A perfect title for tonight’s crossover #OneChicago episode would have been “A huge, helluva devil complex.” We pick up right where Fire left us. The arsonist, Adrian Gish, is back and so smug about his arson accomplishments. Guest star Robert Knepper sends a mighty shiver down our spines throughout “A Little Devil Complex.” Gish looks like he should be on every kind of offender list, causing us to count the minutes until he gets what’s due to him. Gabby’s enlisted her brother’s help, so it’s a no-brainer that Intelligence will get him in the end. We were taking bets on who would get to do the honors. Let’s look at all the pieces of the Gish takedown.
A Gish Is not a Gish
Antonio and Voight bring in the bad guy going at him pretty hard. He’s unfazed only ramping up the creep-o-meter. When Gish yawns in Voight’s face, we know we are not dealing with a mere human. Antonio says he wants to correct “God’s mistake.”
The arsonist answers, “You think I was made by God? Last time I checked, fire was the devil’s tool.”
We find out Adrian Gish is not Adrian Gish. He’s Ross McGowan. The real Gish was killed in a, wait for it, fire. This Gish legally took his name after, we assume, burning him to a crisp. Later we find out that Gish is not a McGowan either. Ross McGowan was a firefighter killed in the same fire that claimed Peter Mills’ father. It just gets deeper and twistier and sicker.
This bad guy had to be one of the most goosebump-inducing characters we’ve seen on CPD, the real stuff of nightmares. It made for some excellent television and an episode we will not soon forget. PD is consistently good, not spreading itself too thin in character or plot. Tonight was no exception – it was all let’s track down Shay’s killer with a little side trip to Platt happyland for comic relief.
Shiny Happy Platt
Perhaps even scarier than the creepy arsonist is the cheery demeanor of normally crotchety Platt. Whatever she’s taking, we all need. She is smiling and being downright motherly to Burgess and Roman. Please don’t ever kill off Trudy, Chicago PD writers. She is a highlight of every episode she’s in. CPD can get dark, way darker than its Chicago Fire brother, so her little light of normally cranky pants sarcasm is so needed. The humor was on full display tonight.
Burgess knows something’s got to be up with the Platt giddiness. She notices an “observer” watching every move of the sergeant. “Who is that man? What is he holding over you?” Kim asks Trudy.
Platt admits it’s someone with “the city bureau of disciplinary action” whatchamacallit. She says someone complained about her people skills, even calling her “demeaning.” The sergeant says she loves her job and can’t handle early retirement.
Sweet Kim decides to sing Platt praises to the observer, even calling her “an amazing woman and cop… she runs it (the precinct) firmly and fairly with a ton of charisma.”
The hatchet man takes notes, seemingly interested in Burgess’ evaluation of the sergeant. But by episode’s end, we discover that the hatchet man is really a reporter for the Sun-Times writing a feature on grumpy Platt. You just got played, Kim! Burgess is not amused, but Roman is happy for the couple of nice shifts they got from their sergeant. She lets him know “that quota’s done for the month.” Of course it is.
Gabby’s Working Overtime
Gabby Dawson pulls double duty working with the cops to try and bring down the arsonist who killed her best friend. She tells her brother, “You need to arrest him! You make something up, get him thrown in the pit and you never look back.”
Antonio is the voice of reason, saying it doesn’t work like that. He believes in the system, not the Voight way. Gabby is unconvinced, looking for a brand of Hank justice, even telling brother that “if he kills somebody else, that’s on you.”
Oh those CPD feels. Seeing Dawson so desperate for some vengeance against the man who killed Shay was heartbreaking. That desperation created such a sense of urgency throughout “A Little Devil Complex” that our hearts were racing and we needed an hour after game time to ratchet down before sleep.
It’s a Slow Burn
Gish is not going down (hopefully to a permanent sleep) without a fight. He seems to thrive under the microscope of IU, toying with the team as they tail him. Finally, there’s a break, with Lindsay suspecting a particular inciting incident which may have created this monster. The team looks into families who were killed by fire with only one surviving member. Bingo! Turns out Gish’s family was killed in a fire when he was a boy. They track down his home and find a creepy serial killer looking altar to … Gabby.
The cops discover he’s luring Gabby to a building by sending false texts from Sylvie. The last ten minutes are non-stop action with Antonio and IU racing to get to her with parallel scenes of arsonist versus Gabby. Those minutes are creepy-intense with Gish trapping girl Dawson in an elevator, dousing her with gasoline, and threatening to throw a lighter on her.
Those minutes were almost torture for us, waiting for her brother to get there, Gish with that darn lighter. Antonio makes it in the building, but then it’s another two hours (maybe less) until he gets into an elevator above the arsonist. He takes his shot, nailing Gish in the head. Yesss! The lighter falls and Gabby miraculously catches it. It was a slow, taking almost every minute of the episode, burn, but there was finally justice for Shay.
It was a quick vacation with the feds, but our favorite dimpled detective is back. The guys give her a hard time, but welcome her back with open arms. Especially Halstead. They have a little flirty time in the break room with Erin saying she doesn’t want them to end just because she’s back. She wants to keep it on the down low, but Jay says let’s be loud and proud.
Later, Halstead shows up at Erin’s door (I’m feeling a theme here) and they have some major kissy time. Erin says they can tell Hank if he wants to, but Jay says he doesn’t really want to talk about Hank at the moment. Good call, young one. Linstead is so on. Who is not looking forward to Voight’s reaction? You know his no-office romance senses are on high alert and it’s only a matter of time (probably minutes) before he catches wind of the relationship. One word of warning, Daddy’s got a big gun.
Bunny Hopped on By
Erin’s mom is back setting up for the case they’ll be working on next week. It seems Bunny has a lead on a murder and wants Erin to investigate. Who smells something fishy on this one? Bunny is now part time PI? We’re sure there’s more to the story and also sure we’ll find out what that is next week.
So what did you think of “A Little Devil Complex?” There were definite moments of suspending disbelief in this one, much more than a normal Chicago PD episode. The fact that the cops don’t bust the arsonist after all his shenanigans is unbelieveable. Do we need to even mention the lighter catch? Nah, we didn’t think so. And the Molly’s scene near the end where Boden, Megan, and even Peter Mills show up to celebrate the death of the arsonist was missing one person – Severide. Why on earth would they not have Kelly joining that little “the witch is dead” soiree?
Despite these slight blips on the believability radar, “A Little Devil Complex” gave us a heart pounding, action packed episode with one of the best guest stars the show has ever snagged. Knepper was riveting and plays creepy, “just seen on Dateline predator” like no other actor we know. Crossover equates to good television. Got it. We’ll see you back here next week to check out what Bunny’s really up to, if a murder actually happened, and if Linstead comes clean or goes black ops.
Chicago PD airs Wednesdays on NBC at 10 p.m.