TV REVIEW: Chicago PD Kills off a Fan Fave in “The Number of Rats”
The three-way crossover just finished up, and I am in shock and awe. This one started last night on Chicago Fire offering up a teeny tiny morsel of what was to come. It’s never an auspicious crossover beginning on Fire, always more of a false start. I was ready to lay into this three-way that didn’t promise much, except for the fact that way too much has been given away on Twitter and by showrunners.
Eating those “lay into” words right now. In the end tt didn’t matter that we knew who was going to die or that we knew the villain was going to be really villainous. The Chicago PD/SVU cross pollination was seamless drama honey-making at its best.
Heartstopping and heartbreaking were the words of the night as two hours of solid TV sped by in the blink of an eye. Dallas Roberts as Greg Yates offered up one of the most creeptacular performances by a guest star ever. Yes, ever. I am so hoping we can Joe Carroll him into CPD mythology and get to check in with the killer from his prison cell from time to time.
Let’s take a look at this flip flopped night of catching a serial killer where PD entered the line-up before SVU because it just made better storytelling sense.
A Green Nail Polish Loving Killer
The woman pulled from a blaze on Chicago Fire last night is in the hospital looking 95% dead. Voight and Benson question her, but all she can offer up is that it’s a guy in hospital scrubs, white, and under six feet tall. She codes looking 100% dead. Later, the cops get the call that she has in fact died.
Beautiful Olivia Benson’s back at 21 going over all the 2004 NY victims. They were approached by a man in scrubs, arm in a Bundyesque sling, with nails painted green.
There was no room for humor in “The Number of Rats.” After all, a serial killer is on the loose. There was a “what the what moment” when Casey shows up (why?) to tell Lindsay and Halstead the evidence of arson that Severide and Dawson discovered. Wouldn’t it make way more sense to have Kelly and Gabby give the rundown? Nah, for some reason the writers are going to act like Linseride never happened… it seems that Kelly and Erin will NEVER see each other again.
Erin finds a bottle of green nail polish in the charred mess. Confirmation that this is our guy. The serial killer chase continues.
Will Halstead – Suspect #1
The first suspect that NYC comes up with? Will Halstead. What? He looked a little slimy but more in the fast talking, womanizing way, not the woman-killing way.
Benson and Voight meet up at a bar and Olivia spills the beans to Voight. Will was questioned years ago about one of the victims in NY. He knew the woman who went missing and now the killer “activates” in Chicago when Will moves there. She wants to “ambush” question him.
Will’s brought in but Jay smells something’s up. “Mind if I join?” he asks.
Benson asks about the missing NY woman and Jay loses it, defending his brother vehemently, throwing major accusatory shade Voight’s way.
Jay drags bro out of there, super ticked off, saying he’ll get a statement from Will himself. Voight, you need to get your petulant boy under control. I’m saying at least a time out.
The Killer Shows his Scrubs
Nothing says suspicious like a Subaru wagon and Mouse finds the one on video at the last victim’s house. Things speed up as the cops are now on the trail of the real serial killer. Will’s off the hook although wouldn’t that have been a what the heck moment?
Roman and Burgess are the ones who make initial contact. They spy a nondescript white guy in SCRUBS who gets into the car. He may have had green nail polish in his back pocket. He’s polite and smug and you just know he’s the killer (also we saw those promos). Enter Greg Yates (Dallas Roberts) and all of his creepy looks and delivery. He tells the cops he just moved here from New York. They run his license and he’s clean, no warrants, nothing. Roman says they’re bringing him in anyway, and they come up with a fake report of the car being involved in a small accident. Is anything cuter than ticked off, bending the rules Roman?
Amaro from SVU and Erin are in the interrogation room, trying to get Yates to break. Problem is this guy is good at being a serial killer. He’s a brilliant doctor but we find out through the course of the night an even better murderer. Yates takes smugness to a new level, flaunting his extra IQ points like a flag in front of the cops.
“Man does not control his own fate. The women in his life do that for him,” he says eerily, mocking Erin because she doesn’t know where that quote comes from. It’s always about a woman for these guys, isn’t it?
Erin notices that the creep shaves his arms. He lets her know he does his whole body. Ew. For cycling he claims. They have to let him go, lack of evidence, but he’s not leaving without a few parting, spine chilling words.
“I just got to your beautiful city. I can’t wait to explore,” he says on the way out, giving Nadia a quick once over and a hello.
Yates calls Erin asking for a date, I mean meeting, in Millennium Park, saying they got off on the wrong foot. Benson is back in New York, but phones Lindsay to warn that he’s feeling the pressure and “could be capable of anything right now… be safe.”
Yates approaches Erin in the park and suggests they grab a cup of coffee, “I’m harmless.” The way he says anything screams that he is the opposite of harmless.
She goes with him for coffee! Of course, the cops lose sight of her for a few seconds! What the what? They cross the bridge with him talking about the beautiful skyline. He mentions Egypt and how they got rid of their leader in 2011. “You can unclench the iron fist of a dictator. But you are not prepared for what’s on the other side. Unexpected consequences,” he says. Oh no. He walks off, sans coffee, dramatic music swelling. Whew, Erin’s safe. But we all know who’s not, who the unexpected consequence will be.
He takes off in a taxi and the cops lose the tail.
Just When You Turn Your Life Around, Those Pesky Writers
Nadia is planning a big 30th surprise birthday party, and Erin busts her, saying “You better not be planning me a surprise party… I know where you live. Who doesn’t love the big sis, maternal way Lindsay interacts with her protege?
