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Chicago P.D. season 3 premiere recap: Life Is Fluid

The show knew it couldn’t survive long without Erin Lindsay.

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Matt Dinerstein/NBC

[This post contains details from the Chicago P.D. episode that aired Sept. 30]

Much like Chicago’s Intelligence Unit, Chicago P.D. — the show — knew it couldn’t survive long without Erin Lindsay. And as intriguing as her dark side is, her downward spiral couldn’t last forever. And though it maybe could’ve lasted for another episode or two, you can’t hate a show for getting its best player back in the starting line-up. (And because this show knows what makes good drama, it didn’t just get Erin back in the game. It got her back in the game in the bloodiest way yet.)

Chicago P.D.‘s season 3 premiere focused on the takedown of Derek Keyes, a big player in the city’s drug game. Apparently, he’s No. 1 on Chicago’s most-wanted list, which makes everyone, well, want him. But when Halstead goes undercover and tries to cut a deal with Keyes, things go horribly wrong. Mainly, Keyes kills his own brother and then kidnaps and tortures Halstead. So yeah, horribly wrong.

Meanwhile, Erin is living a life full of late nights at the club and early mornings with Bunny at the apartment, because nothing says motherhood like buying drugs to keep your daughter strung out. But when Halstead is taken, Olinsky know that he has to do what Voight won’t. Olinsky calls Erin.

Coincidentally, Keyes has decided that he wants all of Intelligence’s C.I. — confidential informant — files in exchange for Halstead. And he’d like the files to be delivered by a lone female. (Lucky, right?)

Just in time, Erin shows up and volunteers to be said lone female, and despite Voight’s opposition, he quickly realizes that she’s the woman for the job. Long story short, things get messy. After Keyes discovers that the files Erin has are fake, she’s forced to take down one of Keyes’ guys with nothing but a small ceramic knife and then follow that up by shooting Keyes repeatedly.

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Covered in blood, Erin comes out the victor. But the real victor, of course, is the Intelligence Unit and, more broadly, the show itself. This show thrives on relationships, and Erin is a key player in many of the show’s most important ones, not to mention that she’s arguably the most intriguing character.

By hour’s end, she’d decided to come back to Intelligence  — again, a little rushed but mostly appreciated — but Voight has conditions: She has to bid farewell to her mother for good, move in with Voight, and undergo weekly drug tests. (In other words, I can’t imagine her romantic life will be thriving anytime soon.)

As for the other players, the show introduced a handful of new mysteries: There’s Voight’s mysterious prison partner, Burgess and Ruzek’s lack of a wedding date, Olinsky’s secret daughter, and Roman’s backpack, which apparently houses a syringe?

All in all, it was an hour filled with high-stakes drama, a notable performance from Sophia Bush, and best of all, a blood-covered Erin, back on the job. That’s one way to kick off a season.

Chicago P.D. airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on NBC.