This isn’t the first time a police reform storyline was at the forefront of an episode, but it did make for one of the most effective episodes.
The writers made some bold choices that paid off on Chicago PD Season 8 Episode 8.
Initially, it seemed like yet another instance where a white cop killed an innocent Black man, but the situation quickly evolved into something way more complex than that.
There was no question as to whether or not David Whelan was guilty. Anyone who watched the footage was very much aware that he was going down for murder.
Everyone except for Whelan that is, who remained ignorant and stuck to his version that he was acting in self-defense for far too long.
Despite his best efforts to convince everyone around him, including Ruzek and Atwater, his life was not in any danger and the shots were not justified.
There have been a few times — Chicago PD Season 8 Episode 7 comes to mind — where the series attempted to push a police brutality narrative where it didn’t exist, but in this scenario, it was clear that racial bias was at play.
Even before Whelan pulled Jeff Duncan over, he made up his mind about the man and feared for his life.
None of Duncan’s actions should have made Whelan feel scared or uncomfortable aside from the fact that he was Black.
Duncan did everything right; He informed him he had a gun and he held his hands up the entire time even as Whelan shouted for him to “put his hands up.”
And at no point did Duncan ever make a move to grab his gun.
But even if Duncan had been uncooperative, it didn’t warrant several bullets to the chest and being left to bleed out to death on the pavement. That’s what it didn’t warrant.
The idea behind implicit bias is that it affects a person’s understanding and behavior in an unconscious way, which explains why Whelan “thought” he saw Duncan reach for his weapon.
But now that there’s no question about what actually happened, we can dive into the episode, which found Ruzek and Atwater stuck with a job that absolutely no one wanted to do: arrest Duncan and transport him back to the station.
However, I’m not going to lie, I was thrilled to see these two work alongside each other once again.
It’s been a while since we’ve shaken up the partnerships on PD, and there’s never a dull moment when Atwater and Ruzek share the screen.
Since their friendship is the strongest in the series, their interactions allowed for some very distinct viewpoints that resulted in an informative and enlightening episode all-around.
Both Patrick Flueger and Laroyce Hawkins brought their A-game as they tackled complex topics while in straight-up survival mode.
There was a bit of naivety on Voight’s part when he informed them they would be nothing more than an Uber.
Considering the recording was bound to go viral sooner than later, riots and protests were inevitable. Why wasn’t the force better prepared?
The very fact that Samantha Miller asked Voight’s team to handle this was a clear indication that she knew it was going to get out of hand.
Though, it is nice that Miller and Voight have established a level of trust between each other. When Voight informed her that he was going to let Atwater and Ruzek play this case the way they wanted it to, she didn’t object.
The moment Ruzek and Atwater arrested Duncan, their workday from hell started.
With death threats stacking up against him, they were ordered to take him to a safe house, which was quickly made.
They were forced to act swiftly and think on their feet since being with Duncan put them in a direct line of danger.
And throughout the whole time, they had to listen to Duncan try to justify his actions, which was outright aggravating.
However, it did lead to some important conversations that otherwise wouldn’t have happened if the trio weren’t stuck together in the first place.
The case drew similarity to the death of George Floyd in the U.S. this past summer, but it was interesting to dig into the police side of it.
Chicago PD Review & Interview – Tracy Spiridakos on Big #Upstead Moment (8×11)
Upton’s childhood trauma bubbled up to the surface on Chicago PD Season 8 Episode 11.
This isn’t the first time the series has touched upon Upton’s past, but audiences were able to get a better grasp at the hell she went through while growing up in a household of domestic abuse.
Up until now, she never fully confronted how it affected her into adulthood.
On Chicago PD Season 8 Episode 3, Upton couldn’t even bring herself to visit her father after he suffered a heart attack.
The truth is, she’s been running from her past for her whole life, but the trauma has finally caught up with her and it’s significantly affecting every aspect of her life including her career and her promising, new relationship.
And she’s beginning to realize that if she lets this bruised part of herself continue to get in the way, it could jeopardize everything she’s ever cared about.
