Chicago Fire “What’s Inside You” Review: Right Time, Right Place

Chicago Fire “What’s Inside You” Spoilers Ahead

CHICAGO FIRE -- "What's Inside You" Episode 1018 -- Pictured:  Eamonn Walker as Wallace Boden --
(Photo by: Adrian S. Burrows Sr./NBC)

There’s a reason that Chicago Fire remains the heart of the One Chicago universe, and it’s by virtue of its characters. At the top of the list is Chief Wallace Boden, the pinnacle of a leader and proof that every successful workplace is only as good as who’s on top.

When Boden’s trip to the supermarket is interrupted by an active shooter, he does what he does best—he reasons and shows his heart, allowing the young man to eventually understand that there’s plenty of heart still left in this world. There’s a lot about this episode that works, but it all boils down to the work Eamonn Walker puts in as Chief Boden, as well as the rest of the squad outside the store. The tension throughout is utterly harrowing, and the stakes are incredibly high, but somehow, when we make it to the end, it’s the type of rewarding episode that people will take about for days to come.

Many actors and characters in this series are irreplaceable, but Chicago Fire’s “What’s Inside You” makes it clear that there’s no one like Chief Boden. The comforting presence that Walker consistently brings to the character is unmatched. Boden’s heart and compassion, as well as his ability to take on every situation with the right amount of everything, ground the series in a way nothing else can.

Boden’s comforting presence is where the best part of his character shines—the detail that “What’s Inside You” admirably showcases by allowing his calm to serve as a means of reflection for viewers. Episodes with hostage situations like this are often difficult to watch, and while this one still is, Chief Boden’s character allows us to understand the effects that considerate reasoning can have. And it’s a direct reminder of the detail that his compassion resides within the entire unit because what he consistently shows to them becomes the skills they extend to the world around them.

And while there are very few words to articulate what a brilliant episode this is, it’s worth noting that final moment in the end where we see that despite his strength, Boden is still heartbroken by the loss neither of them noticed. It’s why the idea of the right place and the right time comes to the squad’s mind because had it not been for his bravery throughout, there would likely be more than one deceased victim. No one else could have contained the hostage situation as gracefully if the person inside didn’t care as devotedly. This is where it becomes beautifully evident that vulnerability, in all cases, will be more beneficial than anything else.

When the people in charge are full of heart, the entire team benefits, and the team as a whole becomes better, bolder, and stronger. This is why Chicago Fire continues to get things right. This is why Chief Boden’s presence is a tireless comfort to the strangers he helps and the viewers. And for years, Eamonn Walker has been bringing exceptional performances to the screen through nuances that consistently tell us more than his spoken words could. No matter the situation or his own fears and apprehensions, his immense heart is permanently on display in his expressions.

Now streaming on NBC and Hulu: What are your thoughts on Chicago Fire’s “What’s Inside You?” Let us know in the comments below.


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