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Series / Fire Country

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Fire Country is an American Rescue series that premiered on CBS on October 7th, 2022. Created by and starring Max Thieriot, it follows Bode Donovan, a young convict who hopes for redemption. To reduce his sentence, he joins a prison firefighting program in Northern California. Assigned to his hometown, he must work alongside friends, firefighters, and other inmates. Billy Burke, Diane Farr, Kevin Alejandro, and Stephanie Arcila, among others, also star.

It was renewed for Season 3 on March 12, 2024.

This show provides examples of:

  • Ambiguous Situation: As of the seventh episode, "Happy to Help", it is not certain whether or not Manny actually considered pocketing a salvaged watch to pay off some debts.
  • Amusement Park of Doom: The local fair quickly becomes one when a g-force ride malfunctions and won't stop. Shards of metal are thrown through the crowd, and one rider has a stress-induced heart attack.
  • Artistic License – Physics: Real wildfires capable of threatening cities take weeks to put out, not a few hours.
  • Artistic License – Politics: Manny was once an inmate firefighter and has since become a captain of Cal Fire. It wasn't until late 2020 that convicted felons were legally allowed to be hired as a permanent firefighter for Cal Fire. Even if Manny joined immediately, a promotion to chief in two years would be nigh impossible.
  • Artistic License – Prison:
    • In the pilot, Manny out about Bode's smuggled phone and attempt to leave the camp. As the real Cal Fire pointed out in a disparaging review, both violations on their own would have resulted in an immediate dismissal from the inmate program and a return to prison, not a slap on the wrist.
    • Freddy wants to use the money he earns fighting fires to buy a food truck. Real inmates do get paid, but it's below minimum wage (something Cal Fire has been criticized for), so there's no way he's going to be able to afford a truck.
  • Bait-and-Switch: "False Promises" opens with a tearful Bode saying, "she's gone." Given that this is the day of Sharon's transplant surgery, the audience may assume his mom died. When Eve is put in danger later in the episode, it's hinted she was the victim. It's actually Rebecca who ends up dying in a freak accident with a falling tree.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Bordering on Downer Ending, Season 1 ends on a very bitter note: Freddy becomes a free man and reunites with his girlfriend Cookie and their baby daughter while Sharon gains a potential kidney donor from her brother-in-law and Vince's brother Luke. But Bode is coerced by the state attorney investigating Three Rock into falsely confessing to a drug-related crime and is sent back to prison, leaving his family and friends heartbroken.
  • Bluff the Imposter: In "A Cry For Help," Bode finally learns the arsonist's identity is Colin, who claimed to be the son of a famous firefighter. Bode talked about how the elder O'Reilly was caught in an arson case with Colin agreeing it was rough. As it happened, Bode made it up as it turned out Colin wasn't O'Reilly's son at all but the arsonist posing as a firefighter.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: If Bode can do something to help someone, he'll charge in head first regardless of orders.
  • Cliffhanger: The eighth episode and midseason finale "Bad Guy" ends with Bode successfully rescuing a victim from wrecked car teetering over the bridge, but the car falls over with Bode inside and crashes into the river below.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: Whenever there are civilians helping out, it's particularly obvious that they aren't bothered by the heat in the same way as the inmates and professionals wearing full protective gear.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Jake isn't happy to find out Gabriela is talking with Bode, and when Bode tries to tell Jake there was nothing between them, Jake accuses him of trying to get a rise out of him and begins lording his rank over Bode to keep them apart.
  • Credit Card Plot: Manny has been using a credit card that his daughter took out for an emergency water heater replacement to help make ends meet. She finds out when she is denied a job because the overdue debt shows up on her credit report.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: Really, the entire show. When Bode admits he doesn't want to be in this camp because it's his hometown, an incredulous Manny asks why Bode didn't just say that when he arrived to get reassigned.
  • Dramatic Irony: Sharon's sister Mickey always seemed judgemental of how Sharon raised Bode and seemingly justified by his turn to crime. She was dedicated to being the "perfect" mom to her own daughter...which only pushed the girl to turn to drug use and land in rehab.
  • Emergency Services: Follows a group of firefighters in Northern California who try to put out wildfires and the prison firefighting program assigned to help them.