The case was solid with or without an anchor to Upton’s personal life as the outcome wasn’t obvious. Also, how gruesome was that scene of the mother with her teeth pulled out and her fingertips burnt off?
Upton responded to a call that involved a young child who has endured a lifetime of emotional and physical abuse.
She immediately felt drawn to the little girl, Becca, as she saw herself in her pained yet hopeful face.
And Upton went to great lengths to help her. On one hand, her determination played a key role in solving the case, but on the other hand, it was dangerous because she was willing to break the rules and go against Voight’s orders.
Since she was fueled by emotion, she wasn’t thinking clearly, which made it easy for her to misstep and cross a line.
Throughout the episode, I wanted to shake Upton and tell her to snap out of it, but she was so focused. It almost felt like she thought she could save herself by saving Becca.
Coming from a dysfunctional family gives Upton good instincts. Her personal involvement in the case is largely the reason Intelligence found Becca in time.
However, it also forced her to reassess her approach.
After her heart-to-heart with Voight, Upton realized that she couldn’t go on like this and pretend that her past wasn’t seeping into her present.
A childhood fueled by control, manipulation, betrayal, and abuse also made it hard for Upton to form a real connection with another person.
Even before she took on the case, Upton bolted right after Halstead said the L-word.
While it’s a huge moment in their relationship, for Upton, it was a trigger because she’s only ever known a dysfunctional level of love.
Whenever someone would say “I love you,” there was always a catch. So, when Halstead said it, she was waiting for the other foot to drop.
Instead of allowing herself to get hurt, she wanted to beat him to the punch and run the other way.
That’s why her eventual decision to open up to Halstead and be vulnerable and transparent about her fears and insecurities was a huge step.
I love that Halstead didn’t try to “fix” Upton; He simply listened to what she needed while promising to be patient and stay by her side.
I wasn’t completely sold on #TeamUpstead prior to this episode because I’m used to the relationships on this series crumbling for one reason or another, but I’m digging the direction that this is going in.
Not every relationship starts in the honeymoon phase, and it’s clear Halstead cares enough about her to support her and help her get to a good point.
Hopefully, the series continues with the storyline and doesn’t drop Upton’s emotional turmoil.
We don’t need a whole episode dedicated to her working through her issues, but it would be nice to see some continuity whenever #Upstead’s relationship gets future screen time.
We got to chat with Tracy Spiridakos, who plays Hailey Upton, about the game-changing episode!
Chicago PD Review – The Radical Truth (8×10)
Disco Bob made quite a mess for himself on Chicago PD Season 8 Episode 10.
The Ruzek-focused episode was a nice welcome back following a brief hiatus. And it let our boy Patrick Flueger shine. But that’s not really surprising, is it?
Bob Ruzek’s 30-year career with the CPD has been a bit strained, as has his relationship with his son, Adam.
The two haven’t always seen eye-to-eye, but that’s the thing about parents and kids — there’s always a level of love there no matter what happens.
Here’s When Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, and Chicago PD Will Air Season Finales in 2021
It’s hard to believe that it’s almost finale time for the #OneChicago shows on NBC.
Due to production delays brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Chicago Med, Chicago PD, and Chicago Fire got off to a late start in mid-November (instead of the usual mid-September premiere), but that pandemic hasn’t made a huge impact on the quality of the episodes.
However, with shorter seasons on tap, the schedule has been pretty wonky and consisted of several breaks in between, so we don’t blame you if you’re having trouble keeping up. That’s why we’re here to clue you in.
New episodes of the trio of shows return on March 31, 2021.
As for the finales, NBC hasn’t announced any official finale dates.
However, according to TVLine, the current seasons will wrap up on Wednesday, May 26, 2021, which would align with their pre-COVID finales even if the episode count is a bit shorter than in the year’s prior.
Once NBC confirms to official finale date, we’ll update this post, but at least you can find comfort in knowing that we still have a solid several weeks with Chicago’s bravest and boldest!
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