This week’s Chicago series dug deep into some touchy territories, once again proving this show bubble is unafraid to go there and test its characters’, well, character. Continuing in our weekly series of One Chicago breakdowns, here’s what happened to our favorite police and hospital friends this time.
Chicago P.D. Season 4, Episode 2: “Made a Wrong Turn”
The political climate of now is finding its way into a multitude of current entertainment vessels, and it looks like Chicago P.D. is the latest addition. This week’s episode touches on two hot-button issues (amidst the sticky backdrop of a summer swelter, further escalating the metaphor): civil unrest over police brutality and the consequences — or lack thereof — and sexual harassment in the workplace.
The case of the day illuminates the first of those subjects, when a young, white woman named Sarah Murphy is kidnapped from her car in a predominantly black neighborhood, sending the entire station to the streets in hopes of finding her alive. Residents of the area in question are completely divided on how to handle such a strong police presence in the community. Some use bitter colloquialisms to demean the officers’ heightened interest in this case above others, while some bring the officers cups of juice and encouragement. Better yet, some of them are even willing to share information — if only to make the swarm of sirens go away.
Kevin Atwater has a big hand in this endeavor; he knows some key local citizens well enough to appeal to their sense of empathy over what might otherwise seem like an unfairly attended-to issue based on the races of the victim and her captors. Sergeant Voight uses his typical grunt-and-shove technique to scour up some intel from the sicko who recorded the abduction and then hid the video in hopes of selling it. But it’s Sergeant Voight’s willingness to walk the line that wins the day.
Voight is instrumental in convincing those with street authority to allow their otherwise unwelcome police guests into the housing unit where the girl has been taken. The understanding comes on account of the fact that some suspects aren’t worthy of anyone’s allegiance. In this case, they’re not after any drug peddlers or curbside alcohol vendors — Voight and Olinsky even take a swig of Bebe’s screwdriver mix on the job as proof of their peace offering. Instead, the single prerogative of the day is to find a proven rapist who’s bound to take down the girl — and by association, anyone who harbors him. It’s a sticky situation, but everyone seems to come together on this one, at least this one time.
In the end, CPD is able to rescue Sarah Murphy just in the nick of time, although she’ll probably be scarred for life by the violation she’s endured from her assailant and the take-down effort that covered her in his blood after he almost executed her — not to mention the fact her fiancé is involved with heroin and swindling people.
Meanwhile, Burgess and Tay have quickly settled into a respectful partnership rhythm, but whatever progress Tay is making with boots on the ground is being undermined by Commander Fogle. The jerk uses teeth-talking mansplain-ish threats against Trudy, who’s not afraid to call him out for his true motives in punishing Tay: to have her revert Tay’s assignment back to the bargain bin, even though she’s already proven herself to be a formidable member of the force. Kudos to Trudy for standing up to him as she does, but his threats to exact punishment on her as retribution for her insubordination might come back into play later. After all, Tay’s opted not to take an official route of justice against the man for fear of impacting her own promising profile (grrr for this dilemma), so with nothing on paper, what ground does Trudy really have to fight him on it? It’s a no-win situation for all involved, really, but especially for Tay.
On a cheerier note, the Linstead train is still chugging along at full speed ahead. Erin seems hesitant about the whole process of moving in with Jay — as he excitedly rifles through apartment listings — but it’s only because she wants to stay put and have him move in with her. They’re still totally in love and even exchange the words this time, so whatever impact we might’ve expected from her secret-sheltering with Hank is obviously not going to affect her romantic life. Thank goodness, too, because it’s been a major bummer to see Burgess and Roman dousing their flames so far this season.
NEXT: The halls of dread at Med…
Chicago Med Season 2, Episode 2: “Win Loss”
The halls of Med are filled with self-analysis this week. Not only is Reese starting to let her psych residency get into her head (quite literally), but the other docs have some very difficult caseloads that make them question everything they stand for as practitioners.
Rhodes takes a detour this week to the pediatric unit to treat his tiny patient, Tommy, a baby boy who was born with a congenital heart defect whom Rhodes has worked with since the day he was born. Poor kid is failing fast, and hasn’t spent a day outside the hospital as he waits helplessly for a donor heart that may not arrive in time. Manning’s there, too, and in her care is a 3-month-old girl named Alicia, a child who’s suddenly fallen gravely ill with something Manning just can’t figure out through her trusty series of tests.
