Chicago Fire “Nemesis” Review: A Loaded Hour

Chicago Fire “Nemesis” Spoilers Ahead

CHICAGO FIRE "Nemesis" Episode 1109 -- Pictured: (l-r) Alberto Rosende as Blake Gallo, David  Eigenberg as Christopher Herrmann
(Photo by: Adrian S Burrows Sr/NBC)

Chicago Fire Season 11, Episode 9, “Nemesis,” is the kind of loaded mid-season finale that will keep viewers on their toes until next year. While sometimes that’s a good thing, it can also be intensely frustrating. Here, it’s a bit of both because the episode gives us some lovely moments while setting up more drama that no one wants to see. 

While we know that this cliffhanger is likely a red herring, it doesn’t change the fact that the series has tested our trust this year. After what it put Violet and Evan through, and deliberately insisting on giving Gallo further trauma in “A Beautiful Life,” it’s hard to feel like the drama isn’t for the sake of subverting expectations rather than telling stories full of heart. When it comes to Chicago Fire’s role in the One Chicago universe, the show has always stood out for its warmth and transparency, and because that feels less and less true these days, it’s worrying that something could potentially happen to Stella, Carver, and Mouch when we return. 


CHICAGO FIRE -- "Nemesis" Episode 1109 -- Pictured: Miranda Rae Mayo as Stella Kidd --
(Photo by: Adrian S Burrows Sr/NBC)

Hopefully, this storyline with Stella and Kelly will be behind them after we return in the year. As the arc that began the seasonChicago Fire’s “Nemesis” ending with it would’ve made perfect sense. Except we’re not yet done, are we? But we’re close, and that’s what matters, so long as Stella makes it out alive. Last year, there wouldn’t be a glimmer of doubt in my mind, but it’s scary to think that even if she makes it alive, Stella could live with a lot of trauma after this situation. 

While the episode brought attention to the fact that Kelly isn’t sleeping properly and constantly thinking about this case, the second half of the season could look into Stella’s coping methods. But will the season even do so, or will they brush it under the rug throwing yet another dramatic curveball in the direction of our leads? Who knows.

The Cruz Family

The Cruz Family in Chicago Fire Season 11 Episode 9 "Nemesis"

Nothing is more satisfying than watching the Cruz family officially adopt Javi with the entire fire station at the courthouse. This one scene is the whole reason why Chicago Fire’s “Nemesis” is an episode worth remembering. The entire arc with Cruz and Javi has been a refreshing balm to the series’ darker season. Anytime Javi’s been on screen, it’s been a reminder of the detail that sometimes, people find each other right when they need to, and in doing so, lives are changed forever. 

All Out Mystery” is one of the sweetest episodes in the season, and to actually watch this moment on our screens as opposed to hearing about it is everything. Kristen Gutoskie, trying to hold back Chloe’s tears as the judge made a statement about how this is one of the best things she gets to do, floored me. The moment felt so undeniably real, reminding us of the heart that continues to beat in this show even while it gets hard to trust where it’s going. If it weren’t for moments like this, with Firehouse 51 all congratulating them and grinning from ear to ear, then Chicago Fire would be a very different show. These are the scenes that make every dramatic storyline worth it. 

Further Thoughts

  • The fact that they’re already closing Gallo’s relationship with Herrmann’s niece is concerning. They should’ve let him pursue it.
  • Speaking of Herrmann, he does deserve everything.
  • Carver actually didn’t bother me in this episode. Go figure.
  • I miss Hawkins. I hate all this so much still.

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

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