“Chicago Fire,” We Have a Problem

Chicago Fire may not be back with a new episode until March 20 but its promo for episode 1.18 “Fireworks” showed after last night’s repeat and it has given us plenty to talk about. Here, have a look.


Right. So let’s talk about the end of that clip, shall we?

My first, entirely juvenile and pretty embarrassing reaction was to scream “Nooooooo!” and I may have thrown something. We sort of saw this coming. The writers have been hinting about Severide finding his way back to being a decent guy. We saw him do awesome and manly things, like build a crib, for Clarice’s baby before she was off like a prom dress to New York. We even got to see him be pretty darn cute with little Wesley in the middle of the night. Now that Shay wants to have a baby it seems rather obvious that after checking out what the internet has to offer for sperm she might just try for something closer to home.

There are certainly people who ship Shay and Severide with at least the same fervor that some people ship Shay and Dawson. I am hoping none of those shippers work for the show because a Shayveride baby that is a product of anything other than sperm donation and artificial insemination is disrespectful to the viewers and, frankly, to the characters. Leslie Shay has been presented as nothing less than a proud lesbian from the pilot and I love her for it. For the show to go back on that now, to recast Shay as a straight or bisexual character because they want to pair her with Severide because she’s pretty and he’s pretty and they will have pretty little babies together and that whole being gay thing was just a phase would be a shocking disappointment.

When I stopped popping off about this part of the promo I stepped back and tried to think of the ways in which this scene fits into the arc of the show.

First, the Shay-Severide friendship is central to the show and if she is going to be raising a child as a single parent, it isn’t insane to think that she would reach out to her best bro to help her. He has been there for her throughout this season and she for him. Now that she has seen him act as a parent, however briefly, to Wesley, it makes sense that she would come to see him as a potential parent for her future kid.

Second, there are plenty of lesbians, both single and partnered, who choose a known donor for their child. This storyline could reflect that reality and illustrate the challenges and benefits of using a known donor. Frankly, if I had guy friends who were half as good looking as Taylor Kinney we might have considered asking them for their swimmers.

Third, Shay is reeling from her breakup with Clarice and continues to manifest her heartbreak in this “I want a child because it will never leave me” storyline. In asking Severide to father her child she is finally taking a step too far that forces her friends, Dawson and Severide, to intervene before she does something she can’t undo. I am hopeful this is where the writers are going. They are letting Shay spin out of control in a way that to some doesn’t feel self-destructive or dangerously ill-advised. At what point do you have to let a friend make her own mistakes and when do you have to step in and tell her she’s being an idiot by channeling her grief into making a baby? This is the story that is most interesting to me of all the options.

We’ll have to wait a few more weeks until the show returns with new episodes on March 20.

What do you think of the promo?