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Chicago P.D

Chicago PD Review – Atwater’s Love Life Meets Burnside (9×05)

CHICAGO P.D. -- "Burnside" Episode 905 -- Pictured: LaRoyce Hawkins as Kevin Atwater -- (Photo by: Lori Allen/NBC)




I repeat, Atwater. 

Laroyce Hawkins is the gift that keeps on giving. He’s the pulse of Chicago PD and deserves way more screentime than he’s given. 

The man acts with his whole soul, no matter the storyline. Even when the writers do him a disservice by introducing yet another terrible love interest and a romantic storyline that’s bound to go sideways, he still manages to deliver in a gripping, compelling, and emotional performance. 

There has never been an Atwater-centric storyline that has fallen flat. He may not get as much screentime as his co-stars, but he outshines them all by barely lifting a finger. 

This is my public plea to give Atwater what he deserves and more!

I don’t know how Atwater’s conscience is going to survive this disaster of a storyline. If Celeste wasn’t a potential love interest, this storyline would’ve been A+, but making her someone that Atwater has feelings for was an unfortunate choice. 

Why does his romantic life always have to be entangled with his career? He already struggles with the weight of being a Black cop and the looks and sneers he gets from his community, a community that thinks he’s betraying them. But now to hear it from someone he cares about makes it even worse. 

Especially because in this situation, he actually did betray her trust in order to catch the murderers. 

Atwater should’ve been honest with Celeste from the get-go. And if he didn’t want to be the moment he met her, he should’ve never proposed working her to find out information. 

It proves that Atwater is a loyal cop, but at what cost?

Chicago PD Review Burnside Season 9 Episode 5

CHICAGO P.D. — “Burnside” Episode 905 — Pictured: Patrick John Flueger as Adam Ruzek — (Photo by: Lori Allen/NBC)

He attempted to use his power to help Lewis and eventually Eric, but the situation was way beyond him. 

Celeste’s comments about two black cops being there when Lewis was shot and doing nothing about it, but that wasn’t the truth at all. 

Atwater tried his damn best to protect Lewis from a system that’s set up against them. He tried to get Lewis out of it. He personally escorted him to prison so that he could give him advice. 

He never could’ve seen Eric coming out of nowhere and shooting his friend point-blank. 

Atwater made a good point when Lewis called him a sellout — what would have the narrative been if there hadn’t been a Black man advocating for him? What if there were no Black cops trying to evoke real change?

The pressure, unfortunately, falls solely on Atwater’s back on Chicago PD, but my hope is that Atwater is just the embodiment of many other Black cops (and cops in general) who want things to change for the better. 

Was Lewis an accomplice? Yes. Did he know what he was getting into? Yes. But he also didn’t have much of a choice. 

He was stuck in a pattern of violence known to many diverse, low-income neighborhoods. He was doing everything he could to survive, and that should’ve been noted in his files. 

How can you try a 15-year-old as an adult when he felt like the world was against him and he would have died if he disobeyed the person that had control over them?

Lewis needed someone to have his back and give him a second chance — he didn’t need to be sent to prison for life. 

At the end of the day, I think everyone knew that Atwater’s choices were sound. He has a responsibility to the badge, but that doesn’t mean he can’t try to make things better for his own people. 

I think if he was upfront with Celeste about that, she might see his point of view. It’s a slim chance considering he used her when she put all her trust into him, but at least Atwater would’ve had a clear conscience. 

Instead, he sat there feeling a whole world of guilt as Celeste called him a good and apologized for dragging him into this mess. 

It was truly hard to watch. Plus, it didn’t feel authentic to Atwater. He may feel conflicted about his position, but he’s always been real. He knows what the right thing is no matter how hard the circumstances, so it’s uncharacteristic of him to sit there and lie to this woman when she’s being vulnerable with him. 

He was scared to lose her since he knows he found a good one, but this is no way to start a promising and lasting relationship. 

It’s only going to go downhill from here because Atwater won’t be able to lie to her for long. 

There’s nothing worse than being lied to. Even if the truth is ugly, being lied to is even uglier. 

At this point, it’s clear that in order for Atwater to have an honest romantic relationship, he needs to meet someone in his line of work that understands his struggle but also his desire to do better. 

