The first two episodes of “Fire Country” do a good job of establishing both the nature of the show as well as its characters. It balances the two pretty well. Moreover, attention has been paid to the way firefighters work. This includes showing the way they interact with each other during a tragic fire situation as well as the terms they use during work. This makes the show interesting, along with giving us scope to learn something new. Firefighting seems to have been used as a metaphor for strained relationships. In both cases, a small misunderstanding can lead to a great mishap that affects multiple lives.
‘Fire Country’ Episode 1: Recap
Department of Corrections, State of California
Bode Donovan (Max Thieriot) is denied parole, 2 years into his 3–5-year sentence, for robbing a man at gunpoint. After the hearing, Bode’s lawyer, Ana Koh, shows him an application form for a program that he can join to reduce his sentence. It is the Inmate Firefighting Aid Initiative by CAL FIRE, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
The fire alarm at Edgewater Fire Station 42 starts ringing with the radio message of a vegetation fire on Bodega Highway. Battalion 1508, led by Vince Leone (Billy Burke), responds to it. Among the firefighters are long-time friends Jake Crawford (Jordan Calloway) and Eve Edwards (Jules Latimer). Jake is worried that he won’t be able to make it to his girlfriend Gabriela’s ceremony. Eve reminds him that dating a firefighter means dating Superman. Basically, being absent comes with the deal. Two trucks arrive at the scene and bring the water. But they call in a copter for a “water drop” after finding a propane tank near a spot fire. The copter arrives and does its job, dropping water all over the area and fizzing off every remaining flame of fire. Edgewater Fire Station 42 saves the day again.
A Prison Transfer Bus from the Department of Corrections heads into the town of Edgewater. Inside the bus, Bode Donovan is talking to his co-inmate-cum-friend Freddy when he sees the name of the town on a roadside sign. The expression on his face proves that he doesn’t want to be there. Reminiscence and regret hit him hard. The bus crosses a ceremony where a lady is being honored for her achievements in the Olympics before reaching the Three Rock Con Camp. Bode asks the officer in charge of the inmates, Cory Walters, for a phone to talk to his lawyer. Unfortunately, phone privileges will be available only after 7 days. Bode and Freddy meet Manny Perez (Kevin Alejandro) at the camp. Bode plans a way to get his hands on a phone. When Freddy asks him why he wants to risk going back to prison, Freddy reveals that Edgewater is his hometown. The next morning, the training of the inmates begins.
Gabriella Perez (Stephanie Arcila) acquired the 14th position in diving at the Olympics. The town of Edgewater is honoring her. Her father, Manny Perez, is also the fire captain. It is under him that the inmates of the firefighting program will train. After the ceremony, Gabriella, Jake, and Eve are at the bar. Gabriella proposes to Jake and wants to stay back in Edgewater and not go back to Florida for her training. But Jake doesn’t want her to give up what she does best and end up regretting her actions later. Gabriella takes these words of Jake as a “no” and leaves. The same day, the Fire Station board yet again denied Vince a dozer that would have helped his team cut through vegetation much faster in case of a forest fire. Among the members is his wife, Sharon Leone (Diane Farr). Jake meets Gabriela and apologizes, telling her that he loves her as well. They are officially together. Back at Leone’s place, Vince and Sharon are cooking up a conversation. Vince tells Sharon that he visited Riley’s grave before coming home. And also said that he overheard Jake and Eve talking about Riley and how they needed to move on from her absence. Riley Leone is the daughter of Vince and Sharon. There is no moving on for the Leone couple.
It is almost 11 at night. Freddy brings Bode to a road nearby, where they will be handed the phone by a guy which Bode requires. As they both wait at the side of the road, a car breaks down in front of them, its sole occupant being a woman. Freddy decides to back off, but not Bode. He intends to help the woman who is all by herself in the middle of a forest so late at night. When the woman sees a guy in a felon dress walking towards her, she pulls out a gun. Bode offers to fix her car with the gun pointed at him if she feels safe like that. He does fix it eventually, and the woman wants to offer him some money and drops a reel of pictures from her bag in the process. Bode respectfully declines, picks up the picture reel, and looks at it for a second before handing it back to her. The pictures are of her with her boyfriend, Jake Crawford. The woman whose car Bode fixed in the middle of the night is Gabriela Perez. As she drives off, Bode’s gaze follows her. He either knows her or the guy in the picture, i.e., Jake.
