'Chicago P.D.': The highs and lows of season 1
What started as the Chicago Fire spin-off quickly turned into a show all its own. And I can say that confidently as someone who actually watched Chicago P.D. before I went back and started Fire.
The world of Voight, the sometimes-dirty cop, and his Intelligence Unit was one of doing whatever it took to catch a criminal, and even more so, doing whatever it took to get revenge. And after a season finale cliffhanger that made viewers question everything they knew about Voight, it’s time to look back at the season as a whole — what got us hooked and what we could’ve done without.
High: Moral ambiguity: The entire foundation of this show is that nothing is as simple as right and wrong. Every cop has to decide where their morals lie, and then they have to live with that. And with a leader like Voight, you might have to figure it out faster than you once expected. But that foundation is what makes this show so interesting to watch. As a viewer, you too have to decide what you’re willing to root for or against.
Low: Internal Affairs: I liked the Internal Affairs side of things because it gave us the great twist that Jin was the rat, but other than that, I could’ve fast-forwarded through all those scenes. I’d much rather just watch Voight and his team work than watch him be threatened every episode.
High: Relationships: The Intelligence Unit is like a family, but even outside of that, the romances and friendships and families all throughout the show are what make it feel different from other cop shows. It’s also what makes it believable that they’d got to such drastic lengths to protect one another. Their personal entanglements serve to up the stakes.
Low: Justin: Voight’s son was hot, but I barely had time to get attached before he did something bad and left town again. All in all, he didn’t have much of an impact.
High: Crossover: Even before I was a fan of Chicago Fire, I thought the crossover moments were some of the show’s strongest. And as a whole, the big crossover event of the year gave us what some could argue was the season’s strongest episode.
Low: Pulpo: He was bad, I get it, but I wasn’t a big fan of Pulpo’s portrayal. Was he supposed to scare me? Because he didn’t. And I thought his story dragged a little bit. Did he really need to get out of jail, shoot Antonio, and then get caught a second time? I’m not so sure. Although, I will admit the shooting Antonio part made for good drama.
High: Breakout Character: Ruzek: Let me start by saying that I love every member of the Intelligence Unit. But heading into the season, the one who surprised me the most was Ruzek. Unlike a few of the other characters, it wasn’t guaranteed that I’d like this guy, but by season’s end, I was very attached. I like his sense of humor and his interactions within the Unit. Plus, his relationship with Burgess remains one of my favorite dynamics on the show.
Low: Character Rehab: Sumner: I’m not sure if they’re going to bring Sumner back, but if they do, they need to make some changes. She had moments of likability, but I never got a handle on her personality. She was a little bland and could use some deeper exploration.
High: GIF of the season: The Linstead handhold might win this one.
Or this behind-the-scenes GIF:
Medium: Ratings reality: Chicago P.D. had a fairly steady season in terms of numbers, though it didn’t get off to a great start. In general, the show stayed between 3 and 7 million viewers, with the finale hitting a high with more than 9 million.