01x09 - It Ain't Easy

Get back!

Previously on Chicago Fire...

I've seen him at two different fire scenes.

Have we got a firebug here?

What do you carry around in that backpack there?

Get away from me. You don't know me!

Leon. I'm gonna come pick you up.

No speeches. I just wanna get you home.

I need a refill. I could pay you for them.

Did you hear about Hallie and Casey?


They're splitting up.

You okay?

Yeah, I'm good.


Hey, I texted you a couple times.

I'm sorry, I've just been dealing with something.

I'm not looking to bring any drama to her life.

No, I hear you. Keep it short and sweet.

That's my policy.


Real quick. Corrinne... do you have any claim to her?

Knock yourself out.

[Clears throat]

Have a good day.

Yeah, you too.

See you.


You feel better?

Feel like you accomplished something?

By the way... she's not 100% lesbian.


You said it was cool.

[Sirens wailing]

[Indistinct chatter]

Started getting hot.

Smoke started coming in. I turned around.

Next thing I know, fire's coming in through the window.

We tried to spray it, but it got too hot, and the propane tank blew.

Anything else combustible in there?

A bunch of cylinders... oxygen, acetylene.

Truck 81, pull those tanks out before it turns into the Fourth of July.

Squad, you're on search.

Hey, isn't that that kid Ernie from the Thanksgiving dinner?

Main room's clear of hazardous material.

No workers in here.

Haven't checked the supply room yet.

We got it!


Lieutenant, somebody's in the corner!

Okay, grab his legs! Hadley, Capp, finish the sweep!

We're on it.


Let's get two attack lines ready in the back.


Hold on!


One, two, three. Go!

Truck's still engaged. I need you two to vent the roof.

On it.

Hey! Supply room's clear!

Take one of these.

Got it.

All yours, Rrich.

Give me more line!

How we doing on that vent?

We're venting, making progress.

Clear out, clear out!




Mayday! Mayday! Firefighter down!

We got a down firefighter on the roof.

Get a ladder up there now.


Vargas, can you hear me?

Take nice, slow breaths for us, Vargas.

We're gonna get you to the hospital in no time, okay?

Just hang in there for us. You guys ready?


We need a hand.


[Siren wailing]

Hey. Hey. You torch this place?

Huh, you little tweaker?

I'm watching.

You're watching it? Did you do it, huh?

Kelly! That's enough!

That's two fires, two dumpsters, same kid!

Walk it off, Kelly! I am handling this!

Why don't you invite him back for apple pie?

Keep him close. That's the plan, right?

All: Morning.

I know you're all concerned about what happened to Vargas on the last shift.

Hospital has treated him and released him.

He's resting up.

But he is not out of the woods.

Hazmat has confirmed magnesium shavings were in a bin at the machine shop, which you all know is reactive with water.

Magnesium inhalation.

He's got burns in his lungs and an upper respiratory tract infection.

So when are we gonna see him again?

We won't know until we get the test results.

But look, he's gonna be fine no matter what happens.


Uh, my office. Now.


You ever talk to me like that in front of the men again, you will see a side of me that you won't forget.

All due respect, I've got to protect my men.

And I am doing what?

Walking around with my thumb up my ass?

He is a firebug. Plain as day.

I am taking care of this!

Do you understand me?

Step back.

[Door closes]

Hey, you've reached Jose Vargas.

Please leave a message. [Beep]

Hey. Anything?

He's not picking up.

All right.

Well, let me know if anyone's planning on going over there.

Dawson and I want in.

You got it.

Oh, hey. Dawson's landlord is being a dick about repairs.

Her kitchen window leaks every time it rains, and he won't do anything about it.

Really? She hasn't said anything to me about it.

Oh, she didn't want to come off like a mooch.

But anyhow, she tried to fix it herself, and now the window won't go up or down.

Oh. I'll talk to her.

Great. Thanks.



You should have said something about your window.

[Chuckles] You want greater Chicago to know your business, make sure you tell Leslie Shay.

I can put in a new one for you.

Oh. I don't like asking favors.

