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Chicago P.D

Chicago PD Review – Closer (9×16)

CHICAGO P.D. -- "Closer" Episode 916 -- Pictured: (l-r) Jesse Lee Soffer as Jay Halstead, Tracy Spiridakos as Hailey -- (Photo by: Lori Allen/NBC)

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It’s been a really good season for Chicago PD. 

We’ve touched upon some of the most personal cases for Intelligence, but it’s really the continuity that has been so refreshing. 

Carmela Zumbado returned as Anna Avalos, Voight’s top-notch CI who was eager to help him get close to Escape, a squeaky clean gang leader, in order to take down Los Temidos once and for all. 

And when Voight said she was going to have to get closer and build up a case, he really meant it. 

There’s no better person for the job than Anna. She’s tough and fearless and can hold her own. 

Even Jay Halstead had to admit that she was good for it. Personal motivation is usually seen as a setback, but in this case, it’s Anna’s strength as she’s going up against the toughest guy that Intelligence has ever faced.

The whole situation is unpredictable and frankly, quite terrifying. Escano has a whole sheet on Anna that even includes details about her son Rafa. He knows everything, so if he were to find out that she’s a snitch working for the cops, well, it wouldn’t end well for her. 

Escano is dangerous and hiding in plain sight. 

The shooting in front of the bakery was almost a godsend as it allowed Anna to break through the ice and form a bond with Escano. 

When she stitched Adrian up even though she had no prior training, Escano took notice. 

Eventually, when Adrian killed himself, Escano found himself trusting Anna enough to take the reins as a runner, which is exactly what they wanted. 

Escano essentially took the bait without knowing that Intelligence was using Adrian’s misfortunes as their gain. 

Though, you can’t say they didn’t try to help Adrian. Voight didn’t bust in to help Anna stop the bleeding because he knew she had it handled. He knows her character enough to know that if she really needed help, she’d use her safe word, but there’s no point in burning her unnecessarily. 

Once they burn her, there’s no other way to get to Escano. She’s their only shot. 

Voight then went a step further and tried to convince Adrian that his life is his own and that he doesn’t need to listen to Escano and follow up on a promise he made. 

Unfortunately, Adrian’s loyalty was too strong, and he killed himself. 

It’s hard to understand that level of loyalty, but Adrian had no one else except for Escano, and Escano preyed on that loneliness.

Similarly, he’s preying on Anna’s loneliness when he hired her as a runner. He’s hoping that she’ll do whatever he says without question because she has no where else to go.

I can’t wait for the day that they bring this guy down for all the homicides that he’s responsible for, including Joshua’s death. I know that one technically wasn’t ordered by Escano, but he was still wrapped up in it, and it was a heartbreaking outcome for everyone involved.

I’ve complained before that Voight’s episodes never get too personal, but now I realize it’s because the job is his whole life. 

Voight has no one; he lost his wife, his son, Justin, and Lindsay, so he’s a lone wolf. He dedicates every waking moment to keeping the streets of Chicago safe, so, in a way, an episode like this is personal to Voight. 

I especially loved how he opened up to Anna in his apartment. They have an interesting and unique relationship that just works. 

Honestly, I wouldn’t mind if Voight recruited her for Intelligence after she brings down Escano. 

She has what it takes, she’s spunky, and lord knows the team needs more ladies. Plus, everyone knows her style, and more importantly, they respect her hustle. 

The way I see it, this ends one of two ways for Anna; either she hitches her wagon to Intelligence or she dies. But the latter would be pretty devastating for fans. And it wouldn’t be the first time Voight saw something in someone and convinced them to turn their lives around. 

Logistically, I don’t know how Anna could go from criminal to CI to detective — I figured she’d have to work her way up, but it’s a pipe dream, let me have it. 

Chicago PD doesn’t return until April 6, and it’s unclear if the episode will be a continuation of this one or if we’ll jump into a brand new case as this one is “ongoing” in the background. After all, building up trust takes time, and the world doesn’t stop for Escano. 

While the continuation has been incredible this season, Chicago PD Season 9 Episode 16 didn’t touch upon Ruzek and Burgess’s future (though he was still wearing a cast). There also wasn’t any comment on how Makayla was holding up, if Hailey’s mental state is better now after she plunged into the Chicago River, or really anything about her marriage to Halstead. 

And there’s definitely a lot of unused potential when it comes to Atwater, which, speaking of, means we need another Atwater-centric episode soon! 

What did you think of the episode? Have you grown fond of Anna?

Do you think they’ll find an opportunity to bring down Escano soon enough? I can’t believe he didn’t take Anna’s eagerness as desperation and assume that she might not be coming from a genuine place when trying to join his “business.”