Later, we see Nadia taking the Erin birthday cake from her car. She turns around and Yates is there, three inches from her face. Bam! He knocks her out and throws her in his trunk. We knew this was coming, but it’s more than shocking nonetheless. CPD does not shy away from brutal violence and tonight was a prime example.
As he drives away, we see the crushed birthday cake tragically on the street symbolizing the crushing of our hearts about to occur.
Fade to black, and we’re on to SVU.
Nadia’s screaming and kicking in the trunk while Yates sings The Monkey’s Daydream Believer. He goes shopping to pick up his supplies and a trucker notices the back of the car moving. Yates says, “Don’t you hate it when they kick and scream?” Joke, he says. It’s just his dog. The guys laugh it up over a canine trapped in the trunk. So close to being rescued, but it’s not meant to be.
Yates tells Nadia they have a long trip. New York maybe? He says, “Towards the end you’ll cry for your mama.”
Sassy Nadia says not me and adds that Voight will “track you down and make you wish you’d never been born.” She spits in his face. Love that Nadia kept true to her “from the streets” edge and never backed down from Yates.
They bring the bad guy in again, finding him eating lunch with his fiancee! They are all over the killer trying to find Nadia before it’s too late. The look at the Yates’ face says they are already too late.
Questioning the serial killer leads to no answers.
“Is this an interrogation or a date?” asks a frustrated Voight who’s watching it unfold.
Where do they get a hit on the Nadia location? The fiancee, when she says honey bunny killer likes to go to the beach to meditate! Cops comb the beach, finding nothing. Benson suggests the nearby woods. They discover some old bones and … Nadia.
She’s dead, and it’s a gruesome scene, her eyes are open, and she’s naked stuffed in a body bag. Erin breaks down on Jay’s shoulder devastated at seeing her little one. We’re sure more of that Halstead comfort is to come.
The Yates trial is an exercise in frustration. Bad guy decides to represent himself, and he is good, really good. He can Perry Mason his way out of looking guilty, and puts all those trying for a conviction under the microscope. His arrogance knows no bounds, neither does his sick psyche. That would be his undoing; his true nature would rear its ugly head leading to his downfall.
But first, the frustration … Erin, proud mama bear, takes the stand talking about how Nadia turned her life around. She would never want to leave Chicago as Yates suggests.
He brings up Nadia’s drug addiction, her turning tricks and it seems this guy may actually walk. He’s so smug and better than any TV lawyer I’ve ever seen.
Yates mentions that “her little rescue mission failed” before letting Erin leave the stand.
Next victim, Benson. Yates has her admit that there was another suspect she had in mind before him. How the heck does he know about Will Halstead?
Benson is forced to reveal that his name did come up. Yates is so convincing. Heck, I’d arrest Will.
Finally, Yates takes the stand and says that Nadia told him that Voight was forcing her to have sex with him. Voight’s face says that Yates is going to get a helluva lot more than a slap by the end of this episode. And we can’t wait!
Yates is looking pretty innocent in the jurors’ eyes and time’s running out as the hour long drama ticks away. He cannot get away with this, right?
The prosecution has one trick up its sleeve and perhaps one noose. They let Yates’ true nature hang himself.
They take out pictures of dead Nadia while they bring back the Medical Examiner to talk about the young woman’s injuries. Yates is obviously getting off. He almost flies out of his seat when asked if he will cross examine. He looks at the photos up close and personal, transfixed and not so smug. His fingers stroke them and his questions want to know more, especially about her “anal sphincter” being torn. “She would have been in agony” for the 30 minutes she suffered? He goes on and on wanting details and looking more and more Dateline pervy.
He loses it, ripping that mask away, screaming at the doctor. The jury sees it!
Their verdict? Guilty on all counts! Justice for Nadia.
Chicago and NY cops salute their colleague at a local bar, with Jay saying, “Nadia was family. We’ll miss her.”
Yes, we will. Stella Maeve as the comeback kid was fun to watch and her dynamics with Sophia Bush’s Erin and Amy Morton’s Sergeant Platt were some of the highlights of the show. How these two react to the death back in Chicago is sure to be the focus of the end of this season.
The last scene is one that we’d been craving without even knowing it. Voight is in Yates’ cell, grabbing the killer from behind. He chokes him saying, “I could end this right now.”
He lets him go. “What’s the hurry? I want you to feel what you made others feel. The pain. The fear. Looking over your shoulder…. someone will do to you what you did to Nadia. It’s coming.”
We believe you, Voight, and we want to be there to watch.
All in all, it was another excellent two way crossover (we’re crossing out the Fire part in our brains). Love that the show went with a more logical storytelling sequence, allowing PD to jump the line in front of SVU. It made perfect sense and helped the ebb and flow as one episode transitioned to the next.
The acting? Stellar as usual. Bush and Beghe are always highlights, but tonight the Emmy goes to Dallas Roberts for his car wreck portrayal of a serial killer. You know – can’t take your eyes away. He was calm, cool, and crazy as Greg Yates, stealing every scene while garnering the upper hand from the cops. His downfall scene was equally captivating and stomach turning.
What did you all think? How far will Erin sink and will Linstead shippers get a little satisfaction in a Jay save? And poor Platt! I can only imagine her reaction. We’ll see you back here next week as we check out the remaining three. Yes, there are just three more episodes left in this second season of our favorite cop drama that rarely disappoints with its raw and real acting, storytelling, pace, action, and emotional feels.
Chicago PD airs Wednesdays on NBC at 10 p.m.