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Chicago PD Midseason Finale Recap Season 10 Episode 9 Proof of Burden Chicago PD Midseason Finale Recap Season 10 Episode 9 Proof of Burden

Chicago P.D

Chicago PD Midseason Finale Review – Burden of Proof (1009)

CHICAGO P.D. -- "Proof of Burden" Episode 1009 -- Pictured: Tracy Spiridakos as Hailey Upton, Jason Beghe as Hank Voight -- (Photo by: Lori Allen/NBC)

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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.

Chicago PD Midseason Finale Recap Season 10 Episode 9 Proof of Burden

CHICAGO P.D. — “Proof of Burden” Episode 1009 — Pictured: Jefferson White as Sean O’Neal — (Photo by: Lori Allen/NBC)

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! 

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    Lizzy Buczak is the founder of CraveYouTV. What started off as a silly blog in her sophomore year at Columbia College Chicago turned her passion for watching TV into an opportunity! She has been in charge of CraveYou since 2011, writing reviews and news content for a wide variety of shows. Lizzy is a Music Business and Journalism major who has written for RADIO.COM, TV Fanatic, Time Out Chicago, Innerview, Pop’stache and Family Time.

    Chicago P.D

    Chicago PD Review – Voight Becomes the Victim (1112)

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    Chicago PD Season 11 did not come to play! Through the course of 11 seasons, fans have seen it all—and been through it all with the detectives working in Intelligence, but Voight getting taken by the serial killer he’s been obsessively chasing down takes the cake!

    The Sgt. Voight somehow got outplayed—and it’s equal parts disappointing, concerning, and intriguing. These writers know what makes good TV. It’s also a change of pace to see someone like Voight end up as the victim. We always see them in these powerful positions, dominating crime scenes, dictating how situations will turn out, and demanding that criminals and suspects be held accountable, but now, we’re seeing him on the other side.

    Voight has gotten what he’s wanted for some long—facetime with the serial killer terrorizing the streets of Chicago. It’s likely not the way he wanted this to unfold, or how he imagined the situation would go down, but it’s the unfortunate twist that it took as the suspect realized that the cops were on his tail and needed to regain control of the situation.

    What he failed to anticipate is that Voight’s team was following a lead that he thought was no longer viable. Right before Kiki’s tragic death—and it pained me to hear that she didn’t pull through after being filled with so much optimism about the future just mere moments before she was gunned down—and before she could reveal who her informant was, she mentioned a key piece of information that was enough for Hailey Upton to go on. Upton located Kiki’s John, who previously told her that someone in his family was a serial killer, which is how she knew so many of the personal details of the case that weren’t made public. 

    While Bobby wasn’t immediately comfortable with sharing, he eventually disclosed the name of his cousin’s husband, who blabbed about his love of torture when he was intoxicated, allowing Upton to pinpoint lockup keeper Frank Matson. 

    He was right there, in front of them, the whole time, with access not only to all the victims upon cross-referencing, but to intel, cameras, and everything in between. It only makes sense that this person was close to it all having been able to get away with so much. Hiding in plain sight truly is one of the best ways to pull off a crime of this nature. 

    And, now, he’s moved in on Voight, who found himself drugged with some kind of paralyzing agent after his trip to the bar. I wish that before he fell unconscious, he gave anyone on his team a ring to let them know he wasn’t feeling well, but, he tried his best, even locking the door after himself. Matson, however, was one step ahead—as he had been this whole time—breaking in, before creepily checking Voight’s eyes and pulling his frozen body to another location.

    Once Hailey arrived to check in on Voight, she knew something wasn’t right. And once again, Matson takes the lead in an investigation that’s now racing against the clock. 

    The team is currently searching Matson’s place, as his poor wife seemingly didn’t know anything was wrong, though, I’m willing to bet his daughter has some insight. The girl looked like she wanted to spill.

    But Matson has proven time and again to be pretty crafty, so tracking him down might be very difficult, especially with Voight’s life on the line adding additional pressure. 

