A cliffhanger is usually great, but too many make an unsatisfactory conclusion.
This problem plagued Chicago Fire Season 11 Episode 22 with many hanging storylines that needed some resolution, yet they didn’t get any. Factually speaking, they made it worse.
Many major plot points populated the hour, from Sylvie’s adoption to the terrorist plan. On the minor side, there was Severide’s absence, Mouch’s accident, Violet’s crush on Carver, and a plethora of others.
Sylvie’s interest in adopting Amber’s baby took center stage in the last few episodes of Chicago Fire Season 11, and it was no surprise that they focused on it more.
It was clear that Amber was not interested in being a mother because, at sixteen, it is a lot to ask someone to put a life they barely have lived on hold to give another human being a chance.
If not the mother’s, the baby’s welfare should be of concern because she stands no chance with someone who doesn’t have their well-being at the forefront.
And Sylive tried to plead her case the best she could. Yet Amber hesitated because her young mind had grown suspicious of people who claim to have good intentions. She was also under someone else’s care, and they seemed to decide what she should do.
Supporting your friends is an admirable thing, but context matters.
Amber was already unsure of everything about the baby. Having a bunch of firefighters who are like local celebrities but much more intimidating must have been, well, intimidating.
Todd: This is too much to ask for a kid. And if it were up to me, you wouldn’t be here. But MAber’s got a big heart.
Stella: We can tell. But we’re here to support her. Not pressure her.
Sylvie’s plans to adopt were directly tied to other aspects of her life, including her romantic entanglements.
Our Chicago Fire reviews have long called for better treatment of Dylan by Sylvie. And since she couldn’t fake being in love with him, the only remaining option was to let him go.
Dylan realized he would be waiting forever because he was the last thing on her mind. They went to dinner, and instead of talking to him, she spent the whole time talking about the adoption. Poor guy drowned his pain in alcohol. We wish you luck, Dylan!
I can tell. The way you focused on the baby, we’re in different places right now… The last time Matt was here, you went MIA on me for a while. And even when we were together, you weren’t all there. It’s pretty obvious you are not over him.
Casey took the opportunity that presented itself and returned to Chicago. He might have convinced Stella he was there because of the DHS assignment, but his body language spoke something different.
When he returned on Chicago Fire Season 11 Episode 18, he was distant and aloof, but it would appear that those few weeks after leaving Chicago gave him clarity.
He looked like a dog who heard his owner’s whistle whenever Sylive’s name was mentioned.
On hearing about Dylan and Sylvie’s break up, one could almost swear they saw him do a cart wheel and some somersaults.
Among one of the cliffhangers was that he proposed. Who saw that coming? I would have expected him to woo her again because he didn’t inspire much confidence dropping in and out of her life.
Sylvie Brett, we were meant to be. Will you make me, three kids, the luckiest family in the world? Marry me?
Sylvie didn’t respond. Cliffhanger.
Sylvie also received some news about the adoption, but it wasn’t clear what Amber’s decision was.
Agreeing to take custody of the baby was one thing, but giving the baby to Sylvie for adoption was another. What if she decided to keep the baby?
The main event of “Red Waterfall” was a looming terror threat by domestic militia.
The event didn’t feel as grand as it should have been because a lot was happening in the episode. And the event itself left something to be desired.
They gave us a taste of what should have been but held off on the rest.
There was a lot of bullet talk, but it went through one ear and came out the other. When they responded to the power station emergency, one kept waiting for it to escalate without success.
It felt like another installment of “first responders under attack.”
And instead of waiting for Chicago P.D., they played cops and decided to confront the attackers. It was the kind of thing that infuriated someone when things went south, and things did go south. So, yes, I’m furious over here.
Who was willing to bet if they’d stayed covered, Mouch would not have been shot? They put themselves at unnecessary risk because Casey set a bad example. I love Casey and the rest of the team like the next fan but why?
If only they saw Boden’s face as he waited to hear which one had fallen. It’s the same look he has when they find themselves in a hazardous situation, usually by no fault of their own.
It was all punctuated by a narrated conclusion by another character, and in cases like these, it’s best to see it all in action. This was one wasted potential for a One Chicago crossover event. They could have also exaggerated the threat and saved some for the Chicago Fire Season 12 premiere.
Mouch was left on a hospital bed bleeding, making for another cliffhanger.
Stella and Severide’s marriage has always been on shaky ground. They literally had an argument a short while before their wedding, but the excitement was too much, and they swept it under the rug.
The worst part is that they complement each other well, but each is a free spirit to a certain degree. They are one couple that could use proper therapy if the marriage survives.
And apart from their issues, they have external forces that would love to see them apart.
Carver nearly punches the wall whenever it’s brought to his attention that Stella is married. Kelly has been followed around by more women than he cares to count.
Stella went to get him, but will he be willing to return? Yes, another cliffhanger.
Ultimately, “Red Waterfall” would have been a great season finale if they hadn’t introduced too many storylines throughout the season. Was it necessary to introduce something between Violet and Carver? Admittedly it’s less annoying than Violet and Gallo but still.
Sylvie: Do you think I haven’t noticed how you have been looking at him recently?
Violet: You are totally misreading that. I mean, does he look good in a towel? Who am I not to look?
Kylie’s impressive ascent to qualifying for firefighter training was more interesting.
Chicago Fire is strongest when it leans into what makes it great. Fires! A high-rise fire is always a great way to end a season. It was a shame the only fire we got looked like it came from a high school chemistry practical gone wrong where someone put too much potassium in water.
We would love to know what you thought about the season finale.
Are you excited to see what Chicago Fire Season 12 brings?
Brettsey fans, are you okay?
Join the conversation in the comments section, and don’t forget to watch Chicago Fire online to relive the finale.
Denis Kimathi is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. He has watched more dramas and comedies than he cares to remember. Catch him on social media obsessing over [excellent] past, current, and upcoming shows or going off about the politics of representation on TV. Follow him on Twitter.