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 Review – Ruzek Witnesses a Kidnapping (7×19)
Intelligence brought their A-game on Chicago PD Season 7 Episode 19 as a twisted case left audiences questioning which father was the good father.
Both Wade and Gary were trying to find their children, and initially, it was difficult to see which father was doing the right thing.
From the outside looking in, Gary’s situation did not look good since he orchestrated a kidnapping to find his son, Dylan, and held Charlotte at gunpoint.
When he initially reached out for help, the cops immediately wrote him off because his son had a history of drug abuse and mental health issues.
It’s the same argument that Wade tried to make to discredit Dylan. He called him a “troubled kid” who was making up stories and even said that Gary was trying to blackmail and shake him down.
Also, let me point out that PD’s portrayal of the detective that presided over Gary’s missing person’s report was your classic slimebag in some knock off ’80s looking detective suit.
It was hilarious in contrast to Atwater and Rojas, two detectives who understand the plight of the underprivileged and less fortunate.
It’s the very reason why they didn’t immediately believe Wade was a saint simply because he had money and looked presentable.
The first warning sign about Wade was that he said he was living a good and “honest” life while still being considered the “richest man in Chicago.”
Intelligence has been in this business long enough to know that when you see a man who owns a furniture store and lives in a mansion, you should be a little skeptical.
There were a few likely scenarios that I thought would come into play like Wade being involved in some shady criminal activity or owing someone money.
Turns out, he was involved in something shady, but it wasn’t the kind of shady I imagined.
While Wade seemed like a worried and concerned father at first, the man lost all credibility when he lied to Voight about not knowing that his daughter was missing.
From that point on, Wade’s lies simply kept adding up until Voight had absolutely no reason to trust anything he said.
And for good reason. Wade’s main goal wasn’t to find his daughter or to save her, it was to protect himself and his secret. It’s exactly why he entrusted his own security guard to find Charlotte rather than getting the cops involved.
He knew if he called the cops, they would find out the truth.
It was shocking to see how many lies Wade would spin when the truth was already out there: he killed a man so that he wouldn’t be outed to his family.
You know it’s bad when the cops trust the kidnapper over you.
Wade was a disgrace of a man and father. He was going to allow someone to shoot his daughter so that he could keep his secret.
I can understand wanting to protect your family from the truth, but Wade’s secret was out already, there was no turning back, and simply telling the truth could have saved his daughter and ended this mess, and yet, he still couldn’t own up to it.
I kept thinking that the plot would take another twist and that Wade wouldn’t be responsible for Dylan’s murder, but sadly, that never happened.
Chicago PD Review – Rojas and Upton Get In Trouble with Voight (7×18)
We finally got an Upton and Rojas team up on Chicago PD Season 7 Episode 18, but it wasn’t what any of us were expecting.
Both ladies tried to take matters into their own hands and ended up on Voight’s bad side, which, if you remember from my review of Chicago PD Season 7 Episode 17, is not a pleasant side.
While Rojas had a few anxiety-inducing missteps this episode, which largely stemmed from a loved one being involved in a major case, much of Voight’s anger was directed at Upton.
And she deserved it.
I don’t know what got into her, but where was the Upton who always keeps Halstead in check?
Instead, she got personally involved in the case because she wanted to help Rojas and made an extreme decision that triggered Voight. (Fans were probably pleased to see that he’s still got it!)
Voight was upset for a few reasons. For starters, because Upton was a superior who should have known better.
And unlike Rojas, who immediately acknowledged that what she did was wrong and apologized, Upton never felt bad about it.
She naively assumed she had the same authority as Voight.
Her judgment was clouded by her desire to put Gael away and get Reyes the deal, so she did what she had to do and planted fake evidence without showing any remorse.
While Gael deserved what was coming, it wasn’t Upton’s place to plant evidence merely to get justice. That sets a dangerous precedent.
Cops need to be held to a standard and uphold a moral code. If Upton is so comfortable crossing this line because it benefits her and a friend, will she be able to see the line the next time around?
If she had done it with Voight’s permission, it would have been a slightly different story since Voight would have taken the rap. Plus, he’s in a position to make such calls, but she specifically went behind his back and made the decision herself without even looping him in.
Then, instead of owning up to it, she explained that she thought it was what “he would have done” knowing damn well she kept it a secret because Voight wouldn’t have allowed such behavior.
Voight has never wanted his unit to go down the same path he has, and I love that he didn’t think twice about showing her tough love.
It shows that there are some rules he won’t break, but also, that he cares enough about Upton to intervene.
Now, I don’t watch Law & Order: SVU, but it would be really great if she actually got to guest-starred on an episode since he volunteered her to the New York team. Does anyone know if that’s happening?
Since Rojas was personally involved in the case, it made us automatically more invested in the plot because the stakes were higher.
Chicago PD Review – Voight’s Plan Gets Foiled by Staples & He’s Not Happy (7×17)
You do not, I repeat, do not want to upset Hank Voight. Ever.
But that’s exactly what Paul Staples from homicide did on Chicago PD Season 7 Episode 17.
Staples didn’t give off the impression that he was a newbie, but what established professional (in homicide, of all things) has no knowledge of Voight, the power he wields in this city, or how he gets things done?
Voight knows everyone, and everyone knows Voight.
Staples’ actions made him look green and unprofessional and gave him zero credibility from the get-go.
Frank Rochester, Voight’s good friend and CI during the episode, said that the cause of death was male ego. He was referring to himself with that statement and how he triggered Lamar, but it perfectly summarized Staples’ actions.
Staples came onto the scene thinking he could call the shots. He proved that when he grabbed Voight’s arm and said: “who do you think you are.”
That was mistake number one. We all knew it was over for him. Staples, who do you think you are?
He didn’t just make a bad impression on Voight and his team, but he was also in it for the wrong reasons.
He was motivated by personal reasons as he explained one of his CI’s was killed in the part of town where the shooting took place, and this was his way of getting revenge.
But his biggest flub was that he disrespected and undermined Voight’s authority by blowing the cover.
Voight has dealt with some straight-up buffoons in his long career, but Staples was quite frankly the most irritating.
I think I speak for the #OneChicago fandom when I say he had it coming. I even read some tweets that said “punch him again,” and I can’t argue with that.
The punch Voight threw was so well deserved especially after Staples tried to justify his actions and dared to say that the only thing that mattered was that they made the arrest.
I don’t know where this dude got his training, but the arrest is not the end all be all, at least, not in Voight’s unit; it’s only a teeny, tiny, small chunk of it.
Voight has a responsibility to his CI and whoever is undercover, which in this case was Atwater.
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