It’s been a hot minute since we got a Kevin Atwater-focused episode, but it wasn’t surprising that he found himself torn and conflicted after being thrust into yet another black vs. blue debate.
Atwater has always known that when it comes to matters of black versus blue, there’s a bit of a gray area that doesn’t lean in his favor.
While I’ve been wanting the series to give Atwater the ability to explore different moral conflicts, at the same time, the episode was so powerful and relevant, that I can’t bring myself to complain.
It also sets up an interesting dynamic moving forward as it pins Atwater (with the backing of Intelligence) against high-ranking officials in the police force.
And it perfectly and necessarily highlights the corruption that goes on within an institution that should be (keyword) trusted by all citizens of different walks of life.
In my review of Chicago PD Season 6 Episode 13, I noted that whenever an episode focuses on Atwater, I find myself with this “pit-of-my-stomach anxiety that I can’t seem to shake,” and more than a year later, that still rings true.
As in previous episodes, LaRoyce Hawkins brought his best work to navigate a particularly layered and emotionally complex episode.
Atwater was forced to work alongside a troubling ally Tommy Doyle. You might remember him as the racist cop who previously pointed a gun at him when he was undercover, so we knew things were bound to get ugly. We just didn’t know how ugly.
Doyle went from being a street cop to a detective following his messy altercation with Atwater because clearly, Chicago rewards racist behavior.
Kenny assured Voight that the promotion was because Doyle was hard-working and didn’t have anything to do with the fact that he came from three generations of cops, but we know that’s not true.
His problematic behavior was excused and a blind eye was turned because of the people he knew.
Now, I’m not saying all of his friends and supporters are equally as racist as he is, but his father did make a rather questionable comment about Kevin’s “great Irish name,” so do with that what you will.
At first, Doyle and Atwater played nice. Doyle apologized for what happened in the past (which Atwater forgave but did not forget) and even jumped in to save Atwater’s life while undercover by standing in front of a gun.
Atwater is a good, professional cop who always puts aside his personal conflicts, so it wasn’t surprising that they swiftly took down the head of the illegal gun-trafficking ring.
Doyle figured the win called for a celebration and despite Atwater’s objections, the two went to grab “one beer.”
Man, I wish Atwater just went home to have the chill night that he had planned instead.
At first, I couldn’t figure out where the storyline was headed when Doyle began bringing up the past during their drive.
One thought was that Doyle simply putting on an act and would try to lash out at Atwater when they were alone.
Chicago PD Season Finale Review – You and Me (9×22)
Wow, that was an emotionally heartbreaking conclusion to a multi-episode arc on Chicago PD.
Anna gave it her all to bring down Escano and Los Temidos, but it wasn’t without casualties.
On the Chicago PD Season 9 finale, Anna got too muddled in the case and lost her way. And admittedly, Voight also lost control of the situation.
He didn’t want to admit it, but this is the first time that we’ve seen Voight slightly unhinged by a case. It was also the first time we’ve seen him so emotionally connected to a CI.
Upon realizing that they were burned, Voight extracted Anna, who began spiraling almost immediately at the thought of what comes next.
Voight tried to assure her that it wasn’t over and that he wouldn’t let anything happen to her, but Anna lost faith in herself and Voight a long time ago. She was convinced that without any evidence against Escano, she would end up like all of his men — dead.
The gutwrenching thing is that if Anna had just listened to Voight and trusted that he was good for it, she would’ve come out of this on the other side because everything that Voight promised came to fruition. If she stayed put, she would’ve been in witness protection for a short moment, she would’ve reconnected with Rafa, and she would’ve been able to see the fruits of her labor. She would have watched as the Chicago PD made the biggest drug bust in history all thanks to her.
She would have gotten her revenge, she would have gotten recognition, and she would have gotten a fresh start.
But sadly, none of that happened. From the moment they found Escano on the ground bleeding out at the bakery, it was a downward spiral.
Escano’s dying declaration was that Anna stabbed him.
Anna went off the rails, escaped the safe house, and killed the man she thought was going to kill her. She didn’t think that Voight would follow through, so in her mind, killing Escano was worth the risk because at least she would be safe.
Voight thought he could still salvage the case, and he went to great lengths to save Anna mostly because the guilt of bringing her into this was consuming him.
He never wanted it to go south, and when he’s in charge of cases, they usually don’t, so he was almost navigating new territory.
But he was willing to risk it all to make sure that she got out as promised.
I wanted to hate Anna for leaving behind such a mess, but the truth is, I understood her motivation and fear. The kill was, in a twisted sense, justified.
The ASA questioning is what really set Anna’s rogue plan into motion because it fed into her biggest fear — that they didn’t have anything on Escano.
They didn’t have any evidence of him committing any crimes, so there was nothing to move on. It wasn’t far-fetched to think that he would become a ghost and fade away into the background, and Anna worried that she’d constantly be looking over her shoulder after betraying him.
The fact that Voight lied to her also played a role because she didn’t feel like she could trust him. It’s hard to trust that a cop doesn’t have his own best interest at heart, and Anna couldn’t see that Voight wasn’t like the others.
She led him, Jay, and Hailey (“where you go, I go”) on a wild goose hunt that ultimately ended in a way too public situation.
