“It’s beautiful… even when it isn’t.”
The porn-ring story continues back in Chicago, where it originally started. We pick up right where we left off during SVU–with the intelligence unit investigating the scene at the hospital where Andrew Lewella was shot along with a Chicago police office and Rozek’s friend from the academy. Lewella was killed in cold blood in his hospital bed by an unidentified shooter. Surveillance footage doesn’t provide much to go off by but that’s no problem for these guys. They’ve succeeded with much less.. at least they have a picture and thankfully, Roman notices a little detail about the man that will definitely help them– his ear is disfigured.
The case is especially difficult because everyone involved will do anything not to be exposed… that means theres a huge death rate as witnesses and suspects drop like flies. Rollins and Amarro from New York’s SVU department arrive to help solve the case. So far, we’ve figured out that the victims were taken from youth centers in New York and some even flown from Chicago to New York. Clinton, a man involved who didn’t even make it 24-hours in prison before getting killed, said there was someone higher up running the show. Lewella was the man responsible for financing the child pornography. It’s all so very disturbing. Looking at Lewella’s payments, Rozek notices there’s one payment about 5k a month that goes to some nursing facility in Oak Brook. It’s suspicious because he didn’t have any family.
Rozek and Amarro visit the nursing home and are guided towards Mrs. Hughes, one of the residents. She has no idea who Lewella is, or that he’s been making her payments which she thought her daughter, Matilda, was responsible for. They track down Matilda, who works at the Department of Health and Children Services. Except things don’t look good as she hasn’t been heard from in about 3-days. They pay her a little house call and find her dead in her own pool of blood. Seriously, whoever the monster running this show is, is ruthless. Turns out, Lewella has been paying her mothers bills for 15-years… as long as the child porn-ring has been around. Suspicion arises that she’s been sending kids from DCFS to New York… and that’s so disturbing. You can’t even trust someone in the system whose supposed to help.
Atwater and Antonio visit Matilda’s boss, who admits he had no idea about her possible involvement with child-porn. He’s torn up finding out that she died. He informs them that the only person he knew she had contact with was some man named Gary Miller, who she was in an abusive on-and-off relationship. Maybe he was the shooter they were looking for? Can we believe him? My gut says no.
Back at the precinct, the gang is going through files when Erin stumbles upon her brothers file.. She never knew he was in the system nor did she know he was assigned to a foster family for 2-months. The file shows that the Widing’s currently have two foster children 9-year-old Amy and 13-year-old Chris. She and Rollins pay the family a little visit, hoping to get some answers. Sam Widing opens the door and tells them to wait so he can put the dog away. In that moment, Rollins gets a call notifying her that Jill, Sam’s wife has been dead for awhile, yet she’s still listed as a foster parent on the file. Obviously, suspicious. They enter the house and find Sam upstairs with a gun in his hand, repeating “I’m sick” over and over again. They try to talk him down and let him know he can get some help as long as he tells them where Amy and Chris are, but it doesn’t work. Sam blows his brains out. Another dead and gruesome end.
So, now we know a DCFS employee was responsible for funneling kids to foster parent Sam Widing. With financial help from Lewella they were able to send the kids to New York where Clinton took photos and committed the abuse. Now, the unit and SVU is looking for the unknown shooter and two missing foster children. Roman and Burgess have been busy visiting different MMA fighting rings and they finally get an ID on the shooter– Todd Ledbetter. He’s got an active warrant out for his arrest and he’s also a registered sex offender. A witness leads them to a house he was last seen entering. As they close in, Ledbetter escapes through the roof, jumping and scaling buildings pakour style. Halstead pursues him on foot, getting in quite the cardio workout. He fights him for a little, but isn’t strong enough. Eventually, Ledbetter tries hopping from building to building, doesn’t make it and falls to his death. Well deserved, but there goes yet another lead.
