TV REVIEW: Chicago PD’s “Disco Bob” AKA Father of the Year
BY Lisa Casas
Published 7 years ago
“Disco Bob” should be a sort of filler episode to hold us over until the big Chicago Fire crossover event heads our way on February 3 and 4. But like Hank Voight, does CPD do anything it should do? Heck no, and we are some lucky viewers as a result.
This one features the usual case of the week, but it’s the human stories interwoven in the cop drama that are the highlight of tonight’s offering. We see Erin struggling with her new job with the feds; it is not all she imagined, and I’m sure she’s ready to shoot anyone who says “the grass is not always greener.” We get a glimpse into Adam’s backstory, meeting his dad, Bob Ruzek (guest starring the always excellent Jack Coleman) who reveals he is so much more than his “Disco Bob” nickname. Perhaps the finest scenes of tonight’s episode involve the enigmatic Hank Voight, often oversimplified as a gritty, tough as nails cop. Jason Beghe gives such a layered performance, going beyond that one dimensional, scratch the surface description. Let’s get right into this one.
Linstead Needs to “Rehydrate”
The Linstead hookup picks up right where we left off with half naked Erin and Jay in the afterglow of sexy time.
“I need to rehydrate,” says Halstead sucking down some water.
“Does that mean you’re done?” Lindsay teases.
“No, just in between rounds,” he answers.
The flirty banter’s interrupted when Erin says she’s going undercover in Bolivia … for SIX MONTHS. He takes it well saying he’s happy for her. He does get a little happier when he finds out she has 24 hours before she leaves.
Later, Erin shows up at Intelligence hilariously announcing, “I’m like the loser who graduates from high school and hangs around in the parking lot because I have nothing better to do.” Poor Lindsay struggles throughout this one doubting her job hopping choice. She misses her family and it’s written on her face in every scene.
She spies Halstead for a little more one on one. Just talking this time. They agree they don’t know what will happen down the road, so they’ll just keep an open mind. It will be interesting to see where this goes in the weeks to come and if Voight will keep an open mind when he inevitably finds out.
Disturbing Case of the Week
Chicago PD never shies away from the grisly, disturbing cases that can make your skin crawl. Tonight we see a dead mom and daughter, murdered in their living room, gunshot wounds riddling their bodies. Ruzek’s dad is a cop at the crime scene immediately getting into a pissing contest with Voight over locating a ping on the missing dad’s cell phone. We know this cannot really be about a phone. It turns out the two have history. More on that in a bit.
Our team discovers the boy in the family may be injured and hiding out somewhere.
Suspect #1 is the dad whose shifty demeanor, missing Smith & Wesson, and weasely look on his face left us thinking this has got to be our guy, right? Not so fast, another suspect has entered the building.
Sergeant Platt is thrilled to see Papa Ruzek at the precinct, calling him “Disco Bob.” They apparently also go way back and we can’t help but wonder if Mouch is up for a little competition. Who wouldn’t love to see two men compete for Trudy’s heart? Oh, the possibilities.
Elder Ruzek is there to share a new suspect; he saw a bystander at the crime scene a couple of times and has even gotten his name, Alexander Gage.
The cops track down Gage who has what looks like a shrine of Lucy Denton, the dead lady. Stalk much? On further investigation, they discover that the suspect was just trying to get back at Lucy, a reporter, for exposing his business hired illegals. He wanted to expose that she was having an affair. One red herring down. PD loves to shock us at the end and tonight is no exception.
“I’m Worried About You Worried About Me”
Roman and Burgess are struggling to make it back to normal. Getting shot can do that to a person. The problem is that Roman seems to be the one with the bigger issues despite the fact it was Kim who got shot. He is joined at her hip, and it’s pretty adorable. The pair canvass the victims’ neighborhood garnering a break that leads them to the dead girl’s boyfriend, Owen. He mentions a nearby foreclosed house they would escape to. Sounds like the perfect hiding place for a little boy. In fact, they do find him in the empty house, barely alive.
By episode’s end, the partners are at Molly’s reflecting on the day. It is a cute little scene where I can’t help but notice these two have chemistry. It will be interesting to see if the writers keep it a sexless Shayveride chemistry where they remain best friends or if they venture into romantic triangle land.
Burgess says, “I can’t do my job if I’m worried about you worried about me.” Roman presents her with her bullet proof vest, framed, and promises to quit with the crazy worrying. Hermann makes an “if you blink you missed me” scene and hangs up the cop wall décor. So these two are going to be okay, and we’re left relieved that Kim turned down that IU position last week. This does seem to be where she belongs.
