On the heels of the saddest episode in Chicago PD’s history, “There’s My Girl” continues on the tragedy train giving us feel after feel as Erin Lindsay and Trudy Platt express their grief over Nadia’s death in very different ways. We knew Erin would be going dark, tonight offering the beginnings of what to expect from the last two episodes of the season. It looks like we are in for some heavy Kleenex usage rivaling the ChiFi Severide slide after Shay’s death.
This one begins with sad Lindsay looking at pics of her with Nadia on the break room fridge. Sad Platt lets her know she’s getting a memorial stone for the side of the building to honor their girl. When Trudy says, “I miss her every ten minutes” and breaks down we have our official first break down. Erin rushes off, wanting no part of the tear-fest and we get a glimpse into how Lindsay is going to handle her grief. She’s not. She’s going to act like she’s doing no worse than any of them, add a little extra sass to the mix, and pretend that she’s dealing. Sophia Bush is so good throughout the episode, subtle in many of the scenes, and then full on letting the grief bubble over. It was a privilege to watch her level up on the sadness meter one moment at a time.
Yes, Another Bombing
There is a case of the night that serves as a backdrop to the real reason we showed up … to see how Erin and the gang will handle Nadia’s death. Some bomb went off at a small restaurant leaving us to ponder how Chicago is the most bombingest city in the world on PD. There are a few sub-plots and false leads before IU eventually gets its guy. We’ll blow through those pretty quick because, honestly, it was irrelevant compared to the aftermath of last week.
Halstead notices a 12 year old at the scene who obviously (to him) knows something. She creepy watches him from an upstairs window, so he heads up trying to question her. Concerned mom says no way. People who testify end up dead. Jay melodramatically blows and gets a door in the face. Is there anything more fierce than a mama bear protecting her cub?
Later, Halstead asks a priest friend for a favor to push the girl’s mother into a more cooperative mood. He offers up a scholarship to a Catholic school, persuading mom to let her daughter talk.
No Stone for You!
Meanwhile, Platt gets an email that feels more like a double your grief slap in the face. It notifies her that brass has denied the purchase order for the Nadia memorial stone.
“I am gonna attack somebody… the only thing getting pushed around is the person who wrote this … right off a cliff,” she says in typical Platt fashion.
Roman happens to have a cousin who does stone engraving as his “legit” job and tells Trudy he’ll take care of it. Have you noticed that Roman takes care of so many things? When Burgess can’t come up with the wording for the stone, Roman offers up his Zen-like words of wisdom.
“If I die doin’ what I love that’s better than croakin on a chicken bone watching reruns on the couch. Nadia chose this … we keep doin’ our jobs, we’re honoring her.”
Voight to the Rescue
Hank tells Trudy not to sweat it. He’ll take care of getting that stone for Nadia. Voight pulls the I Know What You Did That Summer in 2005 card and sends Roman and Burgess on a field trip to retrieve a box of records from a storage unit labeled, you guessed it, Summer 2005. The cops find the box. Yessss. One step closer to getting that memorial stone.
Voight ends up blackmailing the CPD stone rejecter with a little ‘threat of an indiscretion with a hooker’ reveal. Boy, that paperwork is signed quick and Nadia ends up getting her stone.
“I could just kiss ya Hank,” Platt says, thrilled with the victory.
“Right back at you, Trudy,” Voight replies. Aw, old toughie is really a softie. Sometimes.
Hank tries for an Erin rescue but falls short, his girl not accepting any help from her team.
“How are you holding up?” he asks knowing the answer to that just as we do.
“I wish everyone would stop asking me,” she replies frustrated with the concern.
“I’m not everyone… don’t let this turn into a banana peel for you. You’ve come too far,” Voight warns.
Oh, she’s slipping, slipping on that peel.
No Husband of the Year Award for You
After a couple of false leads, Intelligence discovers that the owner of the bombed out restaurant is the man they’re after. His wife died in the blast leaving him with a hefty life insurance policy. He’s not acting alone. The owner of the building who has a love of forcing out tenants is also mixed up in the explosion.
Best Voight scene of the night is the cop in the cage with the evil husband. “Don’t make me come in there,” Voight warns looking for the man to give up the building owner. Oh yeah, he goes in and we get a Hank slap down.
Voight gives him one chance to tell the whole story. Give up the building owner or you’re taking the fall. Not surprisingly, bad husband talks.
House Husband Jay
The Linstead moment of the night comes as Jay is “allowed” to drive the car for once. Gasp.
Erin admits it’s Nadia’s doing, “I told her how you said you feel like a house husband riding shotgun all the time and she got all righteous and she goes ‘Erin you need to let him drive a little.’”
Don’t get too excited Jay. Erin’s back in the driver’s seat when they spot the suspect they were staking out and give chase.
Halstead didn’t really offer up that shoulder to cry on in tonight’s installment. He went for the not pushy approach, letting Erin try to work things out for herself. I suspect a more direct Jay intervention as this season winds down and Erin high tails it down that rabbit hole.
The memorial stone is installed (that was quick) and Intelligence gathers around to honor Nadia. Anytime either Chicago team (PD or Fire) gathers around to honor the fallen there will be tears. Tonight was no exception.
Lindsay tearfully reads a letter saying Nadia was accepted as a recruit in the CPD. Oh what could have been. They stare at the stone, dramatic music plays, and we feel like we might slip down that hole ourselves.
At episode’s end, Erin pays a visit to bad mom Bunny who’s bartending.
“There’s my girl,” Bunny says. “I’m so sorry you lost your friend.”
Erin confesses she wanted to be for Nadia what Hank was for her. “I pushed her in the direction I’d gone. If I’d just left her alone from the start…” she laments, blaming herself for her friend’s death.
“I didn’t lose her. I got her killed.” She finally cries and we know this is bad, really bad, as she tosses a shot back nodding at her mom.
Erin spends much of tonight using extra sass to cover her extra sad. She isn’t letting anyone in as she struggles to deal with her guilt. The Lindsay-centric episodes are always my favorite because I say good acting should equate to more screen time. And Sophia Bush is queen of good acting.
My only beef with the episode is that it is a road more rather than less traveled. Yes, it’s intriguing to watch Erin go dark. BUT we have been here before with the beginning of this season of Chicago Fire. We had sad Sev week after week, accepting help from no one at first. Truth be told this is a rehash of that storyline.
Will we overlook the lack of originality? Of course we will. Watching Sophia Bush run through the stages of Erin grief will be a don’t miss acting tour de force. Throw Jason Beghe in there and you’ve got two players who can turn the most tired trope into quality television. We’ll be tuning in for these last two hoping for an Erin recovery, but expecting an Erin collapse. Is it wrong to say we can’t wait?
Chicago PD airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on NBC.