Chicago Fire Is Wasting Tony By Not Giving Him Enough Lines

Any hardcore Chi-Hard can tell you that Anthony Ferraris' popular, long-enduring firefighter Tony isn't just another guy in a helmet weaving through the smoke and flames in the background on "Chicago Fire." While Ferraris isn't a featured player as such, he does appear in every season to date of this One Chicago series, and he's much more than just another TV extra hired to fill out a scene. Indeed, Tony is a familiar if low-key fixture on the series, turning up in over 190 episodes of "Chicago Fire," as well as several installments each of sister shows "Chicago P.D." and "Chicago Med." Plus, Ferraris also serves as a technical advisor on the series. And that makes total sense because when not shooting episodes of "Chicago Fire," Ferraris is an active firefighter in real life, where he's assigned to the Windy City's Fire Department 2, Engine 91.

But the hard truth is, in his gig as Tony on "Chicago Fire," Ferraris isn't given that many opportunities to speak more than a smattering of lines on the show, and many fans on Reddit wish he got more speaking time. Some viewers, including u/coldfoot2, believe Ferraris' status as technical advisor is the reason behind this lack of dialogue. However, the fact is, "Chicago Fire" positions itself as a series powered from the ground up by the salt-of-the-earth, blue-collar heroes that make up the Firehouse 51 family. And as a real-world firefighter, Tony Ferraris is emblematic of exactly the sort of heroes that "Chicago Fire" strives so hard to bring to life on screen. So frankly, relegating Tony to a mere handful of lines in any given season seems like an oversight the series needs to remedy.

Episodes giving Tony more than a line or two are rare

As fans of "Chicago Fire" are well aware, Anthony Ferraris' Tony is generally heard delivering single-syllable replies to other characters' questions or similar equally brief bits of speech on the show.  And while it's hard to pinpoint an actual, hard-and-fast number of lines Tony has spoken on the show, a quick cherry-picking of one specific example helps illustrate his overall dearth of dialogue.

In what is actually a fairly lengthy run of conversation for Tony in the "My Lucky Day" episode, he's seen playing dice with fellow firefighter Capp (Randy Flagler). When Capp tosses a single die, Tony says, "That's illegal." Capp replies that's the way his family always played." Tony complains, "You can't roll just one die at a time. Cruz, tell him." Joe Minoso's Joe Cruz responds with "What?" And Tony's final line in the scene is, "Tell Capp he's a moron." 

Tony's delivery in this scene isn't overdone or forced. He speaks like a regular guy speaking in a regular-guy kind of way. In other words, he's perfectly Tony, a character who in many ways symbolizes the best of working-class Chicago the city and aspirationally heroic "Chicago Fire" the series. But the fact that this excerpt is one of Ferraris' most extended exchanges of dialogue during his time on the show basically makes the case: Tony is a character we should be hearing more from.