Chicago Fire said goodbye to a member of the Firehouse 51 family this week. Here’s what happened in Chicago Fire season 7, episode 7.
With Chicago Fire having decided to kill off Benny Severide last week, this week was about dealing with his loss, and looking forward to whatever was supposed to come after.
“What Will Define You” started with Benny’s family packing up his belongings. His ex-wife Jennifer Sheridan (returning guest star Kim Delaney) was looking for a missing medal and saddened when she couldn’t find it.
And his son Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney) was trying to hold it all together, but obviously not that well. He was determined to take care of everything himself, not knowing that Stella Kidd (Miranda Rae Mayo) had decided to find that medal for him.
Meanwhile, Chicago Fire sent everyone else to the scene of a car accident, with a pedestrian hit and a child trapped in the car. And why was the child refusing to let go of her sister’s cell phone?
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Something didn’t add up. Once the ambulance made it to the hospital, Sylvie Brett (Kara Killmer) told her partner about what the girl had said. She took it as a clue that the driver of the car had been texting during the crash.
Emily Foster (Annie Ilonzeh) told her to report it and move on, which was ironic considering we’ve already seen Foster overstep her bounds this season.
Stella began to work her way through all of Benny’s ex-love interests, of which Chicago Fire fans know there are many. This was the episode’s sort of funny subplot, because of the awkwardness and the odd characters.
While she was doing that, Boden and Severide were campaigning for the department to give Benny a full department funeral (including a parade).
But as the white shirt of the episode pointed out, those big affairs were normally reserved for firefighters who died in the line of duty, and Benny Severide hadn’t been on active duty for a long time. It was a fair bit of foreshadowing for later in the episode.
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Boden called several of Benny’s former colleagues to Firehouse 51 and asked if they would at least show up to the funeral, while Stella and the rest of the crew paid a visit to another ex, who was still furious about being dumped for a blonde bartender. Mentioning Kelly got the woman to calm down, but she hadn’t seen the medal either.
While the firefighters racked up miles on their tour of Benny Severide’s love life, Brett returned to Chicago Med to follow up on her case. After a very awkward encounter with the girls’ parents, she paid a visit to new chaplain Kyle (returning guest star Teddy Sears) to ask his opinion on her moral predicament.
Kyle: What does your gut tell you?
Brett: Nothing. It’s too busy tying itself in knots.
Always one to wear her heart on her sleeve, Brett was worried about driving the teenager apart from her sibling, given how close they obviously were. Kyle told her to trust her heart, while Otis (Yuri Sardarov) reflected on his relationship with Severide’s half-sister Katie (returning guest star Brittany Curran).
At the same time, the traveling contingent was visiting Katie’s mom April, who had a medal, but not the one they needed. Stella was forced to come home empty-handed. At least Jennifer was in the loft to give her a pep talk.
Jennifer: You’re good for him, Stella. It’s easy to see.
The next day, Brett had Boden warning her to move on from that initial call. But before she could tell him what was happening, Chicago Fire had Ambulance 61 sent out to a disagreement between neighbors gone very wrong—as in, impaled in the chest with a rake wrong. Somebody was going to be off the Christmas card list. If this was supposed to be funny, it wasn’t really.
That’s when Katie decided to pop by the firehouse for the first time in a few seasons. She gushed to Otis about her “great” life in Colorado, including a new boyfriend. And it turned out that she had the medal they’d been looking for. Stella breathed a very deep sigh of relief and there was much rejoicing.
Which meant the only storyline “What Will Define You” had to wrap up was Brett’s. She spotted the teenage driver at the hospital and point-blank asked her if she had been texting at the time of the accident. While she didn’t get an answer, that didn’t stop her from delivering a speech about taking responsibility and making amends.
Cue the somber music as everyone prepared for Benny’s funeral. Jennifer finally sat her son down for a talking-to of her own, getting him to admit that he wasn’t happy with his parting words to his dad. Jennifer told her son that how she lived his life now was “what will define you” and they hugged it out.
Chicago Fire fans likely already knew how the final few minutes of this episode were going to play out. Brett told Kyle (and the audience) that the driver did actually admit to texting, while they were awkwardly flirting…outside of the venue for the memorial service, which made it more awkward.
Stella gave her boyfriend his father’s medal, which made him the happiest he’d been all episode. And One Chicago fans had their chance to cry as we watched Benny’s funeral service, including a poignant speech from his son.
It was nearly empty inside the church—but there were a whole lot of people from the department outside of it. They’d come through in the end, because this is One Chicago, and it stands for family above all else. Benny Severide got the sendoff he deserved, because he’d earned it.
For the latest Chicago Fire season 7 spoilers and news, plus more on the entire series, follow the Chicago Fire category at One Chicago Center.