‘Fire Country’: What Did You Think of Max Thieriot’s New CBS Drama? (RECAP)

Max Thieriot as Bode Donovan in 'Fire Country'
Spoiler Alert
Bettina Strauss/CBS

Fire Country

Pilot

Season 1 • Episode 1

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for the Fire Country series premiere.]

When he can’t get parole, Bode (Max Thieriot) — who robbed an innocent man at gunpoint — chooses his only way out: Cal Fire, inmates fighting fires. Unfortunately for him, that takes him to the last place he wants to be in the Fire Country series premiere.

Edgewater is his hometown, and as soon as he gets the chance, he tries to get his hands on a phone to call his lawyer to be transferred. But when he and fellow inmate Freddy (W. Tre Davis) head to pick up the phone the latter secured them, they run into the young woman, Gabriela (Stephanie Arcila), the town celebrated earlier for getting 14th in diving in the Olympics. Her car broke down, but she tells Bode she’s calling her boyfriend to get her. Bode knows there’s no cell service, and she reluctantly accepts his offer to help — though doing so means he technically “escapes” by stepping on the road. The two bond over waiting years for their lives to begin: her four years with the Olympics, his time in prison.

But Gabriela does tell her father Manny (Kevin Alejandro), who’s in charge of the Cal Fire program, about seeing them. Bode ends up explaining why he needed the phone: He wants to succeed, but he doesn’t feel he can do it in his hometown. But he’s going to get the chance to prove that may not be the case.

She may have been lying about calling him, but she wasn’t lying about having a boyfriend. She’s dating one of the town’s firefighters, Jake (Jordan Calloway), and she doesn’t get the reaction she wanted when she tells him she loves him and he’s one of the reasons she’s thinking about staying in Edgewater versus returning to Florida to chase her dream. As fellow firefighter Eve (Jules Latimer) — who struggles to flirt with a bartender — sees it, “we’re afraid to get close to anyone because what if we do and they die?” Jake argues that not everything is about Riley dying, though they both miss her. Jake does fix things with Gabriela before heading out for work, telling her he loves her too. After overhearing them and then visiting Riley’s grave, Vince (Billy Burke) remarks to his wife Sharon (Diane Farr) that unlike the two of them, Jake and Eve are young and can move on.

And it’s probably a good thing he does, because Edgewater’s dealing with a massive fire, one that requires the inmates to put to use what they just learned; also helping are a group of civilians, led by Gabriela, putting the skills her dad to good use. The fire also proves Vince was right to try to get the board to approve the requisition of a new dozer; his wife Sharon is on his side, she tells him over dinner, but that doesn’t mean she can do anything about it to change the rest of the committee’s minds — until after the fire.

Jules Latimer as Eve Edwards, Jordan Calloway as Jake Crawford, and Max Thieriot as Bode Donovan in 'Fire Country'

Bettina Strauss/CBS

It does take everyone’s combined efforts to fight the fire, and that includes Bode disobeying orders to go to the rescue of Eve and Jake after hearing them request extraction after being surrounded by the flames. But Bode makes sure to cover his face as he helps free the injured Jake then cover them both with his fire shelter since the firefighter had taken off his pack and can’t get to his. It’s only after they’re safe that Bode reveals who he is — and punches Jake. Apparently Jake broke up with Riley the night she died, a fact he hasn’t told Eve, and Bode went to his place to pick her up. She was crying and trying to get out of the car to go back to Jake, Bode pulled her back in and lost control.

“It’s my fault that she died, but it’s on you that she died of a broken heart,” Bode tells Jake. “I met your girlfriend by the way. She know what kind of a guy you are?” He saved Jake because he wasn’t going to let him die a hero. And with Gabriela deciding to stay in town, against her father’s wishes — “fire burns everything up, but water saves it. it’s your ticket out” — there’s plenty of time for things to get complicated with her, Jake, and Bode.

Speaking of complicated, Eve tells Sharon that “he’s back.” Sharon then goes to see Bode, who greets her with “hi, Mom.” She hugs him, but Bode doesn’t get nearly as warm a welcome from Vince. “What the hell are you doing here?” he asks.

So what did you think of the new CBS fire drama? Let us know in the comments below.

Fire Country, Fridays, 9/8c, CBS