  • Engineered Heroics: When Cal Fire is suspected of having a serial arsonist, investigators believe this to be their motive, setting fires make themselves look like a hero by putting it out, their prime suspect being Jake due to a fire he set as a kid. The actual culprit is Probational Firefighter Colin O’Reilly, real identity Alex Shawcross, who pretended to be the son of veteran firefighter Kirk O’Reilly and aimed to frame Jake for his crimes. When Bode, Sharon, and Manny manage to uncover his true identity and restrain him, he drops his jovial act and reveals himself as a sociopathic Thrill Seeker looking to be praised as a hero.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: When Jake is suspected of being a serial arsonist, he's hurt to find that Vince and Sharon had tried giving him the third degree under the façade of concern, thinking they of all people would have his back after knowing him for so long. Bode meanwhile has his back, but when he's blindsided by the lead investigator revealing Jake started a fire as a kid, Jake gets hurt when Bode tries to question him about it. While Bode and Jake manage to reconcile after Bode leads the group in revealing Colin as the actual arsonist, Jake's still too hurt to forgive Vince and Sharon for doubting him over "one lie and one mistake when [he] was a kid". It isn't until "At the End of My Rope" that Jake is able to reconcile with Vince and Sharon.
  • Failed a Spot Check: It's lampshaded how "Colin O'Reilly's" secret could have easily been exposed had anyone bothered to read Kirk O'Reily's obituary and discover the man had no children.
  • Fantasy-Forbidding Father: Manny is highly against Gabriela having any involvement with firefighting, regularly trying to stop her from getting involved and expressing anger at her joining the fire department. She regularly expresses to him however that she is an adult and he has no say in what she does with her life anymore, with Manny instead trying to be an Obstructive Bureaucrat to force her to quit. He eventually has to move past this when all hands are on deck and realizes the fire department is need of all the help it can get.
  • Fingore: In False Promises, the crew is called to a commercial fishing boat in the harbor because one of the crewmembers has their hand caught in the bait grinder. They manage to free him, and hope that the hospital could reattach his severed digits.
  • Hated Hometown: Subverted. Bode tries to escape working in his hometown after being told by his lawyer he was being assigned to another location. He has a checkered past - and family there - and doesn't want to return home. His hometown doesn't actually hate him though, rather he just has bad blood with his friends and family thanks to the death of his sister, and his father making him leave town. Sharon wants him to stay, and Vince, while initially standoffish, later admits he cares about Bode too, allowing the healing to slowly begin.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: In "Alert the Sheriff," Mickey realizes one of her deputies is dirty when it hits her he knew it was exactly $50,000 dumped out of a helicopter when the full amount shouldn't have been known at that time.
  • Internal Reveal: At the end of the third episode "Where There's Smoke...", Bode reveals to his father Vince that Riley and Jake were dating each other but had broken up prior to Riley's death after Jake admitted to cheating on her, the breakup contributing to Riley's emotional instability, leading her to try and jump out of Bode's moving car and the crash coming from Bode trying to stop her.
  • Intoxication Ensues: Played with. While Sharon is fully aware that she's eaten a marijuana-enfused gummy given to her by a friend for medicinal purposes, she doesn't expect it to affect her as much as it does, and spends the majority of an episode high.
  • It's All My Fault: Bode regularly blames himself for Riley's death since he was the one at fault. This gets played with in that, while he may have been behind the wheel when they crashed, Riley was the one trying to get out of a moving car due to Love Makes You Dumb, with Bode trying to stop her being what caused the crash.
  • Locked Out of the Loop:
    • Everyone believes that Bode skipped town after Riley's death and know nothing aside from that. What most don't know is that, after Riley's death, Vince made Bode leave town due to blaming him for her death, Bode turning to drugs to deal with his grief before holding someone up trying to get money, hence his arrest and being sent to prison.
    • Due to being made to leave town shortly after Riley's death, everyone believes that Riley's death is Bode's fault and he was driving recklessly. As he reveals when he got back though, the crash happened because Riley tried to jump out of his car while it was moving, due to suffering a broken heart from Jake cheating on and then dumping her on her birthday.
  • Modesty Bedsheet: Gabriella in "Where There's Smoke..." and "Backfire".
  • Never My Fault: At first, Jake refused to accept any responsibility for his role in Riley's death, namely his admitting to her he cheated on her at her own birthday party, which caused her emotional instability and contributed to the crash. Instead, he's more content on solely blaming Bode. It isn't until Vince learned and confronted Jake about Riley that Jake expressed his regret over how things ended between them and being unable to fix things before her death. And after working together to save their friend Eve, Jake and Bode have started to reconcile and bury the hatchet between them.
  • Parents as People: Vince and Sharon disagree on how to handle their son Bode's return to Edgewater. While Sharon believes that Bode deserves a chance at redemption, Vince thinks that coddling Bode will only hurt those closest to him.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: The death of Bode's sister Riley in a car crash is the source of the rift between him and his parents and friends.
  • Poorly Disguised Pilot: Season 2's "Alert the Sheriff" acted as a pilot for a spin-off focused on Sharon's estranged policewoman sister Mickey Fox (Morena Baccarin).