Good thing you didn't ask.

[Knock on door]

The fire at the machine shop... do you know how it started?

Do you remember Jose Vargas? From the firehouse?

His lungs are burned. Pretty bad.

I told you, I don't know anything.

But if you did know something, now would be the time for you to speak up, because that way, I can still help you out.

It's not my fault.

What's not your fault?

Come on, son, talk to me.

Look, whatever it is, we can make it right.

We can get you some help.

I want to bring my grandma.

That's fine.

[Radio static] Truck 81, elevator accident...

[Radio switched off]

You come down to the station by 2:00.

No one's gonna hurt you anymore, Ernie.

Station by 2:00, okay?

What's the word?

A bank elevator stopped working.

One of them is stuck.

Somebody in there was calling for help, but now nobody's answering the phone.

What floor?

It's express.

It could be anywhere between the lobby and the tenth floor.

Let's start on ten and get a bird's eye view.


This one.

All right.

[Grunts] Got it?


[Metal clanging] Good.

All right. [Grunts]

This is the fire department! Can anybody hear me?

Mills, Cruz, Herrmann, throw a rope.

I'll get in the hoistway.

Otis, get up to the motor room and take over the power.

Ah, Mouch.

You, uh, stay right here and take command of this floor, huh?


[Elevators powering down]

Power's down in all elevators.

Peter Mills, your line's secure.

Line's secure!

All right.




Elevator's empty except for a safe.

Gotta weigh a ton, at least.


What the hell?

I didn't do it.

Hey buddy?

I'm down here to help you.

Didn't hear me yelling?

Please, I don't want any help.


What's your name? I don't want to say.

I'm not a cop.

Fine. I'll call you Ralph.

Ralph, don't...

It's Mark.

All right, Mark, don't do anything stupid.

I mean, don't do anything stupid again.

Oh, God.

Elevator's dead until that safe's out, Casey!

Drop me a rescue harness.

On it!

I only noticed the safe was missing when I got back from a meeting.

Well, it ain't going anywhere now.

I told her I needed 45, and she just said, "take it or leave it."

Looks like you took it.

We'll have him out of there soon.

Never hire family.

The money never left the building.

Maybe Betts and I can work something out.

There you go.

Now, when I say the word... not yet!


I can't hold on. Help me.

Help me! Hold on.

Help me. [Indistinct shouting]

Coming for you.

... Your line back down.

Here, give me your hand.

Come on. Stay calm. Here, now hold on to the beam.

Grab the beam. Got it?


Okay. Now give me your other hand.


One step at a time.


Edge along.

I got you.


Hold on! Get your feet up.

Don't drop me!

I've got you.

Don't drop me! Please don't drop me.

Get your feet up. I got you, I got you.

I'm not gonna drop you. Keep going.

You're okay.

I got him. Up on line.

Ready to haul.


Get your feet up. Feet.

He's coming.

Move to your right and then stop.

Stop right there.


All right.


You okay?

Let's go over to the chair.

Well, sir, you look okay. Do you hurt anywhere?

I feel sick.

You'll be all right.

What am I supposed to tell mom, huh?

You dropout.

Hey, Mouch, I think I left my kit upstairs.

Can you run up and grab it for me?

I'd give you the finger, but that would require too much energy.

[Cell phone rings]


Yeah, I'll accept the charges.

Leon, you better not be calling me from where I think you're calling.



My little brother got pinched in a robbery.

Unarmed. Petty theft.

Anyway, he's at county and if I could get an hour, I need to bail him out.

Get us back to 51 and then do what you gotta do.

You sure?

Are you?

It's family.

Casey. Hey.

Uh, hypothetical. A friend comes over to your house to help out with something... do you repay your friend with your phenomenal arroz con pollo picante, or a six pack of his favorite beer?

Hypothetically, your friend can bring his own beer.

However, he can barely say arroz con pollo...

Both: [Laugh]

Let alone cook it.

Got it.

Look at you.

All lit up like a Christmas tree.

What? No. I just asked him if he wanted me to make dinner.


Hey, we are not talking about this.