    Will the team be able to pull it off? I’ve not heard any murmurings of Jason Beghe leaving the series, so odds are they will get to him in time, but the case, which has already taken an emotional toll on him, might leave a permanent mark. To be honest, all I want to see is Voight get his revenge and justice as Matson burns in hell—and as we race toward the season finale, this seems like a really fitting plot to finish on, all while lending itself to Upton’s inevitable exit.  If there’s anything to convince you that a career change is healthy and necessary, it’s seeing your boss almost get murdered by a serial killer. And, as we’ve seen with her vulnerable chats with Petrovic (who I am now convinced will join Intelligence after commenting on the “family vibes”), Upton isn’t in a great headspace to begin with so she’s going to need to take a step back and find something that allows her to move forward without all the baggage she’s been carrying from her childhood and divorce from Jay.

    Also, with Chicago PD Season 11 Episode 12 being Jesse Lee Soffer’s (remember him?) directorial debut, I have to give him a shout-out for a job well done. The episode kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time—and that’s not an easy feat for a show 11 seasons in, but no one knows these characters better than the man who spent so much time on the show! 

    What did you think of the episode? Did you expect Voight to become the next victim? Share your thoughts now! 

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    Chicago P.D

    Chicago PD Review – Water Line (1111)

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    CHICAGO P.D. -- "Water Line" Episode 11011

    Kevin Atwater just can’t catch a break—and this second case is no exception.

    Chicago PD Season 11 Episode 11 was an Atwater-centric episode—typically my favorite—but it just piled even more pressure on one of Intelligence’s most promising detectives. 

    Atwater was carrying a lot of the burden for Corey Westbrooke’s death, and while I understand Mrs. Westbrooke’s frustration as she sees Atwater as a contributor to her husband’s death, it’s a shame that she couldn’t also see how much it was affecting him and how badly he wanted to right the situation without being able to go back in time or undo his actions. He wasn’t responsible as he did the best he could under the circumstances, but he still felt like he owed the family something, a sentiment she didn’t seem to share, as she threatened to get him fired if he came around her family again.

    The new case found Atwater also heavily invested, as his former CI, Butchie, known for lying, promised to give him intel on a three-man robbery crew responsible for the death of a cleaning lady named Marcela. 

    Butchie turned out to be personally involved, as revenge was the name of the game—revenge on the crew for leaving his young cousin at the scene and allowing him to get killed. 

    Atwater tried to be the voice of reason with Butchie, informing him that revenge wouldn’t change anything nor would it stop the pain he felt for losing his cousin Marcus, however, one thing that Trudy (and I love that she was the one to comfort Atwater and instill him with some much-needed advice) told him is that Atwater is not responsible for the actions of others. 

    When Butchie chose to pull the trigger and kill Kurt Hudson, the leader of the robbery crew, he made his bed and sealed his fate. There was nothing more Atwater could have done—and it was no longer his burden to carry. 

    Trudy was also right about one thing: the fact that he feels guilt and continues to care is actually a good thing as it’s what makes him such a good cop. It would be concerning if Atwater wasn’t affected by his cases, but it’s not healthy to let that take over and fester. Just imagine if they carried every loss, mistake, and death with them, allowing it to cloud their judgment. 

    Atwater may blame himself for Corey’s death, but the truth is that he did the best that he could in the situation and acted on instinct. That’s all anyone can really hope for when jumping into unknown territory. 

    Not every case is going to be a win for the good guys, unfortunately, but that’s the way the world works, and he needs to find a way to channel all that pain and emotion into a purpose. It’s the fuel he needs to keep going rather than a hindrance. 

    Atwater wants to carry the weight of the world, but as Trudy noted, he cannot let it drown him—what good would that do?

    After all these years, it’s amazing that these cases are still able to take such a hold on Intelligence officers, but it just proves that they are human as well.

    Take Voight, for example. He hasn’t stopped his quest to find the serial killer that’s evaded captivity, even explaining that his detour to Detroit last week was in search of information, only to come up empty-handed. 

