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Chicago Fire Moments That Angered Fans

As the original series in the "One Chicago" constellation of producer Dick Wolf's action-drama hits, "Chicago Fire" has been heating things up for devoted fans every Wednesday night on NBC since 2012. Keeping audiences riveted for 10 seasons and 200-plus episodes (via ETOnline), the wildly popular series chronicles the high-risk on-duty lives, and off-duty intrigues and crises, of the elite firefighters and paramedics of Chicago's Firehouse 51.

Boasting an impressive audience score of 87% on Rotten Tomatoes, the show has built up an army of seriously devoted Chi-Hards hooked on the series' tried-and-true formula of blazing action and deeply relatable characters. That said, any network series running for this long is unlikely to satisfy every fan week after week. In fact, it just stands to reason that over the show's extensive run, there were scenes and even entire narrative arcs that simply didn't click with viewers. So, what were a few of the more egregious examples of "Chicago Fire" moments that angered fans?

Fans found this episode simply cringe-worthy

One moment on "Chicago Fire" that undoubtedly left some viewers cold took place in the Season 8 episode "Light Things Up." The story centered on a group of citizens who stage a sit-in at the firehouse to protest their lack of city services. Fans responded in a Reddit discussion about the episode and the overall direction of the show on r/ChicagoFireNBC, and they didn't hold back when it came to expressing their opinions. Redditor u/ssstuart123 kicked things off posting, "I'm honestly hating this new season of Chicago Fire it's soooo cringe now [especially] this episode that was on tonight protesters take over the fire house like come on..." 

User u/Dro1972 voiced complete agreement, saying they also felt this particular installment simply didn't measure up: "I'm 100% with you... Watched tonight because we're in a pandemic, so why not. Genuinely cringed at every part of tonight's episode." For u/MamaDragon, the episode's plot device of protesters laying siege to the station lacked basic credibility, writing, "It's gotten SO BAD! These storylines are just dumb and unbelievable. Like come on!" All in all, this episode clearly had fans hot under the collar about how the series was progressing.

Fans are upset with Stella Kidd's idealized characterization

With a large cast of diverse, strong-willed characters passing through Firehouse 51 over the years since "Chicago Fire" debuted in 2012, it's hardly shocking that viewers will come across a personality who rubs them the wrong way. In the case of veteran firefighter Stella Kidd (Miranda Rae Mayo), she appears to be one "Chicago Fire" team member who evokes a strong, not necessarily favorable response. 

Posting in the Reddit thread titled "Stella Kidd" on r/ChicagoFireNBCu/Key_Text_42 falls into the anti-Stella camp as they start the discussion with a complaint about the scriptwriting for Kidd's character: "Not sure if anyone else will feel the same, but personally I'm really hoping Stella does NOT pass her Lieutenants [sic] exam. She used to be one of my favourite characters, but I feel the writers have definitely struggled with her since S8. In my opinion, Stella has become almost too perfect to be realistic." 

User u/AFuzzyredpillow zeroes in on the same sentiment, focusing on the fact Kidd was promoted so much faster than Christopher Herrmann (David Eigenberg): "Right? Like it took Hermann [sic] 5 seasons(?) after passing the exam to get a promotion and even now it's hardly acknowledged." Another Redditor u/colliedea chimed in that Stella just wasn't coming across as credible saying, "Agree. They really think being a strong women [sic] means being perfect and being capable of anything. She is on screen... [90% of the time and] we can't see others because of her unrealistic success."

Fans felt Casey changed for the worse as Captain

Long-time core character Matthew Casey (Jesse Spencer) departed the series during its landmark 200th episode this year. But if online attitudes are anything to go by, some viewers likely didn't mind his going all that much. The truth is, a few fans seem to feel that Casey's character changed for the worse once he was promoted to the position of Captain in Season 6 of the series. Taking to Reddit, u/obviously_blond led things off in a thread titled "Please don't make me hate my favourite characters," saying "...I feel Casey's arrogance after he was made captain can be quite unbearable at times."

Redditor u/rayoncee seems to feel his personality had definitely altered, and not for the better, writing, "I actually think he became very soft since making captain." Expressing the belief that Casey's recent behavior shift was generally unappealing, Redditor u/MonitorMental summed up the feelings of fans who thought the Captain's persona was heading in the wrong direction, writing, "Casey really was being a tool in the last episode I watched ... he needs to stop being a d**k to those who've done nothing wrong."

Fans are fed up with Severide's unfair treatment

Something that clearly seems to inflame "Chicago Fire" fan opinion is when an innocent character on the show is saddled with blame for something that's obviously not their fault. In this regard, fans apparently think long-suffering rescue team Lieutenant Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney) is scapegoated more than any other. On a Reddit thread labeled "What do you guys think is the worst fire episode" at r/ChicagoFireNBC, fans made it clear they were angry at the ongoing Severide blame game. 

In fact, Redditor u/Honkerstonkers picked his least favorite "Chicago Fire" installment as the Season 4 show where Severide unfairly lost his rank, writing, "I hated that whole storyline where Severide got demoted with a passion. The very worst storyline of the show..." User u/Ta-veren concurred, complaining that it made no sense to penalize the character for personnel leaving the Firehouse when it had nothing to do with his job: "It was dumb!...Like what! How is any of what happened Kelly's fault even as a leader? Don't get it."

These fans were upset when Casey left the show

While some fans on the previously-mentioned r/ChicagoFireNBC Reddit thread made it plain they weren't especially fond of Firehouse 51 Captain Matthew Casey (Jesse Spencer), others elsewhere were just as passionate about being totally on board with his character on "Chicago Fire." In fact, Casey's departure from the franchise in Season 10 ranks as a moment that had some fans bitterly complaining in another discussion on r/ChicagoFireNBC. Commenting on the thread titled "'Chicago Fire' Season 10 Takes Dip in Viewership After Matt Casey's Exit," user u/jeanniebeannie82 asked simply, "Anyone surprised? No? Me neither." 

For Redditor u/mug3n, Casey's much-hated departure from the show was down to the scriptwriters' tendency to shake up the romantic pairings on the series: "I blame this absolutely garbage writing with the way the writers never wanting anyone to have a stable relationship on this show. The Casey/Brett thing dragged out for 2 seasons before the writers actually committed and by then, Spencer left the show lol." 

All of the above taken into consideration, these "Chicago Fire" moments that angered fans haven't kept the show from sparking white-hot ratings every Wednesday night for the past 10 seasons (per TVSeriesFinale). So, Chi-Hard fans, don't hate -– appreciate?