Seriously. How long has it been?

He just dumped his fiancée, Shay.

But, yeah, it's been a while.

Right. That's why you gotta get in there.

Pick up the rebound and slam it on home.

Okay. I'm gonna about to slam something in a minute.

Live and in person, Jose Vargas.

Aah! There he is! Good to see you, buddy.



What's up, man? [Laughs]

Are you staying for lunch? We're having brisket.

He's staying. Come on, let's eat!



[Alarm blaring]

Ambulance 61.

Save me some of that.



716 South Morgan Drive.


Doctor's got me huffing on a nebulizer four times a day.

Plus, this inhaler.

Busy day so far?

Uh, no. No.

Not too bad.

Casey. Severide. Chief's asking for you.

This is Dr. Tenney, the CFD medical director.


We wanted to bring you men in since Vargas served under both your command.

His lab suggests chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

What's that?

He'll develop emphysema, which means his lungs will gradually deteriorate.

He won't be able to breathe a normal amount of air, which could lead to other issues.

Weight loss. Skeletal muscle dysfunction.

Heart problems.

There's just no way he can handle the demands of the job.

He's out there right now, Chief.

He looks good.

We are placing him on long-term disability.

I wanted you two to know what was happening.

When I get all this paperwork together, I will talk to Vargas.


We'll tell him.

So that's it?

I'm sorry Vargas.

It could have happened to any of us.

Well, be glad it didn't happen to you.

Hey. You're getting paid. 3/4 salary.


It's not what anybody wants.

But any of us would take that deal.

How about you, Kelly? Would you take that deal?


They're not offering a choice.

You still doing landscaping?

Yeah. Whenever my buddy needs another guy.

Take the 75%, start your own business.

Or go ride Harleys with your brother like you talked about.

He moved to Albuquerque.

[Chuckles] You and me should both be taking 75%.

Did you see a doctor?

Your shoulder. Do you think no one's noticed?

It's my neck. And I saw a doctor.

She said there's nothing to worry about, so I'm not worrying about it.

It's your business, but if it's an issue for you, it's an issue for all of us.

Then we're good.

[Alarm blaring]

Squad three, engine 51.

Single car accident, 5512 South Sangamon.

[Sirens wailing]

[Electricity crackling]

Car's energized, keep your distance.

Tony, get on the horn with com-ed and get this line cut.


Watch it, guys.

[Electricity crackling]

Uh, I knew to not get out of the car.

You knew right. You hurt?

No. I don't think so.

What happened?

Well, this animal just darted out, right out in front of my car and...

Well, looks like you missed him, so PETA will be happy.

Just give us a sec.


[Electricity crackling]

All right, we can't wait for the power company.

Wait, what's happening?

Stay in the car.

-Hadley, throw me the rope bag.


Oh, my God.

Is everything gonna be okay?

Yeah. I promise. You're gonna be fine.




You good?



See? Safe and sound.


[Groans] Okay. [Chuckles]

Come over here.

You want a backboard and stretcher?

No. No. God, what I need is a massage.


I'm... I'm good. I'm fine.

All right.

All right, well, these guys will check you out to make sure.

Uh, thank you.

You're moving in with me.

Yo, whatever.


How about, "thanks for saving my ass"?

We weren't raised like this.

You're turning your back on your familia.

Yo, I got a different family now.

What the hell is the matter with you?

Look at where we are!

I can't keep chasing after you your whole life, cleaning up your mess.

Yo, then don't.

You want to die in a gang?

Like Moco? Like Ruiz?

Blackboy? That's your word?

It's a plant. And a triple word score.

Hey, Dawson, if I said, "let's get a bunch of blackboys in here to decorate the house," what would you think?

Uh, I'm not touching that one.

Should I go get the dictionary?

It's a word.

Wait. I saved you a plate.




Um, yeah, I can make you some, if...

Oh, no. Don't trouble yourself, Peter Mills.

I had two sunflower seeds in the ambo.

Ernie here yet?

Not yet.

I know you don't want to do this, Chief.

But you gotta do this.