If not a cop, it needs to be a doctor or a nurse whose career is just as crucial and who uses her platform to better the community. 

I seriously thought that Atwater’s next love interest would be the cop sister of Dylan from Chicago Med

Wouldn’t that make the most sense?

Otherwise, Atwater needs to find a balance between being an activist and a cop — if there is one. 

Also, is it possible that Atwater can get a storyline that doesn’t continue repeating itself? The conflict between being Black and the badge is understandable, but there’s so much more to Kevin Atwater that we can explore! 

What did you think of the episode? 

Are you digging Atwater’s most recent storyline?

Let us know in the comments, Chicago PD fans! 

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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 – House of Cards (9×21)



Chicago PD Review House of Cards Season 9 Epsiode 21

And that’s how you end a penultimate episode on a jaw-dropping cliffhanger! 

Chicago PD crafted a compelling case with Los Temidos and Escano, and bonus — it’s a case that has invested audiences for multiple episodes.

It’s fun to watch Intelligence work a case that doesn’t just wrap up within the hour. Blood, sweat, time, and energy has been poured into building this case up, mostly from Anna (guest star Carmela Zumbado), who is self-motivated to take down the gang and Javi. 

As far as CI’s go, Anna has been one of the most intriguing and promising. Over and over again, I find myself rooting for her and hoping that maybe she’ll be offered a spot in the unit after all of this is over. 

But, admittedly, I was also very terrified for her safety on Chicago PD Season 9 Episode 21. 

The long game is not an easy one to play, especially when you’re trying to one-up a very paranoid man while also gunning to go back home to be with your child.

Escano is well aware that he’s a target, so he’s kept himself clean as a whistle. There’s nothing tracing him back to Los Temidos and no money trail linking to the drugs. Heck, the man doesn’t even use his personal car to go anywhere aside from the bakery. He’s that careful. The dude knows what he’s doing, so nailing him is almost an art at this point. They only have one shot, and they cannot waste it. 

The fact that he’s so aware and ahead of the game means it’s also incredibly dangerous. He knows everything about Anna, he’s suspicious, he has Voight’s direct number, and there’s no telling what he’s thinking and plotting. 

Voight has been very strategic in his movements because he wants to land the big fish, and his only shot at it is Anna. She has built up a repertoire with Escano, and he trusts her.

Voight and Anna have also formed a special bond as well. In fact, Voight cares about Anna and her safety a lot, which is why he’s been an open book with her.

So when he found out that Escano was likely responsible for ordering the gang rape on Anna just like he did with Mateo, it was a bit jarring that he kept the piece of information to himself. 

Hailey suggested being upfront with Anna about the whole thing. As a woman, she was probably right, but Voight was coming at it from an entirely different perspective.

He knew that being a full-time, around-the-clock CI was taking a toll on Anna. He knew that despite being internally motivated that she was in a bit of a fragile place, so he weighed his options and understood the risk he was taking by not telling her. 

Anna has proved that she’s whip smart and can handle anything thrown her way. I mean, she’s a pro at navigating this lifestyle; she does it with ease. Voight could have told her the truth about Escano ordering her rape and hoped that she would make an informed decision rather than an irrational one, but he wasn’t willing to take that chance. 

I understand where he’s coming from because when Anna found out from the source — Escano himself — her reaction was exactly what Voight was afraid of. 

And no, I’m not talking about her anger at being blindsided by the person she trusted unconditionally. I’m talking about the red hot motivation to take the enemy down by any means necessary, which also meant throwing caution to the wind. 

Anna was furious — all she could see was revenge that she wasn’t listening to reason or logic. 

Voight and the team knew that something wasn’t right with the buy. There were too many moving parts, too many unexpected visitors, and, of course, Escano’s decision to change routes and head back to the cash house in the suburbs, but Anna ignored his concerns. 

Also, shout-out to the series for finally venturing into the burbs! 

Voight meant it when he said that his number one priority was keeping Anna safe, so when he realized that there was no way he could talk her out of going through with the buy, he ordered his team to move on it. 

It seems as though the plan was to seize everything now and hope that something against Escano would stick. 

I know that they are hoping to link the drugs to Escano, but they have all this video footage of him clearly not being an upstanding citizen, so I wonder why they can’t just use that. His pat down with Anna, in particular, seems like it could definitely be admissable in some way.

