Normally Chicago Fire separates the runs the firehouse is sent on and the drama in the fighters’ personal lives. There have been times—like when Dawson saved a girl but did something illegal to do so—when the run correlates with the drama, but normally it just touches on themes. In “Rear View Mirror” however, the runs are seamlessly blended into the overarching plots that come to an end this week.
Tension has reached a boiling point as Detective Voight’s harassment of Casey and fiancé Hallie has been taken to a new level—a level which includes cocaine planted in Casey’s home, a faulty warrant and fist fights. It has gotten so bad that Dawson’s brother, Antonio, is still looking for someone to wear a wire to get Voight on tape saying that he is after Casey. There was one troubled teen brought in on drug charges, but he refuses to take the deal. That is until Casey unknowingly saves the boy. Chicago is that small of a city for a coincidence like this, right? Right.
Voight’s downfall was a little too easy and anti-climactic for a show that thrives on intensity. But this definitely doesn’t seem like the end of the Voight-Casey battle, and hopefully the character pops up again later in the first season (which has just been announced to be a full-fledged pick-up).
As much as Casey’s plot fills the episode with drama, Dawson’s hearing easily fills the other half. She is just as tense as Casey is, but it always felt like she deserved to be put in the situation she was in. Sure, she saved a girl’s life and got a slap on the wrist for the procedures she took, but it was when she drop-kicked a teen that really landed her in hot water. If she wasn’t such a hot-head, everything would go over much more smoothly than it has been. Obviously smooth isn’t in Chicago Fire’s playbook. Dawson is an intriguing character because of her flaws and will continue to be a fan favorite.
Again, in the end her story wraps up too anti-climatically. During her hearing that could result in 100 days of suspension, her rep brings in the girl Dawson saved along with the parents. This could have been a very moving scene that proved how courageous Dawson’s actions were, but instead we get a cut to a party celebrating her victory (she only gets suspended for three shifts).
Of all of the drama that had built up over the past few weeks, I expected more of a climax with Voight and Dawson’s suspension. Instead we were let down and everything wrapped itself up with a nice bow. Everything else about the episode—the acting, the cinematography, the pacing—all worked out, but it wasn’t enough to take the weakened storytelling beyond creating an average episode.