Last night’s Chicago Fire finally gave us the backstory on the new guy at 51. And I have to say, even though I miss my baby Otis dearly, Blake Gallo has been a great addition to the Firehouse.
Usually, it takes me a little while to warm up to a new character. However, Alberto Rosende managed to infuse new energy into the veteran NBC show — something it desperately needed after Yuri Sardarov’s shocking exit.
But Rosende endeared himself to me right on his first scene, as Gallo climbed the balconies of that building as if he were Spider-Man, and then proceeded to be the sweetest kid ever.
We already knew part of his backstory from a couple of episodes back, but Chicago Fire Season 8, Episode 6 “What Went Wrong” gave us the front row seat to the tragedy that happened in his life when he was a young boy.
And let me tell you, I just wanted to hug Blake Gallo and tell him everything is going to be okay.
A Tragic Past
The day started as usual at 51. Gallo was on breakfast duty — and already impressing Captain Casey with his beer pancake skills — when they got called out to a house fire.
It was all very standard procedure, and the house was engulfed in flames when Truck 81, Squad 3, and Engine 51 got there. Casey sent the new kid to the backdoor of the house and told him to await instructions, which he did as the rule-abiding new firefighter that he is most of the time.
Everything was fine up until the moment Gallo saw a boy running to the house, screaming that his family was inside. And that was all the trigger he needed to be transported right back to the night his life changed. See, our happy-go-lucky daredevil Gallo lost his entire family in a house fire as a kid. Mom, dad, and little sister perished, and he was the only survivor. So when he saw that boy’s desperation, he saw himself as a kid, and that was enough to make him go straight into the flames to try and rescue that family — against Casey’s orders.
Of course, that did not go well with the Captain, who promptly chewed him out for it when they got back to the Firehouse. When he didn’t tell him what was going on, Casey just assigned him to do all the awful chores around 51, but Gallo took it in stride. It took an entire episode — and Ritter (God bless him) talking to him — for Gallo to finally get the courage to open up to Casey about what happened.
By then, Casey had already gotten the story from Boden, but he just wanted the new kid to own up to it and come clean. And being the amazing captain that he is, Casey had fantastic advice for our young Blake Gallo: “When you can admit to the pain, own it. That’s when it scars over. Makes you stronger. Becomes the armor you wear in the battle.”
I mean, how amazing is that? I’m carrying that with me from now on.
Detective Severide strikes again
That house fire was just the gift that kept on giving. As if it wasn’t enough for it to trigger terrible memories for Gallo, what seemed to be just an accident — that took the life of an old lady — turned out to be arson and murder.
Squad 3 managed to reach the boy’s grandma on the second floor, and she was conscious and talking when they got her out. She was a feisty lady and made them all laugh while they were rescuing her. But the smoke ended up being too much for her lungs, and she died just a few hours later at Chicago Med.
When Squad 3 went by the house to express their condolences to the family, Kelly got a weird vibe from the husband, when he kept interrupting his wife and not letting her talk. So, of course, he took it upon himself to look into it and roped Joe into it.
Eventually, they found evidence that this house fire had been a copycat of another house fire they worked to a few years back. Someone set it up in a way that would look like grandma had left the frying pan on by accident, but it had been very, very intentional. It turns out that Grandma had been sitting on a big pile of cash ($320k!), and they suspected the husband decided to get rid of her to get his hands on that money.
The plot twist of this whole thing was shocking, though. The husband was innocent after all, and the real culprit was the victim’s daughter. She had intentionally set the fire, so her mother would die of smoke inhalation. And then she’d be able to inherit all that money. What kind of sick, twisted person does that to their mother?!
So Ruzek stopped by to arrest the horrible woman, and it all ended as well as it could be, under such terrible circumstances. But the real take away from this whole plot was that Severide and Joe are growing close as friends, and they make one hell of a team. When Joe finally got the nerve to ask Kelly if he’d be his best man, I was a puddle of feels on the floor. I definitely stan this bromance, and I hope we get to see a lot more of it from now on.
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