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The Amazing Way Chicago Fire Paid Homage To The Wire

At first, these two hit shows might seem completely dissimilar, but, upon further inspection, there are actually a surprising number of similarities between NBC's "Chicago Fire" and HBO's "The Wire." One of the most obvious is the way the two series manage to blend overlapping storylines between several institutions within their respective cities. As a member of the "One Chicago" franchise, the plotlines we see on "Chicago Fire" are often directly influenced by other characters and organizations within the city, namely those featured on "Chicago Med” and "Chicago P.D." and can influence the entire cityscape as a result.

Similarly, "The Wire" tackles a different institution each season within the city of Baltimore. One season of "The Wire" might focus on Baltimore police officers cracking down on drug trafficking, and the next might focus on the city's dockworkers and port system or the complex political structure of the city government. Every one of these institutions is linked through the city of Baltimore, and, like "Chicago Fire," the city is almost like a character in and of itself.

While there certainly are few key similarities between the two series, there's no doubt that "The Wire" is far more influential and genre-defining than "Chicago Fire." Even now, "The Wire" continues to be revered by fans as one of the greatest shows ever created, and has had an unquestionable influence on the television drama as a whole. Indeed, a recent episode of "Chicago Fire" actually paid homage to "The Wire" in a pretty hilarious way.

Chicago Fire recreated an infamous scene from The Wire Season 1

The penultimate episode of "Chicago Fire" Season 10, titled "Last Chance," features a scene where Randall "Mouch" McHolland (Christian Stolte) and Darren Ritter (Daniel Kyri) investigate who broke their couch at Firehouse 51. During their very serious and committed investigation, the only word they use to communicate with each other is "damn," or variations thereof, which (out of context) makes the whole scene seem a little bit strange.

As it happens, the entire scene is an homage to a similar scene in Season 1 of "The Wire," where Detectives Jimmy McNulty (Dominic West) and Bunk Moreland (Wendell Pierce) solve a crime scene while only communicating through variations of the F-word (via Vulture). Hilariously, McNulty and Bunk somehow manage to establish the firing position of their suspect and solve the case through the use of a single word — and the same is true of Mouch and Ritter in their detective work.

Just one week after the episode aired, "Chicago Fire" showrunner confirmed that the scene was an intentional homage during an appearance on the podcast "Meet Us At Molly's." "There's this famous scene in the show 'The Wire,' where they solve a crime with only using the F-word, so we, as an homage, did that in this [episode]." It's a hilarious homage that showcases just how much the showrunner enjoys that original scene from "The Wire" and serves as a great way to pay tribute to one of the greatest shows of all time.