Chicago Fire mid-season finale recap Winterfest is full of surprises

Chicago Fire
Miranda Rae Mayo

In the spirit of giving, the One Chicago franchise has gifted fans with Christmas episodes of all our favorites including our heroes on Chicago Fire, with a very special surprise!

The Chicago Fire episode titled Winterfest begins with Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney) looking at his text messages before soberly leaving his home to go to work. 

At the firehouse, Violet (Hanako Greensmith), Gallo (Alberto Rosende), and Ritter (Daniel Kyri) make plans for Winterfest and discuss how many beers they will give away as Violet declares that they have a great location for their booth. As Sylvie Brett (Kara Killmer) enters, Violet mentions that she found the jump bag lying behind the ambulance and Brett admits it was her and that she’s distracted about the oversight committee. Brett mentions that Chief Hawkins hasn’t returned her calls and asks if they think he’s ducking her call. Randall “Mouch” McHolland (Christian Stolte) says, “He will back this program publically, you watch”

Alberto Rosende as Blake Gallo, Daniel Kyri as Darren Ritter, Hanako Greensmith as Violet

As Severide and Pelham (Brett Dalton) swap stories and before the morning briefing can begin, a call comes over the intercom and there is a person trapped at the Park Plaza. 

The giant Christmas tree fell on top of several people and a woman is shouting about her husband and asking for help. The team devises a plan to cut up the tree with chainsaws and pull out victims as quickly as possible. As each limb is cut off, the team works together to remove victims from the area. Slowly but surely victims are rescued, but they discover a man who looks a lot like Santa named Hugh (Mark W. Gray), who claims he can’t feel his legs, but before they even begin to free him, he asks about a couple of children who were with him as the tree fell. They were alright and already freed. When they clear the branches around Hugh, it is revealed that he has been impaled. Brett speaks with Hugh and tells him that they will give him an IV and a shot for the pain. Hugh loses consciousness as the team tirelessly removes as much of the tree as they need in order to free him. They then cut the branch that impaled him down and load him into the ambulance with his wife by his side.

When 81 returns to the firehouse Mouch tells Herrmann (David Eigenberg) about the call and he admits that as he gets older the uncertainty of what happens to the victims after they rescue them weighs on his mind. Herrmann emphasizes and tells McHolland that they have to just do their best and leave the rest to God.

Chicago Fire
Kara Kilmer as Sylvie Brett, Hanako Greensmith as Violet, Christian Stolte as Mouch, and Tuesday

Gallo tells Ritter that he’s been thinking a lot about Violet and Ritter begs him not to mess things up with Cara. 

Hawkins (Jimmy Nicholas) takes Brett aside and tells her that he spoke to a member of the oversight committee on her behalf. He shared that there’s a man on the committee who doesn’t like anything that will cost additional funds. 

Brett tells Violet that she wasn’t always a fan of Hawkins as chief, but he’s beginning to grow on her, especially after he took care of Violet in the hospital after her emergency appendectomy. Violet was shocked to hear the lengths he went to on her behalf. 

Chief Boden (Eamonn Walker) asks to see Severide and immediately asks about Stella Kidd who was approved for a 4 week furlough, however the 4 weeks became 8. He’s concerned that she didn’t immediately come back and claim the lieutenant position that had recently become available. He asks Severide if there’s something else going on and he confides to Boden that she’s hyper focused on expanding her “Girls on Fire” program and that she’s not concerned about anything else. Boden tells Severide that she has until the end of next shift to let them know if she wants to take the position, otherwise he will need to make a very difficult decision. Severide says he will convey that message. 

After the commercial break we see Severide leaving Stella a voice message just as Wendy Seager (Andy Allo) pulls up and tells him that he owed her a beer. She also tells him that she has some crime scene photos she would like him to look at. She jokes that she knows he can’t duck her while he’s on shift, but refuses to show him the photos until they meet later in the evening at the Map Room Bar and then she hops back in her car and leaves. 

Violet, Gallo, and Ritter are excited about debuting their beer at Winterfest and they plan out when and where to meet as well as how much time they will have. 

Chicago Fire
Alberto Rosende as Blake Gallo, Daniel Kyri as Darren Ritter

The next scene is at Winterfest where the trio immediately receive a high compliment of “this is damn good” by a random beer aficionado. 

Mouch can’t help but worry about the elderly man who was impaled and goes to the hospital to pay him a visit. Hugh’s wife tells Mouch that he will make a full recovery and Mouch brings him a gift. Hugh’s wife tells mouch that Hugh has been playing Santa for many years and he just loves the children. She went on to tell him that they go to the tree every year for inspiration, but when the wind hit the tree, and it began to fall, Hugh pushed the two children in yellow parkas out of the way as the tree was falling, saving the children and injuring himself. Mouch tells Hugh’s wife that it is amazing to hear about this kind of heroism and she gives him a big hug and thanks him. 

