Chicago PD Season 10 Episode 9 delivered a conclusion to Hailey Upton’s multi-episode hunt for Sean O’Neal (Yellowstone‘s Jefferson White), the Chief’s son accused of raping and sex trafficking children, but did it go down the way you expected?
There were only a handful of ways that this could end, and none of them guaranteed that Upton would find the peace she sought, nor would they make her feel any less broken. In fact, I think she’s probably worse off than she was before because now she has to deal with the pain within herself, which is something Sean recognized and even exploited early on in the case.
Sean acknowledged a darkness within Hailey—and while they definitely aren’t kindred spirits in the way he was trying to suggest—he’s not wrong about her inner turmoil that goes far beyond Halstead’s abrupt decision to leave for Bolivia. She hasn’t faced the music because she’s too afraid to go there, but now that it’s over—now that she won—it’s time to face the reality of her own life.
She’s going to have to do some introspective work once she’s no longer riding the high of this case and the silence begins to creep in. She can’t keep numbing the pain with work, no matter how good at it she is—she’s going to have to face the music eventually or it will destroy her.
It’s that same nagging feeling that I suspect Sean felt all these years, which is why Hailey was able to connect with him and, despite being determined to bring him down, understand him. She was also the one that was able to get a confession out of him, even though it wasn’t admissible.
It was chilling to hear Sean open up about his urges and addiction in his own words because we so rarely ever get that from suspects. It’s a direct look inside the mind of a monster who admitted that he tried to fix himself but when he couldn’t, he decided to control what happened and who they happened to. He was a monster that made it clear that he won’t stop unless he’s stopped, which motivated Upton to find the missing evidence to bring the case home. She made it her sole mission to save these girls— because no one else would—and she didn’t care how it happened.
In a way, becoming so heavily invested in this case may have been a bad thing for Hailey, as it once again threw her morals for a loop.
She’s clearly lost, as she was willing to make a case any way she could, even if it wasn’t by the book. She was turning into Voight while facing down the very same problem that forced Halstead to step away in the first place. The lines between right and wrong were blurring, and just like her husband, she found herself in the gray zone, willing to cross a line for what she deemed the “greater good.” It was dangerous, but thankfully, Voight was there to pull her back and remind her that Sean was “in her head.” If they wanted to bring him down, they had to do right by the case. In fact, I’m surprised that Voight even allowed Upton to bring in Sean when the DA said that they didn’t have enough. They were going against the clock, and against the Chief, who was adamant about protecting his son at all costs, so there was the added pressure, but for someone who keeps saying they have to make an airtight case, it was strange that Voight agreed to risk it and see what happens fully knowing that they didn’t have the evidence to hold Sean.
Upton’s morals continued to be questioned when they found Sean bleeding out on the ground from a gunshot wound. Upton told Voight not to call it in and even hesitated to render any aid. Sean may have done terrible things, but it’s not her place to judge or make the call.
In a way, she was just as bad as Sean, who gave himself permission to decide which victims he would pursue and abuse. She was allowing herself to be the judge of the kind of punishment that was being dished out when her job is to find irrefutable proof to make the case and let the courts decide.
I don’t think she’ll be ok with any of her decisions because she would’ve blamed herslef if she let Sean die, but now, she and Voight are the sole reason he survived.
The justice system needs to do its job now and guarantee that he will never see the light of day for all of this to be worth it. And the episode underscored just how flawed the system can be at times, often providing more protection for the suspect than the actual victims.
Sean was a particularly tricky case because he had the backing of his father, who tried to sabotage their case and protect him at every turn, making Upton’s job that much harder. All the evidence that Upton obtained wasn’t good enough. Even when she was able to get a flat-out confession, it was still inadmissible solely based on the way she obtained the information.
They tried and tried to build an airtight case, meeting dead end after dead end until it was almost too late. When they found the girls, they were mere moments away from dying from a lack of oxygen. If it wasn’t for Upton’s pushing and prodding, the case would’ve had way more victims.
