One Chicago did not have the easiest time in 2023. It was a year marked by sudden departures and cast exits that changed the structure of the franchise, and it led to some awkward narrative moments that we’d rather overlook (the Halstead and Upton drama on Chicago PD being one of them).
That being said, there was also a lot of greatness that came out of the franchise in 2023. Whether it be heartwarming moments between characters, pulse-pounding action scenes, or just a terrific performance, there was something that all three shows brought to the table. 2024 is almost here, so what better time than the present to reflect on the moments we most enjoyed.
Kidd and Carver survive a house explosion on Chicago Fire
This was probably the tensest moment the franchise had to offer in 2024. The episode “Nemesis” saw Stella Kidd (Miranda Rae Mayo) and newcomer Sam Carver (Jake Lockett) attempt to disarm a bomb that was lodged into the leg of a police officer, all the while knowing that the slightest movement could set the bomb off.
The whole sequence plays out like Kidd and Carver are going to figure things out, but much to the shock of everybody watching, the bomb goes off, and the two firefighters take serious damage in the process. Kidd is rushed into surgery due to having shrapnel lodged in her stomach, and Carver is understandably shaken up. The bond that the two characters develop afterwards is also a Fire highlight.
Voight gives Upton some painful advice on Chicago PD
As we mentioned at the onset, we don’t love the way Chicago PD handled the crumbling marriage between Jay Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer) and Hailey Upton (Tracy Spiridakos). Their behavior with each other didn’t match the way they were before Soffer left the show, and as such, attempts to address the tension between them fell flat.
The episode “Fight” was refreshing in this regard, because it finally cut Upton lose of the Halstead issue and allowed her to stand on her own as a character again. Voight tells her that she should consider moving on from Halstead, and the character responds by taking her wedding ring off. It’s not happy viewing, per say, but it hinted at a proactiveness we didn’t to see much of otherwise.
Hopefully PD season 11 fixes the problem before Upton leaves.
Archer and Asher bond while treating a family on Chicago Med
Dr. Dean Archer (Steven Weber) is not what you’d describe as an emotionally warm person. He’s the resident grump on at Gaffney Medical Center, so it was an unexpected delight when he began to warm up to Dr. Hannah Asher (Jessy Schram). The two were initially at each other’s throats, but the intensity of their job, coupled with their unexpectedly similar outlooks, led to some heartfelt moments.
There are too many to choose from with these two, but we will point to the episode “Look Closely and You Might Hear the Truth”, in which Archer treats a woman with a rare stem cell disease and Asher treats the woman’s pregnant daughter. Chicago Med chemistry at its finest.
Halstead and Manning reunite in the Chicago Med finale
Will Halstead (Nick Gehlfuss) was a bit of a crossroads during Chicago Med season 8. It felt like the character was itching to do something different, and was still reeling emotionally from the exit of one Natalie Manning (Torrey DeVitto) the year before. Well, everything got sorted out in the finale episode, as Manning returned and took Halstead with her back to Seattle.
It was an unexpected reunion, but one that made total sense given where the characters were at emotionally during season 7. It was sad to see Halstead go, but there was a comfort in knowing that he was embarking on the next chapter of his life with someone who means so much to him (and the viewer).
Brett becomes a mother during the Chicago Fire finale
We’ve already talked about the highlight that was Casey (Jesse Spencer) proposing to Sylvie Brett (Kara Killmer) in the Chicago Fire season 11 finale. It was a moment that justified all of the drama the couple went through in the episodes leading up to it, but a moment that carries a similar amount of emotional significance was when Brett decided to adopt a child.
As someone who was adopted herself, Brett got the chance to pay her good fortune forward and take an enormous step in her personal journey. It was unexpected in all the right ways, and fun to watch.
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