Spoilers ahead for Episode 13 of Chicago Fire Season 10, called “Fire Cop.”
Chicago Fire has officially returned from its Olympics break with an episode that delivered a near-death experience for none other than Gallo. It takes a lot for one of the firefighters of Firehouse 51 to be shaken up by a fire after everything they’ve gone through, but this inferno was nearly too much for him to make it out alive. “Fire Cop” director Kantú Lentz (who used all ten seasons of Fire to prepare) spoke with CinemaBlend about the episode, and how the “claustrophobic” crisis set up the big payoff for Gallo by the end of the hour.
The heroes of Firehouse 51 were called to the scene of a blaze that was bad even by Chicago Fire standards, to the point that it even looked like arson for most of the episode. Gallo bravely fought his way through the fire to try and find the person he could hear trapped inside, but who wouldn’t call out for help… or so it seemed. He discovered that he wasn’t hearing a person in need after all, but a smart speaker, and the mistake might have cost him his life if not for a daring leap out the window and Stella Kidd coming in with a ladder to save him.
Gallo’s crawl through the fire to save what really seemed like a person was a harrowing sequence, and director Kantú Lentz – who came to Chicago Fire as part of the NBCU Launch Female Forward program that promotes gender equity for directors in scripted TV – broke down how the sequence came to be, saying:
Gallo was clearly getting more and more frustrated as the “person” he was trying to rescue wouldn’t call out to guide him, but he truly believed there was somebody in peril. In most cases, he would have saved the life of somebody who 100% would have died otherwise, and it would have reflected well on him (and Casey’s training before Jesse Spencer left) as he adjusts to Pelham as lieutenant. When I noted that Gallo’s frustration was relatable even for viewers who haven’t been in that kind of situation, Lentz elaborated:
It may be for the best that Gallo found a smart speaker rather than a person, in the grand scheme of things, because he would have had a hard time getting somebody without any protective gear out of that house unscathed. His own life was in danger, even with his mask and turnout gear! Still, it was clear that the mixup was sticking with him, even though nobody but Gallo himself blamed him for a mistake that any of them could have made. Kantú Lentz credited actor Alberto Rosende for his performance in the sequence:
Stella Kidd was there for him after making the ladder save, and Pelham didn’t hold it against him, but Gallo couldn’t shake off that he nearly died for something that wasn’t even what he believed it was. Luckily for Gallo (and viewers), “Fire Cop” didn’t end with him still wallowing in misery about the call gone wrong, as there was another incident that required Truck 81’s help: a cat in the tree.
The stakes were quite a bit lower for retrieving the cat compared to the inferno that nearly killed him, but pulling off this save by climbing the tree (which Kantú Lentz confirmed that Alberto Rosende did himself) was the payoff that Gallo needed. The Female Forward director explained:
Gallo getting his mojo back was an important beat for his character, and I think it’s safe to say that one of the Chicago Fire heroes getting a cat out of a tree was a fun way for viewers to see the storyline come to a close. It’s a good thing that Stella realized Gallo could use a win and pointed that out to Pelham, or we could have been denied Gallo’s cat-related heroics!
Find out what happens next for Gallo and the rest of the Firehouse 51 crew with new episodes of Chicago Fire on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET in the 2022 TV schedule, between Chicago Med at 8 p.m. ET and Chicago P.D. at 10 p.m. ET on NBC. All three One Chicago shows were missing from the airwaves for weeks due to the Olympics, but they’re back and ready to deliver more stories with the rest of the 22-episode seasons.
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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 and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).