Sean’s whole storyline was deeply disturbing, but the worst part was the revelation that he tried to tell his father, who wouldn’t listen or accept the truth because of how much he loved his son. We saw the Chief scoff at the facts and turn a blind eye simply because he didn’t want it to be true, but the sad reality is that denial can only take you so far until you’re forced to look it right in the eye.
I was convinced Patty was going to end it in the scene where he was drinking and Voight dropped off the files, simply because it seemed as though the reality was caving in on him and there was no coming back from what had been done. In many ways, he was his son’s victim along with all the other innocent children. The fact that he shot his son before seemingly turning the gun on himself was a surprising twist.
The truth is, regardless of his rank, the Chief should’ve never been able to control the case or the narrative in the way that he did—he was too close and it was too personal for him.
It’s unclear if this is the last we’ll see of Sean, but I’m hoping it now forces Hailey to take a serious look at herself and seek out therapy. These cases are mentally and emotionally taxing on the detectives, and I wish the series would incorporate a storyline in which they prioritize their mental health for their own well-being.
This is the perfect time for Hailey to fight through her demons and figure out who she wants to be. She can wipe the slate clean, and though the scars will always be there, she no longer has to carry all of that pain. Hailey can be the cop she wants to be—she can be the one who rises above and does it right.
And I’m truly hoping that we see more of Hailey’s team-ups with Voight. It seems that they are good for each other as they continue to hold each other accountable and ensure that they stay on the right track—when one goes too far, the other one reels them in.
We’ll have to wait until the series returns from hiatus to see how Hailey Upton will cope following such an intense and grueling case.
What did you think of the episode? Do you want to see more multi-episode cases in the second half of the season? Let us know in the comments below!
Is ‘Chicago PD’ New Tonight? Everything We Know About Season 10 Episode 13
Chicago PD fans, you’re going to have to wait a little bit longer.
The NBC drama is not airing a brand new episode tonight, marking the second week in a row that the show has been on hiatus.
The last episode, Chicago PD Season 10 Episode 12, aired on Jan 18, 2023. The next installment, Chicago PD Season 10 Episode 13 will air on Wednesday, Feb. 15, according to the Google episode guide.
Titled “The Ghost in You,” the episode synopsis notes: “Voight and the team help ASA Nina Chapman pursue a drug runner who dodged prison years ago after Chapman’s informant mysteriously disappeared; the investigation takes a turn when Voight uncovers a damaging secret from Chapman’s past.”
It’s clear that the episode will turn the focus back on Hank Voight, which is exciting because fans haven’t gotten a Vought-centric episode in a while. It’s going to be a welcome change of pace for fans as Voight episodes tend to be really sound and give us a deeper look at the man running the show. Voight is always there, assisting his team and being a sounding board when they run into issues, but we haven’t gotten to see him really leap into the action as much of the drama has been surrounding Hailey Upton (Tracy Spiridakos).
The trailer for the episode looks intense, but it’s the photos from the upcoming episode that are really grabbing fans’ attention as the case seems to be connected to former Intelligence detective Alvin Olinsky. In the promotional shots, Voight seems to be visiting his late friends grave. Did the current case bring some emotions to the surface? Will he finally dig through the pain involved with the loss? Voight never lets his emotions get the best of him, but it’s possible this case might force him to confront his feelings.
The trailer also promises that audiences will get a “vendetta worth the wait,” and part of me is sort of hoping that the case will bring Olinksy back as they reveal that he wasn’t dead but in witness protection this whole time. It’s far-fetched, but a girl can hope, right? Wouldn’t that be the mother of all twists?
Check out the trailer for the upcoming episode below:
Chicago P.D. airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on NBC.
Chicago PD Review – I Can Let You Go (1012)
I thought I wanted Chicago PD to bring back Sean so that they could finally give the storyline some closure, but I quickly came to regret it on Chicago PD Season 10 Episode 12.
And most of that is because Sean absolutely gives me the heebie-jeebies, which is a testament to Jefferson White’s acting skills. He genuinely understands this character, right down to every single muscle twitch.
