Even with the ground being literally on fire, something was missing.
A new inmate firefighter arrived at Three Rock, and with his arrival, drugs started showing up in the camp on Fire Country Season 1 Episode 19. This prompted “Bode’s bravado” to kick in as he sought to protect one of their own.
Elsewhere, Eve continued to struggle with losing Rebecca and the feelings that the incident brought up.
The biggest problem with the storylines this hour was that they were either too much or too little.
First up, the drugs.
It was revealed that Bode and Sleeper had some history during flashbacks. The problem with using flashbacks to catch the viewer up with the history between two characters is that it never quite feels big enough to warrant certain reactions.
Flashbacks work best when used to remind the viewer of an event from a past episode, one they watched, or to fill the gaps intentionally left for storytelling.
Bode came off as an overprotective narcissist because he considered himself the group’s de facto leader.
And for a leader, he did a horrible job. He let Freddy and his fears get the best of him.
The right thing to do was to find the kid some help as soon as possible before he died. The situation was dire, and it was very careless of Bode to think he could help the kid brave it through.
One thing they got right about the whole thing was Gabriela’s reaction. She had developed emotional blinders where Bode was concerned. From jumping into a river after him to watching someone who needed medical attention suffer, that was the last straw.
Sometimes what we want and what we desire don’t align. Desiring Bode was a different thing than wanting to be with him.
She realized she was being very careless by letting her feelings for him cloud her otherwise stellar judgment.
Gabriela: Do you remember the night we met? I called my dad and turned you in.
Bode: I figured. Yeah, you didn’t know me yet. And it was the right thing to do.
Gabriela: Exactly. Back then, the difference between right and wrong was crystal clear.
A potential romantic interest was introduced.
Much was unknown about Kyle, but the fact that he was not incarcerated was a definite upgrade in most people’s books.
Elsewhere, Jake and Cara’s relationship progressed after spending time together, and they genuinely seemed to have fun with one another.
Jake and Bode were also reconnecting with plans to be roommates after Bode was released.
Jake had already moved on from Gabriela, but seeing them in a relationship would be mighty uncomfortable. Maybe Bode and Gabriela not ending up together is not the worst thing.
For these characters to form genuine relationships free of cheap romantic drama, they must see new people.
The Jake, Gabriela, and Bode love triangle has run its course — time to move on.
After some particularly concerning behavior patterns on Fire Country Season 1 Episode 18, Eve revealed that she had sought help from a therapist.
Like most other storylines, it didn’t feel like it did the issue justice.
Given that the writers seemed aware of the challenges of firefighters with mental issues, it was an invitation to do more.
You know more firefighters die of suicide than in action.
It would have been much more effective to take the viewer inside the sessions with Eve and connect with her struggles. It would have helped a real-life firefighter who watched the show and was struggling and inspired them to seek help.
It ended feeling like Eve had self-diagnosed, which is never a good route. I genuinely hope they have something else in the books for the story.
Leaning into the relationship she had Jake have was a smart idea. It offered her the support she had always enjoyed, which everyone needs.
The greatest shortcoming was the fire emergency.
Balance is key. While its nature was quite interesting, it dragged on for far too long and started to feel gratuitous at some point. Seeing someone crawling out of a flame is not a comfortable sight.
Even the jokes that are usually funny about wellness centers did not feel quite as amusing when standing on burning ground.
Vince: I know you. Nancy. From PTA.
Nancy: I go by Shaman Opal now.
Vince: Cool. Where’s the patient?
Nancy: One of my goddesses is having a reaction to the almond massage oil. Just this way.
Eve. Oh no. Not the almond massage oil.
Manny’s relationship with his fire CEO escalated quickly.
With Bode closing on being paroled, it became even more evident that Manny was aching to move on to the next thing.
He felt as if his work there was done.
There was a real possibility that Manny would not be at Three Rock much longer. Private firefighting seemed much more lucrative, and he was a man who could use the money.
On the other hand, dating his potential boss could present major challenges if he agrees to take the job.
While the drugs in the camp storyline were resolved, it felt punctuated by the fact that Bode and Freddy decided to work together to solve the mystery of where the drugs came from.
After making such a fuss over Freddy and Bode being opposing sides, it felt like a cop-out to resolve their issues that quickly. It was anticlimactic.
We’re still in the same boat, you and me. I’m not jumping ship until we shut down Sleeper together. We’re all here trying to reduce our time. I’m not gonna let Sleeper add to it or ruin our chances of parole and redemption. Not mine and not yours either.
They could have dragged that out a bit, at least until Fire Country Season 1 Episode 20.
Overall, the events left something to be desired, making the “Watch Your Step” feel all over the place.
What did you think?
Has Bodiela run its course? What do you think of Sleeper? Is he the drug dealer?
Hit the comment section and let us know.
You can watch Fire Country online anytime via TV Fanatic.
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.