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TV REVIEW: It’s the Burgess Show on Chicago PD’s “What Do You Do”

By on February 19, 2015

Pictured: (l-r) Marina Squerciati as Kim Burgess, Brian Geraghty as Sean Roman -- (Photo by: Matt Dinerstein/NBC)

Voight and Lindsay took a backseat to Kim Burgess in Chicago PD’s “What Do You Do” giving us a tense episode that was entertaining, but the extra cheese and forced humor left it one of the weaker outings this second season.

Chicago PD is at its best when the spotlight lands on Jason Beghe and Sophia Bush with their layered performances and “can’t take our eyes off of them” appeal. Marina Squerciati holds her own in an episode that was good enough, but didn’t quite deliver the grit that we expect from PD. Let’s take a look at the Burgess/Roman troubles and a taser recertification training that sounds much funnier than it was.

 

Call for Back-up Next Time!

Self-doubt was a topic of the night for Burgess as she wonders if she should have taken that Intelligence job after all. We see her going to her usual diner, ordering her usual breakfast of oatmeal and raisins, sitting in her usual spot, and paying with her usual $10 bill. Another diner comments about how predictable she is and Kim’s left with additional regret. Not only did she make a bad career move, now she’s been labeled boring. Never fear, things are about to go from kind of bad to worse.

On the beat, Burgess sees two shady guys going into a building, and thinks she maybe spotted a gun. “Let’s call it in,” suggests Roman.

Kim wants to check it out first. Bad idea, Burgess.

A guy falling dead to the ground and a gun to Roman’s head greet them at the door. Should have called for that backup. Roman’s taken inside leaving Kim outside, desperate to locate a way in. Burgess eventually gets in, finding her partner with a nasty blow to the head; the bad guy knocked out also. He wakes up and they fight it out, with Burgess kicking, biting, really fighting for her life. The criminal wins, getting the gun and the upper hand for about two seconds.

Getting to Know the Enemy

Another bad guy sprouts up from the shadows, shooting bad guy #1 dead. Burgess uses Psychology 101 and what she’s garnered from other cop shows to try to form a bond with the new bad guy. They bond when he tells her he can’t go back to jail, his long juvy record, and the meaning of life. He even gets into 100 years of oppression talk. It’s an excellent scene with a talented co-star who turns what could be cliché into something authentic and real.

Meanwhile poor Sean is bleeding in the corner, groggily waking up listening to Burgess talk incessantly. Bad guy tells Burgess his name, Aubrey. We’re pretty sure if you reveal your name to your hostages, you’re going to have a hard time shooting them. The perp parade begins with two additional thugs showing up, one who seems to have no problem with cop-killing. When Aubrey takes a turn for the worse, Dr. Roman gives orders from the side, instructing one of the bad guys to go get a straw. He returns with a juice box and Kim’s in business, saving Aubrey through a serious of seriously MacGyver moves involving the straw, wire, and maybe some gum. Yay, good bad guy is saved (for a couple more seconds).

Pictured: Marina Squerciati as Kim Burgess -- (Photo by: Matt Dinerstein/NBC)

Pictured: Marina Squerciati as Kim Burgess — (Photo by: Matt Dinerstein/NBC)

The Bad Guys Just Keep Coming

The really bad, bad guy abruptly shoots Aubrey and the moderately bad, bad guy dead. Burgess and Roman take off again with Sean telling Kim to go, “go get help.” She stays fighting the criminal, falling down some steps. They’re both knocked out for a few minutes, coming to so they can fight it out once again. Roman staggers to help her, stumbling down the stairs. At long last, the good guys win leaving baddie very deadie.

They head out almost reaching the door to their safe passage. But in a “you’ve got to be kidding me” moment, another bad guy shows up in a van.

These evil criminals are like hydra heads, you cut one head off and there are two more in its spot. Where are all these criminals coming from? Intelligence, led by a worried Ruzek, bursts into the scene, saving the day, and rescuing the cop duo.

They’re saved! We kept waiting for another Jason in Friday the 13th moment, but nope, all the bad guys were taken care of.