The next day, Edgewater Fire Station 42 is informed of a vehicular accident on Buckeye Road. Two trucks arrive at the scene and pull out a woman and her baby from a car before it explodes, thanks to the power lines from the pole the car had hit lying all over it. Unfortunately, the fire reaches the trees around and begins to spread. Vince calls for backup. At the Three Rock Con Camp, Freddy tells Bode that the phone is within reach. But before Bode can get to it, Manny finds it out. It is then that Bode tells Manny that Edgewater is his hometown. Before Manny can ask more, he receives a radio message asking for all available crews for a rapidly spreading vegetation fire due to a car crash on Buckeye Road. As a bus full of inmates is about to reach the scene, officer Manny Perez welcomes them all to their first “baptism by fire.” Welcome, all, to Buckeye. The only thing standing between the fire and Miller Canyon is Harrison Ridge. And if the fire reaches Miller Canyon, nothing can stop it from reaching Edgewater. With the dozers still a couple of hours away and Vince having sent Eve and Jake to Harrison Ridge to get an eye down on Miller Canyon, Sharon puts Vince in charge of an evacuation of some parts of Edgewater that are near Miller Canyon. Vince reaches the town and meets Gabriela, telling her to spread the word and evacuate as many as possible.
Manny’s inmates have already begun to create a barrier between the town and the fire that is now spreading even faster. As they dig, Eve and Jake pass them, heading to the Ridge. Bode looks at Jake for a few seconds before getting back to digging. At the Ridge, Eve and Jake find that the fire has already made its way down the canyon and is heading toward the Edgewater. They convey the news to Sharon over the radio and are ordered to return to base. But unfortunately, they get stuck in the fire. A tree falls, and Jake’s legs get caught under it. Eve isn’t able to pull him out or move the huge log. In short, they are trapped.
Vince returns to the spot where the fire broke out on Buckeye Road, and he and Sharon decide for a backburn on Old Creek Road. [A backburn is to clear an area by creating a new fire that moves in the direction of the advancing fire, thereby destroying the fuel, e.g., trees, bushes, scrubs, etc.] Manny receives a command that requires them to create a barrier inside the town. While Freddy gives up, the other inmates, including Bode, manage to persuade him. As they are about to head to town, Manny receives a radio message from Eve asking for help from Harrison Ridge. Bode asks for Manny’s permission to go and help the two (Eve and Jake) who passed them just some time ago. Waiting for a rescue team would be risking their lives. With or without Manny’s permission, Bode makes up his mind. He takes a saw, repeats the “act decisively” rule (from the rule book) to Manny, and heads towards the Ridge.
Vince and his team arrive at Old Creek Road and find Gabriela and many other residents of the area digging and creating a barrier. They begin cutting a line together. There is not much time to waste. The sun has set completely. Bode heads into the Ridge, making his way through the fire. He reaches the spot and cuts through the tree over Jake’s legs with the saw. He and Eve then pull him out. However, there is nowhere to go. The fire is all around them. They decide to use their fire shelters. With Jake having burned his shelter, Bode pulls him along. Then, all three get on the ground, pull the shelter over themselves, and wait for the fire to pass.
As Vince and his team spark the backburn, Eve, Bode, and Jake pull themselves up; the fire has passed. Bode takes off his face mask to reveal his face. Both Eve and Jake recognize him in an instant. Bode punches Jake in the face, and both are about to get into a brawl when Eve intervenes. That’s when Bode reveals how Jake dumped Riley, something that was news to Eve. She didn’t know Jake and Riley had hooked up. The night Riley died, Bode had gone to Jake’s place to pick her up and found her crying. She tried to get out of the car to go back and talk to Jake. Bode, who was driving the car, tried to reach over and pull her back in and lost control. Riley died in the crash that followed. The fight is about to resume when a rescue chopper arrives. The fire is contained.
Early the next morning, as the inmates return from their “baptism by fire,” they are received by the people of Edgewater with a round of applause. At the hospital, Eve tells Sharon that Bode is back. Sharon goes and meets Bode. “Hi, Mom,” greets Bode to Sharon. Bode is the son of Sharon and Vince. And Riley is Bode’s sister. Bode had legally changed his last name to hide from his family.
‘Fire Country’ Episode 2: Recap
Bode is standing outside the hospital, thinking about the night he found out about Riley (Jade Pettyjohn) and Jake. It was Riley’s birthday, and she and Jake had apparently broken up. Meanwhile, behind Bode, his parents, Vince and Sharon, are talking over whether he should stay or go back to prison. Vince isn’t convinced of Bode’s actions, while Sharon keeps on defending Bode. Hearing his father’s harsh words, Bode reminds Vince of the one order his Bode did follow, an order that Sharon has no idea about. This is when Manny comes along and tells Sharon that he will decide what happens to Bode and not Sharon or Vince. Once he gets the incident reports of the Buckeye fire, he will make his decision. Bode tells Manny that he doesn’t want to be in Edgewater and would prefer to be sent to High Rock or Valley View. Sharon leaves, followed by Vince. At the parking lot, she asks Vince about the “order” Bode was talking about. But Vince doesn’t want to tell her about it for the time being. So, she tells him to call her when he feels like talking about it and then leaves on her bike. Eve and Jake also arrive at the parking lot at the same time, and Vice tells them to “not hold back” during the incident report to Manny. Then Gabriela arrives, and Jake tells her how Eve saved him in the Buckeye fire (not Bode).
