Chicago Fire season 7, episode 21 recap: The White Whale

CHICAGO FIRE -- "The White Whale" Episode 721 -- Pictured: (l-r) Kara Killmer as Sylvie Brett, Jesse Spencer as Matthew Casey -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Morris)
CHICAGO FIRE -- "The White Whale" Episode 721 -- Pictured: (l-r) Kara Killmer as Sylvie Brett, Jesse Spencer as Matthew Casey -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Morris) /
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Severide gets busted

Kyle Sheffield (Teddy Sears) was at Firehouse 51 when Casey returned. After the two had another short, awkward exchange about Brett not being there, Christopher Herrmann (David Eigenberg) took Ritter over to Firehouse 51 to meet the retiring Russ. Chicago Fire viewers learned Ritter’s first name: Darren!

While Russ said he didn’t want a huge retirement party, Severide found out Alexa Hubble wasn’t convinced that Benny was right about the arsonist, and she told him she “didn’t need a lecture” when he urged her that the suspect would strike again.

Boden quickly found out about their talk and was waiting for Severide back at the firehouse, suggesting that his lieutenant’s judgment was clouded because the situation involved his father. When Severide snapped back at him, Boden sent him home on medical leave. However, in the locker room, Casey told Severide that he supported him “and I’m not the only one.”

After Ritter asked Herrmann if Russ seemed down about retiring and the gang decided to invite Russ to Molly’s, Severide visited the salon to keep investigating. He also spotted the guy who’d been eager to sue somebody last week, but salon owner Niya told him that didn’t make sense: Gavin’s apartment wasn’t located anywhere near the fire. Oh, and he’d just gotten out of prison after a pretty long time. Like, maybe 15 years?

When Severide tried to speak with Gavin, the other man just smirked, leading to a shoving match that ended with Severide pinning Gavin up against the wall. The two were quickly separated, but Chicago Fire made it clear who the prime suspect was.

Back at the firehouse Brett chastized Casey for not changing the bandage on his neck wound. But Casey was on his way to pass Severide’s information about Gavin to Hubble, adding that Gavin matched the physical description of the arsonist in Benny’s notebook. Hubble was still not convinced, though, because of how Gavin had alerted them to the power outage the night he’d wanted to sue. Why would he help investigate his own crime?

Chicago Fire then cut to Molly’s, where Russ was regaling everyone with his stories from 35 years on the job. He then surprised Mouch by apologizing for the hose-roll gaffe from years ago—and wanting to give him his prized Best Individual Firefighter medal! “I don’t need it anymore,” he insisted. “It’s yours.”

But the more drinks Russ had, the more gruesome his stories got, while Severide ranted to Casey about Hubble. Still going through the notebook, the ink on the page triggered a memory about the pen that Benny always used, and made Kelly think that “with this stuff, I can’t hold a candle to him.” That might be an unpopular opinion, Severide.

A thrashed Russ collapsed on the floor of Molly’s, before breaking down in tears. “Guess they don’t really prepare you for that at the academy,” Ritter said. “The way the job just gets inside your head.”