'Chicago Fire' Report Card: How did Season 8 do? What worked and what missed the mark?

Season 8 of 'Chicago Fire' began with major heartbreak — Brian 'Otis' Zvonecek was killed on the job. However, he was honored throughout the season

                            'Chicago Fire' Report Card: How did Season 8 do? What worked and what missed the mark?
'Chicago Fire' (NBC)

All three shows of the 'Chicago' franchise on NBC came to a premature end this year due to the ongoing pandemic. As such, many storylines did not get wrapped up. However, how much did the loss of three episodes each affect the shows and how did the current seasons do? Let's find out.

What makes each 'Chicago' show stand out is that they are all different. While 'Chicago Med' focuses on the drama (much like 'Grey's Anatomy'), 'Chicago PD' is the gritty and dark one. The OG 'Chicago' show, 'Chicago Fire' has got a bit of both and it could be why it remains the most favored one among the three shows.

Season 8 of 'Chicago Fire' began with major heartbreak — Brian "Otis" Zvonecek (Yuri Sardarov) was killed on the job. Otis was a part of the franchise since 'Chicago Fire' made its debut in 2012.

However, 'Chicago Fire' masterfully handled his death and there were many throwbacks to Otis and his friendship with Joe Cruz (Joe Minoso) over the season. These not only catered to fans but also showed them that the writers truly care for these characters.

Otis' death meant Firehouse 51 saw a new firefighter joining their house. Alberto Rosende joined the cast as candidate Blake Gallo, and as we said after his first appearance, there could be no one better to replace Otis.

Gallo has seamlessly integrated into the firehouse and has given us many fun moments. His friendship with Darren Ritter (Daniel Kyri) also makes us hopeful that they will one day take over the roles of Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney) and Matthew Casey (Jesse Spencer) on 'Chicago Fire'.

Sylvie Brett, Stella Kidd and Emily Foster on 'Chicago Fire' (NBC)

This season of 'Chicago Fire' also focused more on female characters and their friendships.

Stella Kidd (Miranda Rae Mayo) started her campaign to inspire girls to become firefighters, Emily Foster (Annie Ilonzeh) decided to go back to medical school, and Sylvie Brett (Kara Kilmer) went through an emotional journey after she connected with her birth mother. All three characters were there for one another when they needed it.

Thankfully, there was not much relationship drama this time around. Severide and Kidd are going strong — in spite of a potential bump that never came. What fans would have been hoping for was Brett and Casey finally making a move with each other.

While they grew closer, their relationship was on a slow burn and it is likely that had the season ended with 23 episodes as was planned, fans would have gotten their "Brettsey" endgame.

The star performer of the season was definitely Joe Cruz. We saw Cruz dealing with the loss of his best friend, roommate and colleague Otis, make some leaps in his personal life — we saw him getting married just before Season 8 ended — and he got more screentime.

Minoso's portrayal of Cruz's pain and laughter in multiple episodes ought to be lauded. Of course, the season also featured the return of Monica Raymund as Gabby Dawson. While it was great to see Gabby back in Firehouse 51, it did not do much for the story. However, we loved the scenes between her and Casey.

There is a reason 'Chicago Fire' is still going strong after eight seasons and has been renewed for three additional seasons. We cannot wait to see how the story moves forward. It is possible that Emily Foster will not be a part of the cast moving forward, but we hope she gets a good farewell.

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