Disco Bob Is in the House
Tonight was the night for father/son feels making us change our minds and initial judgments about Ruzek’s dad. Adam asks Olinsky about the beef between Voight and his father. Alvin is way chattier than normal, telling the young one that 15 years ago at a retirement party the old guys had a few too many cocktails and Papa Ruzek called Hank a “dirty cop” while Voight retaliated with the always insulting “dog cop.”
Adam meets dad for dinner, and two bites in we are ready to nominate Disco Bob as Father of the Year. The older Ruzek shows that even without the arrest record of Voight, without the accolades and awards, he is a man and father who few can measure up to. He tells his son, “The night you were born and I held you in my arms, I made a decision. It was more important to me to be your dad than to be a cop. I transferred to the 26… I was there to coach your teams, to drive you to school, to take you to the movies. I wanted to come home to my son every night.”
Ruzek is making some discoveries about dear old dad, realizing that his foot cop father has some real hero qualities.
Bob adds, “A man’s greatest achievement is when his son becomes more successful than him.”
Father and son toast in what was easily the most emotional scene of the night. Ruzek comes off as such an oaf at times, adding welcome comic relief. It was refreshing to see him in a different light, playing off an awesome guest star, making us wipe away a few tears.
Things Are Never What They Seem
CPD surprised us with the ending of this one, or should I say endings. The solving of the case led to the arrest of a killer we did not expect. And that final scene with Erin and sort of dad Voight was a mini-shocker.
Antonio lets Voight know the suspected killer dad is down in the cage. Hank is looking at pics of the gruesome crime scene. It’s as if he’s mustering up what he needs to go down there and get some information or a confession from their suspect. Beghe conveys this with a facial expression while perusing through those photos. He turns pit bull in an instant as he turns the screws on the dad. No confession yet, but we’re all certain this is our guy. Until we discover our guy is not the guy.
The team eventually links the murder to the boyfriend! Turns out it was all for love. Owen was upset the mom didn’t think he was good enough for her daughter. He just wanted to scare her, using an ex con looking for money and jewelry to rough up Lucy. The con ends up killing mother and daughter instead. Chicago PD played their usual entertaining game of gotcha and did in fact “get us” with the reveal of the boyfriend being unwittingly responsible for the murders.
Voight has one more item to take care of… he’s at the hospital outside the little boy’s room, waiting for the dad.
“It’s never fun looking at family members as suspects. I’m sorry for your loss and for what we put you through.” You know those words could not have come easy for the sergeant, but softy Hank is a pleasure to watch. It doesn’t come often, but when it does we know it will be a highpoint of the episode.
From a highlight to the only criticism of the night – the wrap up of the Erin Lindsay/Fed storyline. Erin hates her new job and her new boss who promptly hits on her and then insults her with the comment that she can babysit the bad guy’s wife in Bolivia, perhaps getting their nails done. We know she is not putting up with much more of this. We just didn’t suspect she would call it quits so soon.
Erin shows up on Hank’s doorstep and sort of risks her life. Well, not really, but you’ve gotta love the way Voight answers his door with a shotgun in hand.
Erin asks, “Is it too late to get my spot back in Intelligence?”
He cuts her off, “Welcome back.” Wow, that was so fast my head was spinning. The Erin with the feds storyline had a rushed feel. We all knew she was coming back to IU, and we knew we’d cheer the day she returned to her real family. It was a risky move, sending our female lead away from the title of the show, the PD, but we were hoping to get a little more Federal Agent Lindsay before things returned back to normal.
“Disco Bob” had much going on with our favorite cops solving a gruesome double murder, dealing with father/son issues, resolving partner issues, beginning a new relationship, and remedying a bad job decision. Episodes that try to do too much oftentimes end up falling flat. Tonight was not one of those cases. The sheer force of the performances made for some riveting TV that keeps us coming back to this NBC drama week after week. Can it be said too often that Beghe’s performance is one to be applauded (don’t answer that)? And who does not want to see Bob Ruzek make a return appearance?
What did you think of “Disco Bob” and the Erin return to IU? Premature or about darn time? Did the Linstead flirtation and afterglow live up to your expectations? The highly promoted crossover event is just two weeks away when we will hopefully find out #WhoKilledShay. We’ll see you back here on February 4th to talk crossover, firemen and police, arsonists, and hopefully a little justice served to a certain Prison Break alum who took away our sassy Leslie Shay.
Chicago PD airs Wednesdays on NBC at 10 pm