TV REVIEW: Olinsky Rights a Wrong on Chicago PD’s “The Three G’s”
It was Girls, Guns, and Gambling machines, “The Three G’s,” on last night’s Chicago PD, but in spite of the sexy title, this one was all heart, acting and redemption.
Chicago PD features some of the best acting on network TV with the focus shifting smoothly from one character to the next week after week. With Jason Beghe and Sophia Bush headlining, it’s usually an acting tour de force on a Wednesday night. Even new bit player, tech nerd Mouse (Samuel Caleb Hunt), shows he can play with the big boys, or girls, as he banters with Erin Lindsay in tonight’s episode.
But the true spotlight was on Alvin Olinsky in this one. We watched in wonder at one of the best performances on the show to date as Elias Koteas made our hearts turn from anger to sadness in an episode loaded with feels.
Gritty, Gruesome and Gut Wrenching (The Real Three G’s)
At the heart of “The Three G’s” is the story of a man looking to right a wrong, garner a little redemption, and show us that yes, thank God, we can learn from past mistakes. We are introduced early to the case of the night, an evil bad guy, Dennis Lee, who dabbles in all things illegal.
We see Lindsay and Olinsky lunching with Alvin’s daughter when they get a nearby call. They help out even though this isn’t their area, quickly following their noses into a building. Note to self, run far, far away if anyone ever mentions “foul odor.” The pair enter the building and discover a group of dead Asian women all chained to each other. The scene is so gritty and gruesome it’s almost too much for non-cable TV (that’s a compliment); we see close-ups of the women’s faces, the scratches on their cheeks as they apparently fought over the last drops of water.
Gut wrenching is our final G as the father of one of the girls shows up at the horrific scene, sobbing at his dead daughter’s body. He just wanted to get her into the country, and now this? Eleven minutes in and we’ve got a bunch of dead bodies, a super sad dad, and already our first feel.
Gravel voice (yes, another G) Voight questions the dad to find out who he paid to get his daughter into the country.
Turns out the scum who let those women just starve to death is Dennis Lee, a notorious bad guy who used to run Chinatown, and has been on the CPD’s most wanted list for six years. He’s known for dabbling in the three G’s – girls, guns, and gambling machines.
Roman is in the hot seat tonight with the department because he’s just a really good guy who doesn’t put up with any nonsense. Did we mention we really like this cop? Yes, all that acting stuff mentioned above applies to Brian Geraghty as well. Whether he’s sexing it up with Ray Donavan’s wife on the Showtime drama or copping it up with the adorable Kim Burgess, we know it’s gonna be good. Tonight was no exception.
After arriving on the dead girl scene, Olinsky sees a guy outside the building who’s Asian, so he immediately checks it out because Asian guy = involved in the crime, apparently. Turns out he is part of the mess and shoots the street to holy heck. A little girl is caught with a stray bullet.
Enter Roman and Burgess who are not thrilled with the ambulance’s expected arrival time – another ten minutes. Roman decides to transport the girl by squad car even though a fellow officer is protesting loudly saying that’s against protocol, we could be sued, I’m a jerk. Sean has to punch the guy just so they can get the girl to the hospital.
When the cops return to the station, Platt (in marvelous Trudy form) lets Roman know it’s a case of good news bad news. The little girl is going to make it. Yay! The cop he shoved is filing assault charges. Boo!
By episode’s end, it’s Voight who solves the situation, swatting away the troublemaker cop (who claims to need expensive dental work) like the irritating fly he is.
Voight calls in the officer accusing Roman and says, “You think you’re gonna shake down a cop in my district. Take the card, see the guy. We’re done.” And just like that, they are done. The whole you can’t punch a fellow officer rule is thrown out the window. Whew!
Tracking Down a Killer
In usual CPD fashion, the team tracks down one lead that leads to another lead that finally leads to catching their guy. Always so many leads. Tonight’s first is the gunman (and Lee nephew) who was at the crime scene shooting up pavement and that little girl. The team tracks down the loser who was supposed to keep the Asian women healthy until their families could pay a sort of bounty for their freedom. Oops, he was too busy getting high to worry about providing food and water.
