Chicago Fire season 6, episode 21 takeaways: The Unrivaled Standard

CHICAGO FIRE -- "The Unrivaled Standard" Episode 621 -- Pictured: (l-r) Miranda Rae Mayo as Stella Kidd, Monica Raymund as Gabriela Dawson -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Morris/NBC)
CHICAGO FIRE -- "The Unrivaled Standard" Episode 621 -- Pictured: (l-r) Miranda Rae Mayo as Stella Kidd, Monica Raymund as Gabriela Dawson -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Morris/NBC) /

Did Chicago Fire need to bring Severide’s ex-girlfriend back? What’s next for Herrmann? Here are our Chicago Fire season 6, episode 21 takeaways.

Last night’s Chicago Fire had quite a few people coming in and out of our heroes’ lives, so what can we learn from all this upheaval?

Thursday’s episode was called “The Unrivaled Standard” and involved Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney) getting a work proposition from his ex-girlfriend, while Christopher Herrmann (David Eigenberg) suffered a painful loss on the job.

If you missed any of this Chicago Fire episode or just want a refresher on the events that we’re discussing, you can catch up with our “The Unrivaled Standard” recap.

Here are our Chicago Fire season 6, episode 21 takeaways:

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1) What’s Renee really up to?

Renee Royce (Sarah Shahi) resurfaced in this episode, and based on her scenes here, we’re not sure what the point is except to give Severide another headache.

She claimed to want Severide’s help on a case, but she also had to comment on his looks and then she showed up at the firehouse with the son she had once tried to pass off on him. It’s up to you if you believe her when she said she couldn’t get a sitter, but she seemed to be too friendly for just a work visit.

Of course, this only caused Stella Kidd (Miranda Rae Mayo) to be up in arms again, which will likely make Stellaride fans groan.

And that’s the point—if Renee’s return can further develop Severide’s character or there’s a legitimate professional story to be told with her, then fine. But if she’s just here to be another wrench for Stellaride, they’ve had enough of those this season (see: Hope, Zach, Severide’s mom).

But get used to her, because Renee will be back in both hours of next week’s season finale.

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2) Herrmann’s tragedy

The most compelling part of “The Unrivaled Standard” was Chicago Fire‘s decision to kill off Lt. Paul Colannino (guest star Andy John Kalkounos). Colannino went with Herrmann into a fire, only for the two to be separated while saving a mechanic.

Though the mechanic made it out alive, we found out that Colannino didn’t—because he had gone back to look for Herrmann, not knowing that he was already outside. His loss hit our favorite snark master hard on multiple levels, especially as the two had just kind of bonded over how Colannino was trying to be a better father.

This isn’t the first time and it won’t be the last time that Chicago Fire kills someone. But it was a tragedy on multiple levels. David Eigenberg was brilliant in portraying Herrmann’s empathy for his friend and his heartbreak at losing the other man. But also, it’s hard not to think of the potential that will never be realized in the storyline. Herrmann doesn’t seem to have many friends outside of Firehouse 51, and there could’ve been a good bromance between those two characters going forward.

Thanks for making us cry, Chicago Fire. Again.

3) Does everyone just show up at Firehouse 51?

A fair portion of the plot on Chicago Fire involves people walking up to the firehouse, but this week took that to a new high. Within the same 15-minute segment of the episode, there were four unexpected visitors: Cruz’s ex Delia, Severide’s ex Renee, the fire commissioner and Herrmann’s wife Cindy.

It was kind of incredible that all these people would turn up around the same time; even if it’s not exact in TV time, to see the same thing play out four times in a row still looks repetitive to viewers. Could there have been another way to communicate some of this information other than all of these visits? Or maybe 51 needs to start scheduling appointments.

Next: Is Benny Severide One Chicago's worst parent?

What did you take away from this week’s Chicago Fire? Leave your thoughts on “The Unrivaled Standard” in the comments.

Chicago Fire airs Thursdays at 10/9c on NBC.