Chicago Fire Subverted Expectations With A Tragic Gallo Twist, And It Was A Great Move

Alberto Rosende as Gallo in Chicago Fire Season 11
(Image credit: NBC)

Spoilers ahead for Episode 8 of Chicago Fire Season 11, called “A Beautiful Life.”

Chicago Fire has delivered plenty of drama with the introduction of Carver as the new permanent firefighter, and the conflict this week was between him and Gallo. Carver had issues with Gallo’s tendency to make bold moves on the fly, and not deferring to Carver despite their difference in level of experience. Gallo raised the point that he takes his orders from the increasingly-confident Lt. Kidd, and neither man seemed willing to bend. Everything changed after Truck 81 was called to the scene of a person seemingly trapped on the roof of a very tall building, and Gallo endured a tragic twist that was nonetheless good for the show. 

When the Truck firefighters were unable to force the door to the roof, Gallo found a way to climb up from a lower balcony, and he discovered the he wasn’t dealing with a person who had accidentally become trapped, but instead with a man who intended to kill himself. Hearing the situation over the radio, Kidd immediately called for a crisis negotiator, but it was up to Gallo to try and talk him down before the third party could arrive. 

And it really seemed that he was succeeding for a while there! Gallo sat right down on the edge of the roof next to him, heard him out about the issues that made him want to jump, and tried to reassure him that everybody makes mistakes and nobody can control everything that happens. Gallo even opened up about how he lost his family as a child. The man said that he appreciated what Gallo was saying to him, then smiled and said that he was “sorry about all this.” 

I 100% thought that Gallo had achieved his goal and the man was about to swing his legs back over to the safe side of the roof, and Gallo would have gotten a win that would show Carver that he knew what he was doing. Plus, this is Chicago Fire, where jumpers are talked down from roofs. Chicago P.D. is the show where people actually jump to their deaths! (It happened not that long ago on P.D..) Fire completely subverted my expectations that Gallo was about to get a win when the man instead jumped, and the tone of the episode shifted in one fell swoop. 

And that tonal shift is what “A Beautiful Life” needed to remind viewers of the tragedy that has driven Gallo to become the firefighter that he is, and to really prove to Carver how wrong he was in making assumptions about the younger man. Gallo was more or less in a fog for the rest of the shift, even shrugging off Ritter’s attempts to get through to him. He ultimately agreed to go out with Carver and drink his woes away into the very wee hours of the morning. It wasn’t exactly a healthy coping mechanism, but definitely an interesting look into Gallo as a character.

It remains to be seen if Chicago Fire is done with revisiting Gallo’s trauma after triggering him with the shocking suicide. Whether or not it does, I enjoyed seeing the more serious side of him in a season that has spent much of his screentime on his secret relationship with Herrmann’s niece. This also may be a turning point in Carver being accepted into Firehouse 51 after he was brought in at Boden’s insistence. 

Unfortunately, fans are nearly out of episodes in 2022, and Season 11 has been pretty tragic already. The fall finale of Chicago Fire airs on Wednesday, December 7 at 9 p.m. ET, between Med at 8 p.m. (with an episode that will say goodbye to Brian Tee as Ethan Choi) and P.D. at 10 p.m. Check out our 2023 TV premiere schedule for when the three shows of One Chicago, plus many more, will return in the new year!

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

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. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. 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).