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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 – I Can Let You Go (1012)

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Chicago PD Recap Season 10 Episode 12 I Can Let You Go

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!

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Chicago P.D

Chicago PD Review – Long Lost (10×11)

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Chicago PD Recap Season 10 Episode 11 Long Lost

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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Chicago P.D

Chicago PD Review – This Job (10×10)

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Chicago PD Recap Season 10 Episode 10 This Job

Chicago PD returned from hiatus with an Ocean-centric episode that also took Ruzek along for the ride. 

It was a nice shakeup to the typical pairings with see on the crime drama. Dante Torres has been around for a handful of episodes, but he’s still very much the new guy who is getting a feel for things and learning the ropes. We’re used to seeing Ruzek team up with Burgess or Atwater, and it was refreshing to see him taking charge with Dante, especially when things got a little more personal after the card game. 

Dante wasn’t really vibing with the other cops during the poker game, but as Ruzek pointed out, it’s good to know other cops. The cops in question were ones that Ruzek has known since childhood, however, that doesn’t excuse anything that went down with Borkowski, a shady cop who assisted Intelligence on a home invasion case. Tom Lipinski was so well cast in the role—and his smug attitude made me root for Ocean at every turn. 

Borkowski was clearly on an ego trip from the beginning, even going as far as to ask Ocean why a dude from Pilsen wanted to be a cop. What he didn’t expect is that a rookie could threaten the ecosystem he thrived on for so long. Borkowski was used to getting away with roughing up suspects, so he likely thought that both Ruzek and Dante would turn the other way on this specific case.

And while they eventually did look the other way, it was only because it was beneficial for the case. And it was a tough first lesson for Dante, who saw the ugly side of the job up close. As he noted, he was now part of the blue wall—and though it wasn’t his choice, it was a choice. As Ruzek explained, bringing down someone so heavily connected as Borkowski wasn’t going to be easy, and Dante knew that even though it felt wrong, the right choice—the only choice—was the one that helped the victims of the home invasions and their families.

It’s a situation that we’ve seen Atwater in many times before, and while it would have been easy for the series to pair up Dante and Atwater in this case, I’m glad it was Ruzek who was able to lend a hand. While he didn’t understand the complexities of Dante’s situation, he supported him as best he could, proving that Intelligence always has each other’s back. 

The highlight of the episode, however, was definitely Ocean hitting back at Borkowski, who thought he could intimidate the new guy. Instead, Ocean made it a point to emphasize that the real reason he became a cop was to hold men like him accountable, and I’m hoping for the audience’s sake, we see this tiff pan out in future episodes. 

Ocean sort of reminds me of a pitbull who is waiting to strike. He’s building up his case and making mental notes, and the moment he can sink his teeth in, he’s going to attack. The way Borkowski walked away, shaken by the fact that someone dared to stand up to him, was pure gold. And you better believe that Voight also saw the tension pan out. Voight will always protect his own—there’s no doubt about it—and he was already aware that there was something off about the case from the beginning. 

Chicago PD Recap Season 10 Episode 10 This Job

CHICAGO P.D. — “This Job” Episode 1010 — Pictured: (l-r) Benjamin Levy Aguilar as Dante Torres, Tom Lipinski as Borkowski, Jason Beghe as Hank Voight — (Photo by: Lori Allen/NBC)

Dante is a man of the people—he might wear the uniform and the badge, but he’s ready to make a change. It can be his downfall if he plays it wrong, but he’s taking the idea of “be the change” and running with it, and for that, I’m not upset. 

Ruzek and Dante were both determined to do right by the victims, first and foremost, and that meant bringing to justice the man that committed the heinous crimes. It’s one thing to stage a robbery, it’s another to rape and then soullessly shoot the victims. They were hunting down a cold-blooded monster, and I’m so glad that they were able to get him and save his last suspect. It’s unfortunate that doing the right thing came at the expense of turning a blind eye, but I have no doubt that Borkowski will get what’s coming in the end. 

The episode didn’t dive into the Upton/Sean O’Neal storyline, but the series will deal with that soon enough, especially as the latter is set to make another guest appearance and hopefully pay for his crimes with life in prison. Upton will have to deal with the aftermath of that case, along with coming to terms with Halstead’s exit, but for now, it’s good to see some of the other unit members getting a chance to shine. 

I’m particularly excited about the upcoming episode, which allows Atwater to take the lead on a shooting that may or may not involve his father. We haven’t really dug into Kevin’s personal life, aside from his relationship with his siblings, so this will be an interesting storyline to explore. Not to mention that every past Kevin Atwater episode has been stellar! 

What did you think of this episode? 

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