Chicago Fire knows how to keep fans on their toes. The season 11 finale made it seem as though Mouch (Christian Stolte) was on his death bed, but the character thankfully rebounded in the season 12 premiere.
SPOILERS for the Chicago Fire season 12 premiere
There was a brief moment in which his fate was teased, as a visiting Firehouse 17 member ripped the "Mouch" name tag off his locker, but Herrmann (David Eigenberg) sprung into action and demanded it be put back. Moments later, Mouch entered the locker room and was greeted with grins from his 51 peers.
The character was not only back to his usual self, but the physical rehabilitation he was forced to go through as a result of his gunshot wound meant that he was in the best shape of his life! Things could not have been looking better for Mouch as he regained his footing in season 12, but the same can't be said for his old buddy, Herrmann.
Herrmann, who was perhaps the most eager to have Mouch back, was dealt a pretty devastating blow at the end of the episode. He recognized that a package dropped off to the firehouse had an explosive inside of it, and put his life on the line by picking it up and running it to a clear area. The package exploded, tossing Herrmann onto the asphalt.
Herrmann suffered a serious injury on the job
Violet (Hanako Greensmith) and the rest of the 51 gang sprung into action, and Herrmann's vitals seemed to be okay, but towards the episode, an exchange between Herrmann and Ritter (Daniel Kyri) suggests there may be some lingering effects from the incident.
As Ritter exits, Herrmann can be seen, sitting alone, and grimacing in pain. It's unclear what the issue is, with regards to the type of injury he suffered, but it seems as though the character is trying to hide the injury from his peers.
Herrmann is generally pretty closed-off when it comes to personal struggles, so it'll be fascinating to see him navigate the struggles of his injury. Especially as it pertains to his performance in the field. We could easily see an instance in which a dazed or compromised Herrmann loses focus on the job, or even worse, puts a civilian at risk because he's unable to perform to the best of his abilities.
We're relieved that Mouch is healthy and feeling revitalized, but now that his storyline is taken care of, Chicago Fire has seemingly shifted the focus to Herrmann and his struggles as he gets older. We can only hope he gets help sooner rather than later.