Spoilers ahead for Episode 3 of Chicago Fire Season 11, called "Completely Shattered."
Chicago Fire managed to resolve its big Season 10 cliffhanger without killing anybody off, but now a tragedy has befallen the heroes of the long-running NBC show. "Completely Shattered" turned out to be a pretty perfect name for the episode, as what seemed like a fairly standard fire emergency ended with the shocking death of none other than Chief Hawkins. He was crushed by debris just when it seemed like everything would be okay... and right in front of Violet.
Honestly, maybe Chicago Fire fans should have expected something to go horribly wrong when Violet and Hawkins' relationship was going so well! Then again, shows don't usually kill off a key character a few episodes into a season, and I would have expected such a tragic twist to happen in either a premiere or a finale, so who could have seen this coming for them? The two truly loved each other and finally had their chance to have a real relationship without hiding, and the EMTs are usually the only first responder characters who aren't in danger on the scenes of fires.
Hanako Greensmith – who opened up not too long ago about why fans should root for Violet and Hawkins' relationship – absolutely crushed her performance as Violet realized that he had been beneath the crushing rubble that fell off the building after the fire had already been mostly extinguished, then desperately tried CPR that everybody else knew wouldn't work, just by looking at him. She had to be pulled away from his body by Boden.
All in all, it was an extremely unexpected tragedy that left Violet broken by the time the final credits rolled, so how can anybody possibly help her after this loss? Well, when co-showrunners Andrea Newman and Derek Haas spoke with CinemaBlend earlier in the fall, I asked what Violet and Brett's relationship would look like moving forward, and Newman shared:
Brett was already going through a hard time early in Season 11 due to the strains of her long-distance relationship with Casey, and then with the heartbreak after she made their split official. She still managed to support Violet's relationship, and Violet baked her some (admittedly inedible) bread to apologize in case she was insensitive with her happiness. Hawkins' death hits much harder than what either of them was dealing with before, but it sounds like Brett will be a rock for her partner.
Andrea Newman did say that the "first group of episodes" would be when they truly need each other to get by, and I would say that Violet losing the man she loves more than qualifies as "really scary and tricky stuff." Violet has somebody who has her back with no strings attached, and that's about the best silver lining that I can think of in light of Hawkins' death.
See the aftermath of Hawkins' death and how Violet deals with her loss with new episodes of Chicago Fire on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC in the 2022 TV premiere schedule, between Chicago Med at 8 p.m. and Chicago P.D. at 10 p.m. You can also stream new episodes of Fire next day with a Peacock subscription. Severide was playing fire cop again this week as his storyline with CPD continues and Kidd got her own quarters, so there were some brighter spots before this episode took its tragic turn.
Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.
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