The rest of the unit bursts into the house and finds the little girl Amy, tied up to a chair. It’s heartwarming to see the girl find comfort in Lindsay’s arms. She’s really one of those cops that you can just tell wants to help you and is so affected by the bad shit happening. Amy informs them that the big, mean man took her brother Chris from the house. Back at the station, Lindsay tells Voight that she want’s Amy to come with her until she finds someone she can trust to adopt her. She isn’t putting her back into the system… especially not since she’s a witness and their still working to find the people responsible. This apparently goes against rules, but Voight understands and asks Platt for the favor, to which she agrees.
Detective Fisher is waiting for Voight back at his office. He’s pissed off because he found out through word-of-mouth that one of the detectives on the case was connected to the victim. He gives him a day to solve the case or he’s handing it over. Voight asks Benson to get on the next flight– despite their tiff, he needs her help. They definitely have a thing for each other. It’s good she works in the NY office cause you know how Voight feels about co-workers dating. Big no, no!
Lindsay’s mom finally locates Teddy and she convinces him to help, one last time. Their so close to nailing the case, but they just cant figure out who the “ring-leader” is. She brings him to the office where he notices something on the board. “That’s him,” he exclaims pointing at a picture on the wall. Intelligence goes to arrest… dun-dun-dun….. Matilda’s boss at DCFS! You know, the man who said he didn’t know anything and led them to some dude named Gary that never existed. One thing I’ve learned from watching these cop shows is that the suspect is always someone you’ve already questioned whose an exceptionally good liar. What a scum. They bring him into Voight’s torture chamber because dude does not want to admit his involvement. After a couple of good punches, Benson comes down and asks Voight not to handle the case like he usually does. If word gets out, all of her other cases back in NY will get compromised. He gives her 5-minutes to handle it her own way.. before he beats the shit out of him to get some answers. She talks to the man that’s still in there- the guy that can be redeemed, he can turn his life around despite all the bad he’s done and “still feel the sun” on his face in jail. All he has to do is tell them where Chris is. He does. See Voight, sometimes talking works better than violence. They find the second house and locate Chris inside a locked room in the dungeon. He’s terrified and shaking, but he’s safe. Lindsey is personally affected because she obviously has the biggest heart and sees her little brother in the kid.
The deceased officers wife and daughter are picking up their fathers things from the station. As they exit, their surrounded by a beautiful salute of officers who gathered outside to honor the fallen officer. Platt dropped her sarcastic attitude for the week, clearly very affected by the man’s death. I think she felt a little responsible as she’s the one who sent him on duty that day after he requested some over time to help pay for his daughters tuition. The saddest thing in the world is to see good people get killed by evil people, capable of hurting even the youngest of humans. The whole scene is so emotional and brought tears to my eyes. Sometimes, we really do take for granted the work police do for us…. at least the good police, cause there’s always a bad seed in the good bunch. Thankfully, we can honor our heroes this way.
Lindsay meets up with Amy, whose been spending the day with Nadia, and informs her that she found her a really nice family, that she trusts. They want to adopt both her and her brother Chris and their super excited to meet them. And, Lindsay is coming for dinner because she wants to meet the family and see Amy’s new room. I love Lindsay. There’s something so genuinely warm and caring about her. Despite her tragic upbringing and brief involvement with drugs, she’s really turned her life around and wants to help the world. She was once saved by Voight… he gave her another chance.. a new life. Now, she’s giving back and doing the same. First for Nadia and now for Amy and Chris.
That’s a wrap for the major crossover week! Definitely one of the best crossover events I’ve ever seen. There was so much thrill, mystery and anxiety. Dick Wolf sure knows what he’s doing and he sure knows how to tell stories! Next weeks episode involves Antonio in a murder mystery surrounding his boss from the side job. Is the wife responsible? Did he get too involved in the gambling? Check out the preview below.
Chicago PD Season Finale Review – Kevin Atwater Faces a Troubling Ally From His Past (7×20)
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.
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