Sharon is at a local restaurant when Vince walks in. They had only begun talking about Bode when they received a radio message about a lightning storm at Willow Creek. They rush out and leave for the station. On the other hand, Manny and his inmates are on their way to a rec centre to create some defensible space. From the bus, Bode sees Gabriela in a pool with a bunch of kids. Once they reach the spot, they begin to cut the line.
Eve and Jake are making rounds across the town, spreading the word about the lightning storm and requesting the townsfolk to stay indoors. On the way, they see two lightning strikes and alert the station of a vegetation fire. Back at the rec center, lightning strikes a tree near which Manny and his boys are standing and leads to a vegetation fire as well. With no water at their disposal, he informs Sharon, who needs him and his men to evacuate the civilians and wait for a water truck to arrive. Meanwhile, Vince and a team of firefighters have already reached the location provided by Eve and Jake and are working to stop the fire from spreading. A bunch of kids arrives at the rec centre along with Gabriela. Manny doesn’t want her to be there, but clearly, she wants to help and isn’t willing to leave his father’s side. She takes the kids and heads inside the building. But when the fire jumps onto the rec center, all the inmates give up their seats on the bus for the kids and the teachers inside the structure.
With Vince’s team has taken out the vegetation fire, Sharon sends them to the rec center to help Manny and his team. But they then notice Manny’s bus heading towards them. The very next moment, lightning hits the bus. Eve, Jake, and Vince rush out of their truck and run toward the bus. They see that the kids and their counselors inside are safe, but the unconscious driver has got a piece of asphalt stuck to his chest, thanks to the lightning. While Vince takes the kids and the counselors to safety, Jake and Eve attend to the driver. Bode then helps Manny cut down the awning that is on fire. As Bode, Gabriela, Manny, and the other inmates try to calm the fire that has now spread to the top of the rec center, Vince and his team arrive at the spot. Vince tells Bode to hold the water but Bode doesn’t listen. Vince then yells at him, saying that he’s not helping. With the kids now safe, Eve decides to join the injured driver at the hospital, while Jake decides to join Vince at the rec center. But before Eve leaves, Jake finally admits to her that he has cheated on Riley. Sometime later, Jake arrives at the rec center.
‘Fire Country’ Episode 2: Ending Explained – Does Bode Donovan Leave Edgewater?
Jake, Bode, and the others notice green smoke coming out of the rec center. This means that the fire has reached inside, and the chemicals are on fire. They cannot risk the chemicals mixing that can cause the building to blow. Jake takes a fire extinguisher, enters the building, and puts off the fire that was burning inside. With it done, it’s only a matter of time before the fire on top of the structure is put out too. Vince receives a call from Sharon saying that the lightning strikes have moved on from over the city. The situation at Willow Creek has been handled. Manny tells Vince how Bode was of great help. But Vince is convinced that Bode hasn’t changed.
That night, at the local bar, with all the members of Edgewater Fire Station 42 celebrating their latest victory, Jake confesses to Eve that he is “in it” with Gabriela. He even wants her to take part in the Cal Fire recruitment event the coming weekend. He then tells Eve that he is going to tell Manny about Bode punching him. Eve isn’t happy as it will send Bode back to prison. Jake tries to make her understand that it’s time to tell the truth, despite knowing that had it not been for Bode, he could have died. Eve is angry and walks off. Vince tells Sharon about the order Bode mentioned earlier. After Riley died, Vince told Bode to leave and never return to Edgewater. Sharon is shocked and pained to hear it. And with Jake about to tell Manny about Bode’s punch, it is unlikely for Bode to not go to prison. Sharon meets Manny, who tells her that Jake has no complaints about Bode. This, along with the fact that he saved Jake’s life, means, for Sharon, that Bode can remain in Edgewater. However, Manny tells her that he will be transferring Bode to High Rock (keeping in mind what Bode asked of him). This is when Sharon tells Manny that she has chronic kidney disease. She is dying. And all that matters to her is living her remaining days with her son. Manny meets Bode, who has already begun packing his things. He tells Bode that the reason he wants to stay away from Edgewater is his dad’s order. And the only way to fight it is to give himself a second chance at Edgewater, something that his mother believes in. So, Manny states his final decision. Bode will remain at Edgewater.
Other than more firefighting on our way, the upcoming episodes will explore the relationship between Bode, Jake, and Eve. Thus, we will find out more about Riley, perhaps. It will also explore the relationship of Bode with his mother and father. Sharon’s death is imminent too. And there is still doubt if Jake did tell Gabriela about Riley. “Fire Country” has a lot of ground to cover.