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Mouch's Worst Storyline On Chicago Fire

Network TV writers are always under a lot of pressure. Not only do they have to deliver scripts for TV seasons that often stretch beyond 20 episodes in length, but they also have to make sure that their shows' storylines stay consistently engaging and interesting. If a TV series boasts an ensemble cast, that also means its writers have to constantly come up with new things for each of the show's characters to do every episode. As a result, network TV writers often end up writing storylines and subplots that either fail to interest viewers or end up going nowhere due to the show's other demands.

That's true even for a series like "Chicago Fire," which features a wide and diverse ensemble cast and has produced over 200 episodes to date. Indeed, over the course of its run, "Chicago Fire" has put its characters through all kinds of surprising struggles and adventures — some of which have landed better than others. With that in mind, here's the worst storyline that the "Chicago Fire" writers ever came up with for Randall "Mouch" McHolland (Christian Stolte).

Mouch's relationship with Mari was a waste of time

Mouch McHolland has been a part of "Chicago Fire" ever since its first episode (via IMDb), which means he's experienced more than his fair share of ups and downs over the years. However, Mouch's worst storyline on "Chicago Fire" doesn't have anything to do with any of his actual firefighting efforts. Instead, the worst Mouch-centric "Chicago Fire" storyline actually revolves around a failed relationship the character gets into in the show's first two seasons.

The storyline in question sees Mouch falling in love with a Japanese woman after he begins talking to her online. He eventually meets the woman, Mari, in person at the end of "Chicago Fire" Season 1, and the show's second season even features a few genuinely touching moments between the two characters. However, Mari goes back to Japan early on in "Chicago Fire" Season 2, and Mouch never goes to visit her in her home country. As a result of their time apart, Mari breaks up with Mouch in the back half of "Chicago Fire" Season 2. One episode later, he starts dating again.

It's an odd turn for the "Chicago Fire" storyline to take but is ultimately emblematic of how little effort was put into Mari and Mouch's relationship in the first place. Nothing really comes of their romance that couldn't have happened through different means, and their breakup has little to no impact on Mouch or the show itself. Consequently, the storyline feels like it was written solely to give Mouch something to do in the show's first two seasons, which just makes the time spent on it feel like even more of a waste in the end.

The good news, of course, is that "Chicago Fire" did eventually manage to improve Mouch's love life when it paired him up with Trudy Platt (Amy Morton).