Chicago Fire season 1, episode 5 rewatch: Hanging On

Chicago Fire season 1 promo art. Photo Credit: Courtesy of NBC.
Chicago Fire season 1 promo art. Photo Credit: Courtesy of NBC. /

Look back at where Chicago Fire began this summer. Read our retrospective on the fifth episode as we rewatch Chicago Fire season 1, episode 5.

Over the One Chicago summer break, we’re looking back at where it all began by rewatching the first seasons of our shows—and today we’re revisiting Chicago Fire season 1, episode 5.

If you want to rewatch this episode along with us, you can find Chicago Fire season 1 on iTunes and DVD.

The fifth episode “Hanging On” picks up where the previous episode left off, with Matthew Casey (Jesse Spencer) continuing to be menaced by Hank Voight (Jason Beghe). By now, Casey has had it up to here with Voight’s scare tactices, and decides to, well, fight fire with fire.

When you watch this episode again, you continue to be perplexed by how this arc plays out in some ways, most of them having to do with how Voight was characterized on Chicago Fire versus how he was set up on Chicago PD.

More from One Chicago Center

That’s the benefit of hindsight: when he was created for Chicago Fire, it probably wasn’t with the idea of giving him his own spinoff. Would episodes like this be written differently if that had been the case from the get-go?

Anyway, “Hanging On” starts off in part with Casey going down to the district to confront Voight. This is the equivalent of telling the serial killer that you’re going to turn them in. It does no good; in fact, it does harm because they can then retaliate against you.

Which is exactly what Voight does. Casey is beaten up, and near the end of this episode, he pulls Hallie (Teri Reeves) over to suggest she tell her fiancee to back off.

Seriously, the plotline of this episode could be a Lifetime movie. Although when you see Jesse Spencer wielding that crowbar, you can’t help but think he’d be great in one of those Bruce Willis-type vigilante movies.

Elsewhere in “Hanging On,” Casey’s future spouse Gabriela Dawson (Monica Raymund) gets in more trouble after she physically deters a drug addict who tries to climb onto the ambulance. He naturally wants to press charges, so Dawson is on the proverbial hot seat for the first—but not the last—time.

We don’t get a resolution to that in this episode, but two other things also involve Dawson: the show sets up her flirtation with Peter Mills (Charlie Barnett) as a subplot while Casey and Hallie are still together, and her brother Antonio (Jon Seda) is back again, volunteering to lead the charge in dealing with Voight.

Which again, is unintentionally amusing since Antonio would go on to be Voight’s right-hand man in Intelligence. Given how much dislike of Voight is expressed in this episode, and how much we’ve heard since, it’s a wonder that it took until Chicago PD season 5 for anyone to mount a prolonged campaign to take him down.

Watch One Chicago on fuboTV: Watch over 67 live sports and entertainment channels with a 7-day FREE trial!

The best scene, however, has to be those last moments where Casey has that crowbar and then Chief Boden (Eamonn Walker) disarms him. They’re great, tense entertainment but also very true to character, because we know that Boden knows Casey would hate himself if he went down to Voight’s level.

And also, it shows that Boden is willing to go to war for his team, even if it’s not on the clock. Who doesn’t like Boden being able to get involved and showing that he’s not to be messed with either? Revisit that scene and the whole episode on iTunes and DVD.

Next: Who needs to join Chicago Fire next season?

Join us every Thursday this summer for our Chicago Fire season 1 review. For more Chicago Fire related news, follow the Chicago Fire category at One Chicago Center.