This past Friday, CBS asked you to watch Fire Country, a new drama co-created by Max Thieriot, a former SEAL Team member. Did the most recent fireman television series pique your interest?
Thieriot plays Bode Donovan in Fire Country, who is now incarcerated for attempted robbery/holding a liquor shop owner at gunpoint. When Bode’s most recent parole appeal is denied, his attorney encourages him to explore the inmate firefighting program, where in return for assisting Cal Fire in battling fires, you receive time off your sentence. (You also receive $5 every day for showing up, plus an additional $2 per hour for battling fires.)
Max decides to accept the program, but finds on the prison bus that he will be stationed in Edgewater, California, his former hometown. “For a purpose.” Bode attempts to call his attorney upon his arrival at Three Rock, but is informed that there will be no phone privileges for a week. He then assigns his ADD friend Freddy (W Tre Davis) with chatting up a delivery man. Then, we meet Manny (Kevin Alejandro), the Cal Fire chief in charge of educating the convicts. We first see Manny as the prison bus passes by a ceremony in which his daughter Gabriela (Stephanie Arcila) is presented with a “key to the city.” More about her will be provided shortly.
In Edgewater main, we observe fire chief Vince (Billy Burke) attempting but failing to gain city money for a new Caterpillar that would assist in clearing the routes of flames of greenery fast. During his botched presentation, Vince hurls an insult at police chief Sharon (Diane Farr), whom we later learn is his wife. (This is the oldest tactic in the book of television pilots!)
On their first night in Three Rock, Bode and Freddy sneak out to meet delivery man “MVP” in order to obtain a burner phone. But before that meeting can place, Bode rushes to the aid of Gabriela, a local celebrity (the Olympian is the fourteenth greatest diver! ), whose car broke down precisely where the lads were waiting. Gabriela is skeptical of Bode in his prison orange t-shirt and pulls a revolver from her purse, but finally allows him to help her get back on her feet. Bode captures a photograph of Gabriela with her lover Jake (Jordan Calloway), whom he recognizes, while assisting Gabriela.
Jake and Eve (Jules Latimer) work with Vince at Cal Fire. The two were close friends with Riley, who we conclude was the late daughter of Vince and Sharon. Vince overhears Jake and Eve discussing moving on from a tragedy that occurred years ago; later, he laments to Sharon that he and Jake would never be able to do so.
Manny discovers the phone Freddy received from MVP, but Bode claims it is his, as a 90-day prison term enhancement is at stake. Bode tells Manny in private that he never intended to be stationed in his hometown. He also describes how the booze shop owner wrote a letter to the parole board stating that he believes Bode would ultimately “succeed.” In light of this, Manny solicits Bode’s assistance after a random automobile accident ignites a major forest fire.
While Bode, Freddy, and the others “cut lines” (dig trenches to create a barrier between the fire and the town), Jake and Eve are encircled by flames on a high ridge, and Jake is pinned by a fallen tree. Bode gets a chainsaw and makes his way to the ridge, disobeying Manny’s orders and repeating the fire captain’s pamphlet: “Remain cool, think clearly, and act firmly.” He discovers and liberates Jake while disguising his identity, and later saves Jake’s life when the fire consumes them and they are forced to take refuge in Bode’s makeshift shelter. The lads emerge from the shelter once the fire has subsided, and Bode exposes himself… then punches Jake!
As Eve attempts to restore order, we learn from the men’s yelled charges that on the night Riley died, Bode went to Jake’s to pick up Riley and found her weeping. When Riley attempted to leave Bode’s automobile to return to Jake, Bode grabbed for her, causing him to lose control of the vehicle and cause a tragic collision. Bode informs Jake, “It’s my fault that she died, but it’s your fault that she died of a broken heart!” Bode explains that he came to save Jake and Eve in part because he could not allow Jake to die as a hero.