Burgess Mini-Breakdown

Kim makes it back to the precinct, complimented by Platt, and garnering a slow clap from a crowd of cops for saving her partner’s life and taking down the bad guys. The moment was a little cheesy, leaving us feeling like we’ve witnessed it all before, perhaps even on big brother Chicago Fire.

We see Burgess in the locker room, bruised and shaken up, with Ruzek offering support. She loses it, sobbing in his arms, the day’s events finally hitting her. The next morning she heads back to her usual diner, sitting in her usual spot, finding her stalker in his same seat too. The waitress asks if she wants her usual oatmeal. Kim changes it up, ordering banana chocolate chip pancakes with extra chocolate chips. So the change in breakfast order shows us she’s a somewhat changed woman, mixing it up but also smiling widely satisfied with her choices and with who she is.

Pictured: Jon Seda as Antonio Dawson -- (Photo by: Matt Dinerstein/NBC)

Pictured: Jon Seda as Antonio Dawson — (Photo by: Matt Dinerstein/NBC)

Taser Training Does Not Look Fun

While all the Burgess/Roman drama goes down, back at the precinct a taser certification guy shows up to zap everyone in some required taser training. These scenes were meant to be the humor of the episode but ended up feeling forced without the usual seamless transition of drama peppered with some funny. CPD handles its grit with ease, typically throwing in some lighter moments in between its heavier scenes. These often come with witty banter, a line here or there. In “What Do You Do” the would be humor is supposed to be in watching Ruzek get tased by certification guy, and having Erin volunteer to zap new boyfriend Jay.

Lindsay seductively asks, “Where do you want it?” They’re all laughing and having a knee zapping good time when we cut back to Burgess and bleeding Roman fighting to stay alive. The smooth transitions from funny to serious were definitely missing in this one.

Best line of the night was owned by Hank when taser guy says he’ll have to participate.

“I’ll just stick to tickling perps to death,” Voight answers. Next question?

There was also an “out in left field” conversation between Olinsky and Voight who decide to have snack time in Hank’s office while everyone else gets tased. Voight reminisces about his confrontation with Casey. Really? Right now?

 

Linstead Moving Ahead at Warp Speed

The writers are wasting no time in pushing Linstead into the land of serious relationship. Halstead and Lindsay are still keeping their coupling under wraps but we’re pretty sure their break room flirtations will be discovered by Voight soon. I heard he was a sergeant with the CPD with mad detective skills.

Halstead talks about retiring in Wisconsin with Lindsay looking skeptical. Erin says no way when she hears of the state’s mammoth-sized mosquitoes.

“I don’t remember asking you,” teases Jay.

Later, in the break room, Halstead admits, “And yeah, I meant you and me.” Wait, did I blink and miss a marriage and babies. He’s already talking retirement plans? This relationship has been fast-tracked in what seems to be a fan-pleasing effort more than a love story unfolding before our eyes. What happened to the good old Mentalist days of waiting seven seasons before letting the end game reveal itself in a marriage and pregnancy? Once you go there, you can never go back, so you need to make the going there really good (did that make sense?). After one and a half seasons, the writers have gone there? And now that they have, where does that leave the future of Linstead? In the land of happily ever after? Not likely. Our Magic 8 Ball says there will be a rocky road ahead filled with a break up or two or ten.

Overall, “What Do You Do” was mediocre. Yes, it was tension filled with a rotation of bad guys around every corner or in every van. Yes, it highlighted the super cute, friends only couple Roman and Burgess, but the episode lacked the depth and emotional feels that a Voight/Lindsay centric offering features. The humor fell flat, not with the usual interweaving of serious with sassy. So, we’re left in unfamiliar territory. Our favorite cop drama disappointed tonight. We’ll call it a blip in the string of stellar episodes CPD cranks out week after week and wait for the next installment where Antonio goes deep cover. It’s already got one thing going for it – the hunky Dawson featured prominently. We’ll see you back here next episode as we analyze all things Chicago PD.

Chicago PD airs Wednesdays at 10 pm on NBC.

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