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The Cop Show With a Soul: Chicago PD “Now Is Always Temporary” Review

By on January 30, 2014

Pictured: (l-r) Jesse Lee Soffer as Jay Halstead, Jon Seda as Antonio Dawson -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Morris/NBC)

I can take a breath now.

It’s been ten minutes since Chicago PD’s latest episode “Now Is Always Temporary” ended, and I feel like I’ve just gotten off the best roller coaster ride, ready to go again. The first five minutes were unbelievable, heart In your throat action, the last five gave us a Kleenex grabbing, emotional scene that left us spent.  One downside to this CPD addiction, we’ve got to wait a week for the next episode. Upside, DVR to enjoy this thrill of a show again.  So why all the love for this new cop show?  Where to begin?

In the latest instalment, we get to know more facets of each character and every reveal makes us care about them even more.  Little bits are being uncovered, not giving it to us all at once, letting us savor the peeling away of each layer of character.

We learn that the creepy dad/son duo we met last week when Detective Jay Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer) confronted them outside their home is even creepier than those featured on Dateline. He’s convinced the son, Lonnie, killed the brother of a girl he dated in high school. We respect Jay even more knowing he wants to bring the kiddie porn-loving creeper to justice.  I’m thinking Lonnie needs to meet a Jay bullet.

Detective Erin Lindsay (Sophia Bush) is so much more than some run of the mill, stereotypical badass female cop.  It would’ve been so easy to write her that way.  How original, the beautiful Sophia Bush can kick serious criminal ass, and leave it at that.  But no.  The character does kick butt, but she is soft in some scenes, caring almost to a fault.  There are more hints in tonight’s eppy that this girl has a past, one that perhaps involves drugs.  The empathetic way she tries to lead an addict down a better path seems to come from personal experience.  Justin, Voight’s son, also says, “When we took you in you were the problem, now you’re the golden child.” It could have come off as sappy, but Erin’s response of, “Now YOU have a second chance. Don’t piss on it!” makes her appeal that much more authentic.

Pictured: (l-r) Jon Seda as Antonio Dawson, Jesse Lee Soffer as Jay Halstead, Sophia Bush as Erin Lindsay, Jason Beghe as Hank Voight -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Morris/NBC)

Pictured: (l-r) Jon Seda as Antonio Dawson, Jesse Lee Soffer as Jay Halstead, Sophia Bush as Erin Lindsay, Jason Beghe as Hank Voight — (Photo by: Elizabeth Morris/NBC)

Hank Voight (Jason Beghe) really does care about his son; we can see the disappointment all over his face when Justin (guest star Josh Segarra) gets in trouble again.  Voight also cares about the makeshift “children” he works with on his team.  He warns Jay that he needs to give up his vendetta, telling him, “You’ve got potential, so drop it.”

So many characters had their moments tonight.  Olinsky (Elias Koteas) has a daughter, Lexi (guest star Alina Taber), he loves so much that he’ll live in his ex-wife’s garage to stay close.  That’s called father devotion.  He also gets to act out every dad’s dream when he manhandles his daughter’s loser boyfriend.  Atwater (LaRoyce Hawkins) and Burgess (Marina Squerciati) shine in their scenes with a hoarder who they’re supposed to arrest. They discover she’s got more than dead cats sandwiched between telephone books.  She’s hiding a little boy in the basement who’s been missing for six months.  How she even made it out of her house through all the crap to go kidnap a boy is one for CSI to start investigating.

Singing the praises of the actors could end up the length of a PhD’s dissertation, so I’ll just get to the outstanding plot. Tonight’s main case centers around a counterfeit ring our cops uncover little by little building up to a tense gun battle.  The opening scene shows an artist distraught, holding a gun to a prostitute’s head, saying that his life’s over.  He releases the girl and in a surprisingly violent scene, he quickly shoots himself leaving blood all over the wall. The cops uncover that he was working with a big time counterfeiting ring.

Pictured: (l-r) Sophia Bush as Erin Lindsay, Archie Kao as Sheldon Lin, Jason Beghe as Hank Voight, Jon Seda as Antonio Dawson -- (Photo by: Matt Dinerstein/NBC)

Pictured: (l-r) Sophia Bush as Erin Lindsay, Archie Kao as Sheldon Lin, Jason Beghe as Hank Voight, Jon Seda as Antonio Dawson — (Photo by: Matt Dinerstein/NBC)

With some information from dead guy’s favorite junkie prostitute, Nadia (guest star Stella Maeve), they slowly make their way to a darkened building where the main bad guy is printing his own Monopoly money. Detective Lindsay goes after one bad guy and shows us again how this little girl can take care of herself. There’s a huge shoot out, but all our favorites are fine, bringing the counterfeiters to justice.

In the final gut wrenching scene of the night, Lindsay drops Nadia off on a corner of the city.  One side has a busy drug dealer, the other side a clinic that can help the girl get clean. Erin says, “You’re gonna get out and I’m driving away. Take my card. If you wanna life better than what you got, I’ll help you get to the other side. I’ll help you, that’s a promise.” She knows this girl; maybe she was this girl. Erin drives off a little, all the while watching in her rear view mirror.  She breaks down crying at what she’s seeing.  Brooke Davis, who knew you had it in you?  Sophia Bush, you’re proving to all of us that you do.

Chicago PD is gritty, violent, tense, emotional, and about twenty five more adjectives all rolled into one must-see tv show.  I’m enjoying getting to know the characters, loving the action packed plot lines with a heart, and admiring the top notch acting.  This show is making me dread the coming of the Olympics.  I fear my new fave will be off air for a few weeks when figure skating takes over the network. Until that happens, I’ll be back here on Wednesday nights loving every minute of this NBC cop drama with a soul.

Random Notes

  • Chicago PD shares very little with its counterpart Chicago Fire other than cool crossovers (none tonight) and a few really humorous moments. Funniest lines of the night:  Sergeant Platt tells Burgess, “When you’re queen for a day you can keep all the happy laws and get rid of all the mean ones.” She asks Atwater later, “Does she keep your balls in the glove box?”
  • Ruzek gets kicked in the family jewels and tells Antonio, “They’re swollen!” Antonio says he’ll take his word for it.
  • Voight’s son, Justin, adds to his jerk status from last week when he tried to kiss Erin by demanding ten grand from his dad to get in on a friend’s get rich quick scheme.  Refurbishing cell phones.  Yeah, I think Amway’s on line two, Justin.  When dad says he doesn’t have the money, son suggests dipping into mom’s life insurance.  You raised a real winner there.
  • Olinsky and daughter are adorable as they have their own daddy daughter dance in the driveway slow dancing to “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart” in the background.  Aw.

One Comment

  1. Mickey

    November 9, 2014 at 10:06 pm

    “Cop show with a soul” is a great way to describe the show! It is also distinguished by how raw and gritty and badass it is, and the snarky sarcastic humor, but where it really shines is the heartfelt characters and stories.

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