It’s not unexpected, but that Derrick Gibson is already a permanent member of Truck 81 is surprising.
There is usually a little more vetting with permanent members, but on Chicago Fire Season 12 Episode 3, what he didn’t have to prove to the firehouse, he did have to prove to Mouch.
The hour also showcased two cases, one longer-tail than the other but equally as frightening.
Let’s talk about Gibson first.
He seems like a great addition to Truck, and there is barely anything about him that even throws off Mouch, and it’s not for lack of trying.
Mouch has this thing where he takes it upon himself to discover everyone’s dark secrets when they arrive at 51, and then he does what he can to exploit them.
He’s never malicious, but the man is a snoop who thrives on drama. If he didn’t spend all of his spare time at Molly’s, I’m sure he’d be tuned in to Bravo every chance he could get.
But sometimes, someone comes along who doesn’t get anxious at his razzing, and it’s not nearly as fun for Mouch to keep up the game.
Ritter’s Googling uncovered Gibson to be a former Golden Gloves boxer who stepped away from it all despite his talent. That will be the avenue we visit in the future.
Gibson already said he’s got no family in the department, so something urged him to change course and turn to firefighting abruptly.
It’s not a lot to go on for a newbie, but it’s intriguing enough to keep an eye on what else he reveals as Chicago Fire Season 12 continues.
We know how much having a family member with a history in the department can influence your decision to take up the harrowing job, so it’s a unique angle to come in cold.
Getting to know someone new is always fun, and you never know what will come of it. I mean, look at Carver. But more on that in a bit.
For those of you who might have been worried that Joe Cruz was on his way out the door, we’ve got him for a long time to come.
In our review of Chicago Fire Season 12 Episode 2, we discussed that Cruz seemed to be making an emotionally driven decision to take the lieutenant’s test.
Not only was that a bad reason to take it, but it didn’t seem like he was eager to leave 51 — he just felt disrespected and unappreciated after stepping up for Severide.
When he learned he was on the docket to the test, he looked longingly at his friends. Sure, he’d step up and become an excellent mentor and leader, but his heart wasn’t fully in it.
As is often the case, Stella was looking out for Cruz almost as closely as she was looking out for her own interests with Severide.
Van Meter snuck another file to Severide, and it was impossible for Kelly to turn away. It’s what he loves. OFI could be his future, their future in a profession that doesn’t always allow for long runs.
It’s a solid step up and away from the daily rigors of the job, and it’s fulfilling mentally and emotionally — for the person who is investigating. For Stella, it means long times apart from her husband, and she fears that he may lose himself in the excitement of following another lead.
Still, you have to give the person you love some room to make mistakes and, more importantly, to make up for past mistakes.
Stella had already talked herself into the fact that Severide was overlooking her feelings and making decisions that affected both of them on his own. Fear will do that to you.
When she told Kelly he was barreling over her, I couldn’t help but think it was the opposite. She was shutting the door for him before he could step through it, even though she knew how much the work meant to him, and they had already discussed how they’d approach it in the future.
The last thing you should ever do is try to sway someone from something they love. Just ask the parents of any teenager dating someone whose company they don’t necessarily enjoy.
What was it that cleared her mind of those fears enough to let him go again?
That moment wasn’t clear to me, but it could have something to do with her generally unending faith in her husband and how he heeded her advice to bring Cruz into the loop.
Sure enough, Cruz scrapped his plans to take the test after he and Kelly cleared the air. They were both reminded of how well they worked together at the scene of the trapped woman. Without their relationship, she may not have stood a chance.
Closeness like that also sometimes means you take each other for granted. Not anymore.
With Stella‘s support to continue investigating, Kelly was finally free to admit to Cruz how much he relied on him and that he’d trust Squad to nobody else. Who doesn’t love a happy ending?
But does that mean Severide will be gone for an episode or two now? Taylor Kinney doesn’t appear in photos for Chicago Fire Season 12 Episode 4, so that could very well be the case.
Thankfully, there’s plenty to keep us busy, and for “Trapped,” we still need to talk about the girl in cases of the week.
The girl who mouthed “help me” looked straight out of a horror movie, and I couldn’t help but think that to be asked for that kind of assistance might thrust you right into the middle of one.
Getting involved is dangerous, and it’s been in the news that restaurant workers often find themselves in that situation. Apparently, the waitress didn’t make the cut this time out, as she totally missed the plea for help.
But fear not! Violet and Sylvie were on the case, which was, frankly, a little odd.
It’s fun to get them out and about and playing the heroines, but it’s so unrealistic that Boden would give them the green light to “burn a little gas” playing detective with a crazy man and a kidnap victim.
Sylvie: As soon as I made eye contact, she mouthed the word “help me,” and then the guy looked up, and it was like the light went out of her.
Violet: And the way he shoved her into that car; that’s when we really started to worry.
Moreover, everyone in the firehouse knew how panicked they sounded when they were in pursuit. Yet, they let them head out on their own to track down a dangerous man.
Even Detective McDaniel was a little bit of an embarrassment. A seasoned detective would have found that menu. At least they made a point of him explaining that he didn’t think much of it. With people like him on the case, victims must die every day.
It was also ludicrous that, even without lights or sirens on to avoid detection, they weren’t detected earlier by the kidnapper. Hello! It’s huge, and he already saw them eyeballing him at the restaurant.
He would have been paranoid from the outset. And he also wouldn’t have left his car in plain sight in front of his job site. Things like that drive me nuts.
Not to mention Violet and Sylvie screaming that he was nuts as he tried to ram them. Uh, ya think?? Sane people don’t take people hostage, and they sure as hell don’t sit down for a bite to eat in the middle of it.
So, it wasn’t my favorite story.
As Violet and Carver are two of my favorite characters (Yes, I have faves. Who can help it??), I enjoyed them growing closer and was thrilled he called her out on her hot and cold signals.
With Carver’s new haircut, he’s like an entirely different character. He went from being a jerk to being a nice, fun guy. We should all get such haircuts.
She can’t hold onto the past forever, and she needs someone who is willing to take their time with her. His approach isn’t always the best, but he’s persistently kind to her. He might be who she needs to get over the pain of losing Hawkins.
There’s something about him. I get drawn in. I can’t help it, you know? But, I can’t risk getting involved with another first responder who could end up getting killed right in front of me. I can’t do it.
They’ve both been through some rough stuff in life, so I have faith they’ll be good to each other. It may not last, but as long as they don’t cause each other pain, it should be an enjoyable romp.
Before we go, kudos to Boden for reminding Herrmann that his hearing aids are due to shielding a bomb and not old age.
It was also inspiring to know there is at least one good result from wearing them — you can instantly tune out annoying people. Score!!
So, what did you think of “Trapped”?
It’s your turn to share your thoughts in the comments.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She’s a member of the Critic’s Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on X and email her here at TV Fanatic.