Chicago Fire “How Does It End” Review: Talking Things Through

CHICAGO FIRE 11x12 -- "How Does it End" Episode 1112 -- Pictured: (l-r) Taylor Kinney as Kelly Severide, Miranda Rae Mayo as Stella Kidd --
(Photo by: Adrian S Burrows Sr/NBC)

Chicago Fire 11×12 “How Does It End” Spoilers Ahead

Chicago Fire Season 11, Episode 12, “How Does It End,” is a continuous reminder that the people around you matter. There’s nothing too challenging or unbearable that cannot be made just a little bit easier when the company you keep is loving, supportive, and loyal. But that doesn’t make the difficulties any less heartbreaking or even, sometimes, unnecessary. 

No one wants to see mom and dad fighting, but more than that, no one wants to know that there’s something wrong with someone they care about. Waiting is hard. Having hope during a fight is hard. And with this show’s track record lately, trust is hard. But we’re going to choose to believe that after all the heartaches they put us through this season, we’re going to see happiness come for the Hermann family — they’re tough as nails. That better be a reality.

How Does It End? It Doesn’t for Stellaride

CHICAGO FIRE 11x12 "How Does it End" Episode 1112 -- Pictured: (l-r) Christian Stolte as Randy “Mouch” McHolland, Taylor Kinney as Kelly Severide, Miranda Rae Mayo as Stella Kidd --
(Photo by: Adrian S Burrows Sr/NBC)

Every so often, the show tries to pull something with Stella and Kelly to make us doubt, but that’s not the case in Chicago Fire 11×12 “How Does It End.” Because for these two, there is no end, even when it comes to questioning whether working together is a good idea on the job. But this conversation was necessary because Kelly seemed more robotic and emotionless for a while. And granted, we saw how he reacted in the mid-season premiere with Stella’s condition, but she didn’t. And feeling the way that she does is entirely justified, given his behavior in this episode.

If nothing else, the episode clarifies why it’s imperative to talk things through, and it does so with multiple characters. No one should have to carry anything alone, spousal frustrations included. It shouldn’t have taken Boden talking to them like they’re teenagers for them to finally get their act together and express their feelings. But what’s done is done, and hopefully, this isn’t something we have to deal with again for a long, long time. Because Stella putting on Kelly’s lucky jacket is a reminder to him that he’s never been more fortunate than in his relationship with her, and he should be consistently reminding himself (and everyone around them) how damn lucky he is to call her his wife.

If You Need Anything

Hermann and Chief Boden in Chicago Fire Season 11 Episode 12
©NBC

Whenever I want to quit this show because of how little I trust it, Chief Boden reminds me why I’m still invested. Firehouse 51 is a team unlike any other on TV, representing the kind of perfectly dysfunctional and messy family you don’t want to run from. Yes, they’re imperfect. Yes, they’re annoying at times. But they’re home. And in this house, it’s genuinely about a family consistently looking out for one another and seeing all the signs people think they’re doing a good job of hiding. Boden will always be there for his team because he doesn’t view any of them as below rank, but he sees them as his family. He cares for each and every one of them with an open heart, and he’ll jump even before they tell him to.

Seeing him sit beside Hermann and remind him that he’s always the last one to go was the right way to ease all the frustrations we’ve all been feeling. Hermann is tough, yes, but Hermann also needs to remember that sharing heartaches is a form of strength. And while it can be scary to say things aloud because that’s how they become real, knowing that people are fighting alongside you brings just as much strength to the reality of the darkness. One person cannot put out a massive fire. It’s why they go on call as a team. And with doctors, friends, and faith, a lot can be done to help Cindy with her fight. 

Moments of vulnerability like this in Chicago Fire 11×12 “How Does It End” is why this show stands out next to other procedurals. The dynamics within Firehouse 51 ensure we feel joy and sadness alongside the characters, whether we’re familiar with their pain or not. It’s moments like this that make every moment worthwhile, even when all we want to do is turn off the TV and give it a rest.

Further Thoughts

  • If they wanted us to care about this breakup with Sylvie and Dylan, then maybe, I don’t know, they should’ve shown us more? As mentioned in last week’s episode, it feels like the show has no idea what it wants to do with Sylvie, but I’m glad they’re realizing a guy in her life isn’t the ideal solution.
  • First dates should not be about showing off, Gallo.
  • I’ll take the Thai food if the kids don’t want it.
  • Stella Kidd in that final scene? Aces. Truly aces.
  • Also Carver standing up for Stella? Here for it.
  • That moment with Casey’s old recipe was also glorious.

Now streaming on Peacock: What are your thoughts on Chicago Fire 11×12 “How Does It End?” Let us know in the comments below.

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