ScreenSpy - big news from the small screen
Don't Miss

TV REVIEW: Chicago PD is Back with “Conventions”

By on February 27, 2014
Jason Beghe as Hank Voight -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Sisson/NBC)

Jason Beghe as Hank Voight -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Sisson/NBC)

Chicago PD is finally back and I’ve never been so glad the Olympics are over.  Choosing to watch a couple of guys lie down in a sled or see a bunch of badass detectives nail a serial killer isn’t much of a competition. I’m giving the gold to PD.

“Conventions” keeps this gritty cop drama on the right side of the law offering another strong episode that showcased all of its cops, casting an especially strong light on Detective Erin Lindsay (Sophia Bush).  I’ve been waiting for the other badge to drop and see a weak episode of this freshman show making an appearance.  Not this week.

The episode begins with Erin at the airport fresh from her SUV crossover. She runs into a bitchy ex-classmate who asks why she isn’t going to their high school reunion.  “There are plenty of girls who are coming that are still single.”  Ouch.  I’m shocked that the detective didn’t take her out. I’m pretty sure Voight would help hide the body.

Meanwhile, Voight’s son Justin (Josh Segarra) has proven me wrong and isn’t back in jail … yet.  He’s doing pull ups in the dark when Voight (Jason Beghe) decides it’s the perfect time to lecture him.  Justin answers with “I love you.”  Crickets.  Voight is so uncomfortable with shows of emotion, he asks if everything’s alright.  Then he takes a call.  Wow, feel the love Justin. No touching father/son moments in this one.

Jason Beghe as Hank Voight -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Sisson/NBC)

Jason Beghe as Hank Voight — (Photo by: Elizabeth Sisson/NBC)

The crime of the week is a couple of rapes and murders where the victim’s ears were cut off.  The same type of murder previously happened in New York.  Special Victims Unit cops Fin (Ice T) and Rollins (Kelli Giddish) show up because Voight asks them to lend a hand.  Just kidding.  He hasn’t needed help since he was five, and maybe not even then.  It’s another cool crossover that is becoming a trademark of NBC this season.

Erin does need help.  She asks her partner, Jay Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer) if he owns a suit. When he says yes, she let’s him know that he’s going to be playing the part of rich, handsome husband at Lindsay’s revenge reunion.

Meanwhile, Ruzek (Patrick Flueger) is also looking for a little love from his partner Olinsky (Elias Koteas) after their big break up.  Like any self respecting wife, Olinsky is giving his young mentee the cold shoulder, and I mean the frigid, polar vortex kind.  At one point, Ruzek says, “Love me or leave me!”  The hilarious banter makes us love them all the more.  That’s part of the charm of the show.  These two aren’t the only ones to endear themselves to us.  All the cops have their moments to shine, that allow the actors to creep a little further into our hearts. This is one of the few shows that really uses it’s ensemble cast and gives each and every one some dialogue to showcase their acting chops.

The unit thinks it’s found its killer when they arrest a guy trying to steal a purse from a woman.  Jay chases him down looking like a twelve year old badass.  Not Erin Lindsay badass, but more of a badass in training. Turns out the purse stealer is a poetic pickpocket who even knows figurative language.

Pictured: Jesse Lee Soffer as Jay Halstead -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Sisson/NBC)

Pictured: Jesse Lee Soffer as Jay Halstead — (Photo by: Elizabeth Sisson/NBC)

Antonio Dawson (Jon Seda) and thief share some funny lines with the cop saying, “The cheetah always knows where the hyena is.”  Pickpocket replies, “I like that analogy. You went jungle on me.”  Funny stuff.

The petty criminal picks out a familiar looking man he saw in the area of the murders from a database, and our cops are onto their first real suspect, a guy in Chicago for a convention. He was also at a convention in New York when their ear ripping murders occurred.  They’ve got him!  Or do they?

They pick up the new suspect with the face that says “I hurt small animals and like ears” thinking this has to be the guy. His smile alone reads serial killer.  While they’re questioning him, another rape occurs, but this time the victim escapes.  They cut him loose knowing he couldn’t be in two places at once.

Erin visits the 16-year-old victim showing us she’s tough cookie on the outside, but all warm and fuzzy on the inside. The feels in this episode mainly center around these two. We sympathize with the victim, feeling her pain, but also seeing that Erin feels that pain too.  Just another layer added to the Lindsay character.

They stake out the hotel where suspect number three is.  Creepy suspect number two shows up.  Coincidence?  No way.  Voight takes him to “the cage” and we know it’ll be a matter of seconds before he gives up his killing partner.  Faced with losing his ears, he tells the detectives to head to the Navy Pier.

(l-r) Jon Seda as Antonio Dawson, Sophia Bush as Erin Lindsay -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Sisson/NBC)

(l-r) Jon Seda as Antonio Dawson, Sophia Bush as Erin Lindsay — (Photo by: Elizabeth Sisson/NBC)

Ruzek spots the killer first, chasing him until the bad guy grabs a lady, holding a knife to her throat.  The young cop tries to talk the guy into giving up, but I’m thinking if you cut off ears, you’re not going to just call uncle.

In the official badass moment of the night, Olinsky turns sniper and shoots the killer in the head from his perch so far away, I don’t think it was even in Illinois.  This guy’s got a past, and I can’t wait to find out more.

In another emotional scene worthy of some Kleenex, Erin visits the 16 year old in the hospital to let her know they got the man who attacked her. The victim cries with Erin stroking her hair. Get me another tissue, please.

Apparently, Erin books it out of the hospital and gets all dolled up for the big reunion.  Jay’s on her arm like some pretty boy trophy and she’s looking super model perfect.  At the last minute, she decides they’re not going. It’s a total waste of time. Instead, they share an intimate dinner and Erin dishes on the history of her life revealing so much, I was a little disappointed.  Don’t you want to savor the good parts?  Not get the whole cake shoved in your face?  Well, she tells Jay about being a street kid, being Voight’s CI, and how the older cop “saved” her.  She adds that mom’s a junkie and dad’s in jail. Wow, don’t leave much to the imagination, do you?

(l-r) Patrick Flueger as Adam Ruzek, Cliff Chamberlein as Neil Vance -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Sisson/NBC)

(l-r) Patrick Flueger as Adam Ruzek, Cliff Chamberlein as Neil Vance — (Photo by: Elizabeth Sisson/NBC)

Jay reaches for Erin’s hand with Lindsay saying, “We can’t.  Maybe one day.”  Jay replies with, “Definitely.”  I’m surprised they’re going here so quickly.  Yes, there’s chemistry, but we don’t want them as science lab partners just yet.

In the final surprising scene, Justin shows up at Erin’s apartment out of breath. He says, “I didn’t want to do it. I had to.”  His hands are covered in blood. Uh oh.  I think baby Voight is going back to jail sooner rather than later.

Overall, the episode did not leave us wanting.  It truly delivered after a long wait – a well worth it wait.  Chicago PD does not disappoint and has turned into my most must see show of the week. The acting, the action, the raw emotion, the gritty realism, it all combines to form an hour of some of the best television on this season.

Random Notes 

Burgess answers phones and comes up with an important lead in this one.  Voight even compliments her saying, “You’re going places, kid.”  Where was Atwater, though?  We missed you, cute partner. Come back next week. Okay?

Sergeant Platt was in all her grumpy glory, and it was hilarious.  She congratulates Burgess on making secretary and even puts Ice T in his place, provoking him to call her a battle ax.  Not to her face, of course.  He doesn’t have a death wish.

The guys are at Molly’s at the end with Olinsky finally forgiving Ruzek, telling him he did good while patting him on the head like a Labrador.