    However, as we inch toward the season finale of PD–a pretty stellar season all around—a new witness comes forward in the promo, with information that the serial killer is a police officer, which is a game-changing twist that’s sure to deliver an intriguing end to this multi-episode arc. 

    Along with the final comes the inevitable departure of Hailey Upton, which is sure to leave fans an emotional wreck. 

    She mentioned that Petrovic is taking a leave of absence to deal with her addiction, but stills from upcoming episodes show her back in action in no time. Will she be the reason Upton decides to leave Intelligence? Will Petrovic take her spot in Intelligence?

    What did you think of the episode? Do you think Atwater should show himself some grace?

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    Chicago P.D

    Chicago PD Review – Buried Pieces (1110)

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    Haily Upton hasn’t been everyone’s favorite character throughout her tenure on Chicago PD, but episodes like Chicago PD Season 11 Episode 10 remind me why she’ll be sorely missed. 

    “Buried Pieces” was a heavy and gripping installment (the series really always succeeds with this formula), allowing Upton to not only help a mother-daughter duo in need but also extend a helping hand to Petrovich, the SVU officer with an alcohol addiction, all while facing her own demons. And she did it while stepping in and running point during Voight’s absence (and I hope he’s taking some much-deserved time off lounging on a beach somewhere, though I know he’s probably just trying to solve the case of the serial killer on his own time.). Throughout the hour-long episode, we peeled back many layers, all of which worked together seamlessly. 

    The catalyst for the case was an aptly named little girl named Hope, who brought to light a case from years past about a missing 14-year-old girl named Ruthie. At the time, they chalked it up to a runaway situation as the young woman was pregnant by her teen boyfriend, but Hope’s reappearance at the precinct with a note from her mother asking for help to be freed from a man they referred to as “the monster” reopened the case. 

    Petrovich was one of the officers who worked the original, and though she proved to be helpful this time around, her drinking had quite a negative impact. 

    Upton covered for Petrovich—and honestly, I was puzzled by the choice at first. It was clear her drinking was becoming a huge issue, and I have no idea how people didn’t realize it sooner, but there’s also a concern that it was going to get worse because she was so passive about it. Petrovich never saw it as a problem because she didn’t want to. 

    Upton’s assistance was a liability; she owed her nothing, yet we’ve seen time again that Upton loves to get involved and take care of the wounded birds due to her own past. Helping others is a wonderful trait, but not at your own expense. 

    So, I was glad that Upton finally gave Petrovich two options, both of which forced her into confronting her demons head-on. It’s true that you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink, but in this case, it was the reality check that Petrovich needed. It showed her that someone cared enough to see past her addiction and want her to seek out help. She’s a good cop, but you can’t be a good cop only after having a few drinks. It’s just not the way it works. 

    Eventually, Petrovich kept her word and checked herself in willingly after assisting on Ruthie’s case.

    The hunt for Ruthie was nerve-wracking as the offender, Daniel Benitez, wasn’t anywhere in the system. He was essentially a ghost with there being no trace of him anywhere, and they likely wouldn’t have made a break in the case if it wasn’t for Hope… again.

    She saw an opportunity and took it, informing Upton that her grandmother, Sonia, was “pretending,” which piqued Upton’s suspicions. Turns out, there was something very off about the grandmother, whose “happy to have her granddaughter” shtick was nothing more than an act. The minute she realized the cops were onto her, she bolted for the door, and an acquaintance who was initially cleared in Ruthie’s disappearance sang like a canary when confronted, informing police that she sold her own daughter to sexual predators. I wish a motive was provided as it was a really jarring realization. 

    From there, Intelligence had everything they needed to find Ruthie. When they got to Daniel’s place, they shot him on sight, but there was no sign of the mother. Upton wasn’t going to give up, knowing that Ruthie had to be around here somewhere and likely trapped in a small space, which ended up being the air conditioner. 

    The mother-daughter duo were eventually reunited—and though it will likely be some time before they work through all that trauma, it’s nice to see a happy ending on Chicago PD, especially in light of so many grim storylines on the series, for a change. 

    What did you think of the episode? Will you miss Upton?

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