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'Chicago P.D.' finale recap: Another one bites the dust

Season 1 | Episode 15 | “A Beautiful Friendship” | Aired May 21, 2014

What did we learn during season 1 of Chicago P.D.? Working in the Intelligence Unit is thrilling and intoxicating; it’s damning to your romantic partnerships, has relatively high attrition, requires an incredible amount of trust on every level and results in a high fatality rate. The series started with the death of someone in the unit and ended in the same way. The first death was at the hands of one of El Pulpo’s thugs. The last appears to have been an inside job.

There was a lot going on in “A Beautiful Friendship.” It included a Atwater’s first day in Intelligence, Lindsay’s past catching up with her, the apparent end of Dawson’s marriage, Burgess and Ruzek going the distance, Voight paying off Stillwell, and the reveal and subsequent death of resident I.T. expert and department rat Sheldon Jin.

Where to start, where to start?!

CPDFinale2Dawson’s first day back on the job after being shot gets him a temporary desk assignment, but it’s something his wife wants permanently — that or moving to a small town to “Barney Fife” it. He spends the day dodging her calls, and when he arrives home, he discovers that she’s made the decision on her own. He’s in a quiet house devoid of love and laughter. It no longer holds the family he wants, but is equipped with the dreaded note left on the kitchen table.

Lindsay kind of forgets that everyone in Intelligence has her back because she attempts to go up against Charlie on her own. When Lindsay was 16, Charlie was 25. He kept the electricity on and food on the table. He also kept quiet about her best friend, Annie, murdering an abusive dude, as well as Lindsay’s subsequent assistance in dumping the body. In my nightmares, I am responsible for someone’s death and the past comes back to bite me in the butt, so it makes complete sense to me why Lindsay ended up a cop — especially working with someone with as many grey areas as Voight. Constantly looking over her shoulder could only be mitigated by knowing she has the most loyal friend and mentor looking out for her.

Yet for a little while, Lindsay tries to handle Charlie on her own. When Halstead uses a criminal informant (CI) that leads him to Charlie in conjunction with a massive theft of explosive materials, he realizes Lindsay is in something big. Her past crashing with her present and her acceptance that she doesn’t have the control she thought she had over the situation leads her to Voight. Of course, he has her back. When they get Charlie in custody, Lindsay wants to give him one more chance. She is Charlie’s soft spot. He doesn’t want her to be sent away for murder, and when she says she’ll take the rap for what Annie did, he spills. He’ll go away for a year, then can come out and start fresh. It doesn’t seem Voight will stand in his way this time.

Atwater’s first day on the job didn’t go as he anticipated. Olinsky asked about Burgess, considering she was the one who deserved the job. It surprised me that Atwater seemed either unaware or unconcerned about his former partner. Rise up and forget those who helped you get there. He learned right quick that you don’t call your own shots in Intelligence. Olinsky spent his time riding Ruzek. Ruzek is no longer green, so Atwater can be saddled with Olinsky for a while. Atwater spent some time acting cool while others held him up. He does have contacts on the street that should come in handy, so I expect he’ll make up for what he didn’t earn as time creeps on.

CPDFinale1Burgess’ new partner was asleep at the wheel — quite literally. Assigned to an older beat cop who doesn’t share her fire for the job, but not letting the pass from Intelligence or the deadbeat cop get to her, Burgess earns an extra dose of respect from Platt, who was testing her. We need at least one familiar face to continue receiving Platt’s support (and razzing), so it’s difficult to complain about Burgess staying in uniform. Marina Squerciati told us that Burgess would get either professional or personal satisfaction in the finale. She brushes off Ruzek in the lobby by telling him, “Yeah, well, thanks to you I get to keep provin’ myself as a uniform,” but we also learn Ruzek is getting furniture for his new apartment. He goes to her place to tell her she’s a great cop and he misses her. Burgess practically lunges at him and they end up in bed. Ahhhh — satisfaction!

Jin is still burning the candle at both ends, and eventually that means you’re on fire. Sadly, Jin was never a fully fleshed out character. His death wasn’t a surprise, nor will his character be missed. He was expendable. He essentially seals his fate when he gives information about Lindsay to Stillwell to save his own ass. Was his head really buried so far up there that he didn’t take the time to process how important Lindsay is to Voight? To make matters worse, we learned he was protecting his father over gambling debts. That’s not exactly the kind of thing that makes you turn on the Intelligence Unit. Pick your battles, son. I suppose he did, and he chose unwisely.

Over the last few episodes, they’ve made sure to remind us to what lengths Voight will go to protect his own. They’ve also taught us what he does when he takes care of dirty business — he gives his prey a Chicago necklace. Jin’s body being found in a vacant lot just after Voight paid Stillwell $5,000 stinks of a setup. Stillwell doesn’t have all the information about Voight’s past. What he thinks he knows doesn’t match up with the facts. I could be wrong, but I’m going to call it right now that Stillwell’s going to be ultimately responsible for Jin’s death in an attempt to frame Voight. He’s angry about losing Sumner, possibly about Voight sending her down (although we have no confirmation), and at Voight for getting to Jin.

CPDFinale3When Jin makes a call to his father telling him to pack up and prepare to get out of Dodge (or, in this case, Chicago), he also prepares an envelope with downloaded information. Where did that go? That’s going to be another important piece to the puzzle. I’m still not ruling out Voight, but I can’t get over the fact that, if faced with Stillwell’s wrath through punishment of his father or Voight taking his life, Jin would choose the former.

My predictions for Chicago P.D. season 2:

  • The season starts out with a full-on investigation into Jin’s murder.
  • Voight has the envelope from Jin.
  • Stillwell will be a bigger burden than he was this year in his attempt to capture Voight.
  • We’ll learn about Voight’s father and his motivations for being in Intelligence, and whether he has as many gray areas as we’ve been lead to believe.
  • Burgess will have a new partner who challenges her to grow in many ways, and Voight will question his decision to pass her over.
  • Lindsay and Halstead will continue to grow closer. Their relationship, and the benefits it brings to Intelligence, will cause Voight to reconsider allowing Burgess on the team, even if she and Ruzek are involved.
  • Two new additions to the precinct: Burgess’ partner and a new IT guru … perhaps a female (put in your job application, techies!).
  • Someone will lose their job, someone will lose their love and someone will lose their life (safe bets!).

Share your thoughts about who killed Jin, as well as your season 2 wishes and predictions.

Chicago P.D. airs on NBC.


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