NBC's One Chicago: Ranking Fire, P.D. And Med's Season Finales
Spoilers ahead for the April 15 finales of Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D., and Chicago Med on NBC.
The three shows of One Chicago have officially aired their final episodes of the 2019-2020 TV season, leaving fans with plenty to think about concerning the futures of the folks of Firehouse 51, the cops of Intelligence, and the doctors and nurses at Gaffney Chicago Med. Unfortunately, Chicago Fire Season 8, Chicago P.D. Season 7, and Chicago Med Season 5 all ended a few episodes short of the originally planned finales thanks to production halts, creating impromptu finales out of what were written as regular late-season episodes.
Now, as fans are facing an indefinite hiatus before the three shows return to the airwaves, let’s take a look at the three season enders and how well they work (or don’t work) as finales. Read on for a ranking of the final 2019-2020 episodes of NBC’s Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D., and Chicago Med!
3. Chicago Med - “A Needle In The Heart”
In the episode that ultimately became Chicago Med’s Season 5 finale, Crockett’s past came back to haunt him when he was accused of murdering somebody years ago in New Orleans. The case was closed (as confirmed to CinemaBlend by the Med showrunners) after Natalie made a discovery. Hannah and Will hit a bump in the road, but Will decided to trust her. Dr. Charles realized that teenage girls can be more complicated than he accounted for with his daughter back in his life, and April and Ethan clearly realized that they may have been hasty in ending their relationship.
All things considered, “A Needle In The Heart” was a solid episode of Chicago Med. What earns Med the third spot in the One Chicago ranking is that “A Needle In The Heart” felt like a well-done but regular episode of Med. The promise of more Crockett backstory and Natalie’s increasing interest in him can count as a cliffhangers if you squint, and there was a lack of resolution on the Ethan and April front to keep fans speculating.
If this was a ranking of the One Chicago episodes as standalones, the standings might be different. As it stands, Med’s “A Needle In The Heart” felt a little too regular, especially with the Will/Hannah and Dr. Charles stories, to rank above Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D. But which of those two was best, and which was runner up?
2. Chicago Fire - “51’s Original Bell”
Chicago Fire comes in second with “51’s Original Bell,” which saw Squad member Capp take a faceful of chlorine gas that could have permanently damaged his eyes and taken him out of the CFD, although he ultimately just needed a few shifts off to heal. Brett learned that Scott and her baby sister were leaving Chicago, Foster took the next step toward returning to med school, Kidd’s success with Girls on Fire hit a snag, Gallo’s relationship with Violet took a turn for the worse, and Severide went all-out to help Capp. Casey was... also there.
With “51’s Original Bell,” Fire did deliver at least one finale-worthy cliffhanger, as well as another two or three smaller but lingering questions. Of course, the news that Annie Ilonzeh is leaving Chicago Fire ahead of Season 9 means that the big cliffhanger of Foster’s future at Firehouse 51 was resolved within 24 hours of the finale airing, but it was a solid cliffhanger while it lasted.
There is still the mystery of what happened to Kidd’s star Girls on Fire pupil, who didn’t show up to class despite being the most enthusiastic of the young women, and Brett has some choices to make. Still, there wasn’t enough Casey or Severide for this to feel like a proper finale, and Boden didn’t have much to do either. Now, if the episode had ended with Capp’s fate still in question, this ranking might have been a little more complicated. As it is, picking the #1 spot was pretty easy. The top slot goes, of course, to…
1. Chicago P.D. - Silence Of The Night
“Silence Of The Night” forced Atwater to work with the racist cop, Doyle, who pulled a gun on him back in Season 6. After Doyle caused a scene that ended with two people dead (including Doyle himself), Atwater had a choice to make: expose Doyle’s lack of probable cause or let it go. Atwater, being Atwater, told the truth. Voight promised that he and Intelligence all have his back, and the hour ended on a suspenseful note with Doyle’s people making a show of force on Atwater. Also, Upton and Halstead were cute together for half a scene before everything went sideways.
Basically, “Silence Of The Night” was a really great episode of Chicago P.D. that could definitely pass for a finale even if production hadn’t forced an early end to Season 7. Unfortunately, Atwater doesn’t seem to get as many of his own episodes compared to others in Intelligence, so an Atwater-centric episode with high stakes ending on a very big cliffhanger feels like a standout from the norm, and hopefully promises more Atwater in the spotlight in season 8.
Honestly, if P.D. had ended just an episode earlier, it would have ended on a very procedural note that probably would have ranked it third behind Med and Fire. “Silence Of The Night” also ended with promise of developments on the Upstead front, even if showrunner Rick Eid hadn’t come out and explicitly confirmed their growing feelings for each other. Burgess and Rojas didn’t have a ton to do, and Ruzek’s biggest role was supporting Atwater, but this was a great episode, a solid finale, and a strong way to end a season.
The only downside to this solid batch of One Chicago episodes (even if they didn’t all quite feel like finales) is that there are no more left in the 2019-2020 TV season. Even though Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D., and Chicago Med are already guaranteed another three seasons and the P.D. crossover with FBI just opened the One Chicago shared universe up to two more shows, the wait for the new seasons on NBC could be long.
Fortunately, there are plenty of viewing options set elsewhere than the Windy City to keep viewers busy during the One Chicago hiatus. Our 2020 spring premiere guide can point you toward what’s already available and what debuts sooner rather than later, and our 2020 summer premiere schedule can help you plan ahead for the warmer months. Don't forget to vote in our poll below about which One Chicago finale was the best!
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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, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.