I didn’t think we needed a new member of Intelligence, especially another man, until Dante Torres came along on Chicago PD Season 9 Episode 18.
Played by Benjamin Levy Aguilar, Torres brought a fiery existence to the squad when he was plucked straight from the Chicago Police Academy like Ruzek all those seasons back. It was for a ride-along, for now, but could it become much more?
Now, if you’re wondering why all these new recruits are gunning for specialized units rather than working their way up, well, Platt put it very simply: “everyone hates cops,” which means the pool is filled with babies without any skills.
The bar is so low, you only have to be 21 to enter.
However, Torres more than proved himself despite being a man of very little words.
He remained quite the mystery — and the more Halstead tried to pull something out of him, the less he actually knew.
What was obvious is that Torres had great instincts. Even when he broke an order, it was more of a “do first, ask for forgiveness” later. And in both instances, it was to Halstead’s advantage.
The first time he disobeyed an order when they were responding to a store robbery in progress, Torres was responsible for nabbing the suspect.
The second time, he delivered the deadly blows to the suspect that saved Halstead and Upton.
Torres knew what he was doing through and through. He didn’t stumble in the interrogation room instead convincing the suspect to talk.
And when they were trying to track down the arms dealer, Torres’ judgment led them right to his secret room behind the mirror.
When Torres told Halstead at the end that he’d be “damn good at this job,” he truly meant it. And that level of confidence, it’s refreshing. Everyone in Intelligence knows that they are more than capable of handling the job, but Torres just carried himself differently.
He didn’t have the “proper background,” but his instincts were on point because his upbringing was the streets.
Still, you can’t blame Halstead for wanting to know more and questioning who the man on the ride along truly was. After all, the safety of the job hinges on trust, and if you can’t trust your partner to have your back, you might end up dead.
Torres didn’t give Halstead any reason to trust him. He was quiet and mysterious, he withheld information, he broke orders, and well, there was also the question of whether he was a gang member who was infiltrating the police academy.
It sucks that there are stereotypes that easily feed into these concerns, but it wouldn’t be too far off base if Torres did end up being a gang member.
Halstead went above and beyond to get a good read on his partner because not only was it his life on the line, but it was also the whole team’s. And it could’ve cost them the whole case.
Torres also lied when he went undercover because he totally knew the dealer, Bautista.
While it wasn’t a great moment for Torres, and it was a surprise to Intelligence as they realized they were on shaky ground and his cover had been made, it eventually allowed Halstead to get some more information.
Torres revealed that the man he put into a wheelchair was his step-father. Why? Because he beat his mother.
He served time in juvie, which is where he tried to burn off his gang tattoos.
He lied about paying off his parking tickets so that he could bring cash for his ma, who runs a grocery store and pays the locals a “protection tax.”
And he wants to be a cop because prior to putting his step-dad into a coma, he called the cops six times and yet no one ever came or responded.
All of these tidbits simply fed into Torres’ hardass exterior and made me like him even more.
While I would’ve loved a spot to be filled by another woman, it makes sense to fill the void of a Latino man, particularly in Chicago where there’s a huge Hispanic population.
Though he’s no replacement for Antonio, he’ll come in handy, and his streets smarts and experiences allow him to bring a different perspective to an already airtight unit.
What did you think of the character?
Are you interested in seeing more of him? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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?
Chicago PD Review – This Job (10×10)
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.
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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