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Home TV REVIEW: Atwater Steps Up in Chicago PD’s “Prison Ball”

TV REVIEW: Atwater Steps Up in Chicago PD’s “Prison Ball”

BY Lisa Casas

Published 7 years ago

This week’s CPD brought us the episode we’ve all been waiting for.

No, not that highly promoted three way thing coming next week. This is the caged hotness, orange is the new badass, good boys behind bars installment that left us wondering how our hot cops can look so good in prison jumpsuits. An added bonus – there was a touching, all those feels, case of the week thrown into the mix.


Who Puts a Hit on a 10-year-old?

The case of the night is the murder of a ten-year-old girl, shot dead in the street. Chicago PD never shies away from the graphic, and tonight was no exception. We see the little girl, Maya, laying in a pool of blood, so disturbing and sad. The murder leads to a high stakes investigation and undercover operation made that much more pressing with the face of that dead girl imprinted on all our brains.

It turns out she was set to testify in a robbery case. A high school basketball hotshot is the accused thief with a bad guy uncle, Tucker, who’s been “looking after” his nephew, even from his jail cell. Voight knows this guy ordered the hit. Now, he’s got to prove it.

Atwater begs to go under cover, the little girl was his sister’s age. Voight complies sending in Ruzek as well and we have our most exciting undercover operation of the season. The plan? Atwater’s trying to get the bad guy to admit to the hit. Simple enough, right? They can talk sports, families and just ease on into the killing a ten-year-old conversation. What could go wrong?


Little Juvenile Delinquent Explorers

Meanwhile, Sergeant Platt sends Burgess and Roman on a little mission – show three police Explorers around the station. Roman is more than excited. He was an Explorer (of course he was). The kids look less than thrilled but over eager former Explorer is not letting that dampen his enthusiasm

When he takes them to the cool “I can see you but you can’t see me” mirror the three take off.

Surprise, surprise, the Explorers are not really Explorers. Platt reveals that they’re juvenile delinquents getting a second chance. Well, it looks like they took that chance and ran with it, or drove with it. The new commander asks why three young boys were just seen driving his take home car off the premises. Uh, oh. Roman’s not happy that Platt called those little criminals Explorers.

The trio of troublemakers shoplift, tearing a clothing store apart in record time. The owner stops them, detaining the group until the cops can come. Roman lectures the teens about turning their lives around, but they’re more interested in mocking him than listening.

“I messed up,” Platt admits back at the station, “I know it’s strange for me too.” She tells Roman she’s going to throw the book at them. He says, “give me a minute” and lets the wayward teens go saying this is their one break. He passes out cards letting them know if they want to join the Explorers for real give him a call. One of the kids stays behind to find out more. It’s cheesetastic, but I find myself with a lump in my throat. Roman, we could get used to you.


Pictured: (l-r) Jason Beghe as Hank Voight, Elias Koteas as Alvin Olinsky, Justin Cornwell as James Grant -- (Photo by: Matt Dinerstein/NBC)

Pictured: (l-r) Jason Beghe as Hank Voight, Elias Koteas as Alvin Olinsky, Justin Cornwell as James Grant — (Photo by: Matt Dinerstein/NBC)

Lots of Linstead Moments

The teen squeals of delight echoed throughout the Twitterverse rejoicing with all the Linstead moments in “Prison Ball.” Erin asks Jay about the guy who wants to hire her away from Intelligence. Halstead doesn’t know anything but tells her to talk to Olinsky. She says to keep it under wraps, no need to worry daddy Hank just yet, right?

Later, Halstead tells Erin she doesn’t really want to join that task force. “You’d miss seeing my smiling face everyday.” She says, “That settles it.” Hmmm, what did she mean by that? Are any of us really worried that she’s leaving IU, leaving Voight, and leaving her skinny jeaned partner? Nah, this girl’s staying as long as the ratings will allow.


Don’t Drop the Soap, Boys

Life behind bars does not go as smoothly as our cute cops had wished. Atwater’s trying to talk to bad guy Tucker, turned away by his cronies. Ruzek is trying to build a reputation as a narc killer, and Antonio’s trying not to look too hot in his prison guard uniform.

The guys are ready to bust this little girl killer, but bad guy Tucker gets moved to protective custody. Great, now what? Ruzek decides he’ll attack Atwater with a lunch tray because getting in a fight is the best way to get moved to where Tucker is. It works!

Atwater gets shuffled off to protective custody and he’s laser locked on Tucker, eye stalking him, hoping they’ll be cell buddies so he can get that confession. He finally makes contact saying he’s got to have a heart to heart about bad guy’s nephew. Atwater brings up the little girl in a not so smooth move. Tucker’s not biting.

Things are not going any better for Ruzek who gets put in solitary confinement. Hilariously, he freaks out after about two minutes. OMG, I think former flight attendant Burgess could’ve lasted longer.

Atwater’s still not faring any better. Tucker’s right hand man informs bad guy that Atwater’s a cop. He fights it out with both guys sending one over the railing. I think he could’ve sent twenty guys over the railing with those muscles. He beats Tucker senseless calling him a “punk ass bitch” and the whole prison cheers. We cheer. Our boys can taste freedom now.


Pictured: (l-r) Marsha Stephanie Blake as Janice Watkins, Laroyce Hawkins as Kevin Atwater -- (Photo by: Matt Dinerstein/NBC)

Pictured: (l-r) Marsha Stephanie Blake as Janice Watkins, Laroyce Hawkins as Kevin Atwater — (Photo by: Matt Dinerstein/NBC)

The Roman/Olinsky Connection

We finally find out what the Roman stink eye toward Olinsky is all about. Roman tells Alvin, “Peter Burn, we were partners. He was shot three times. You could have helped him, but instead you let him bleed out and didn’t get him help.” We can tell O knows what he’s talking about.

Later, Olinsky tells Roman that there were other cops at the scene. He says he was after a felon, and he’d do it all the same way if given the choice. Roman doesn’t want to hear it saying his partner is in a wheelchair for the rest of his life drawing disability. Well, that went well.


Let’s Wrap This One Up

Atwater shows more of his teddy bear tendencies at the end of “Prison Ball.” He sees the mom of the little girl at CPD letting her know they got him. They got all of ‘em. He gives her a huge bear hug, making us all say a collective “Aw!”

Erin meets with the task force guy who convinces her that if she does well she can take on any cases she wants. She can make a difference getting in front of cases rather than playing clean up crew. She’s thinking about it. Sort of. Not really. We can’t have Detective Lindsay leaving the CPD … we’ll be missing those touchy feely scenes like tonight’s emotional one with Maya’s mom telling Erin she doesn’t believe a word she’s saying. She doesn’t think the cops will be able to deliver one promise. Lindsay gets to prove her wrong and show us again what a huge heart she has.

The last scene of the night shows Atwater hugging his little sister, telling her he loves her. And again, we all say, “Aw!”

This week’s episode gave us everything we’ve come to expect from CPD – emotional feels, gritty storylines, exciting action sequences, and our favorite badass cops catching the bad guy. The spotlight was firmly on Atwater and he killed it in this one. What’s up next for Voight and his team? A highly promoted crossover event that will hopefully live up to the hype and far surpass the “stand alone” crossover from last season that was like the Voldemort of all episodes – never to be mentioned again. I’ll see you back here next week to talk all things Chicago and NY – Fire, SVU and mostly PD. Who knows? We may even get a teeny Linseride moment thrown in.

 Chicago PD airs Wednesdays on NBC at 10 pm

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