Given the girl’s unknown and rapidly declining condition, Rhodes asks Manning to do the unthinkable and ask her patient’s parents’ permission to find out whether she’s a donor match for Tommy, well before it’s come to the point where they might need to consider pulling the plug on Alicia. It’s a conflict of interest for Manning, of course, but given Rhodes’ attachment to little Tommy, she’s willing to brave the emotional backlash and ethics confusion that ensues and gets the woebegone parents to agree the blood sampling — despite their obvious holding that Alicia’s survival should be Manning’s paramount priority.
Whether or not it was the right call is completely up for debate, but to Manning’s credit, she doesn’t give up the search for what ails Alicia and ultimately unearths the clue that can save her life. She doesn’t have a brain bleed or anything as devastating as what Manning initially suspected; instead, she has botulism from ground exposure at the play park. The good news is it’s completely treatable. For a moment there, it seemed like this might have gone the other way, but Alicia pulls through.
The look Manning and Rhodes share after her good news, however, demonstrates how the moral dilemma he’s put her in has taken a toll. Good thing she’s got the hunky arms of the future Dr. Clarke to fall into when this day is done — not that that situation’s free of conflict, though. The morning after their post-bar tryst, in fact, she awoke to find a picture of Clarke on his final tour with her late husband Jeff, but her reaction to the sight was one of acceptance of their painful history. The fact that she goes back to him after her trying day seems to indicate the obvious obstacle of his former friendship with Jeff isn’t going to stand in the way of what they might possibly have together. Again, right or wrong? Totally up for discussion.
Meanwhile, April’s got a bit of a question mark looming over her head as well. As lovely as her relationship with Tate has become, she’s hesitant to accept his marriage proposal because he suggested she could quit her job if she likes…and no, she does not like.
Dr. Choi also tiptoes into uncertain waters while training Torres, a Navy corpsman who is weeks away from hitting the battlefield and surprised to find that the hospitals of Chicago are as swarming with violent chaos as what he’s about to experience. Choi, Clarke, and Torres treat an 18-year-old gunshot victim who vows revenge on his attackers. Despite the doctors knowing he means to do harm as soon as he steps out of the building, he gets the utmost care from his Med physicians. Torres is obviously torn about the patient’s release, and his fears are completely valid. Later that night, another gunshot victim is brought into the hospital — this time, she’s got no gang affiliation, but was simply hit by a stray bullet on her own couch while watching TV with her children. Guess whose gun fired the fatal shot? Yep, the same “banger” they saved earlier. What a world.
Torres praises Choi for his self-possession over the tragedy, but what he doesn’t know is Choi internalizes much of his pain. He goes home and adds the woman’s name to his diary of war deaths, supplementing his earlier statement that they live in “Chi-raq,” which is, in its own way, a war zone.
Last and least is Dr. Halstead, who so far this season has had zip to do except complain about his life. Right now, the financial ramifications of last season’s malpractice lawsuit are still trickling in, as his insurance premiums are through the roof. Combined with his student loan debt, he’s unable to make ends meet and is having trouble finding a decent roommate. He gains a little bit of perspective thanks to a happy-go-lucky patient named Mr. MacGregor, who is homeless, going blind, and losing his mind to a giant tumor lodged in his brain — but who doesn’t spend a second wearing a frown. Hopefully, the optimistic light bulb that flashes over Halstead’s head after this encounter will stay lit and he can move on to being interesting again.
- Choi made a quick cameo in Chicago P.D. to treat the dirtbag who got his fiancée kidnapped, but the shows were otherwise pretty standalone this week. Nothing to see here… But yay for Chicago Fire returning next week! Also, how about the news Antonio Dawson is heading to Chicago Justice? It’s about to get serious, y’all.
Chicago MVP of the week: Heyyy, Trudy. Way to be there, putting it to the scuzzball Commander Fogle by point-blank telling him, “You stranded a good cop at a crap detail. How’s that gonna look when HQ finds out you did it because she rebuffed your romantic advances, Commander?” Hopefully, she’ll continue to be awesome and go over his head on these things…because, well, thatta girl.
Sauciest Chicago coupling: As cute as Linstead was this week with all their ILY-exchange business, this week’s gotta go to Reese and Joey. She was acting a little wackadoodle over his decision not to become fast friends with a coworker, but he let that one slide and left her to figure out her situational overreactions for herself. Plus, c’mon. They’re just cute.