I just want to believe he's a good kid.

But you're not doing anybody any favors by waiting for this kid to do the right thing.

Putting him in the system does what?

What choice do you have?

Let it slide?

Hope that he changes on his own?

Remember me? I tried to electrocute you earlier?

I remember.

For you. Chocolates.

Well, thanks, but it's not...

No. No, please. I mean, it doesn't even begin to repay you for all your help.


Uh, Renee Royce.


[Giggles] Call me Renee.

Um, look, my services are free.

This is gonna sound, um... okay, what the hell?

Do you want to have lunch or coffee sometime?

It doesn't have to be today...

Look, it's a really nice offer.

Come on, just say yes.

Miss Royce?


There's a well-known phenomenon where people who have been rescued become attracted to the men that helped them.

Believe me, this will wear off in 30 minutes, tops.

Thank you again.

Yeah. It was my pleasure.

Hey, I heard the news. Sorry, man.

Want a yo-yo?

Even as a kid, I could never figure out how to do it.

Otis says I gotta snap my wrists more.

How long did it take to get from truck to squad?

16 years.

My whole career.

Five weeks to get booted out.

[Locker door slams]

On the bright side, there's a spot open now.

No. Yo, I wasn't even thinking... I would never...


When you get the opportunity, grab it.

It ain't easy.

This is from all of us.

Thanks, guys.

This is, um... it sure ain't pretty.


But I love it. Thanks.

It was an honor to serve with you at this house, Vargas.

Thanks, Chief.

You lucky b*st*rd.

Good luck, brother.

You'll do great, man.

Just... get well soon.

See you later, buddy.

Take it easy, man.

See ya, man.

Keep an eye on him, both of youse.


Thanks for seeing me on such short notice.

We gotta catch up sometime. Off duty.

You don't have to tell me twice.

Sit. Sit. So what you got?

We think we have at least two major fires that are connected.

Both of them started in dumpsters, both possibly started by a 14-year-old kid who has been seen at three incidents.

Record of station visits, phone correspondence, medical history, SSI data.

Dad's doing 30 years in Tamms.

Mom OD'd a year ago.

He's a good kid.

Some day he's gonna kill somebody.

[Background chatter]


[Chuckles] Is that Joe Cruz?

Damn, ain't seen you for a minute.

What up, man?

Hey, I appreciate you taking the time.

We go back, you and me.

I wanted to talk to you about my brother.

Yeah? I heard you bailed him out.


That's cool.

You ain't gotta worry about Puppet though.

I'm watching out for him.


Look, he ain't cut out for your crew.

I'd love to help you out, bro. But I put in time on him.

Been grooming him for a while now.

You want to buy out, you gotta drop 10k.


Time is money, man.

I don't have it.

And even if I did, I put in time with Leon.

A lot more than you.

So the way I see it, maybe you owe me something.


You got heart. I'll give you that.

And loyalty.

Ain't nothing more important than loyalty to your hermanos, right?



We're cool?

As cucumbers.

If we're having this same conversation a year from now, I swear to you, he's all yours.

Sea salt sarsaparilla?

What the hell kind of chocolate is this?

Where's the nougat?

I love this one.

It's junk.


With our winters, you want one made with wood fiber strengthened with PVC polymers.

This one's so cute.


Can't compete with cute.



What's shaking, Sparkles?

What's up with you?


Are you on something again?


I know I'm not giving you painkillers.

You'd think after Thanksgiving that you'd be...

No. I'm finally feeling better, Shay, and when I have a good day I don't question it.

So maybe you shouldn't either.

And by the way, didn't we have an agreement when we first moved in that we wouldn't get in each other's business?

This isn't some personal thing.

This is serious, what you're doing.

I'm not doing anything!


[Sighs] I came to tell you there's someone looking for you on the floor.

It has been over 30 minutes, and it hasn't worn off.

Well, how about that?

Because you made me wait, it is now going to be dinner.

Is it?

Have you ever been to Francesca's?

'Cause we're in for tomorrow night.

Where is this place?

The injury you want is to get shot in the foot.

