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One Chicago recap: Week Eight

Olinsky battles a blast from the past and April makes a tough choice

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Elizabeth Sisson/NBC; Matt Dinerstein/NBC

Chicago Med

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season

Are we here already? The Chicago Med midseason finale is upon us, and it’s a grim affair as the hits keep coming for some of the docs. Meanwhile, the delayed Chicago P.D. episode takes us on an intriguing moral journey with one of the more silent members of the squad. Chicago Fire was on a bye week in consideration of the election [insert the obligatory dumpster-fire joke here].

Chicago P.D. Season 4, Episode 6: “Some Friend”

This week’s Chicago P.D. episode was originally scheduled to air last week, but the Chicago Cubs’ World Series clincher airing the same night understandably meant it got pushed back so the Windy City faithful could watch the Cubbies make history.

Looking back at the Chicago Fire and Chicago Med episodes that would’ve bookended it, it really wouldn’t have mattered much as far context is concerned. And besides, there may have been another reason the night was just not right for this to air: It’s all about a retired local baseball pro who’s been caught up in a murder mystery. That’s…not the kind of story that quite fits with the hometown heroism of such an occasion, so it was probably a wise decision to scoot it back a bit.

Anyway, this week we meet Jake McCoy (played by Billy Burke), a former MLBer who used to party hard alongside none other than our own Det. Alvin Olinsky. Throughout this season, Olinsky’s been showing us new facets of himself — idly watching as his Intelligence teammates use their negligible interrogation tactics on a person of interest, making house calls to a victim’s mom, and the like. This week, we learn even more about his shady behaviors, and let’s just say, he’d probably be a fan of the marijuana referendums taking place in so many states.

But that’s not all; he’s also played crooked cop in his day, too, getting his old friend Jake out of a DUI and otherwise being the guy’s pocket-police pal in a pinch. So when a dead girl turns up in Jake’s house, he’s highly interested in the investigation, whether or not there’s a conflict of interest at hand.

Jake claims he had a life-changing car accident that drove him to shelter young prostitutes around the city in hopes of giving them new lives, and our victim, Mya Collins, was one of those women in his voluntary charge. He’s certainly got the video evidence to prove as much on his laptop — which they discover alongside a ton of McCoy’s memorabilia at a garbage-picker’s house. He swears he didn’t kill her, but instead went on a hunting trip and crashed at his daughter’s house. His former houseguest, also an old associate of Olinsky’s, claims they’ve been out of touch for a while and that he hasn’t heard from his former benefactor in months.

Commander Crowley insists he recuse himself from the investigation because of its obvious impropriety, and while he shows off his best temper-tantrum effort, she stands firm on what’ll happen to him if he doesn’t stay out of it… Of course, that’s still not going to stop him. Olinsky circles back to the daughter and finds out she fudged her original account of her dad’s visit — he did, indeed, call his old friend Freddie the night the girl died. There goes his alibi. Freddie tries to the pull the old “I’ve got blackmail on you, too” card, but Olinsky feels like he’s been played and doubles down on his determination to get to the truth. He whips out one of Jake’s old bats, stepping up to the plate to swing his way into Freddie’s submission, so to speak. Naturally, he doesn’t strike out.

Olinsky hauls him to the station and tries a much subtler approach to coaxing a confession out of Jake himself; just as Jake used to pretend they were best pals to keep his name out of the police blotter, Al acts like he only needs the truth so he can see his friend free. It’s a risky game, and Crowley only allows it with the assurance he’s going on temporary suspension afterward.

Olinsky hits a home run right away with his false promise of protection and finds out Jake did kill the girl — even though it was technically an accident, since all he meant to do was push her for stealing from him and she knocked her head on his table. That’s when he called Freddie for assistance in making it look like a burglary gone bad (hence why Jake’s personal items were in the trash). Thus, the case is solved.

The takeaway is this: Hank Voight isn’t the only one with a dark side in this unit. Also, Olinsky’s got some deep-seated sadness about the girls Jake was trying to help: He tears up while watching those videos. Maybe they’re reminding him of his daughter, Lexi.

While all this is happening, the rest of the team do their best to keep busy as well. Lindsay and Halstead occupy their time looking into some anonymous flowers she received from a creepy peeping tom, and Burgess is sent (with her new brown-nosing partner Sorenson, who makes us miss Tay already) on a sandwich run for Trudy that turns into something else entirely.

The woman who’s been lifting her lunch from the local deli is actually a former police officer named Vicky who’s hard on her luck. She’s from the St. Louis force, and Burgess discovers the reason she’s been wandering the streets in a plaid button-up instead of her blues is she was involved in a high-speed chase effort that cost a woman and her children their lives. She can’t quite get over the grisly scene. Through a little heart and determination, she prompts Trudy to drop the charges against the woman — even though she did give poor Sorenson a bloody nose in their take-down — and spends the night in the tank with her as a show of solidarity. Any one of them could be dealing with what she is right now, so she doesn’t want Vicky to go it alone tonight.

It’s a noble effort, and it’s clear Burgess’ investigatory and detail-drawing skills are definitely suitable for Intelligence already. It’s only a matter of time, now.

Episode grade: B

NEXT: April is faced with an impossible decision