You know that it’s May Sweeps when an episode of Chicago P.D., which consistently shocks and surprises me every week, has me screaming at my television and cursing and questioning the life decisions of these beautiful and flawed characters.
Ah, sweet emotion.
In Chicago P.D.’s penultimate hour of season 4, “Army of One,” Intelligence dealt with an emotionally charged case that left us feeling sick while also delivering one hell of a thrill ride right up until the last minute.
As there is every week, there was a lesson to be learned from criminals. While these pedophiles are sick and terrible people, not to mention criminals, that doesn’t mean that they should die. Pedophiles aren’t right. But killing them isn’t right, either. It’s the difference between justice versus revenge, which are two entirely different concepts.
But then things got even sicker as it was revealed that the pedophile killer was none other than another pedophile, who was justifying these killings of other pedophiles to free himself of sin. Like are you freaking kidding me?
This man was the worst pedophile of all. The pedophiles he killed had done their crime and done their time. This man, however, was trying to justify his “doing his time” by taking other pedophiles of the street. What made him God all of a sudden?
As if I couldn’t hate this guy any more, this entire case coupled with some questionable decisions on Voight’s part landed Lindsay in hot water as he roll into a season finale that looks even more terrifying than we could’ve imagined.
Let’s break this episode down:
Lindsay Goes Off The Rails
I knew the moment that Bunny showed up in the opening scene of this episode that things were not going to end well for Erin. Bunny has, and will always be, a bad omen that taints Erin. Even if it’s not directly tied to Bunny, the emotional trauma that she brings with her is enough to affect Erin in a way that has never been good.
The first sign that things were starting to disintegrate was when Voight decided to split Lindsay and Halstead up as partners. It was something that had me audibly screaming at the television while also questioning the sanity of this show. But throughout the episode it became clear: this was intentional to drive Lindsay’s story and the shocking moment that has put her entire career in jeopardy.
Where Bunny is Erin’s kryptonite, Jay is Erin’s strength. So the breakup began to make more sense from a story point of view – not the relationship. From what we’ve seen from the relationship, Lindsay and Halstead have been open and trusting even in situations that other television shows could and have broken other couples up over, like the situation with Lindsay’s birth father. There was understanding. There was trust. But in order to deliver Erin to the place where she could break, this show had to take that away from her. It had to take Jay away from her.
I’ll be honest, I assumed that Bunny was going to have something to do with Erin heading to the review board. I thought Bunny was, once again, going to mess Erin’s life up. But she didn’t – at least not directly. Her mere presence set into motion this preexisting and suppressed state of anxiety within Erin, which didn’t help in a case that became personal for her.
There was someone burning pedophiles for their crimes, and when Intelligence caught the guy – a guy that was a pedophile killing other pedophiles to cleanse himself of his sins – things were only just beginning. Turns out this sicko had abducted a child that was somewhere out there scared and alone and dying.
Things turned personal for Erin, who had watched the same thing happen to her friend Ashley when she was younger. Ashley had just disappeared one day and was never seen again. Suddenly, the emotional toll of the case, Bunny’s arrival, and Erin’s relationship with Jay finally overloaded Erin and she snapped. As they tried to get a location out of this pedophile/murderer, she went off. She entered the interrogation room with her gun and used it to beat and threaten the guy until he gave up the location. Unlucky for her, the captain walked in to find her holding her gun and their suspect beaten. I’ve never sighed so heavily internally to the point where it became audible. Until this moment.
Erin was told to go to the review board, where they would review her case. This will obviously be the heavy focus of next week’s season finale, as the board tells Voight to either fire Lindsay or Intelligence will be shut down. Shit just got bad. Like real bad.
But this is where Erin’s journey has been headed at the end of this season. It all makes sense now. It’s been progressive. It’s been unrecognizable if you don’t look close enough. You slowly take away someone’s strength until they come to the point where they need that strength the most.
I’m not saying that if Halstead and Lindsay were still partners that Erin wouldn’t have done that. No – that’s exactly what I’m saying. When it comes to being partners, you not only work together, you have each other’s backs. That means when your partner is about to go into a situation that’s clearly all kinds of trouble that your partner stops you. Halstead would’ve stopped Erin. Perhaps it wouldn’t have even happened at all. Jay would’ve recognized that this is something that Erin needs to talk about, and he would’ve provided that sense of support that she needs. But instead, Erin had a new partner who didn’t know here like Jay does. She didn’t know what to expect or what to do. While a majority of the blame falls on Erin here, it’s also on Voight for taking away that support system.
Splitting Up Linstead On The Force
This is all Hank Voight’s fault. And I’m going to explain to you exactly why.