The Haley Upton-centric episode gave us more of the same in terms of her character. While it seemed as though Upton was finally facing the possibility of life without Halstead in the beginning, any progress was completely derailed when she was pulled into yet another missing person’s storyline, proving that she can’t actually deal with her own problems head-on.
Sean alerted Upton to Samantha Beck’s disappearance, and it introduced a new problem that left me quite divided.
On one hand, Sean got what he wanted when Upton visited him and pursued the case. He found a new way to channel his obsession from behind bars by becoming Upton’s “sidekick.” It was his strange way of manipulating her as he still saw her as one of the broken women from the center he tried to “help” and took advantage of. There’s no doubt that there’s something broken about Upton, but it’s definitely not something that she’s ever going to let a man like Sean exploit.
However, his intel was credible and allowed Intelligence to save a woman they wouldn’t have known was missing otherwise. Without Sean’s tip that proved he was eager to become an informant, Samantha Beck likely would’ve died and her sweet son, Callum, would’ve become an orphan. It’s possible that he would’ve died too as he was so terrified by setting off the alleged detonators that refused to move out of the tape box.
In a way, Sean did a good thing by passing on the information to Upton, and while nothing will ever make up for the pain and damage he caused, it was his attempt at redemption. As he told Upton himself, it was his way of giving his life a little meaning.
Of course, the moment Upton realized the methods he was using to get the information—a “get for a get”—she knew she couldn’t go along with this, no matter how much good came out of it.
In the final moments of the episode, Upton visited Sean one final time to inform him that the arrangement wasn’t going to work, which is for the best as everything about this has been toxic. ”
“That’s a good speech, you’re just giving it to the wrong person,” he shot back, proving that he’s in Upton’s head and knows exactly what to say to set her off.
Of course, he was referring to Jay Halstead, the source of Upton’s pain, which she confided in Sean in the early days when she thought she could trust him.
In the episode, Upton also reached out to Major Baxter for an update on Halstead since he hasn’t been returning her calls, and the truth cut like a knife. It doesn’t seem to be a coincidence that Halstead is ignoring her calls as he asked for an extension so he could continue with the gig. I have a problem with the show turning Halstead into a jerk who doesn’t care about his wife when he’s not around to defend himself. Sure, he sprang his leave on her, but he was doing what was best for him, and that seems to be the case here. He may not be ready to face the music, but he owes her that much, and I think Halstead would’ve known that.
The writers need to figure out what they want to do with this relationship, and since we all know it’s doomed as Jesse Lee Soffer has left the show, their best bet is to end things between the couple. Halstead left promising Upton that he still loved her, and while that may be true, they’ve simply grown apart and his life is no longer in Chicago. I think she’s finally coming to terms with the fact that it’s over for good, so it’s not going to come as a huge shocker. And then, we can leave this whole storyline behind us and pretend it never happened.
After pursuing Beck’s case, Upton and Voight got the sense that the woman’s father wasn’t being entirely honest about what led to the kidnapping. Voight suggested that there had to be a reason why the robbers targeted Samantha, but her father, Richard, denied knowing anything about it. Of course, he wasn’t being totally forthcoming with information as he likely didn’t want to implicate himself or his offshore accounts, which seemed to be a paper trail of his criminal activity.
When they finally found Samantha, she shot the offender and then made a comment about how “he” wasn’t going to pay for her or save her, noting, “Beck’s always have to handle things on their own.” It was a strange comment that Upton later brought up to Samantha in the hospital, and while you could tell she was hiding something and trying to protect her father, all she said was that he was a good guy.
With the two offenders previously caught on meth charges, the working theory is that her father is a dealer and his buyers tried to extort him. Voight told Upton to keep tabs on Richard, so it’s likely that this is the show’s next multi-episode case, which I’m not really upset about. I’d definitely want to dig more into this storyline because if Richard is corrupt and wasn’t going to use his millions/billions to save his daughter, I’d happily see him behind bars.
