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Chicago Fire “Show of Force” Review: The Luckiest Man

Chicago Fire “Show of Force” Spoilers Ahead

CHICAGO FIRE -- "Show of Force" Episode 1012 -- Pictured: (l-r) Taylor Kinney as Kelly Severide, Miranda Rae Mayo as Stella Kidd --
(Photo by: Adrian S. Burrows Sr./NBC)

Stella Kidd deserves the world, and Chicago Fire “Show of Force” understands every bit of this sentiment. For as much as it’s the episode where they clear Pelham’s name, instead, the thing it achieves best is cementing that she’s got this. There’s nothing she can’t do, and anyone who stands in her way would be a fool. 

Unless, of course, the person who’s standing in front of her is Kelly Severide, making it clear that he knows he’s the luckiest man in Chicago because of her. After the nonsensical drama from “Back With a Bang,” we’re finally seeing what should’ve been a glorious reunion. This is it right here—this moment and finally sealing the proposal with an actual ring. (We’re all likely going to need the month-long hiatus to recuperate.)


Chicago Fire “Show of Force”—A Love Letter

CHICAGO FIRE -- "Show of Force" Episode 1012 -- Pictured: (l-r) Taylor Kinney as Kelly Severide, Miranda Rae Mayo as Stella Kidd --
(Photo by: Adrian S. Burrows Sr./NBC)

In more ways than one, Chicago Fire “Show of Force” is a love letter to who Stella Kidd is and how much she’s capable of. It’s also a love letter to partnerships and that people working together can consistently achieve more than when doing so alone. And on a show like Chicago Fire, that’s never something that diminishes individual strength, but rather it’s an ode to families and the lengths people are willing to go to for each other.

She’s acting Lieutenant while she does everything she can to genuinely clear Pelham’s name even when she was initially hesitant, and it’s moments like this that authenticate why Firehouse 51 is a true family. 


Stella’s strength lies in her compassion, her transparency, and even her weakness—the moments where burnout gets the better of her, the choices to do better, and tirelessly opening her arms to be of use. It lies in her heart and the fact that once she loves, it’s fervent and forever. She questions and she doubts and she wonders because it’s the human thing to do. Stella knows her worth and value, but hearing those words matter because it’s something that fuels us people. It’s something that contributes to our growth and makes it better.

The Magic Words

CHICAGO FIRE -- "Show of Force" Episode 1012 -- Pictured: (l-r) Taylor Kinney as Kelly Severide, Miranda Rae Mayo as Stella Kidd --
(Photo by: Adrian S. Burrows Sr./NBC)

Five words can equate to magic when it comes from someone special, and five words can have a colossal effect when utmost adoration fuels them. Anyone can say those words to Stella, but the weight comes from Kelly’s innate, unwavering belief in her. It’s different when he says it because he’s her person. He’s her safe space, her best friend, and her biggest confidant when she’s in doubt. He’s her home. And that’s never been more true in a moment like the proposal where she once again understands that not only is she perfect for him, but she’s beyond that. 

She makes him the luckiest man in all of Chicago, not the other way around. She gives him a reason to be better every day in the same way that his belief in her fuels her doubts. 

If anything, this episode proves that a ring is replaceable, but it’s the man’s devotion to the woman that makes every memory worth the price. And Kelly Severide proved that he understands this because when he gives her a ring, he essentially promises that he’s going to make every minute of their future worth it. (He already did this with the proposal, but you get the gist.) It’s different this time.


For the two of them, it’s all those moments—the quiet nights on the couch, the times spent at Molly’s, the early mornings, the burning desires, and everything in-between that makes their lives better. It’s a quiet moment without flames engulfing them; there’s no rush this time, and yet, you could feel the depth of their love beautifully.

Chicago Fire “Show of Force” brings Firehouse 51‘s heart front and center by showcasing that they’ll not only always look out for their own, but they’ll even look out for those outside of their circle. The show is at its best when it balances the accidents with the character driven arcs.

Further Thoughts

  • That kiss between Violet and Hawkins?? I AM WRECKED. I was not expecting to ship these two and I realize that it’s probably not endgame but holy smokes, it was incredible. If they wanted to make it a thing and keep it going forever? I wouldn’t say no.
  • I was ready to distrust Pelham because of Grant Ward, but I realize that’s not how shows work, and yet, here we are.
  • Herrmann family feels makes the world a better place.
  • I might not get on an escalator for a while…

What are your thoughts on Chicago Fire “Show of Force?” Let us know in the comments below.


Gissane Sophia View All

Gissane (pronounced Geese-enny) or, as people often call her, "Goose," is a Christ fan above all and a romance enthusiast who's taken her Master's degree in English and love for essays into writing lengthy analyses about pop culture.

She is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Marvelous Geeks Media and the co-host of Lady Geeks' Society Podcast. She drinks too much coffee, wants to live in a forest, and cries a lot because of her favorite characters. She's a member of The Cherry Picks and can also be found writing features for Looper.

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