‘Chicago Fire’ Season 5, Episode 13 Recap: ‘Trading in Scuttlebutt’


After helping out in what could have a bad situation, Chief Boden finds himself in hot water because he hurt the wrong man’s ego in ‘Chicago Fire.’

Being a firefighter, reaction is everything. React too slowly and you can put a lot of people in danger. Don’t react at all and that could have dire consequences. When Chief Boden reacted to a dangerous situation, he potentially saved firefighters’ lives, but ruffled the ego of the wrong person in the process on the latest Chicago Fire.

Firehouse 51 went on a call of an accident, and when they got there, a truck carrying large, heavy pipes had crashed into a vehicle where the pipes were crushing the car. Teetering pipes on top of the flatbed had been secured, but a fraying rope keeping them in place was on the brink of snapping.

More from NBC

Another unit was already on the scene with our regular crew hanging back. That’s when Boden spotted the rope about to break. He told Deputy District Chief Jim Anderson (who just got a promotion and outranks Boden) to stop digging out the woman inside the crushed car.

However, Anderson just waved Boden off. Boden doesn’t do well in these situations and growled for the men to stop. They did and his crew secured the pipes after the rope broke.

You could see in Anderson’s face that he was not happy about being told what to do. After all, he’s the top boss now and Heaven forbid any person helps him out of jam.

Word had gotten around how Boden saved the lives of the other firefighters. Because once his crew let go of the rope, the pipes fell and would have crushed those helping the woman.

Anderson is now pissed because his poor little ego got in the way of a rescue.

While at a cocktail party, Anderson sauntered over to Boden while drunk. He complained about being made to look small and admitted he had looked into Boden’s files. He cited recent issues within the firehouse such as a candidate filing a complaint about him (who was reeling from the death of his brother) and being suspended for conduct unbecoming a firefighter (Boden beat up the guy who was physically abusing his stepson). Context matters. Not that Anderson cares much. He has set his sights on Boden and nothing will keep him from taking Boden down.

Meanwhile no one stepped in to stop Anderson or pull him away from Boden. No, they let him spew his garbage. No one said anything until Boden finally stopped smiling and stepped forward.

“This is supposed to be a party,” one guy said as he laughed nervously.

This whole scene along with how Anderson is treating Boden feels racially motivated. If causing a scene was that much of an issue, someone would have stepped in the moment Anderson showed up and spouted garbage from his mouth.

It wasn’t until Anderson spoke to Boden’s wife, Donna, that Boden’s protective shield came up, and who can blame him. You don’t talk to people the way Anderson does, and you certainly don’t raise your voice at Boden’s wife, who is not part of the situation.

However, it didn’t end there. Anderson wasn’t content in just making a fool of himself at the party.

Next: ‘Chicago Fire’: Should Antonio and Brett be the Next Big Couple?

Now Anderson is legally (maybe?) harassing Boden and his firehouse. Anderson showed up during a shift, starting inspecting the firehouse as though he was a drill sergeant looking over the bunks of new recruits. Then he went on a call to “observe” only that didn’t go well either. Boden had to tell him to back off and let him do his job to save a man’s life.

Then the lightbulb went off for this bully. He told Boden that he realized he wasn’t going to lightly get Boden out of the picture. So, he decided to break up the band. He announced that several of the firefighters and Brett were to report to other houses starting with their next shift.

If Anderson was really well read on Boden’s files, he might have seen that others have tried this before – and failed. Boden has been down this road before. He’s gruff and straightforward. He doesn’t play games and will always react in a way that keeps his people safe. There’s not a single person in his life who wouldn’t run through a wall for him. He’s the type of leader that every firehouse commander should strive to be. Anderson is the completely opposite, but naturally, he’s the one who got the promotion.

Tune into Chicago Fire on NBC on Tuesdays at 10/9c.