Anyway, we’ve had a few Ocean, Ruzek, and Atwater-centric episodes lately, but it truly feels like the series is trying to make Upton the lead. I’d love to see her take a beat and step back to clean up her personal life while giving the others a chance to shine.
What did you think of the episode? Do you think this is the last we’ll see of Sean? And will Haley and Halstead call it quits?
The series will be taking a two-week long break and returning on Wed., Feb. 8, 2023!
Chicago PD Review – Long Lost (10×11)
I’ve said this before, but after Chicago PD Season 10 Episode 11, it deserves to be said again—LaRoyce Hawkins never disappoints.
I knew that “Long Lost” would be a stellar episode before I even knew the plot solely because it was going to focus on Atwater. The man has emotional range for days—he feels things so deeply, but he never shows it until the right moment where he can wear his heart on his sleeve… and pull at our heartstrings.
This episode was particularly exciting because it allowed fans to get a rare look at Atwater’s personal life. We know he’s been raising his siblings Jordan and Vanessa, but we never got the full story of how it came to be. Turns out, no one in Intelligence really knew as he never talked about it, but when their latest case unearthed his father’s early release from prison, there was no going around it, especially when his father became a witness.
Atwater recognized his dad at a funeral of a top gang member mere moments before a shooting broke out that left two dead.
They didn’t have much to go on until Burgess found footage that revealed Atwater’s dad, Lew, saw the shooter after he left the event.
And thus, Atwater had no choice but to confront his father, who didn’t even tell him he was out of prison. Okay, that’s not entirely true as Voight offered to go in his place, but Atwater decided to go through with it, and I’m glad. If it wasn’t for the case, Atwater likely would’ve never been reunited with his estranged father—nor would he ever get the closure he so desperately needed for 20 years. Their paths might not have crossed otherwise, and it would’ve been a shame.
Atwater didn’t want to let it get personal, but there was no denying that it was deeply personal. I’m surprised that Voight didn’t pull him off the case after they decided to use Lew as a lead to get to Reed, the suspected shooter, but I imagine he thought that Atwater could handle himself considering he was the one who argued that they shouldn’t cut Lew loose simply because he was his dad. Atwater is a good cop, and he knew that justice needed to be served, especially after seeing the cold-blooded murder of Reed’s associate, which is where they also found a sweet little child left behind literally covered in his father’s blood.
Atwater knew what needed to be done, and he knew that his dad was the only way to get it. Unfortunately, when Reed’s men pulled a switcheroo with vehicles and they lost eyes, he let his emotions take hold. You could see how disappointed Burgess was that Atwater decided to breach without knowing the facts as there was always the possibility that the deal was still on, but it was understandable. He already lost his dad once, and he wouldn’t forgive himself if he was the reason that he died.
By calling it too early, however, they didn’t have enough to pin down Reed, and it almost exposed Lew.
The writers succeeded in making us question Lew’s motives for much of the episode. It wasn’t clear whose side he was on and if he was sincere about wanting to get start over and make a new life for himself of if he was involved in something shady.
Thankfully, it was the former.
And then, audiences were hit in the feels with Atwater and Lew’s long overdue talk.
Atwater didn’t allow his anger to take over and get the best of him during the case, but he couldn’t just let his dad walk away after all these years without asking for some kind of explanation as to what happened.
Atwater remembered his dad as a good man, so his arrest never made much sense to him, which is exactly how Lew wanted it to play out. And it turns out, he simply made the wrong choice to protect his family, and he paid a dire price.
The reason he went away for so long is because he didn’t give up anyone he was working with, which some might say is noble since he’s not a snitch. Unfortunately, he lost out on so much time with his children, though, it seems like they might make up for it as Atwater offered his dad one of the spare units in his building.
I hope Lew is impressed with how Atwater turned out despite everything. He’s dedicated his life to raising his siblings while taking on a dangerous job to protect the city of Chicago and be a voice for his people. Not everyone agrees with what he does, but he’s a solid human being who made the best with the hand he was dealt.
Hopefully, we’ll see Atwater’s relationship progress in future seasons as it would be a shame if this was a one and done storyline.
What did you think of the episode?
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