But again — big fish require a big score. 

Intelligence almost had it, but then, in the blink of an eye, the whole thing just blew up in their faces… literally. There was a literal explosion from within the truck filled with drugs. 

The driver got away, but Halstead and Upton didn’t come out unscathed. In fact, last we saw Upton, she was completely unconscious from the blast. 

And it wasn’t any better for Ruzek, who was forced to shoot the man who ambushed the driver of the truck in the motel. 

Anything that could have gone wrong did. 

Chicago PD Review House of Cards Season 9 Epsiode 21

CHICAGO P.D. — “House of Cards” Episode 921 — Pictured: Jesse Lee Soffer as Jay Halstead — (Photo by: Lori Allen/NBC)

There are plenty of unexpected twists, turns, and moving parts with this case, but my best guess as to what happened is that another gang tried to move in on Escano’s territory and take out his buy. 

Either that or this was all part of Escano’s plan since he knew the feds were onto him. He seemed convinced that Voight was a dirty cop that could be paid off, but it’s Escano, so it could’ve all been part of the plan to pull one over on them. 

I mean, why else would he switch up directions at the last minute?

There’s also the fact that they have no clue whether or not Escano was at the gang initiation where Anna’s rape was ordered, so it’s possible that she was burned from the beginning. Maybe the explosion was meant for Anna. 

Bottom line is that none of this bodes well for Intelligence. They are in a cat-and-mouse game with a very dangerous man who has unpredictability on his side. 

Unfortunately, Hailey’s decision to respond to the rape involving Mateo put the cops on Escano’s radar. I’m glad she did because she helped Isabella, a victim just like Anna, but it definitely hindered their chances of bringing him down and putting him behind bars.

I don’t know how it will all pan out in the upcoming finale, but I am hoping that Anna will find a way to get her peace and reunite with her son. I want her to get a cut of Escano’s money and start fresh with Rafa so that he has a better life. 

As for Hailey, she’s a fighter, so let’s hope that the explosion only left her a little banged up. Intelligence needs her.

It’s a wise move on PD’s part to end the best season to date with an established case because it keeps the audience fully invested in wanting to find out the outcome. We’ve bonded with Anna, we have a soft spot for her just like Voight does, and we want to see justice served. 

How do you think this will all come to an end? Will Upton survive? Will Anna get her revenge? Will Escano be so spooked her gets tripped up with his own shady business dealings? Let us know in the comments below! 

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Chicago P.D

Chicago PD Review – Pink Dust (9×20)



Chicago PD Review Memory Season 9 Episode 20

Chicago PD has been having a stellar season. 

While there have been plenty of great personal episodes for every member of Intelligence, one of the strongest things about the season has been the show’s ability to craft compelling cases. 

I pride myself on being able to solve the mystery before anyone else, but this isn’t the first case this season that has left me completely floored. When a series is forced to pump out 20-something episodes in any given season, you expect that there are times when the writing will get sloppy, but that hasn’t really happened this season at all. 

Chicago PD Season 9 Episode 20 allowed Burgess to take point. And while Burgess might not have her life together in the slightest on a personal level, she’s more than equipped to handle a difficult case professionally. 

My biggest gripe with Burgess is that she doesn’t learn from the past. How many times has she almost died going somewhere solo? Why doesn’t she wait for backup when she goes anywhere? Why doesn’t she lean on reinforcements? Is she trying to get killed?

I couldn’t even breathe when she snuck into the crime scene by herself and climbed up into the attic. Burgess, girl, you cannot keep scaring us like that. 

There have been all too many brushes with death. Solving a case and figuring out that the “pink dust” that a child is talking about is actually the attic insulation is impressive and a great career achievement but safety first, damnit! 

Admittedly, the cases have been next-level grim and dark this season — even for a series set in the bloody Chicago — but it’s also the reason why they are so compelling. They push you to your edge, way past your comfort point, and you can’t help but look away. 

Burgess has always been the best at selling these types of stories, and now that she’s a mother, she has an even bigger interest in bringing justice to the children. 

There were a handful of victims in this case. The Graces’ were the freshest ones considering their deaths re-opened the three-decade long cold-case, but the biggest victim was Daniel, who, at the time of Jim’s first kill, was just a little boy. 