Voight was all about doing things on the down-low, but Anna’s actions brought too much attention to everything. There was a time when Voight could have likely figure out an escape plan, but once she pointed the gun at him in the middle of the street, it was a lost cause.
At that point, Anna wasn’t in the right state of mind. She was spiraling because she killed a man, she was spiraling because she wanted to get away — it was a mix of fear and adrenaline all wrapped up in an explosive combo.
Voight tried to talk her down from a ledge, but the more he pressed, the more she pushed back until she finally pulled the trigger and shot him in the shoulder.
From there, it was all a whirlwind. Everything happened so fast that I had to rewind and rewatch a few times.
Of course, Hailey and Jay both took a shot at Anna when they saw her shoot Voight because a shot at the police is a shot at the police, it doesn’t matter what relationship you have.
But even then, Voight remained by her side because he knew he dragged her to the depths of hell partly for selfish reasons.
Anna’s actions weren’t indicative of her personality, they were a byproduct of the situation she was placed in. I can’t say she was forced into the situation because she willingly volunteered her efforts throughout the investigation — and while Voight did push her a few times when she said she wanted out, it’s because they invested too much time building up the trust.
The moment she took the shot, you could tell she regretted it. Her final words were an apology to Voight; It seemed as though she regained a form of lucidity after being shot and realized that she contributed heavily to the deteriorating situation.
Unfortunately, Anna didn’t survive the two gunshot wounds to the chest. She died at the hospital with Voight by her side. It was a truly emotional moment, especially when you consider the guilt that he’ll carry with him and the fact that she didn’t get to see Rafa one last time. But mostly, it was tragic because it didn’t have to be this way.
As doctors were trying to revive her as she coded, their “clear’s” paralleled the “clear’s” echoing from the unit as they searched the stash house.
And it was a gold mine as they unearthed so many drugs all linked to some of the biggest drug dealers in the city.
It’s a shame Anna never got to see this moment come to life, but she can rest easy knowing that she helped Chicago clean up its streets. No other young woman or man is ever going to fall victim to Escano’s evil ways.
My only wish is that we found out how Escano caught onto Anna. Was he the one who ordered her rape and was able to identify her?
The fact that moments prior to his death he blew up a truck full of drugs would have allowed Voight to easily pin this on a rival gang. Ugh, I’m just so sad Anna didn’t reach the finish end!
It was refreshing to see Jay finally in Voight’s corner. Halstead has his moments. He’s a pretty straight and narrow kind of guy, but even he couldn’t deny that Anna didn’t deserve to pay the price for what occurred.
I do, however, like that he reminds Voight that he needs to button up the situation. Voight sort of had rose-colored glasses on as he assumed his will to help Anna would be enough, but Halstead came at it more pragmatically. He wanted to find an actual solution that would stick and keep everyone safe — Anna and the team.
Upton rode my last nerve because she just couldn’t get off her damn high horse. Why is she so infuriating? It’s understandable that she wouldn’t want to go down this road again, but the judgment was so sickening. Covering up a murder was fine when it was a case that she felt passionate about, but because she didn’t really care for Anna, she wanted to hold some moral high ground.
Wanting to stay on the right path is admirable, but you can’t be a hypocrite about it. Instead of preaching about it, it would’ve been helpful if she gave some kind of solution instead. She could’ve shown some remorse or some desire to help Anna out of the mess.
I don’t have to remind her that where there’s a will, there’s a way, even if it doesn’t seem obvious at first. And I love that Halstead hit back by reminding her that they went the extra mile for her when she needed it.
The thing with Voight is that he doesn’t just go astray or cover up crimes for anyone — when he does it, it’s understandable because he knows that the system is rigged and often favors the person that should be paying the ultimate price.
Sometimes, you just have to return the favor, Hailey.
This job has never been black or white, and she’s naive to think that eliminating the gray spaces is possible. She came around in the end, but honestly, it was too late at that point. I know this sounds mean, but maybe she should’ve just taken some time following the explosion to recover.
I love Ruzek, Bugress, and Atwater. They remain unproblematic. When Voight says to keep it off the books, they’re all like “weird, but okay.” They didn’t question — they just followed orders and delivered the Los Temidos gang on a silver platter. That’s not always the case with them, but they definitely get a gold star this time around.
Voight was also a beast when he convinced Chapman — sorry, forced — to give pull strings and get him arrest warrants.
He knew that he could deliver the cartel to Chapman, and if she agreed to help, he would credit her with the bust and build up her career.
Chapman made the right choice in the end because wow, you do not want to get on Voight’s bad side. He knows the moves to destroy a career just as quickly.
A special shout-out goes out to whoever managed to get everyone on board with a shirtless Voight. It was a bold choice considering it wasn’t exactly a “thirst trap” friendly moment, but I’m petitioning for more opportunities like this one.
And lastly, props to Carmela Zumbado on her performance! Her character was such a riveting addition to the season, so it was a shame to see her go out like that!
What did you think of the finale? Was a part of you hoping that Anna would somehow turn her whole life around and go from CI to murderer to detective? Did you think Voight pushed too hard to save Anna or was it justified? Do you think Voight is too corrupt for the gig or does he have integrity by helping those who have helped him?
Share your thoughts in the comments — and we’ll see you for new episodes in the fall!
Chicago PD Review – House of Cards (9×21)
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.
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!
Chicago PD Review – Pink Dust (9×20)
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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