Chicago Fire “Something For The Pain” Review

Chicago Fire 11×10 “Something For The Pain” Spoilers Ahead

CHICAGO FIRE -- "Something for the Pain" Episode 1110 -- Pictured: Taylor Kinney as Kelly Severide --
(Photo by: Adrian S Burrows Sr/NBC)

Chicago Fire Season 11 Episode 10, “Something for the Pain,” is the type of new year return that clarifies why the dynamics at Firehouse 51 are so special. Trauma requires healing, and pain sometimes requires medication—whether in the literal sense or through conversations, it’s not something that can or should be ignored. 

The episode picks up right where the mid-season finale, “Nemesis,” ended with an explosion making us question whether Stella Kidd and Carver will be okay. Thankfully, they both are in the physical sense, but the people they were before going into the house and the people they come out as aren’t the same person. And Chicago Fire 11×10 carefully excavates what this means by ensuring that it emphasizes the importance of companionship. 

Something For The Pain

CHICAGO FIRE 11x10 -- "Something for the Pain" Episode 1110 -- Pictured: (l-r) Miranda Rae Mayo as Stella Kidd, Taylor Kinney as Kelly Severide --
(Photo by: Adrian S Burrows Sr/NBC)

On a series full of relationships that have ended, Kelly Severide and Stella Kidd are a constant—they’re the love story we keep coming back for. Because today, after everything they’ve been through, they know that their partner’s life matters more than anything else. They’d go through hell and back for each other—to the ends of the earth, wherever necessary. It also doesn’t help that Miranda Rae Mayo and Taylor Kinney are excellent at conveying vulnerability, making their scenes that much more heart-shattering.

We’ve frequently made complaints that some episodes gloss over trauma instead of adequately acknowledging the lasting effects it can have, but thankfully “Something For The Pain” leans heavily into its title. There’s a misconception in the world that hiding one’s pain somehow equates to bravery. (How capitalism has made this far worse is also a discussion for another time.) But pain demands to be felt, and you can only ignore it for so long before it blows up in your face, making matters far worse. It isn’t strong or healthy to pretend you’re fine when you aren’t. Medication exists for a reason. And in this case, for Stella Kidd, it’s knowing she has someone by her side who understands the trauma she’s survived. It’s knowing that when she wakes up at night screaming from the terrors, she has her husband by her side to remind her she’s home—she’s safe. She doesn’t have to pretend with him, even when she’s genuinely ready to go back to work. She can work through the trauma while simultaneously being so sick of it.

Flooding Back

CHICAGO FIRE 11x10 -- "Something for the Pain" Episode 1110 -- Pictured: Jake Lockett as Carver --
(Photo by: Adrian S Burrows Sr/NBC)

Taking what she knows at home into regard, going through trauma also requires looking toward the people who are also suffering alone. We rise when we help others too, and knowing that Carver’s off, choosing to remind him that they’re in this together made Chicago Fire 11×10, “Something For The Pain,” one of the most thematically cohesive episodes. Sharing whiskey at Molly’s is also the most human we’ve seen Carver because letting his walls down with Stella, even for a moment, showcases the detail that we’re all fighting through something. 

And even Carver’s backstory tells us that sometimes, the idea of being saved by someone is a tough pill to swallow. People cope with the situations they’re in differently, and sometimes, all a person needs is the space to know that their pain isn’t going to be mocked or turned into something fabricated. It might not heal them right at that moment, but knowing there’s a safety net is an essential first step.

Chicago Fire 11×10 “Something For The Pain” also brings this notion to life through Sylvie’s system for abandoned babies. The decision heightens the idea that presenting people with the opportunities to lean on others if necessary is how we dismantle toxic beliefs that pain must be endured alone. Such storylines continue to make the series exemplary because when it leans into human complexities and our emotions, it results in better storytelling. 

Further Thoughts

  • Actually begging this show never to subject us to Emma again. I’ll take any other character except her.
  • How the academy straight-up refuses to acknowledge network television performances is utter bull because both Mayo and Kinney destroyed me this week with their work.
  • Violet also broke my heart once again, but what else is new? I’m never getting over Hawkins’ death.
  • Hermann being a good husband is aces.
  • We’re getting to a place where Carver no longer annoys me and I’m hoping it stays this way.

Now streaming on Peacock: What are your thoughts on Chicago Fire 11×10 “Something For The Pain?” Let us know in the comments below.


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