Which One Chicago finale had the best cliffhanger in 2019?

CHICAGO FIRE -- "I'm Not Leaving You" Episode 722 -- Pictured: Taylor Kinney as Lt. Kelly Severide -- (Photo by: Adrian Burrows/NBC)
CHICAGO FIRE -- "I'm Not Leaving You" Episode 722 -- Pictured: Taylor Kinney as Lt. Kelly Severide -- (Photo by: Adrian Burrows/NBC) /
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Chicago Fire

What happened: Chicago Fire went to its tried and true method of “giant fire that threatens the life of a main character.” This season it was a factory with a boiler so ancient it was due to explode and potentially take out everyone inside.

Much like the cliffhanger that ended season 5, the writers managed to have several of the main characters inside the building as the fire reached its literal boiling point—including paramedics Sylvie Brett (Kara Killmer) and Emily Foster (Annie Ilonzeh), who were called in by Matthew Casey (Jesse Spencer) to help evacuate some of the seemingly infinite civilians who couldn’t escape on their own.

But the screen went to black just as the boiler was about to give way, leaving viewers to wonder if Christopher Herrmann (David Eigenberg) and Darren Ritter (recurring guest star Daniel Kyri) were able to come up with a last-second save or not.

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What we think: Give Derek Haas and company credit for scope; they once again engineered a huge fire, that was a lot of fun to watch and certainly had to have been a lot of work for the crew to put together. When Chicago Fire does cliffhangers, they make them absolutely massive.

Unfortunately, of the three One Chicago shows, they’re the easiest to predict when it comes to the ending. It’s almost always a fire that leaves a main character’s fate up in the air. At midseason fans saw Casey’s apartment on fire with him still inside. That season 5 finale cliffhanger had multiple characters, including both Casey and Herrmann, stuck inside a burning warehouse. And so on.

Now obviously, they’re firefighters, so of course they’re going to deal with dangerous fires and it’s reasonable that those fires could threaten their lives. But it’s getting to the point where the peril is less of a surprise and more of an expectation. We know that there’s going to be a cliffhanger and that it’s going to be about whether someone lives or dies.

And that kind of defeats the purpose of using one. Yes, we’ll tune back in next season to see what happens, but how many times can the show do this before it feels overdone?

How we’d grade it: Just because of how giant it is, and because it’s not as flawed as the other two, this has to be the best of the lot. It’s the same thing we’ve seen before—but it was executed very well and without the head-scratching bits that Chicago PD and Chicago Med had.