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'Chicago P.D.': Life on the bottom rung

| Season 1 | Ep. 7 | “The Price We Pay” | Aired Mar 5, 2014

This hour of Chicago P.D. picks up exactly where the last left off, with Justin Voight standing blood-covered in Lindsay’s living room. Except now he appears to be second-guessing his decision to go there at all. Who could blame him? He’s an ex-con and Lindsay’s a cop. Despite their emotional ties and sibling-like relationship, when you’re in as deep as Justin, everything gets all tangled up in your head.

“The Price We Pay” is all about entanglements. Justin’s involvement with a local murder serves as the catalyst to discover a lot more about the Intelligence Division and more specifically Sgt.Hank Voight, Antonio Dawson and the Internal Affairs handler, Erica Gradishar (Robin Weigert), who placed Voight in charge.

Within the first ten minutes a curtain of information cascades down around Voight as he receives a case from Gradishar that involves a known felon recently released from prison. The man, Catalano, is known to Voight because he’s not only a bad dude, but a bad dude who kept Justin’s head above water when he was in the joint. When Voight questions him about the murder with which Gradishar believes he might be connected, he learns something terrifying.

Sure, Catalano might have killed the guy, but Justin was driving the car. Voight knows Lindsay and her partner Halstead have found video from the scene and they’re going to get a photo of the driver.

Voight’s first hope is to throw Gradishar off the scent by telling her nothing is found that points to Catalano’s involvement, and therefore there are no big fish to fry. That’s all she cares about, after all – the big fish. Her senses tingle and she calls in Dawson – she wants intel against Voight.

Gradishar’s motives have never been completely clear. She has an obvious disdain for Voight and although she knows he can deliver what she needs, she’s also trying to find a way to put him behind bars again. She’s not above cheap tricks and her plan is to use Dawson to usurp the case and get some dirt on Voight in the process. She spills the beans about Voight’s informant status to IA, lumps in Lindsay’s former status as his criminal informant and snarls, “He’s building an army, choose a side.”

Life would be a lot easier if events rolled out in a series of black and white images, with every scene crisply defined and delineated. Not only would the jobs of cops be a lot easier, but the court system could probably be eradicated. Someone either did it or they didn’t – not a lot of room to argue those clear cases.

In real life and in portrayals of reel life as depicted on television (who knew they weren’t the same thing?!) cases are cast in shades of gray. It’s within these shades of gray that police, the courts and regular ole humans tend to operate, landing them in situations with the police and courts in first place.

Internal Affairs is supposed to be some sort of governing body that places itself high above all of the little people to keep them in check – are the police doing what they’re supposed to without stretching the letter of the law to suit their needs?

Chicago P.D. relies on its connection with Internal Affairs playing an important role in everything the CPD does because they’re responsible for getting Voight out of prison and back on the streets to protect Chicago. There’s no denying Voight’s passion for his city, but even with IA breathing down his neck, he has little to no regard for his own future.

Voight’s main focus here is to clear his son without sending himself back to prison. With Dawson running the case, it becomes increasingly more difficult for Voight to imagine a perfect ending, and he starts taking chances, such as letting Catalano get away when he clearly had him made.

When Lindsay catches up with Justin again she has all of the evidence against him. His account of the events is chilling – watching the body drop straight down like somebody flipped a switch. The deceased reached out to Justin for help but he just stood there. Justin asks Lindsay to help him run but she tells him they’re going to help each other.

Voight just about has an aneurism when he realizes Justin is in the interrogation room, but he needs to learn to trust his partners. Dawson tells Voight he has a problem with Internal Affairs. As far as Dawson’s concerned he’s done with the case. He never saw the photo connecting Justin to the case and never heard him say he was on the scene. He’s moving onto the next Intelligence file.

Voight isn’t taking any more chances with Justin. He drops him off in front of an Army recruitment center. If prison didn’t do the trick, maybe four years in the armed forces will instill some discipline into his son. If the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, however, Voight may be fighting an uphill battle.

The deal with Dawson seems a little too easy. After all, there isn’t a warm, fuzzy connection between him and Voight. Dawson realizes, however, that the mark was on Catalano, not Justin. He can’t let IA get their hands on Justin.

Dawson pays Gradishar a visit. “You made me look like a fool!” she squeals at him, angry that he failed to secure a case against Voight. “You don’t remember me, do you?” he sneers at her. Through her pinched eyes and lips she can barely see let alone answer him, but she’s wondering where he’s going with this.

Years earlier she used Dawson’s partner as the bottom rung on her climb to the top and his suicide a year later secured her a place on his naughty list. He basically tells her she can shove her deals and her case against Voight where the sun doesn’t shine, “You don’t know. You don’t know what we do, or what we sacrifice or the price we pay for this – for the job. And you’ll never know.”

Dawson’s decision to side with Voight is smudged with gray when Catalano’s body is picked up in the river. Did Voight kill to protect Justin or did someone else get to him first? Does it matter? To Dawson it does. and that’s likely to keep him on his toes and in touch with Gradishar no matter how much he dislikes her or how she got to the top.

Are you glad the drama with Voight’s son is over? Do you think Dawson’s words will have any impact on how Gradashaw works with him going forward? Hit the comments!


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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