With the right angle, you can blow that...

Severide, tell me that lady you were just with wasn't the same woman that you saved from the wreck.

Why? Is she your sister?

Doctors don't date patients.

Lawyers don't date clients.

Victims are off-limits to firefighters.

Actually there's nothing in the Union bylaws that says you can't date a victim.

And might I add, these chocolates?

A little too fancy-pants.

So don't eat them.


Hey, I didn't say inedible.

Vargas, hey! You forget something?

You said come back anytime.

Of course. Yeah.

Hey, you keep showing up like this, you're gonna give Mills here a big head.

Hey, man.

Hey, who's drinking after shift?

I'm buying.

Aw, jeez, I wish I could.

But Lee Henry's got a hockey game.

Hey, if you're still buying next week, I am totally free Saturday and Sunday.


No problem.

[Sirens wailing]

Fire's out, Chief.

Any idea what happened?

Yeah. Dumpster fire in the back spread to the house.

You got anything for me?

Sent a couple guys over to the kid's grandma's house.

Nobody's there.

Got a hit on something else though.

The grandma's the legal guardian, but his SSI checks, they're going to another address.

Text me.



What are you doing here?

Did you start that fire?

Did you start that fire!

The cops were at my house.

Why didn't you come to the fire station like we agreed?

You ratted me out.

I'm trying to help you out.

I didn't do anything wrong.

Everything's all messed up.

What's messed up?

No. You have to go. Get out of here. Go!

Hey! Hey! Hey!

Who the hell are you?

Wallace Boden. How do you know Ernie?

I'm his Uncle.

You okay, Ernie?

He's my Uncle Ray.

What's going on here?

What are you doing to that kid?

I said, what are you doing to that kid?

You a cop?

Hey, Ernie! Ernie!

You stay the whole shift?

Old habits.

You still free tonight?

How long were you hanging off the side of that balcony?

Long enough.

If I hadn't raised that ladder when I did, he would have had nothing but pavement to break his fall.




[Inhaler hisses]


Yeah, sorry I crashed your date.

Oh, no, no, no. Stop it.

This was fun.

I've never seen you talk that much in my life.



See you guys.

I appreciate you making it three.

He's... struggling.

You're a good man.

[Tires screeching]


Oh, my God, Leon!

What the hell did you do?


No record of an Uncle.

But then in that part of town you get a lot of unofficial "uncles" and "aunties."

What about the house where I found him?

Uh, it's rented to a Raymond Martin.

That's him.

No outstanding warrants. Looks like he's laying low.

Has he got any priors?

Ah. Did eight years in Statesville.

Felony arson.

[Soft music playing]

Cute enough?

It's perfect.

I love it. Even the view is better.


Oh, God!

Who you got here?


[Chuckles] That is my niece Maria.

She just started ballet class, and she's so adorable.

The one next to her, that's Antonio's Brainiac son, Diego.

I don't know where he gets it.

The twins, Freddy and Carla.

You his aunt, too?

Yeah, we hang out sometimes.

Oh, yeah?

Well, he knows all the best dive restaurants in the city.



Here. Try this.

It's a little spicy. Careful.

I can take it.

Oh, my God.

Yeah? You like it?

It is phenomenal.


Hey! Let's take a picture for your wall of fame.


Do that. Here.



You sure?


Three, two, one.


[Phone vibrates]

I gotta go.

Okay. What's up?


Vargas, you stop playing.

Come on, man.

Hey, there, buddy.

What's going on?

This is so messed up.

Why don't you move away from the edge there, Vargas?

I've been telling him.

He keeps living the rest of his life the way he fought fires, he'll have a hell of a lot to be proud of.

Remember the homewood fire?

We lost the house, and Vargas saves the family photo album.

But here's the thing I never told you.

The mom thanked me after it was all over.

You know what she said?

She said, "the house was made out of wood.

But the home was made out of the people in that book."

Firehouse 51 is made out of you and me and Severide... and every firefighter that passes through those gates.

Nothing can take that away from you.

51 is always gonna be your house.