said that if someone was caught doing that, they would either get written up or fired. Since both Severide and Kahler are on city payroll, they are both subject to some sort of treatment, whether it means getting a note in their file or let go. Seeing how die-hard Severide is to stay on the squad, you think he’d stay out of things that could get him sent home. Whatever.

So there you have it! We’ll see what happens with Casey and Voight next week!