The cops didn’t really believe his story because he didn’t have concrete evidence, they couldn’t find the proof to back up his claims, and even poor Daniel began to question what was real and what was fiction as the line began to blur. 

Thankfully, Burgess’s dedication to the case also provided him with some much-needed clarity and closure. 

Burgess’s instincts about Jim were on point. She didn’t have much to go off of, but when saw him there just eyeing houses and taking pictures, even of a house that was leasing apartments, she knew in her gut that he was the man they were looking for. His whole demeanor screamed “I’m guilty”

The rest of Intelligence backed her up wholeheartedly, which just goes to show how much they trust her judgment. Jim matched the profile and he had a motive. As a child of the system, he wanted to recreate and act out his childhood with parents who loved him. In this case, the parents were all the people he was targeting via the attic. When things began to take a turn for the worse, he killed them in cold blood. 

But a good profile does not make a killer without any evidence. Even if you know you’re right, you have to prove it, otherwise, it’s all just circumstantial. 

While it’s Voight’s job to question the evidence and make sure it’s airtight, it was the team’s job to dig into the suspect that Burgess pinpointed. 

Daniel may have repressed all these memories, but he was key in identifying Jim. By looking at the case, he triggered a memory that led them to the scene of the crime. And from there, they were able to find all the evidence corroborating the story he told when he was just a kiddo. 

They found the RV that belonged to his parents, videotapes confirming that he was loved by his parents, and eventually, his parent’s corpses. 

It was a brutal case from start to finish, with the only silver lining that they were able to bring some things into focus for Daniel while putting away a vile killer once and for all. 

Jim cannot hurt anyone ever again. Though, I’ll surely have a newfound fear of attic spaces to add to the list. 

Burgess’s time dealing with Daniel’s trauma helped her understand Makayla’s repressed emotions. Kim was in denial about Mak because she wanted to believe that she was okay, but the truth is that something can trigger a bad memory one of these days and she’s going to need to find a way to cope. 

Mak is doing fine, but it’s a thin line. And it’s important for a parent to acknowledge that the trauma that a child has endured could bubble up to the surface at any point. 

As I mentioned, professionally, Burgess is on top of everything, but personally, it’s been kind of a mess. 

She hasn’t been able to figure out her relationship with Adam, and it’s frustrating. Ruzek would move mountains for Burgess and Mak, but she keeps pushing him away. Yes, it’s mostly fear, but at some point, Burgess has to be stronger than that. 

The back-and-forth between them cannot continue forward. 

When Ruzek eventually propositioned that he was going to buy his childhood house from Disco Bob and move Mak and Burgess in with him so that they could be the ones to give her new memories, Burgess shouldn’t have hesitated. 

He’s going above and beyond for her — why can’t she be happy? Why can’t she say yes to being a family? It’s clear that she’s the only obstacle standing in the way. 

And maybe the stability could be good for Mak. She seems very close with Ruzek, so it only makes sense that he continues to be a part of her daily life. 

Come on, Burgess — give the man the credit already. 

Other Notable Moments 

  • I truly loved the line about children who are loved by their parents exhibiting a different kind of confidence. Mak definitely has the confidence, and it’s because Burgess and Ruzek shield her from the brutal realities. 
  • It was nice to see Burgess and Upton work together side-by-side. At one point, they were even matching! True work besties. 
  • The whole unit rallied together to solve this disturbing case. As far as cases go, I think this one was definitely high up there for them. They aren’t going to forget it. 
  • Why don’t the other cops give Burgess and Upton a warning about the grim crime scene before they step foot inside the house? 
  • If people don’t stop threatening Mak and coming for Burgess’s parenting…. when she looked Jim in the eye and told him he was going to pay with a life for a life, it was the best reaction she could’ve given to a question about her being a good mother.

What did you think of the episode? Are you digging Chicago PD’s approach this season?


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Chicago P.D

Chicago PD Preview – Fool’s Gold (9×19)



Chicago PD Review Fool's Gold Season 9 Episode 19

The One Chicago franchise had an exceptional night tonight. 

Chicago Med delivered an episode filled with wild storylines, while Chicago PD’s captivating plot had you questioning your own gut instincts. 

