‘Fire Country’s Latest Bode Reveal Doesn’t Work


Editor's Note: The following contains spoilers for Season 2 of Fire Country.

The big picture

  • It is revealed that Bode is not Genevieve's father
    Country of Fire
    which leads to uncertainty about his role in his life.
  • Gen deserves to know his biological father, even if it's not Bode.
  • The reveal feels forced for the sake of drama, letting the audience down with a soap-like twist.

In Country of Firesophomore season, Bode Leone (Max Thieriot) has been challenged in a way he never expected, namely with the possibility that he could become a father. In the first five episodes of season 2, the CBS firefighter series has kept us on our toes as Bode awaits the results of the paternity test that will confirm or deny that he is Genevieve's (Alix West Lefler) biological father. But the latest episode, “Alert the Sheriff,” reveals the sad truth that Bode is not Gen's father. While this may seem like a bold or brave move for the show, it feels underwhelming and underwhelming.

Country of Fire

A young convict joins a firefighting program seeking redemption and a shortened prison sentence. He and other inmates work alongside elite firefighters to put out massive fires across the region.

Publication date
October 7, 2022

Tony Phelan, Joan Rater, Max Thieriot


Bode is not the father in 'Fire County'

Last season ended with a cliffhanger revealing that Cara (Sabina Gadecki) sister was actually his daughter all along, with the father's identity up in the air. While Bode fights for his life in prison, Jake (Jordan Calloway) tells him that he could be a father, which makes him see his life in a different way. Instead of killing himself in mortal combat with Sleeper (Grant Harvey), comes to an agreement that ends up with him back at Three Rock trying to fulfill his inner promise to better himself for the general. But now that his role as biological father has been stripped from him, what exactly is he? it should Bode's role in Gen's life will be? It seemed that both she and Bode wanted to be deeply loved by the other, making this revelation devastating for all involved. It's certainly been a big pill for viewers to swallow.

Of course, Bode, Vince (Billy Burke), and Sharon (Diane Farr) all decide to continue to love and adopt this young woman into their family, which is admirable. Bode ends with “Alert the Sheriff” with his desire to be Gen's father still intact, hoping to keep his promise to Cara that he would watch over her. Of course, Cara dies believing that Bode is probably Gen's father, so it makes sense that she asks him to watch over her. But now that we know that's not true, how exactly does Bode fit into all of this? Up until this point, Jake has been a better father figure for Gen, partly because he's the one who can be there and because he's made a concerted effort with her. But even then, he's always called her “Uncle Jake,” nothing else. Just as she was warming up to Bode being her father, we learn the heartbreaking truth.

more than likely there will be some drama between Bode and Jake On the one hand, Jake is the obvious choice since he's not incarcerated, has a steady job, and was in a relationship before Cara died (he even came close to proposing to her). However, Bode was tasked with caring for Gen for Cara on her literal deathbed. This, combined with his heroism at Three Rock and a stable family life (despite his past mistakes), gives Bode a fighting chance. Of course, the problem is that neither man is actually Gen's biological father, and while family certainly doesn't end in blood, it still begins there.

Gen deserves to know who her father is in 'Fire Country'

Genevieve (Alix West Lefler) meets Bode (Max Thieriot) at a nighttime fire in 'Fire Country'
Image via CBS

Bode may not be Gen's father, but he still deserves to know who he is. Cara conceived Gen at a time when she and Bode were on-again/off-again, meaning she had other sexual partners in her wild teenage years that could fit. It's unclear if Gen's biological father is someone we've already been introduced to or haven't met yet, but it's likely that person is still around, unaware that he has a teenage daughter. Even if Gen decides to stay with the Cal Fire family in the end, Country of Fire he must make him discover who his biological father really is. If he's anything like Bode, he'll be a standing man elated at the chance to love his son.

But selfishly, it looks like that won't be part of Gen's trip. For sure, Country of FireThe whole mantra of this one is that found families are just as valid, and they certainly are. It's certainly also a big reason why the series took this step, which feels very much in line with the family culture created at Station 42. But that doesn't mean blood relatives have to throw out the window, especially if they never get a chance to make an effort. Gen has a father who deserves to know that he is a father, and by the same token, she deserves the truth too, and she shouldn't keep waiting for Bode to be her father after all. As it is now, she has no idea that Bode isn't her father, and it looks like Vince and Sharon hope to keep it that way for as long as possible. It's been over a month since Cara's death, and Gen has settled into his new life with the Leones, his future grandparents. While that's a good thing, we can't help but feel it's a little fake, especially now.

Of course, the biggest problem with Bode not being the father is this he now has no real rights over Gen as a parent. We all know that Bode was improving way before Gen came on the scene, and with his heart set on being a good boy for her, that process has only skyrocketed. But now that Gen isn't Bode's son, it's hard to see how he has any real claim to raising her. “Alert the Sheriff” ends with Bode explaining to his friends that he still wants to be there to take care of Gen, but what gives him the right to think he should? His promise to Cara aside, it seems a little arrogant to think that an ex-contractor should be the one to take care of this newly orphaned teenager, no matter how much she's grown in the process. Beyond the questionable nature of this, legally, it seems like an even bigger hoop for Bode to jump through that may prove impossible for someone like him.

This revelation of “Fire Country” feels more like a forced drama

The path Country of Fire has treated Genevieve so far more like a piece of luggage than a real person with real emotions working through all the death around her. If Bode had been her father, then the narrative becomes like Cara's death, Gen moving in with Vince and Sharon, and Bode's continued growth and development would have really meant something to both the characters and the audience. But now, it almost seems like it was all a big waste of time, built simply to generate steamier firefighter drama for network audiences. Case in point, showrunner Aunt Napolitano told Entertainment Weekly right after this shocking revelation that they were “[more] Interested, what is Bode looking for when this paternity disappears?” Yes, Bode is country of firethe main (and always underdog) character, however this does not mean that every character has to fulfill their needs or fit into their emotional arc at all times. Cara was already left out, and it looks like Gen has been too.

This speaks to a bigger problem than Country of Fire has had since day 1 – it tends to get a little too soapy when the writers want to push the story in a new direction. Of course, all of them wanted Bode was the father of Gen. Everyone in Edgewater seemed to. It shouldn't come as a surprise to the writers that fans are understandably disappointed with the results, and we (like Bode) feel a bit played by how it all turned out. Fortunately, Bode is taking it relatively well, which is a testament to how much he's grown since the pilot, but disappointment still abounds. While the decision may be fun for actors like Thieriot to fight on screen, from the audience's perspective, it all seems too much to put this young lady through for the sake of “Bode drama”. which already has many other interesting facets to explore outside of destroying his potential as a father. Bottom line: making major character decisions just for the sake of drama is not a good look, and Country of Fire it's been a long time

With only a few episodes left in this shortened season (and another on the way), it's anyone's guess what will happen next. It is a good thing that the Leones have hosted Gen. Whether she's Bode's daughter or not, that's honorable, and worth celebrating because she's not his grandson. Despite this, it is easy to feel disappointed Bode's potential as a father will never be fully explored with Gen as we expected While Bode will likely continue to try to fill this void in Gen's life, it does leave open the possibility of another father figure being revealed down the line, one who might love Gen more than Bode ever did. Wherever the show goes, we hope that Gen is fully and completely loved as all children deserve to be, and that Bode will one day become the father he hoped he would be.

Country of Fire airs Fridays on CBS and is available to stream on Paramount+.

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