chicago fire 303 joe minoso 'Chicago Fire' Season 3, episode 3: A life threatening crash threatens Cruz's livelihood

One would think that “Chicago Fire” wouldn’t tease the possibility of another major character death so soon after its season premiere killed off a beloved major character, but one would be wrong. On the plus side, no one actually dies in this episode — the series just wants everyone to be on edge from now on. After all, this “major event” episode of “Chicago Fire” attempts to hit all of the emotional buttons that Shay’s death did … and it does. It’s just in a different way.

When Cruz gets a non-food truck-related focus, it’s rarely ever shiny, happy times. In fact, Cruz’s life could possibly be considered downright miserable aside from his time at the firehouse. So this week’s episode decides to make his firehouse life miserable too, at least temporarily. 

At this point, a Poor Cruz meme is imminent. 

It starts off easily enough, in a “p***ing contest” between Firehouse 81 and Firehouse 66, racing to get to a fire first. When 66’s truck T-bones 81, Cruz is under fire (no pun intended) and the life of 66’s driver, Molina, hangs in the balance.

What the episode does well is stretch out whether or not Cruz had the green light or not. That question is always in the back of the audience’s mind, even though Welch and his men are some of the biggest jerks the show has even had. Cruz apologizing simply for not being sure of what actually happened is admirable while simultaneously making the audience feel like it’s something he shouldn’t even be apologizing for. After all, the two trucks were on parallel streets until 66 popped up out of nowhere. Then when the traffic camera footage shows Cruz blowing past the red light, it’s even more frustrating (in the good way) — of course he ran the red light. They were heading toward a fire, and fire truck wouldn’t actually fully stop unless absolutely necessarily.

Cruz could have done everything right, and he’d still be in this situation. Not because it really was 66’s fault, but because Cruz’s misery had to spill into his professional life eventually.

Also, it’s amazing that even with is best friend’s life in the balance, Welch just can’t stop being a terrible person. At the beginning of the episode, it almost seems like the show is going to have Welch have an epiphany and realize that he needs to be a better, less sexist person. If that had happened, it would have been insulting, but at least it would have gotten Welch to let-up on his alpha male jerk personality. Maybe whatever punishment he gets for making Molina “beat 81 to the scene, come h*** or high water” will change him. But probably not.

“Chicago Fire” can be a really bleak show.

On a less depressing level, Firehouse 81 loses another one of its own, technically. No, Peter Mills doesn’t die, but he can no longer be a firefighter due to vertigo caused by the building collapse. Luckily, Dawson taking residency as 81’s newest firefighter (thanks to Chief looking the other way about her and Casey’s relationship as long as they’re not married), so that leaves an empty medic spot. Funny how things turn out, right? Also, Newhouse is now a partner in Molly’s 2, the food truck endeavor, because even at its most bleak, “Chicago Fire” needs a reason to excuse product placement (like Chili’s) and network synergy (like “The Apprentice”).

Relive the chaos of the crash with these clips and then leave your thoughts in the comments:

Posted by:LaToya Ferguson