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?
Chicago PD Review – True Believer (10×2)
Ruzek took the spotlight on Chicago PD Season 10 Epsiode 2, though the rest of the cast also got to shine as they pursued a violent criminal that escaped police custody with aid from a prison guard.
If it sounds like a storyline ripped from the headlines, well, that’s because it’s kind of similar to a story that gripped the nation by storm over the summer months. A prison guard fell in love with a convicted criminal, falling prey to his conman ways and manipulation all under the guise of true love. Unlike reality where the naive guard became the victim, in the episode, the criminal’s fate was sealed with a round of bullets from Burgess’ gun.
Still, the chase to nab Dale Wilken, a man from Ruzek’s past that questioned his integrity as a cop was one hell of a ride. Dale swiftly evaded police with Tiana’s help, and the desire to get him was intensified by his comments that attempted to paint Ruzek as a dirty cop.
I know a lawyer’s job is to clear his or her client’s name, but pulling out 17 citizen complaints against Ruzek to prove that he didn’t do his job legally was a low blow. Had the judge thought those complaints were sustained, she would have let out a very dangerous criminal into the world. It was also frustrating because it forced Ruzek to second guess himself out of fear. Burgess assured him they saw a gun in plain sight in a duffel, but he questioned whether or not that was the case, and if Burgess hadn’t made the call, they wouldn’t have gotten any closer to tracking down Dale.
Dale was so dangerous, in fact, that he killed a young 10-year-old girl simply to steal a getaway car. You would think that would have made Tiana see the light, but she was convinced that Dale was an innocent man who was framed by a bad cop. She wanted so badly to believe it that she couldn’t see otherwise. She ate his story up, and the blinders were on for a long time because she refused to accept that she may have been led on. It’s heartbreaking because Dale preyed on a woman who was at her lowest, going through a divorce and dealing with depression, for his own personal gain. She didn’t deserve any of it—she just wanted a bit of happiness.
But everything he did came from a selfish place, including Cloey’s death.
When children die on criminal shows, it breaks me, but it’s even worse when the death is so pointless. Cloey’s death was a necessary turning point for the plot, however, because it made catching Dale and bringing him to justice that much more pressing. He didn’t care who he killed, he shot anyone who got in his way. Truthfully, I’m certain that if Dale got away with his plan and went off to Miami with Tiana, she would turn up dead once he no longer needed anything from her.
Eventually, Tiana cracked when Ruzek showed her the letters Dale wrote to other women, all featuring the same message he once sent her about their romance. It’s in that moment that Tiana truly understood the gravity of her actions and what she let Dale get away with. It was late, but it wasn’t too late as her intel allowed them to track Dale down to Hawk’s house before they found him aboard a bus to Miami.
When Burgess confronted him, he locked himself in the bathroom, and she unloaded her revolver making sure she didn’t miss.
It was a boss move, but again, Burgess knew she was up against a ruthless man.
Seeing Cloey who was about Makayla’s age lose her life definitely left an impression on both Burgess and Ruzek. It seemed to finally hit Burgess that Ruzek is a good man. She’s starting to believe in him as the stable and constant presence in Mac’s life. He’s been there for his two girls for quite some time just waiting for Burgess to come around to the idea of their unconventional family. This lightness is one of my favorite things about the show. The man spent his time making Mack a birdhouse for crying out loud; this is the kind of man who cares about his family and prioritizes them!
Personally, I couldn’t care less about Halstead and Upton’s marriage as it consistently feels forced, now more than ever as the series attempts to find a way to write Halstwad out. Since he started siding with Voight on things and helping him out, he’s been more disconnected and distanced from Upton, which will likely be what breaks them in the long run.
It sure seems like a decade in Intelligence is starting to take its toll on Halstead, and how could it not? It’s a dark gig that’s only getting darker.
What did you think of the episode? Did you like that they connected the case back to Ruzek’s past? Would you have preferred it be a case from before that fans were familiar with?
Chicago PD Season 10 Premiere Review – Let It Bleed
Intelligence is back in action, but Anna’s death has rocked their leader, Hank Voight.
Chicago PD Season 10 kicked off about two weeks after the team’s takedown of Los Temidos, but Voight was struggling to make sense of it all. His grief manifested in action as he went rogue to patrol the streets of Little Village in order to take down anyone who tried to take over the corner and deal. Is he losing it a bit? Yeah. Is it insanity? Definitely. Are we here for it as an audience? Absolutely.
We knew that he was going to take her death hard as it was clear from the beginning that he wanted to keep her safe and give her and her son, Rafa, a better life when it was all over. When that didn’t happen, Voight felt like he failed her.
And his personal crusade against the neighborhood was his way of ensuring that her death wasn’t in vain; that it mattered.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t a sustainable solution. As Upton pointed out, Intelligence simply cannot police one city block when there are so many other issues to focus on. And Voight’s private patrols weren’t exactly “private” as everyone took notice and simply turned the other way hoping that he would eventually come to his senses.
It all culminated in a new drug case that involved a five-year-old boy accidentally overdosing on some heroin cut with fentanyl.
Everyone was adamant that Voight hand the case over to narcotics, but honestly, it seemed like a case Intelligence would’ve tackled regardless of Voight’s involvement in the neighborhood. If the tainted drugs already took the life of one minor, what’s to say they wouldn’t do more damage if the dealer wasn’t stopped early on?
Voight, however, was more determined to get the dealer because of Anna’s death, so it caused him to make some questionable that Upton wasn’t exactly keen on.
And while I can’t blame her for worrying about Voight’s motives, the way she approached the situation wasn’t exactly ideal either. Upton continues to think that she can just waltz in and do whatever she wants without listening to orders, which continues to show her entitlement when it comes to the job. Voight’s actions may have been questionable, but it was Upton’s rebellion against his rules that ultimately almost cost them the case and put lives in danger.
