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TV REVIEW: Chicago PD “The Price We Pay”

By on March 6, 2014
Pictured: (l-r) Josh Segarra as Justin, Jason Beghe as Hank Voight -- (Photo by: Matt Dinerstein/NBC)

Pictured: (l-r) Josh Segarra as Justin, Jason Beghe as Hank Voight -- (Photo by: Matt Dinerstein/NBC)

Blink in the first five minutes of “The Price We Pay” and you’ll pay dearly.

Chicago PD had a frenetic pace tonight that kept me tense and nervous the entire episode.  It was even hard to come down during the commercials. This one was all Detective Voight (the amazing Jason Beghe) and it was a clinic on hard and soft, right and wrong, and to save or not to save.

First, hard and soft.  The episode begins right where it left off last week.  I love that we don’t have a two week jump where someone’s recovered from some huge injury.  No, there’s Justin (guest star Josh Segarra) in Erin Lindsay’s (Sophia Bush) apartment with blood on his hands.  She’s all caring and concerned makeshift sis asking what happened.  Justin lies that it was just a fight.  Vicious killer he’s not. He’s soft.  He tells Erin he shouldn’t have brought her in on this and leaves.

Now for the hard.  Voight comes on like a bulldozer for much of the night and it’s a tour de force unparalleled by any other actor on any other network show.  He meets with Internal Affairs wicked witch of the west Gradishar (guest star Robin Weigert) who tells him that small time racketeer Frank Fitori is dead.  So?  Well, guess where all that blood on Justin came from?  You get the picture.

Erin tells Hank about her Justin encounter of the disturbing kind and you can see the disappointment all over dad’s face…no surprise, just disappointment.  Turns out that prime suspect number one in the Fitori murder is Joseph Catalano (guest star Joe Reegan), the thug who kept Justin safe in the pen.  All those pieces are starting to fall into place for Voight.

Pictured: Sophia Bush as Erin Lindsay -- (Photo by: Matt Dinerstein/NBC)

Pictured: Sophia Bush as Erin Lindsay — (Photo by: Matt Dinerstein/NBC)

Now onto the right versus wrong. The struggle with how far to go to save his son weighs heavily on Voight this episode.  The line between right and wrong not quite so clear and well defined when your own child is involved. Voight blurs that line when he tries to brush the Catalano connection under the rug, going as far as to have an incriminating video erased.

Doing the right thing is also on the shoulders of Detective Antonio Dawson (Jon Seda) as he wrestles with how far to push Voight.  He secretly meets with Gradishar who wants a showdown with Antonio coming out on top.  She confides that Voight is dirty, that Dawson can lead the team when he’s gone, that she really likes Boy Scouts.  Antonio seems to take the bait pushing Voight and not letting go of the investigation into Catalano. Ever hear of loyalty, Antonio?

One of the big Voight/Dawson showdowns comes when Hank calls his detective into his office for an old fashioned tongue lashing … or should I say scream lashing. He tells Antonio, “Don’t bark orders at me” adding “How’s Diego?  When you needed this unit we rallied around you.” Point taken.

Justin is MIA most of the episode with Voight and Erin desperately trying to reach him.  Erin finally tracks him down and says she going to help him. She takes him to PD where he tells Antonio everything. Voight goes ballistic, screaming that “there better be a damn good reason why my son is in the interrogation room and I wasn’t notified immediately.”  Antonio comes clean telling Voight that Gradishar is after Hank.  Dawson says he’s done with this case, moving on to the next file. Yay!  Antonio isn’t a rat.  We can like him again.

Voight rushes in to his son and they hug in the most emotional scene of the season. You really need the Kleenex for this one. Both men broken in a way, not having words for each other, saying so much with the embrace.

Finally, to the save or not to save.  Final verdict for Voight? Save.  Hank has Justin in his car saying he gave the kid every chance.  He adds, “After what we went through with your mother. I kept saying it’s not his fault, it’s not his fault. I can fix this. You can’t fix what’s broken on the inside.”

Justin tries to apologize by saying, “I messed up. I know it.”

Voight says he doesn’t think his son really knows.  He tells Justin he’ll see him in four years.  “I love you.  Now go.”  What?

Justin walks into an Army recruiting office. Let’s hope this final save sticks.  Good luck, Justin.  We’ll miss your messed up little, ‘woe is me’ self.

Pictured: (l-r) Jon Seda as Antonio Dawson, Jason Beghe as Hank Voight -- (Photo by: Matt Dinerstein/NBC)

Pictured: (l-r) Jon Seda as Antonio Dawson, Jason Beghe as Hank Voight — (Photo by: Matt Dinerstein/NBC)

Voight’s told that a body’s been found at the river.  He reaches the scene and Gradishar is there too, but Voight’s got a small smile on his face that’s really more of a smirk.  The body is none other than Catalano.  Hank tells his adversary, “Funny how justice works in this city sometimes.”  Take that!  Voight -1; Gradishar – 0.

Gradishar is not amused. She calls in Dawson, screaming at levels that rival Voight’s. “I look like a fool. Or worse!”

Antonio asks, “You don’t remember me do you?”  He proceeds to tell her that fifteen years ago she investigated his partner for extra overtime pay. She went after him over some incorrectly filled out time sheets.

Dawson reminds her, “You made an example of him. You’re a climber. You went after him. Took away his pension and he killed himself. His family lost a father because you used him as the bottom rung of your ladder.”

“You don’t know what we do or what we sacrifice. For this. For the job. You’ll never know,” says Antonio.  Love it when Dawson goes Voight on the villain of the series.  It’s about time.

Chicago PD offers us layers to the characters we are getting to know this short season, continuing to reveal a little at a time.  It offers no clear cut black and white, right or wrong, leaving us routing for the guy taking a kick back or covering for his bad seed kid.  This show just doesn’t relent and “The Price We Pay” highlighted all of its attributes. It’s hard and soft, funny and sad, deep and lighthearted, making Wednesday night TV the best night of the week. Thank you NBC for ordering two additional episodes this season.  Now, let’s get this thing renewed so we can imagine the places it will go next season.

Random Notes

  • Burgess (Marina Squerciati) gets a little Platt (Amy Morton) revenge in this one. Sergeant Platt is taking pictures for new IDs and catches Burgess and Atwater in the most unflattering facial expressions, making awkward family photos look like head shots at a modeling agency.  Ruzek gives Burgess the address and phone number of Platt’s mom.  Uh oh.  The young cop tracks down some not so attractive teen year photos of Platt.  The sergeant agrees to a retake, but oh, I’m afraid for our young Burgess.
  • Erin and Jay (Jesse Lee Soffer) continue their move to make Linstead a household name.  They flirt and banter, but decide at the end to keep it professional. Wonder how long that’s gonna last?
  • Ruzek (Patrick Flueger) and Olinsky (Elias Koteas) are now married.  Just kidding.  They act like an old married couple though, arguing and teasing each other.  At the end of the eppy, Olinsky’s even joining Ruzek and his fiancé for drinks.  He gushes about his young mentee in a really cute scene.  I think we need to add the name Ruzinsky to our vernacular.