We might need to send Chicago Fire a therapy bill after this season.
The NBC drama has tackled some heavy storylines as of late, shocking viewers with the devastating death of Violet’s boyfriend, Paramedic Field Chief Evan Hawkins, in the third episode of Season 11. Then the firehouse crew and fans were hit with another emotional wallop when Herrmann’s devoted wife and the mother of his five children was diagnosed with lung cancer. There’s also been plenty of other struggles, including relationship strife for both Stella and Sylvie.
We get it — TV dramas need obstacles and conflict and, well, drama, to fuel storylines for the nearly two dozen annual hours that make up a broadcast like Chicago Fire. And as the Windy City heroes have tackled this season’s challenges, it’s only reinforced how strong the family bond is at Firehouse 51, and the cast has certainly risen to the emotionally daunting arcs.
But while there have been moments of levity in between — the Halloween episode, Gallo’s dating misadventures — is it too much to ask that something really good happen to the characters… and soon? (No, a wealthy victim donating money to Herrmann’s son’s school doesn’t count.) Because we could definitely use some happiness after recounting below all the bummer stories that are plaguing our hearts and brains this season.
#OneChicago fans, check out the following recap of Season 11’s dire times, then hit the comments to let us know if this season has you feeling a little blue.
Sylvie Brett's Love Life
The season got off to a sad start when Brett broke up with her long-distance boyfriend Casey over the phone, lamenting that the timing just wasn’t right for them. Even her attempts to get back in the dating game with the cute Dylan and move on have taken on a melancholy air, with the cloud of Casey still hanging over Brett. We understand that getting over the firefighter is not easy, but watching the paramedic pine for something that can’t be and possibly sabotage a perfectly good new relationship also hurts.
The Death of Evan Hawkins
The series blindsided viewers when, in Episode 3, Paramedic Field Chief Evan Hawkins (played by Jimmy Nicholas) was crushed to death by a collapsed building while he was rescuing a trapped man. His girlfriend Violet was devastated, and so were we, especially given the timing: The couple had finally taken their relationship public and recently said that they love each other. Then the other shoe dropped. The aftermath of Evan’s demise was no easier to witness as Violet (a wonderful Hanako Greensmith) grappled with her grief.
Cindy Gets Sick
As if it wasn’t enough that we’re still mourning the loss of Hawkins, now Herrmann’s sweet wife Cindy has lung cancer. Is Chicago Fire trying to emotionally destroy us?! Dear Powers That Be: If you’re reading this, don’t you dare kill off Cindy! We’ll send Emma Jacobs after you, if you do.
When Carver finally opened up to Stella about the burn scars on his arm, the story of how he got them was far more disturbing than whatever we could have imagined. It turns out his bully of a brother pushed him into a fire when he was nine years old, just because, and then told everyone that Carver fell in accidentally and that he saved him. If that’s not dark, we don’t know what is! And given his sibling’s recent reappearance in Chicago, do we now need to also be worried about what else Carver’s brother might do?!
Trauma and Marital Woes
Sure, “Stellaride” feel solid at the moment, but it hasn’t been an easy season for the couple. Since getting hitched, Stella and Severide have been through the wringer: their honeymoon was interrupted by drug dealers, who attacked the pair; Stella was severely injured during a blast and suffered recurring nightmares; the married colleagues disagreed during a rescue call, leading Stella to question if they should even be working together; and now it appears that Carver is developing feelings for Stella, which could come between the husband and wife. So much for a peaceful honeymoon phase!
Severide's Impending Absence
We don’t begrudge star Taylor Kinney taking a leave of absence to deal with a personal matter, but there’s no denying that Severide being gone for however long will affect the show and that he will be missed. Not only is the character the leader of Firehouse 51’s rescue squad, but he’s also one-half of the biggest couple currently on the drama. Plus, there’s the question of how Severide will be written out, and several of the ideas that TVLine presented for how the show can address why the firefighter is MIA aren’t exactly happy scenarios. (Sorry!)