5 Reasons to Watch ‘Fire Country’ on CBS

Fire Country official poster

We rarely recommend a show in its first season without seeing the entire thing, but it’s hard not to praise CBS’ Fire Country. While procedurals are generally a hit or miss, for fans of NBC’s Chicago Firewe might have uncovered the next best thing, full of so much heart that it’s been hard to imagine something as good for five weeks now.

There’s already an intriguing overarching storyline outside of the weekly cases, and that alone deserves viewers going in spoiler-free. And for the sake of allowing readers to experience the series as it should be, we’ll keep this list vague but packed with all the necessary beats we think are essential.


The Characters

“Pilot” – Max Thieriot stars as Bode Donovan, a young convict seeking redemption and a shortened prison sentence by joining a prison release firefighting program in Northern California where he and other inmates are partnered with elite firefighters to extinguish massive, unpredictable wildfires across the region. It’s a high-risk, high-reward assignment, and the heat is turned up when Bode is assigned to the program in his rural hometown, where he was once a golden all-American son until his troubles began. Five years ago, Bode burned down everything in his life, leaving town with a big secret. Now he’s back, with the rap sheet of a criminal and the audacity to believe in a chance for redemption with Cal Fire, on the series premiere of FIRE COUNTRY, Friday, Oct. 7 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network and available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+*. Series also stars Billy Burke, Kevin Alejandro, Diane Farr, Stephanie Arcila, Jordan Calloway and Jules Latimer.  Pictured (L-R): Jules Latimer as Eve Edwards, Jordan Calloway as Jake Crawford, and Max Thieriot as Bode Donovan.
Photo: Bettina Strauss/CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The characters in Fire Country are complex, flawed, and multi-dimensional. There’s so much to appreciate about them right now that it’s primarily why the series is so instantly gripping. It’d usually be too hard to tell after five episodes where a procedural on network television is going, but the series effortlessly packs so much in a single episode that we can already be sure of specific traits and how the characters will eventually grow as the series progresses.

Their complexities make each episode far more engaging, and by the time the forty-five minutes is over, we’ve got a whole bunch to dissect and look into. There are even a few characters who shouldn’t be likable, but they are because of how real they feel.

The Romance

Pictured (L-R): Stephanie Arcila as Gabriela Perez and Max Thieriot as Bode Donovan. in Fire Country
Photo: Bettina Strauss/CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

We’re always going to be romance fans first and foremost, and Fire Country doesn’t disappoint in this area. It’s been a while since we’ve had an incredible friends-to-lovers slow burn, and that’s exactly what the series gives us with Bode Donovan (Max Thieriot) and Gabriela Perez (Stephanie Arcila). 

Related Content: Fire Country’s “Get Some, Be Safe” Sets Up Bode and Gabriela’s Relationship Exquisitely

We know we said no spoilers, but technically, telling you what ship might be the one you gravitate toward most isn’t a spoiler. There’s also a promising LGBTQ romance set up early on, and the series gives us a steady, happily married couple who remind us a lot of Madam Secretary’s Elizabeth and Henry McCord. The best part is, all these couples seem to be friends-to-lovers, which is already handled so well, we can’t wait for what will follow

Redemption Story

Pictured: Ty Olsson as Cory Walters and Kevin Alejandro as Manny Perez.
Photo: Bettina Strauss/CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

At its core, Fire Country is a series about redemption and second chances. And much like the complex characters guiding the story, the strings that bind them are the mistakes that they have made. Their pasts aren’t burdens but rather stepping stones. Fire Country is already a series that makes it clear that human beings aren’t perfect, but they deserve the chance to prove themselves. In quiet moments and rather loud ones as well, we get to watch these second chances lead characters toward better places.

The redemption arc leads each of the characters toward a place where they are the best versions of themselves, allowing them to be that much more relatable and inspiring. Part of the reason procedurals like this work is because the heart that’s brought centerfold acts as a wholesome cleansing balm for viewers. When a series allows vulnerability to be at the crux of its narrative, then more often than not, it deserves to be on everyone’s watch list. Viewers can grow and learn alongside these characters, making the viewing experience that much more pleasant.


Intriguing Cases + Found Family

“Where There’s Smoke…” – When the crew responds to a call in a remote forest, they come under fire by an outlaw protecting illegal marijuana crops, on FIRE COUNTRY, Friday, Oct. 21 (9:00 – 10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network and available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+*.  Pictured (L-R): Peter Bryant as Sheriff, Diane Farr as Sharon Leone, and Jules Latimer as Eve Edwards.
Photo: Sergei Bachlakov/CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Thus far, the cases on Fire Country have actually been thoroughly engaging. Because of how small the town is, the cases bring characters to familiar places, making the arcs feel more personal. And while this will undoubtedly change as the series moves forward, right now, it’s refreshing and entirely gripping.

The familiarity throughout the people in the town and the dynamics bring found family elements to our screen, and if you’re anything like us, there’s nothing quite like a band of misfits finding a home with each other.

The Cast

“The Fresh Prince of Edgewater” – After Bode requests to be transferred to a different city, his future in Edgewater hangs in the balance. Meanwhile, the crew joins forces to protect the town from a treacherous storm, on FIRE COUNTRY, Friday, Oct. 14 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network and available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+*.  Pictured (L-R): Max Thieriot, Billy Burke, Stephanie Arcila, and Kevin Alejandro.
Photo: Bettina Strauss/CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Fire Country is burning (pun intended) with a ridiculously good-looking and talented cast. The series stars Stephanie Arcila as Gabriela Perez, Max Thieriot as Bode Donovan, Kevin Alejandro as Manny Perez, Jules Latimer as Eve Edwards, Jordan Calloway as Jake Crawford, Diane Farr as Sharon Leone, Billy Burke as Vince Leone, and more. (Look, we’re going to get transparent here and say that when it comes to Twilight, the dads were always the best characters, and having Billy Burke in a series as a dad is a big win.)

The first five episodes have been an emotional rollercoaster in myriad ways, and the cast is continuously bringing their A-game as they bring the words on the page to life. The authenticity attached to the performances is a large part of the reason why the series doesn’t fall into an overly cheesy category. The cast is already doing such a fine job of bringing layers to their characters and the dynamics that it’s riveting to watch.

We know starting a new procedural series on network television can be tricky. Believe us; we’re standing right there with you because cancellation track records are never good, and it’s hard to trust that we won’t get attached to something that’ll leave us wanting more. But sometimes, even the shows that don’t last long are worth diving into. Sometimes, the good outweighs the bad, and it’s worth investing ourselves into something even if it doesn’t go as we please or if characters we love are written off. (It sucks big, it really does.) But right now, we’re choosing to trust Fire Country because there’s too much heart attached to the series to turn off. 

Fire Country is now streaming on Paramount TV.


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