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Downplayed and Zigzagged. Manny tries to frame himself as such for the various prisoners in the program, Bode in particular, while telling them they can better themselves via the program. After Bode goes against orders to save Jake and Eve though and learning that this is Bode's hometown, he tries having him sent back to prison, only being stopped by Sharon's intervention. After this, he regularly expresses his frustration with Sharon's objections, Luke's political agenda, Bode's Chronic Hero Syndrome, and his displeasure at Gabriela joining the Fire Department, by taking his anger out on Bode, scrutinizing his actions more so than anyone else, and that if he had his way, Bode would have already been sent back to prison. When not riled up, he typically can act as one, but with how much he has on his plate, his temper flares and he ends up taking it out on others. It isn't until Gabriela and Bode convince Manny to seek help from Sharon and Vince for his gambling issues that he is able to go back to being a Reasonable Authority Figure.
  • Redemption Quest: Bode takes full responsibility for his actions that landed him in prison - robbing a man at gunpoint - and is trying to redeem himself. Joining the prison firefighting program is a way of doing this and reducing his sentence.
  • Reformed Criminal: In "The Fresh Prince of Edgewater", Manny revealed to Bode that he had spent time in jail for multiple car thefts until he joined the prison firefighting program. It was Bode's mother Sharon who helped Manny get a second chance and become a fire captain in Edgewater.
  • Secretly Dying: At the end of the second episode "The Fresh Prince of Edgewater", Sharon reveals to Manny that she has been diagnosed with chronic kidney failure and only her husband Vince knows. She hopes that her son Bode's return to Edgewater will enable her broken family to finally reconcile before she dies.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: In ninth episode, Gabriela and Bode attempt to rescue a injured woman in the forest who caused the car accident from the last episode. While they are rescued, it turns out the women had internal injuries and died, making Gabriela and Bode's efforts worthless.
  • Sheep in Sheep's Clothing: Vince's brother Luke. He presents himself as an approachable and friendly man who only wants to help out, but is secretly after Sharon's job as chief of the 1501, going out of his way to dig up dirt on her so he can take her job. He wants the job though because he knows Sharon is going through something and that Vince wants to support her, but neither can do that if they're still leading the 1501, so he wants them to step down so Vince can care for Sharon and spend their last few years together.
  • Taking the Heat: When Bode's friend and fellow convict Freddy is accused of having contraband - a cell phone - Bode takes the fall, mostly because he wanted to use the phone.
    • Vince's brother and Bode's uncle Luke does the same for Vince in the sixth episode "Like Old Times". Out of concern for his wife Sharon's declining health, Vince asked the fire department heads to grant Sharon medical leave. Unfortunately, Sharon received an email from the department which leads to her mistakenly accusing Luke of using her ill health to take her job. Afterwards, Luke revealed to Vince that he realized Vince was the one who asked the department to give Sharon medical leave. Knowing that Sharon will need Vince more than ever, Luke was willing to bear the brunt of Sharon's anger rather than let her be angry at her husband.
  • The Gambling Addict: Manny is revealed to have a gambling problem which unbeknownst to his daughter Gabriela is the source of their family's financial problems. It isn't until Gabriela and Bode convince Manny to seek help from Sharon and Vince for his gambling issues that he is able to get his financial problems under control.
  • Time Skip: The Season 2 premiere opens six months after the Season 1 finale.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Eve comes off as this when she becomes captain in Season 2, being harder on rules and snappish to everyone. Bode realizes that Eve is overcompensating as she thinks she won't be taken seriously as a leader because she's a woman and assures her that the workers will respect someone who treats them with respect more than a drill seargent.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Bode and Jake were once close friends, until Bode learned that Jake cheated on his sister Riley. This indirectly led to Riley's death in a car crash, which Bode blamed Jake for breaking her heart. It isn't until the sixth episode "Like Old Times" when they both learn that Bode's mother Sharon has chronic kidney failure and they worked together to save their friend Eve that Bode and Jake started the path towards reconciliation.
  • Wham Line: Just as Bode is about to be sent back to prison, Sharon enters and says she'll take responsibility for him. As soon as they're alone, Bode reveals why Sharon would do this for him.
    Bode: Hi, Mom.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Sharon gives this to Vince upon learning that he ordered their son Bode to leave Edgewater in the wake of their daughter Riley's death.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: The season 2 premiere has Bode finally proving how he was framed on a fake drug test, clearing his name to leave prison, returns to Three Rock, ready to get back on track...then enter Gabriela gushing on how she's now engaged.
  • You Are Not Alone: At the end of "A Cry For Help" when Jake breaks down over being falsely accused of being the serial arsonist and not seeing anyone except Bode have his back, Bode reassures Jake that he will always have a brother in him as they share a Headbutt of Love.
  • You Should Have Died Instead: Bode believes this is how his father Vince feels about him after Riley died in the car Bode was driving.