Chicago Fire season 8 midseason report: Joe Cruz

"Seeing Is Believing" Episode 808 -- Pictured: Joe Minoso as Joe Cruz -- (Photo by: Adrian Burrows/NBC)
"Seeing Is Believing" Episode 808 -- Pictured: Joe Minoso as Joe Cruz -- (Photo by: Adrian Burrows/NBC) /
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What it means

First things first: it’s been fantastic to see Cruz step into the forefront for more than an episode, and Joe Minoso has been doing some of his best work this season. It’s unfortunate that comes as part of losing Yuri Sardarov from the show, but Minoso has been nothing short of fantastic so far while taking Cruz on his season 8 journey.

What’s been interesting about it is that it’s a dramatic storyline. Cruz has typically been used for comic relief, like the whole supporting character base. While he has had serious plots (like season 7’s undercover stint during the spring crossover), we normally don’t see him this serious for this long. That’s allowed Minoso to show off a wider range of his talents.

It hasn’t been a perfect season; having Chloe suddenly break up with him for them to just as quickly back together felt jarring and like it could have been handled better. What if Cruz had just proposed and Chloe said she needed time to think about it, then Brett helped her work out her concerns? Or what if she’d just told Cruz about those concerns and they’d worked it out together? Either would have been fine, too, and not required a temporary break-up.

But Cruz and Chloe are genuinely cute together, and now Chicago Fire fans know who’s getting married in the remainder of season 8. It’ll be fun to see another wedding, and to see how Cruz continues to grow up—both as a married man and as someone who’s gotten an unfortunate cold, hard slap in the face from reality. This season could push him forward in multiple ways.