When Voight sent in Torres (new series regular Benjamin Levy Aguilar), a probationary police officer who was on “loan” to them, he truly believed that he was doing the right thing. And I have to believe that no matter what mindset Voight is in, he wouldn’t just play with someone’s life on a hunch. He knows the risks and makes strategic calls. It hurt him to lose Anna because she was a good person, and it doesn’t seem like he wanted any more casualties, especially a budding new cop that has been a great addition to his team. And since it was clear that Enzo was a loose cannon and his actions were unpredictable, I don’t think Voight would’ve taken chances he didn’t believe in.
He wanted to continue letting the situation with Torres and Enzo play out because he trusted that Torres had the skills to get the job done. If Upton had just followed Voight’s call, they would have nabbed him with the drugs in hand and put him behind bars for a very long time.
Instead, she decided she knew better and “got closer” to the situation in a careless manner. When the gate slammed, Enzo got spooked and began shooting at both Torres and the CI. Thankfully, no one was hurt, but it could’ve ended terribly for everyone involved.
They were eventually able to get Enzo, but only because of Voight’s quick thinking, which Upton didn’t agree with, again. Why is she still part of this unit when she clearly doesn’t think Voight is fit enough to run it?
After Upton’s screw-up, she didn’t even have the gall to apologize to Voight. Instead, she turned the tables on him and told him he hasn’t been a very good leader lately. While there may be some truth to what she’s saying, it really wasn’t the right place nor time to bring it up.
And I’m glad Voight shut it all down. He’s realizing that Upton and Halstead have gotten a little too comfortable around him and no longer respect his authority, which can’t happen if this unit is to function seamlessly.
We know Halstead is leaving the series this season, and I think his desire to protect Voight will ultimately lead to his decision to exit the unit. He protected Voight this episode and stood by him, while also acknowledging that he was taking it a bit too far. Being a contrast to Voight is going to take a toll on him personally and will likely be what breaks him. It definitely seemed like Upton was setting the scene for his exit by informing Voight that he was going to drag Halstead down with him unless he leaves first.
In the end, Voight got a wake-up call from the new Chief, Patty (they seem to have a history), who informed him that he’s graciously allowed him to grieve for two weeks, but he really needs Voight to step up to the plate again and save Chicago. In fact, his words were “the whole city is going to hell,” which was rather dramatic, but puts pressure on Voight and the team to do their job. It also promises the backing and support of the new Chief, and it seems like he will help Voight get away with stuff because he knows that he’s the man that will get things done.
The city is better off with him because he’s made this job his entire life. Nothing else matters more to him.
In a full-circle moment, he also informed Voight that he pushed through half a million payment to Rafa, Anna’s son who is now living in Iowa. Voight pulled through in his promise to take care of him.
And while Anna’s name was never mentioned when Intelligence was being honored for their heroics in taking down Los Temidos, they were all very much aware that it wouldn’t be possible without her sacrifice. She didn’t die “for nothing” as she once informed Voight, and that may lessen the blow of her death ever so slightly.
Lastly, we knew Torres was going to join Intelligence permanently, but it wasn’t entirely clear how it was going to happen since he’s still a rookie cop until the Chief personally granted him to Voight’s unit. Voight didn’t seem to have an opinion on it, but we’ll see how Torres factors in once Voight is officially his boss. It’s going to be interesting to see Torres’ story play out since he’s so green, but he’s also a go-getter that has what it takes to succeed. He’s got street smarts, which will come in handy, he knows how to play the game, and he’s not afraid. The only question is—will he mesh with the team?
The series made it clear that season 10 is going to hit reset as Voight’s unit is tasked with getting back to saving the city. And with the Chief telling Voight he’ll keep him on a “long leash” and give him more cash, my guess is that fans who have been waiting for dark Voight to return might get their wish after all. How will that affect Halstead, Upton and the rest of the squad? Only time will tell.
What did you think of the Chicago PD Season 10 premiere? Are you happy that they finally offered some closure following Anna’s death?
Squad Up! Benjamin Levy Aguilar Promoted to Series Regular for ‘Chicago PD’ Season 10
Intelligence will see a new and familiar face when Chicago PD Season 10 kicks off this fall.
The detective squad welcomes a new recruit as fan-favorite Benjamin Levy Aguilar, who played Torres, has been tapped as a series regular, Deadline reports.
For those who don’t remember, patrol officer Dante Torres was first introduced in the episode “New Guard.” Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer) took him under his guidance, and though the two didn’t initially get along, Torres eventually opened up to Halstead and clued him into the dark past that made him want to pursue a career as a cop.
After the episode aired, we didn’t see Torres again, but fans never forgot about him.
Aguilar’s portrayal resonated with the fandom as it seemed as though the consensus was that he would be a good fit for the unit, allowing for a little more diversity. His rough-around-the-edges personality can offer the series ample potential to tackle some really hard-hitting stories. His past as a former gang member can provide some expert insight into dealing with the ongoing gang situation in Chicago, and overall, it’ll be nice to shake things up a bit by adding new blood, a new personality, and a new approach into the mix.
Plus, the unit is overdue in welcoming some new members after losing Olinsky (Elias Koteas), Antonio (Jon Seda), and Lindsay (Sophia Bush) over the years.
While it’s unclear how Torres will get looped back into working with Hank Voight’s (Jason Beghe) unit, expect to see him on your screens when Chicago PD Season 10 kicks off on September 21 at 10/9c on NBC along with Chicago Med and Chicago Fire!
You can recap Torres’ first episode right here (in which I raved about him and underscored that he would be a good fit for the team) and catch up on the Chicago PD finale here so you’re all caught up when the fall season starts back up!
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