Remember when Voight asked Jay to be looking out for Erin 24/7? The last time Bunny had pulled her into trouble? Where the hell is that Voight? He just let Erin down by intervening with the one person that can keep her in check: Jay.
Seriously, this overprotective dad angle is getting old, Hank.
The more I look at this storyline and the ridiculous decision to breakup Jay and Erin – a breakup that to this day makes no sense – the more it continues to look as if it was done for the sole purpose of putting Erin in this compromising situation. The goal was to put Erin in a position where she isn’t able to deal with these emotions in a healthy way. Since Erin’s fallout in season 3, Jay has been there to help guide her and be that shoulder to lean on when she’s needed it.
Let’s take the example of Erin’s “birth father,” well “fake birth father,” coming into the picture. Not only was that an emotional event, but considering how it turned out – that Bunny had lied and this man wasn’t her father – Erin emerged on the other side of that pretty much in one piece. She had her moment with Bunny regarding the lying, but Erin was able to put it behind her and move forward. Why? Because she had that solid support system that Jay provided. Not that he was doing it all for her, but she knew that she could rely on him to vent on or cry on.
Now, Bunny reemerges in Chicago bringing with her God knows what kind of drama. It’s Bunny’s mere presence that has a downtrodden effect on Erin. Any presence by Bunny is a bad omen. But as Jay has taken a step back after being overwhelmed by the reemergence of his PTSD, Erin hasn’t had that source of support. Sure, she’s got Voight. But that relationship hasn’t been the same in some time. Sure, she’s always got Jay, but that relationship has been complicated recently.
So with this most recent case involving a child abductor and molester, Erin was transported back in time to a time in her life when things were the worse they’ve been. Erin’s childhood has been rough, and there’s no denying that it’s affected her in a profound way. And she hasn’t dealt with it in the healthiest way. But Halstead has always been that rock since the two were partnered up four years ago.
So when Voight split Jay and Erin up as partners, he wasn’t just splitting up two people that have been involved romantically. He was splitting up two people that have been a support system to each other; two people that can influence each other like none other; two people that can protect each other like none other.
Voight put Lindsay in a position where she overstepped her bounds.
While I’d like to say that it’s as simple as wanting Halstead and Lindsay to be partners because they look so damn good together and work so damn well together. But it’s so much more than that. They’ve become partners in every sense of the word – partners in a way that some haven’t experienced. This wasn’t just about the job. This was about the people working the job.
On a side note, it sounds like Halstead is finally starting to get his head on straight. After taking some time to get in the right frame of mind and dealing with his suppressed PTSD, Jay is finally starting to come to the realization that he done messed up with Lindsay.
“I blew it with Erin.”
While I feel like Jay is completely justified in his actions – it’s all the matter of the person and the circumstances – I’m glad that he’s also seeing it from the other side. The other side being that he should’ve leaned on Erin during this. Instead of being afraid of his damage ruining their relationship, he should’ve had enough faith to trust that it would only strengthen it. But Jay is about to have his chance to redeem himself by being there for Erin in her time of need.
I loved the scene with Olinsky because while, yes, Jay’s job with Intelligence is beyond important to him, he focused on his messing up not with Intelligence but with Erin. This relationship means so much to both Jay and Erin, but they both haven’t been the best when it comes to expressing their emotions. They’ve both made mistakes in their relationship. They’ve both owned up to those. Now, it’s Jay’s turn. And Erin is going to need him more than ever.
- Everything bad that happened with Erin is all Voight’s fault. By splitting Halstead and Lindsay up, Voight took away the one person that always has Erin’s back – both from a professional and personal stance. Jay can keep Erin in check. Without him, Erin lost her cool and her job is now in jeopardy. Way to go, Hank.
- Did I mention I’m NOT OKAY with Voight splitting Jay and Erin up? Because I’m still not. And now Lindsay’s career hangs in the balance, as well as that partner reunion. Curse May sweeps.
- This entire case was just insane and significantly emotional. And that’s saying something for a show that delivers those kind of cases and episodes week after week. Questioning the moral line between the bad guys and extracting revenge on the bad guys. It was interesting.
- Every time Bunny shows up something goes wrong. She says she might be leaving Chicago, but you never know with her. And even though she wasn’t the source of Erin’s issues in this episode, you can’t deny the fact that right after she showed up Erin had one of the worst days in a while. It’s Bunny’s mere presence that’s an omen.
- Why does Chicago P.D. have to introduce Upton before they take her away after the season finale? Because I really like her, but I know it’s temporary. Or maybe it isn’t given Erin’s current predicament. Well, Upton has been a nice addition to the unit that I’ll surely miss when she departs.
Chicago P.D. airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on NBC.