Each episode of Chicago Fire is always full of tension, with the Firehouse 51 members working hard to put a stop to different kinds of infernos. And among the numerous great 42-minute offerings, one always stands out each season due to the weight of the story, performances by the cast, and the level of suspense.
Every fan has their own favorite episode of what is the first show in the Chicago universe. However, in each season, there is one episode that is widely considered the best. The fan consensus regarding what’s truly the most entertaining and satisfying episode each season can best be seen through IMDb ratings.
“A Coffin That Small” (Season 1) – 8.8
In the episode, Kelly starts a fight with Matt after assuming he slept with Heather. There’s also a drive-by shooting at the firehouse because a drug-dealing gang isn’t happy with the firefighters’ efforts to clean up the neighborhood. And in what could count as one of the most heartbreaking scenes in Chicago PD, a child that was rescued from a laundry chute ends up dying.
“A Coffin That Smile” mixes both tragedy and relationship drama to good effect. The feud between Kelly and Matt shows how easily procedurals like this can slip into Soap opera territory, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Another thing that’s highly emphasized is that even though these firefighters are often portrayed as heroes, they are not perfect. Despite their best efforts, things can always go wrong.
“Real Never Waits” (Season 2) – 9.2
Dawson gets transferred to the notorious Firehouse 105 whose leader is quite hard-boiled. This makes everyone worried. Severide also gets devastated when an oversight leads to the death of a victim. And finally, the nuptials everyone has been waiting finally happen when Boden and Donna get married at the firehouse.
“Real Never Waits” brilliantly highlights the differences between good and bad leadership. Boden’s good leadership translates to his subordinates loving him so much that they plan a wedding for him at the firehouse when the pastor becomes stubborn. On the other hand, Welch, the mean-spirited Firehouse 105 leader has no one wanting to work under him.
“I Am The Apocalypse” (Season 3) – 9.1
The firefighters rush the victims of a chemical to the Chicago Memorial Hospital but the situation gets even crazier when a man carrying a grenade blows up the hospital. There is thus a rush against time. The episode is also the backdoor pilot of Chicago Med and overall, one of the best Chicago crossover episodes.
What makes the episode entertaining is that no one catches a break. The mayhem keeps piling up to a point where the viewer can’t help but feel sad for all the rescue parties involved. The introduction of the doctors is also done in a way that makes audiences invested enough and makes them look forward to the spinoff.
“The Sky Is Falling” (Season 4) – 9.1
Chilli tries to get Brett transferred to another house after she threatens to expose one of her big secrets. A mass shooter also emerges, with Brett and Chilli almost becoming victims.
The major point that “The Sky Is Falling” drives home is that those with addictions don’t always realize they have a problem. The major secret Chilli tries so hard to cover up is that she was once fired for being an alcoholic. Sadly, covering it up is more of a priority than getting help. And even though the mass shooter’s motivations make little sense, audiences are more than glad to watch him get defeated.
“My Miracle” (Season 5) – 9.3
Cruz and Mouch fight after the latter is suspended for 60 days without pay. Casey also fights with Dawson because her father has overstayed his welcome at their apartment. The thrills are further pumped up when the firefighters find themselves unable to get out of a burning building.
The Season 5 finale’s cliffhanger is largely what makes it iconic. Plenty of questions are raised when Casey gives up on trying to get out of the building and says goodbye to Dawson. Will he die? It would be unfair if that happened since he has plenty of unresolved issues with Dawson. The feuds also make for entertaining viewing, with the characters doing what they’ve always been good at, and that is laying the blame on each other.
“The Chance To Forgive” (Season 6) – 9.1
The firefighters respond to a call but end up taking bullets before they enter the house. It turns out there is no active shooter. The ammunition that the owner has in the house is discharging after catching fire. There is love in the air too as Brett realizes she’s fallen for Dawson.
There’s much emphasis on how different kinds of federal service providers always fail to understand each other. Firehouse 51 members strongly believe that the owner of ammunition should be charged since several people were injured but the police don’t think so. The merits and demerits of workplace romantic relationships are also explored, with some unwilling to pursue it because of the challenges it brings.
“I’m Not Leaving You” (Season 7) – 9.2
Kyle impulsively proposes to Brett who surprisingly says yet and forgets all about Casey. Severide also decides to chase after an arsonist that his father unsuccessfully went after.
The episode is heavy on love than anything else. Kyle and Brett’s engagement is a major surprise since the two had broken up. Prior to the breakup, they had only dated briefly too. The reminder here is that the heart always wants what it wants. There are no major setbacks. Everyone is a winner in the episode except Casey. Among the ways, Casey keeps getting worse and worse in Chicago Fire is his failure to pay attention to his partners hence him getting dumped was deserved.
“Sacred Ground” (Season 8) – 9.1
Another character death happens in the Season 8 finale when rubble falls on Otis during the mattress factory fire. Later, there is an inquiry into the fire.
Episodes involving the deaths of fan-favorite characters always remain unforgettable to viewers and it’s no surprise that “Sacred Ground” is rated highly. After all, Otis had some of the best story arcs in Chicago Fire. The events make it clear just how dangerous this line of work is. There could have been more casualties, with Brett only getting saved in the last minute. But no matter how chaotic things become the firefighters never give up because it’s their calling.
“No Survivors” (Season 9) – 8.6
Relationships are once again the main focus, with Stella and Severide getting engaged. Brett and Cadey also confess their feelings to each other and sleep together.
A few scenes don’t make sense, including Brett not knowing that Stella is engaged yet she’s one of her close friends. Nevertheless, everything else flows smoothly right until the end when danger looms once again. As the team goes to save a victim, they get trapped. The writers have mastered the art of cliffhanger endings and they provide another incredible one here.
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