One thing that I’ve learned watching Chicago P.D. is that its fresh storytelling leaves no room for easy answers. Every episode has its own unique case and feel that always feels more intense than your typical procedural. It’s the Chicago P.D. way.
Rarely do I find myself surprised by Chicago P.D. because I’ve learned to expect the crazy and unexpected. But in its latest hour “I Remember Her Now,” Chicago P.D. blew me away with its shocking turn of story and the emotional intensity that hung like a thick cloud over the characters and the audience for the entire hour.
The amazing thing about Chicago P.D. is that it manages to find these cases that really affect certain characters in an emotional way. Sometimes it’s less emotional than others. But sometimes it’s more emotional as it was for Jay Halstead in this undercover mission that turned dark and had me second guessing what I believed was actually happening.
In “I Remember Her Now,” Intelligence responded to the death of a 15-year-old girl who had been crushed in an abandoned building. They soon learned that she had escaped from Brady, a treatment center for troubled girls. In order to get a handle on what was going down, Intelligence planted someone on the inside.
Halstead was undercover as one of the counselors and got an up close look at what was happening. What started off merely as a suspected murder case become something else entirely. When one of the girls, Ellie, approached Halstead and offered sexual favors, he immediately became aware that something else was happening here.
There was a certain animosity between two particular girls in Brady: Ellie, who became Halstead’s informant sort-of, and Tonya, who had this aura about her that immediately put her on the suspicious or dangerous list. As Halstead continued to push Ellie to open up to him — without crossing the line – he soon learned that the girls were trading sexual favors with the guards for a way out of this place.
But it soon became more than that. Turns out the murder of that 15-year-old girl didn’t happen in that abandoned building. It happened right inside a secret room at Brady that was home to a prostitution ring led by one of the girls.
The trippy thing that really got me was when the focus shifted on who was the one that killed that 15-year-old girl. Once Ellie came clean and told Halstead that it was Tonya who had killed her – and Tonya the one who was leading this prostitution ring – things started spiraling out of control, as did Halstead.
When Voight and Halstead brought Tonya in for questioning, she had a different story. She says that it was Ellie, not her, that was running things and she was the one that came to her for help. Ellie was the one who killed that girl.
Obviously my first response was that this Tonya girl was lying to save her ass. Anyone can say anything, but it doesn’t make it true. The thing that started to make me question things was when video footage put Ellie inside that secret room before, during, and after the time of death. She never left that room, which would lead one to believe that it was Ellie that was lying. She wasn’t the victim. She was guilty.
Emotions were running high for Halstead, who began to really second guess himself as the severity of this case and the lie this Tonya girl was spreading about him having sex with Ellie. The entire situation really got to Halstead, which is what so often happens during undercover missions where you find yourself getting attached and putting your faith in your “informants.”
This was a case that Halstead’s emotions were really tested as there were times when Ellie would be tugging at his pants and kissing his cheek long before he revealed himself to be a cop. There was a lack of comfortability and a sense of helplessness during this situation that he couldn’t entirely control.
But when all seemed hopeless – and the case was in jeopardy of being thrown out on a count of it was believing one girl over another girl – Halstead remembered something that led to a definitive verdict.
If Tonya was this ring leader as Ellie told us she was – and who we expected at one point – there would be a cash supply hidden somewhere within those walls. They hadn’t been able to find it, but it was there somewhere. Jay remembered Tonya coming and going from one of the classrooms. The thing that made it suspicious was that she had absolutely no reason for being there, which was a light bulb moment for Halstead that ended up solving this case.
Halstead and Lindsay rummaged through the Brady classroom and found a cash supply in one of the walls, as well as a cell phone that belonged to Tonya. Her social media accounts were linked. Her contacts were inside. And her fingerprints were all over it.
Check and mate.
Usually Chicago P.D. tends to pull us along on these wild and emotional rides that leave us thinking about the episode after it’s aired. It’s able to address some really serious, real-life situations in a way that’s respectful and educational.
“I Remember Her Now” was one of those episodes that really shines in recent memory as it wove this story that had us second guessing what we believed was happening, while also serving as a reminder that there was more than one wrong thing happening in that place.
Chicago P.D. continues to prove why it’s as addictive a show as it is important.
- This was one of the craziest episodes of Chicago P.D. yet. And we all know that this show is never an ordinary show with ordinary cases. But this case was one that absolutely blew me away. It was thrilling, emotional, had me on the edge of my seat, and had me questioning myself and what I thought was happening. What a ride.
- Jesse Lee Soffer absolutely KILLED it in this episode. This was no ordinary undercover operation. They can always get emotional, but this one took it to an entirely new level. Being thrown in that kind of situation…I can’t even imagine. Jesse was sensational in his portrayal of Halstead as he grappled with the severity and sensitivity of this undercover case.
- “See you at home.” It was such a small Linstead moment, but it was absolutely glorious as we continue to see how Erin and Jay manage to make their partnership work both in work and at home. And Jay’s smile afterward…my heart was happy.
- The importance of this episode was not lost on the audience. Chicago P.D. tackles cases that come from real-life occurrences and shed light on these occurrences that can sometimes make us uncomfortable. But it’s able to do it with grace and educate us on what’s happening in the world and inspire us to do something.
- Two nights of back-to-back Jay Halstead? Hell yes! Halstead made a cameo in Tuesday’s Chicago Fire and this Chicago P.D. was a Halstead-centric episode that certainly satisfied me. What a great week!
Chicago P.D. airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on NBC.