Chicago Fire

Why Chicago Fire is greater with Hanako Greensmith

Now that Chicago Fire fans know Hanako Greensmith is sticking around, it’s time to get even more excited about Chicago Fire season 10. The NBC series’ decision to retain Greensmith, who portrays paramedic Violet Mikami, is its first major offseason move—and the smartest one possible.

Her promotion to series regular means that Greensmith will be part of the main cast and appear in the entire season, after recurring in both season 8 and season 9. Not only is that good news for her, but there are several reasons why that’s going to make Chicago Fire season 10 even better.

1. Consistency on Ambulance 61

Hanako Greensmith will bring some much-needed consistency to Chicago Fire‘s paramedic team. There hasn’t been a lot since season 6, and we’re about to go into season 10. Granted, it’s all been caused by behind the scenes changes—Monica Raymund decided to leave, then producers chose not to keep Annie Ilonzeh after two seasons, and then Adriyan Rae needed to exit for personal reasons. It hasn’t been on purpose that people keep leaving this particular part of the show, but that does still have an effect on what fans see on screen.

Ambulance 61 needs a steady team. The fans would appreciate not having to meet a new character every year or two, and it’s better for the writers, too. Introducing a new paramedic is a clunky process; the writers have to find a new character idea, find ways to work in at least some of their backstory to show how this person is different, and then devote screen time to making them look good in front of the rest of Firehouse 51 so that the audience also likes them. It’s necessary, but it’s not fun.

Having Violet stick around means they don’t have to do any of that again. It also means that they can dig deeper into who she is outside of her tumultuous relationship with ex-boyfriend Blake Gallo (Alberto Rosende) and so we’ll get more nuanced stories than the basic introduction stuff. What does she bring to 51 from her previous firehouse(s)? What talents does she have that Dawson, or Foster, or Mackey didn’t? When we met her in season 8 she was pretty much comic relief to antagonize Gallo; now we get to really know Violet Mikami, and see more of what Hanako Greensmith can do.

2. Chemistry with her primary co-stars

The majority of Greensmith’s Chicago Fire scenes have been with Rosende, Daniel Kyri (who portrays Gallo’s wingman Darren Ritter), and of course Kara Killmer (as Violet’s partner Sylvie Brett). She’s displayed that she clicks with all of them and makes their scenes more fun when she’s around.

Chemistry is important on any show; it’s probably one of the biggest buzzwords in television. But particularly on this show, where we hear time and time again that Firehouse 51 is supposed to be a family, it matters. As was mentioned when Gianna Mackey came aboard 51 is a very specific firehouse. Fans have to not only see but feel that a character fits in. Showing us how great they are doesn’t necessarily earn that. Okay, they can perform a cool medical procedure in the field, but are they someone we actually want to invest our time in?

Hanako Greensmith and Alberto Rosende have already developed great comic timing as Violet continues to make Gallo crazy, both on purpose and sometimes not. The Chicago Fire season 9 finale dropped a pretty major hint that Violet and Gallo are going to get back together, and we’re completely fine with that because the two genuinely work (to watch; their relationship is probably going to be a roller coaster).

One of the best things about the last two seasons has been the fresh dynamic between Rosende and Daniel Kyri as the two newest additions to the firehouse. Gallo and Ritter are the younger version of Joe Cruz and Otis (Joe Minoso and former star Yuri Sardarov); they’re constantly getting into stuff and also giving the show some levity. Violet has popped into that dynamic a time or two, and made it a three-hander. It’ll be great to see if she continues to become either the person who breaks up their plans, or gets dragged into them.

On a more serious note, she’ll serve an important purpose for Brett. Because of all the aforementioned cast changes, we now have Brett as someone who’s wondering why everyone leaves her. We also have Brett who just made a huge stride in her personal life, finally getting together with Matthew Casey (Jesse Spencer) in the finale. It’s clear she needs somebody not just as a professional partner, but as a consistent sounding board both in and out of the ambulance. Brett’s going to have a busy season 10 and she’ll need help, and she just shouldn’t have to feel like she’s alone anymore.

Read More: Chicago Fire promotes Hanako Greensmith to series regular

3. Violet doesn’t have skin in the game (yet)

Here’s perhaps the best part: Violet can act as somewhat of an instigator. So far Chicago Fire has written her a bit differently; her predecessors have come into the firehouse and been cheerful and wanted to fit into the team right off the bat. She was introduced arguing with Gallo in season 8, and even though she does care about her new colleagues, she’s still kept that sort of sass about her.

This is great for the show because it allows her to push some buttons. Similar to the Amy Quinn character in the CBS series All Rise, she’s not beholden to anybody. She’s not trying to make friends and it’s not clear if she even really cares what anybody else thinks of her. So Violet can call things like she sees them—she can be the voice of reason or just say something different.

One challenge of the Chicago Fire characters all being so close is that they also tend to generally agree with each other and support each other. If they butt heads, it’s usually not for too long. Violet can push those boundaries a bit and call somebody out or mix things up, and anything that helps keep the show fresh as it approaches 200 episodes is definitely a major plus.

Chicago Fire airs Wednesdays at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.

Article content is (c)2020-2021 Brittany Frederick and may not be excerpted or reproduced without express written permission by the author. Follow me on Twitter at @BFTVTwtr, on Instagram at @BFTVGram.

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