Chicago Fire “Haunted House” Review: The Normal Moments

Chicago Fire “Haunted House” Spoilers Ahead

CHICAGO FIRE  "Haunted House" Episode 1105 -- Pictured: Eamonn Walker as Wallace Boden --
(Photo by: Adrian S Burrows Sr/NBC)

Chicago Fire Season 11, Episode 5 gives fans a spooky season episode to dive into with a lighter tone that brings Kelly Severide and Stella Kidd’s best to the surface. But a trigger warning is due for those of us, Sylvie Brett included, who have coulrophobia (fear of clowns). 

As Violet states, getting yelled at by Gallo and Ritter is the most normal she’s felt since returning to work after Evan’s death. And in a nutshell, Chicago Fire’s “Haunted House” subtly digs into this idea of normalcy by allowing its characters to make mistakes without necessarily dealing with the aftermath. Further, while it’s nice to see that Violet is feeling better, I once again hope the series doesn’t merely gloss over her grief. 

Haunted House

Pictured: Kara Killmer as Sylvie Brett in Chicago Fire Season 11 Episode 5
(Photo by: Adrian S Burrows Sr/NBC)

When it comes to how Chicago Fire differentiates from other shows in the One Chicago universe, it’s always because of moments like this. The firefighters and paramedics at Firehouse 51 are allowed to have fun in the midst of terrible cases, and they’re allowed to work together as a team. And that’s just it. They get to be a true team even when that means Boden takes over all operations, recreates the Haunted House his way, and then tells them to change it back so it’s more appropriate for kindergarteners. 

The episode is fairly simple in its thematic showcase of normalcy because it ultimately digs into all the chaos the group can find themselves getting into while sticking together. And yet, it misses a few marks in choosing not to deliver in areas the audience would appreciate. For instance, when will it be Ritter’s turn to have a partner we see on-screen? We had hope for five minutes, but it was torn away from us in true network television fashion.

Additionally, while we’ve been very vocal about how we don’t want to see Gallo and Violet as anything more than friends, it’d be cool if the series could allow us to get to know Tracy more so we could start shipping them. But instead, we watched Carver learn the secret, and since we’re still skeptical of him, we’re not yet sure whether he’ll keep it.

Still, it’s lovely that Violet is now in on the secrets her friends have been keeping. It’s also great that Chicago Fire’s “Haunted House” brings some truth to the grieving process, which is that many people generally dislike when people walk on eggshells around them. Though there are certain things that can be triggering in the grieving process, deep down, hearing good news is always something that has the potential to heal, even if it’s for a moment. 

An Understanding

CHICAGO FIRE -- "Haunted House" Episode 1105 -- Pictured: (l-r)  Miranda Rae Mayo as Stella Kidd, Taylor Kinney as Kelly Severide --
(Photo by: Adrian S Burrows Sr/NBC)

The best part of this week’s episode is watching Stella and Kelly care for a struggling teenager while digging into their pasts to find the best ways to help. We never doubted that these two could be great parents, but this proves it. But more than that, there will never come a time when their displays of casual intimacy won’t feel like the most comforting part of Chicago Fire. 

Severide struggled greatly because of his father, and we’ve watched the lasting effects impact his relationship with Stella in the past. But today, as a married couple, they’re not only putting up a united front, but they are showcasing what it truly means to grow beyond the perils of darkness from one’s upbringing.

We’ve come so far since their decisions to close themselves off to the world. Severide and Stella are more open now than they’ve been before, and even though the conversations are brief, they still do plenty in evolving them as a couple. That’s why amid haunted houses and Halloween shenanigans, they were the perfect pair to help someone through the real-life horrors of grief and misunderstandings.

Chicago Fire’s “Haunted House” is a significantly lighter episode than we’ve gotten in the last two weeks, which is necessary considering there’s only so much crying human beings can do. It doesn’t necessarily do anything to move the plot along, but it passes the time while giving our characters moments to take a breather and revel in the silliness of a holiday. 

Further Thoughts

  • Okay but seriously, when are we giving Ritter a romance?
  • Does anyone trust Carver yet because I’m still not there?
  • Stella kissing Kelly randomly will always make my heart melt.
  • Boden being so fiercely into Halloween is everything. Except where was his costume?
  • Look, I get block parties are a thing, but I find it very hard to believe that Molly’s didn’t have a single customer that night.
  • Who decides to dress up every child in a classroom as clowns because I have questions and concerns.

Now streaming onĀ Peacock: What are your thoughts onĀ Chicago Fire‘s “Haunted House?” Let us know in the comments below.


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