Where do they find him? Getting high, of course. He says he doesn’t know where uncle “crashes” offering up no new intel. Until Olinsky breaks out the sewing machine. Seamstress Alvin takes over using bad guy’s hand like a piece of cloth. He threatens to make a glove out of the nephew’s hand who quickly changes his tune. He tattles that Lee has a big deal going down today. Guns.
Off on the scent of that second lead. The gun deal involves a guy Antonio knows, Jesse Kong (well hello Tokyo Drift), the head of some Asian gang. They bust everyone at the scene and discover there are no guns. It was a decoy while Lee sold to the real buyers.
Voight tells Jesse he’s a free man if he can lead them to Lee. Kong is on it, but it will take another 15 minutes or so.
Meanwhile, the team tracks down the old girlfriend of Lee who’s done well for herself, now a loan officer. She’s a smug piece of work taunting the cops and giving up no information on the man who saved her at age 17. Olinksy interrogates the woman who is loyal to her guy, saying, “You couldn’t catch him before. What makes you think you can catch him now.” More on that history in a bit.
Olinsky Rights a Wrong
Voight gets summoned by Olisnky’s wife who’s worried about “the look in his eyes.” Every time she sees that look she ends up losing him for months. Guilt is tearing at Alvin. He knows there’s no way he can tell the parents that Dennis Lee got away. Again.
It’s revealed that Olinsky let Lee slip away years ago and cannot let it happen again. He lied on some warrants so the bad guy was cut loose. “If I’d arrested him then, those girls that we found today… they wouldn’t be dead right now. They wouldn’t be.”
Guilt is a mighty motivator and Alvin will not rest until he’s righted this wrong. Wow, what an amazing scene with these two older guys of CPD. I could kind of watch them talk all day, but we don’t get that luxury as it’s off to the races.
They get the call that Lee and Jesse are at a hotel, working a deal. Intelligence arrives and we’ve got our final gunfight. They capture the elusive Lee, and Olinsky drags him to a hallway, gun pressed against his forehead. He doesn’t pull the trigger which is good and bad, right? A small part of us wants him too, the bad guy is really bad. But a larger part of us is glad Alvin is so good. Would we respect him in the morning if he did it? Nah, so we’re glad he showed some good guy restraint.
They got their guy, and Al gets to cross him off their most wanted list. We get another Lindsay/Olinsky moment as Erin tells her buddy, “Al, don’t go crawlin’ under a rock after this.” What a heart. What dimples. How could he not listen?
Thankfully he does. The final scene is Olinsky eating dinner with his wife and daughter. When his girl’s boyfriend arrives, Alvin is nice and fatherly not even putting his gun on the dining room table for effect. We are also treated to the best Olinsky smile. This is a man who’s fought some serious demons and seems to have come out on the winning side. He’s eating dinner with his beautiful family and, dare we say it, happy with his life.
All in all, “The Three G’s” was a story of one man’s redemption and growth. The focus was squarely on Olinsky’s shoulders and they were broad enough to carry the hour with amazing acting and grace. He showed us a cop who’s learned to live with past mistakes and actually grows from them. Elias Koteas was a treat to watch and we can only think about three E’s – Emmy, Emmy, Emmy.
It’s Platt and Nadia bonding time and we LOVE Pladia! Nadia passes her written exam to become a police officer with Platt looking like a proud mama, even though she has to point out that a 95 is not perfect.
Nadia’s got to pass a polygraph where a bunch of questions are asked about her past. Uh oh. I vaguely remember her shooting up something that may not have been legal. After the test, the polygraph guy says he couldn’t make heads or tails of her results. It was the old rock in the shoe technique. Thanks, Platt!
Mouse is back! He’s all cute awkwardness in his scenes with Erin when she asks him to investigate Alvin’s daughter’s boyfriend. They even talk bands with Lindsay looking impressed. You’re a good addition to the team cute techie nerd. Can’t wait to see your backstory.