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'Chicago P.D.' recap: It takes two

Season 1 | Ep. 106 | Aired Feb. 26, 2014

“Conventions” was touted as the case so big it took two teams to solve it. Guess what! It really wasn’t that big. The Law and Order: SVU visitors didn’t bring anything to the Chicago PD that they couldn’t have delivered over the phone.

The case of the week is, as they all are, disturbing and worthy of examination. Serial rapists and killers are disgusting, and for a 16-year-old girl to suffer such an indignity and live through it is both a blessing and a curse.

The victim has a good support system and the determination despite everything to see her assailant put away. She figures out how to fend him off and in doing so leaves a mark. Good girl!

Because the crime is a crossover event (Say what? It’s when more than one series’ characters are included on any one episode of television.), the case is solved quickly. While manning the phones, something Sergeant Platt (Amy Morton) tries to ruin as she does most things, Officer Kim Burgess (Marina Squerciati) realizes something about the assailant and her initiative lands the team their best lead.

There isn’t just one man taking down the victims, but a two-man team. Detective Amanda Rollins (Kelli Giddish) explains how these partnerships usually work – a dominant and a submissive working together. One pulls the strings while the other does the dirty work.

It’s difficult from the outside to imagine what the string-puller would get out of the equation, but it’s probably a good thing to acknowledge the inability to understand a sadistic, criminal mind, right? It’s not something I’d relish crawling into or getting to know up and personal.

The string-puller in this case is someone they already had in custody, but let go when they learned about the injury. The second time in custody, Sergeant Hank Voight (Jason Beghe) uses his “special skills” to make sure he doesn’t get away so easily.

For this case his special skills manifest as he threatens (and cuts into) the assailant’s ear just as he or his partner has done to numerous victims. The caged bird sings like a canary!

The line Voight walks is dangerously thin, but he gets results. Would I want to be on the receiving end if I were innocent? NO. Would I want him crossing the line if I were a victim? That’s not really a question, is it? This season Detective Alvin Olinsky (Elias Koteas) has been trying to teach Officer Kyle Ruzek (Patrick John Flueger) to think before he acts, and when he has a chance to go in guns blazing it appears Ruzek has been listening. With a line of communication open he talks out loud, skillfully giving clues to his teammates so they can position themselves to take down the second man. His partner shoots and him without harming his hostage. The team is starting to gel.

Because of the nature of “Conventions,” a lot of the personal interaction between characters is downplayed to make room for the crossover visitors. One of the exceptions is Detective Erin Lindsay’s (Sophia Bush) discovery of an impending high school reunion.

Erin is caught like a deer in the headlights when she comes face-to-face with a mean girl from her school days. As the girl talks down to her, you can see the wheels spinning inside Erin’s head. She decides to use her partner, Detective Jay Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer), as her beard and attend the reunion.

She informs him that he is not only going with her, but that they’re engaged. He also bought early into Facebook making him very wealthy. “Well how about I get a perm and hoodie and you can just tell everybody I’m Mark Zuckerberg?” he asks, incredulously. The details sell it, after all.

They get dressed up but never make it to the door. Erin realizes she doesn’t want to revisit the mean girls. Perhaps she’s thinking about Rollin’s advice: “Payback is the biggest bitch when it consumes you.”

Bringing in the SVU team is helpful since there isn’t a female mentor for Lindsay to talk with or bounce ideas off of – something she’s been missing for most of her life.

Erin decides to share with Jay her history with Voight; how she was a street kid and he saved her when her parents weren’t around. Voight has warned Jay away from Erin before, but Jay doesn’t know it’s because he’s worried she’ll rip his heart out.

The conversation further connects Erin and Jay, but they decide to save what might be for “someday.” It’s a good decision. There’s no rush to bring these two together, because watching them fight against their natural pull leaves us wanting more and sparks are always more exciting than waiting for something to end. The earlier people get together on television, the sooner we expect them to fall apart. Let’s not go there with these two just yet.

It’s relationships like this that ground Chicago P.D. and take it beyond the average procedural. A crossover episode takes away from the core of the series to focus on the grander scheme and the network on which the show is broadcast. If it ultimately brings in new viewers, that’s a good thing, but only if the new eyes grasp that these scenes are the ones that will bring them back.

The rest of the crowd celebrates with a drink at Molly’s (giving the episode a three-series tie-in!), and Burgess is included. As they keep telling her, she’s going to go far. Someday maybe she will, after she’s done putting up with Platt’s constant and unnecessary ribbing.

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Platt’s the one character who could be written off without changing the tone of the series. She’s like Sue Sylvester on Glee, but without any humor. If she was intended as comic relief, it is a miserable failure.

Voight continues to unsuccessfully reach out to his son, Justin, and trusts that Lindsay will keep an eye on him. Unfortunately, Justin learned little from a term in prison, and even less from being raised by a cop (and being surrounded by them).

When Justin tells his dad he loves him, Voight isn’t the only one to hear alarm bells ringing. At the end of the hour, Justin shows up at Erin’s door, his hands covered in blood. He says he didn’t want to do it, but he had to.

Considering his confession of love for his father as the day began, it sadly seems to be one more in a string of lies he’s told. Anything you know in advance isn’t a “had to” but a “want to” because with forethought there is choice.

What are your thoughts on crossover episodes? Do you think they add to the story or take away from the dynamics of the characters you’ve tuned in to watch?

Don’t be afraid to talk about your opinion regarding Justin’s criminal behavior or your view on whether Erin and Jay should just push the door open and go for it and stop waiting for “someday.”

Let’s get to know each other through Chicago P.D.!

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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