At Winterfest, Gallo takes Cara aside and tries to let her down easy, telling her that she’s awesome, but he has feelings for someone else. Cara immediately asks if it’s Violet and before he can answer, she storms away angrily.

Gallo returns to Ritter at the booth and tells him that Cara is upset. Violet returns to the guys just as she overhears Ritter telling Gallo that he told him not to do it at Winterfest. Violet questions what they are talking about just as the winners of the best beer are about to be announced. At the same time as Gallo is trying to tell Violet that he ended things with Cara and that he has feelings for her, they hear that Fire Goat (their beer) is the winner. As the trio celebrates and hands out more samples to their new adoring crowd, Cara is seen scowling at Gallo. 

Chicago Fire
Hanako Greensmith as Violet

Severide and Seager are now at the Map Room and she’s going over the photos with him. Severide notices some key details in the photos that impresses Seager. She compares the two of them to the Avengers and tells him that she will convince him to join her sooner or later. He settles into enjoying his time with her and orders another drink before she uses the lady’s room. After she leaves, Severide anxiously looks at his phone for some word from Stella and it appears she hasn’t called or texted him.

Hawkins approaches Mouch and tells him that the woman he was counting on to help Brett with the oversight committee had a death in her family and will not be at the meeting. Mouch asks if there’s any way the meeting can be postponed, and unfortunately it can’t. Hawkins asks Mouch for his help and he agrees. 

Gallo tracks down Violet at the firehouse and once again, before he can tell her his feelings, a call comes over the intercom and they must leave immediately. 

A man put a glass ornament in his mouth while decorating his Christmas tree and now it is stuck and they require help. Brett and Violet are dumbfounded and ask him to calm down and breath through his nose. After a couple of failed ideas to dislodge the ornament without breaking it, Brett says, “screw it, I’m going to do the Heimlich maneuver” and takes her place behind him and then after several tries, the ornement flies out of his mouth and shatters on the ground. The man thanks Brett as she takes his vitals.

Back at 51, Herrmann sees Mouch returning and asks him where he’s been all day. Mouch explains that Hawkins had him drive him around all day, showing Hawkins their routes and was asking about all of their patients. He tells Herrmann that he thinks Hawkins is nervous about the oversight committee meeting and out of nowhere Hugh’s wife appears to tell them that Hugh’s recovering very well. She told the firemen that he wouldn’t be able to make it to a specific event the next day. She thanks them for doing what they do and leaves them. 

Kelly meets with Boden and confides that Stella has gone dark and he hasn’t heard back from her. He says that he doesn’t know what’s going on with her and Boden says he’s sorry to hear that. 

Brett is nervous to meet with the oversight committee and Violet asks if she can join the meeting. Brett is thrilled that she asks and tells her that she can use all the support she can get.

Boden asks to see Pelham; he tells Pelham that he is impressed with his work. Boden offers Pelham the lieutenant position and Pelham happily accepts with thanks. 

After winning the beer competition, Gallo is excitedly talking to Ritter about how every bar in Chicago will want his IPA. Ritter finally comes clean and tells Gallo that he didn’t write down the recipe for the award winning brew. He says that he was trying out hops and he can’t remember what he used and he just can’t replicate it. 

To add insult to injury, regardless of whether or not Ritter can replicate the beer, Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned and Cara has the team thrown out of the brewery. 

Brett gives an impassioned speech to the oversight committee and asks for their support. Just as the committee is about to render their decision, Hawkins busts into the meeting and gives his own impassioned speech. He then brings in a parade of patients she has helped personally.

The audience isn’t shown how the meeting ends, but Hawkins joins Brett, Violet, and McHolland at the bar and shares the news that the committee voted unanimously to fully fund her program. Meanwhile Ritter and Gallo are bringing in their gear from the brewery. Mouch quickly leaves but tells the rest that they can stay.

Hanako Greensmith as Violet, Kara Kilmer as Sylvie Brett

He meets up with Herrmann at the firehouse and they are taking 81 to pick up Hugh so they could take him to the event he thought he would have to miss. The children are, of course, thrilled to see Santa on the firetruck and the boys of 51 hand out gifts to all the cheering children. 

Severide returns to his apartment and discovers Stella Kidd waiting for him, just as the episode ends. 

Chicago Fire, Med, and P.D. will return with new episodes on Wednesday, January 7.


Chicago Fire executive producers include Dick Wolf, Derek Haas, Todd Arnow, Andrea Newman, Michael Gilvary, Michael Brandt, Reza Tabrizi, Arthur W. Forney, Peter Jankowski. 

Chicago Fire is produced by Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group, in association with Wolf Entertainment. Filmed at Cinespace Chicago Film Studio.

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