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The Louie Storyline Chicago Fire Fans Thought Was Totally Useless

The final episodes of Season 4 of NBC's "Chicago Fire" and the first half of Season 5 embark on a subplot in which Gabby Dawson (Monica Raymund) seeks to adopt a child, Louie Thompson (Austin and Aiden Cohen) after saving him from an apartment fire at his foster home in the Season 4 episode "Kind of a Crazy Idea." Gabby fosters Louie in the wake of the fire that destroys his old home and quickly grows attached to him; she even returns to working as a paramedic on Ambulance 61 rather than continuing as a firefighter on Truck 81 to head off any theoretical accident that could leave her and then-fiance Matthew Casey (Jesse Spencer) dead and Louie orphaned once more.

Gabby and Matthew get married in the show's 100th episode, "One Hundred," as part of their efforts to make a strong adoption case and permanently bring Louie into their family. This effort does not last long; Louie's biological father emerges and demands custody of his son, ultimately leading Gabby to turn over custody to Louie's family in the Season 5 episode "The People We Meet." Louie isn't in Gabby and Matthew's life for long — the entire subplot unfurls over roughly 14 episodes — but the subplot leaves some "Chicago Fire" fans concerned about the overall quality of the show's writing, casting, and directing decisions.

Chicago Fire fans on Reddit pointed out that many Louie scenes were sloppily put together

A "Chicago Fire" fan took to the series' dedicated Reddit community, r/ChicagoFire, to talk about how many of the series' scenes featuring Gabby Dawson, Matthew Casey, and Louie come across as lazily put together to laughable effect. The user complained in particular that the child actors who played Louie frequently did not effectively match whatever emotion scenes called for, describing scenes in which Gabby and Matthew act as if the child has had strong emotional reactions in scenes where the toddler actor simply didn't respond the way the script called for.

"The scenes where Louie is 'talking' but his back is to the camera and it's obvious he's not speaking at that moment," wrote the original poster. "It's so bad it's funny."

That's not to blame the child actors involved, of course. According to IMDB, Austin and Aiden Cohen, the identical twin actors who portray Louie in this "Chicago Fire" subplot, were roughly three years old when they appeared on the series — too young for the series' producers to expect anything resembling effective performances from them. Still, this Reddit user went on to argue that the show made strange choices, such as Dawson forcing Louie — again, a toddler — to pack his own suitcase and carry his own bag when she returns the boy to his father's custody.

Redditor u/MissPlum66 pointed out that "Chicago Fire" could have avoided these awkward scenes altogether had they found a child actor who could, well, act.

"The kid who played Louie was absolutely adorable but come on," they wrote.