And it’s absolutely no surprise that at the center of this great episode was the one and only Atwater. 

For starters, it wasn’t a black versus blue storyline, which was a welcome change of pace. And LaRoyce Hawkins proved that he can handle any material that the writers give him. He truly doesn’t get enough recognition, but I will hype him up every single time because that man acts his toned behind off!  

However, he found a compelling counterpart in Raquel and her multiple personas.

Until the very end, it wasn’t entirely clear whether or not she was telling the truth. Was she the victim or was she the mastermind?

The actress did a phenomenal job of making the audience question what was real and what was fiction. 

At first, it definitely seemed as though she was the con-woman who planned her own husband’s murder so that she could steal his money. 

But when they began unraveling it, it didn’t quite add up.

Why would she keep wanting to steal and con people when she locked down a man with a net worth of $60 million? 

When they found Sam, her allegedly abusive ex who has been trailing her for 15 years and was the reason why she has had to lie about her identity multiple times, he revealed that Raquel’s husband, Brent, didn’t give her access to any of the money and was planning on leaving her, so she concocted this elaborate scheme.

At that point, it gave her motive to plan a hit on him as it seemed logical that she would want to get something before it was too late. 

After all, she signed a prenup. 

I’ll be quite honest — I totally thought Raquel was behind it. 

She didn’t seem overly broken up over her husband’s death, and when she did break down crying in the hospital, it seemed like an act. 

The way she looked at Sam when he was arrested also made me think that she was pleased with herself that she was able to place the blame solely on him by manipulating a cop into believing her sob story. 

When they began questioning Sam, I found him to be cool, calm, collected, and trustworthy. He had an answer to every question, and since he was already going to jail, he didn’t have much of a reason to lie. 

Everything was pointing at Raquel being the suspect. 

My gut deceived me. 

Everyone in Intelligence seemed to think that she was lying except for Atwater. He stuck to his guns and followed his gut, even when they couldn’t find all the phones she claimed to have locked away in a box. 

The thing about Atwater is that his confidence is through the roof. And it should be. He’s good at what he doesn’t, he’s great at reading people, and he doesn’t doubt himself. 

He looked into Raquel’s eyes, and he believed her because he saw a woman who has been exposed to this type of violence on plenty of occasions. 

Atwater never gave up, even when the rest of the team did, because he knew that whatever the outcome may be, they needed evidence to bring one of them down. 

Thankfully, by staying persistent, he was able to find the phones and prove that Sam was the perpetrator, manipulator, abuser, stalker, and extortionist. 

Atwater also knew what it was like to lie about who you are because you feel like you have no other choice, so he connected with Raquel on a personal level. 

He realized she didn’t want to be put in this position, but she had no choice because her past was too dangerous and it was always catching up with her. 

While the case didn’t have a direct connection to Atwater, it tapped into his failed relationship with Celeste. She was still mad about the fact that he lied to her about being a cop because he knew that she wouldn’t accept him otherwise. 

By helping Raquel live her truth without running away from it, he also helped himself realize that he needed to let Celeste go. 

He was hanging on to something and someone that was never going to accept him. He needed to accept himself, realize he deserved more, and move on. 

So, he made his final call and informed her that he wouldn’t be reaching out again. 

Raquel was forced to give up everything and start over once again because she knew that Brent’s parents, family, and friends would never forgive her even if they knew the real reason as to why she lied. 

Some lies, regardless of their nature or motive, are unforgivable. 

I love that Atwater had this personal realization while also working one of his most meaningful cases — helping a woman break free from years of constant abuse. 

Chicago PD is having one of its best seasons to date, and it’s been an incredibly satisfying season at that. And it only took nine seasons! 

Keep those Atwater-centric episodes coming because, as he’s proven time and time again, LaRoyce is good for the show and the soul. 

Also, Celeste is missing out, and I hope now that he’s no longer hung up on her, he can finally get a promising love interest. 

A part of me was kind of hoping Raquel would stick around because there was some really great chemistry between the actors, but I fully acknowledge that Atwater needs someone that’s ready to embrace a real and meaningful relationship with him… and in his truth! 

What did you think of the episode? Sound off in the comments! Did you know that Raquel was telling the truth the whole time or did you find yourself conflicted?

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