That was riveting!
We dived into an action-packed hour on Fire Country Season 1 Episode 16 as the team traveled to a neighboring county to help put out a massive fire started by the mysterious arsonist we have been aware of.
After such a disappointing turn of events on Fire Country Season 1 Episode 15, this episode was such a welcome upgrade, and it was great from the beginning to the end.
Aptly titled “My Kinda Leader,” it focused on leadership and what those under them expect of a leader. Many characters grappled with their role as leaders as they faced new challenges and reeled from events past.
Up first, we had Bode.
Bode is not a leader officially but has that quality that makes people want to follow him. Reeling from the events leading to Rebecca’s death, he questioned himself as a leader and what more he could have done to prevent Rebecca’s premature death.
Bode has always been hard on himself. He holds himself to a higher standard than most people do because he has been starved for affection for a long time. It’s only natural that he wants to stand out so that people notice and like him more.
Rebecca’s death felt like he let down her and himself. When it reaches a point where Freddy has to step in and lead, something must have been off. Can we appreciate how much Freddy has grown as a person?
Freddy: Listen to me, Bode. I was there. Cap’s right. Sometimes it’s nobody’s fault.
Bode: But you stepped up when I should have.
Freddy: You can’t always be the hero, dude. But now you got a chance to step up her, right? Givin the eulogy …
Bode: I’m fourth generation Cal Fire. I should have known better. I should have been better.
Freddy: You did your best then, and you gotta bring your best now.
From the scared inmate firefighter who wanted to run away from his first fire to a full-on leader and great pep talk giver.
The Drake County fire was just the opportunity Bode needed to prove to himself and everyone that he was not a loser.
Whether by good or bad luck, he met another leader who shared his bravado to a fault.
Leadership is a unique trait that is different for every person. Some people get too drunk with it, some take it to an extreme degree, and others don’t take it with the seriousness it deserves.
The Drake County Lieutenant didn’t fit any of these categories, and he also fits all of them.
I’ve known fire to be a destructive element not to be messed with, but I have never thought of it as a living thing — a breathing, feeding, and harmful organism.
As a leader, it is great to push people under you, especially when so much is at stake. But it is also wise to know when to call it quits, which was something “Mr. Organism” didn’t do.
His attitude toward fighting fires was too literal.
Being in the middle of two overzealous leaders, Manny had to step back.
Manny is a great leader who knows how to balance everything. Even under such blatant insubordination from Bode and being challenged by the Drake County Lieutenant, he kept his cool and understood that they were both going through something.
There is a difference between heroism and stupidity.
I can’t say I understood how he managed that because if I were in his position…
Sharon returned to work and was confronted with an accusation about her firefighters that had her questioning her reality.
It was great to see the fire investigator do her job for once. She still had that laisez-faire attitude when dealing with Station 42 that we saw when she investigated the infamous bridge rescue on Fire Country Season 1 Episode 9, but she put her foot down this time.
Such an accusation was wild, but she had the evidence to back it up. The arsonist case is a curious one that we will explore next.
Ultimately, leadership is about making the best decision for your people, even when you aren’t thrilled.
Pelham would have preferred to keep battling the fire, but he understood he would be risking his life.
The gang leaders would have preferred to keep their people fighting until the strongest survived, but they understood that the fire was stronger than all combined.
Sometimes, forgiving yourself for making mistakes can be a challenge as a leader.
Eve struggled with accepting that something tragic had happened on her watch. She was ready to take leave, but when duty called, she answered.
She hasn’t gotten over the incident, and it will be interesting to see how she copes, hopefully not by emptying bottles of beer.
Manny knew and accepted that sometimes, things go wrong and that it’s no one person’s fault. Rebecca’s death was tragic, and the tragedy was enough by itself. There was no need to play the blame game.
The arsonist’s case was at the forefront of the hour, with them escalating to huge forest fires.
The running theory was that Colin is the arsonist. His actions this hour did nothing to help his case.
If one were to look deeper at him, one would see a boy struggling to see under their dead father’s blinding spotlight. One would see a young man barely holding on because he forced himself into something he wasn’t interested in in the first place.
One would see a man whose back was breaking under the weight of a family legacy he had to uphold.
But I get it. Your dad died a hero. You know, the pressure to follow in his footsteps and save the day it’s just crushing. And when you can’t, I totaly…
Coming from a legendary firefighting family, he knows everything there is to know about fires. It wouldn’t be a stretch to think he has some fire-starting and fighting equipment within his reach, even away from the station.
In his twisted way, lighting fires and taking a front seat look at them burning and people failing to put them out is a way for him to regain control or give a giant middle finger to the world for putting him in this position.
And he is not stupid. He knows what would happen if he were caught, so he has a fall guy in Jake.
His interaction with Jake seemed forced from the first attempt to bro up to the discussion about Jake’s first arson. He was looking for an angle; he sure got it.
As Sharon put it, Jake was the personification of an arsonist, but that didn’t make him one.
I also, ONCE as a kid, started a fire and watched it burn, but that didn’t make me fall in love with torching things up. Sometimes, kids do stupid things. It’s in their blood.
I’m 99% sure Colin is the arsonist, and it won’t be easy for him to get caught.
“My Kinda Leader” was a loaded episode that balanced progressive storytelling and action will. It is one of the best episodes this season. Some season-long storylines, like Sharon’s kidney disease, had to take a back seat so that the arsonist storyline could be explored, and the results were fantastic.
Tahmoh Penikett, who portrayed Pelham, did a great job with the character; he was a pleasure to watch.
What did you think? Are you convinced that Colin is the arsonist?
Was it as hilarious for you when Jake pulled a Will Smith at the Oscars with the quote below?
You wanna bro up? You keep my name out of your Google Search.
More importantly, what did you think of the episode?
We always love reading your comments, so don’t hesitate to leave one.
As always, you can watch Fire Country online 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.
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