With an episode title like “Remember the Devil,” was there ever any way that this episode was going to end well?
The latest episode of Chicago P.D. delivered a thrilling, disturbing case while also managing to break me emotionally as Halstead and Lindsay faced an obstacle in the form of Jay’s past.
Chicago P.D. has always been my favorite One Chicago for a number of reasons. And this episode was the perfect example of why. It delivers procedural level thrills intertwined with great emotional character moments that make this a truly special show. It’s always a rollercoaster of emotions with the case of the week along with the character stories.
Let’s break it down:
We knew this was coming. No television couple is happy for this long without some kind of angst being thrown their way. But that doesn’t mean that it didn’t hurt like hell. That doesn’t mean that I’m not angry. Cause it did. And I am.
After a significant period of time with happiness for Halstead and Lindsay, the writers threw a wrench in their relationship in the form of the past as Jay was forced to revisit his past and made the decision to end things with Erin. At least temporarily.
As a shipper my immediate reaction was: WHY? THIS MAKES NO SENSE AT ALL. THEY WERE HAPPY. THIS CAME OUT OF NOWHERE. THIS DIDN’T NEED TO HAPPEN.
But after taking a step back and putting myself in Jay’s shoes, I could also see why he made the decision he did. This wasn’t Jay breaking up with Erin because he didn’t believe things couldn’t work between them. This was Jay taking a step back because he didn’t want his dark past to jeopardize their future.
Basically, Jay’s ex came to town with a bombshell of her own: Jay was previously married. We learned that it wasn’t super serious – more of a drunken decision mixed with PTSD from the military. But married is married. And apparently the divorce papers that Jay had previously signed didn’t go through. So Abby showed up in Chicago claiming that he needed to sign the divorce papers so that she could get married to a guy in Philly.
But then I put myself in Lindsay’s shoes, and she opened up to Jay about her past with her father. That wasn’t easy. Especially for her. And guess what – they worked through that together.
But once again this boils down more to what Jay believed was best for himself and for his relationship with Erin in the moment. I feel like I’ve understood Erin’s hesitancy much more because it’s something that we’ve gotten to explore on the show. Whereas we haven’t really gotten to explore Jay’s vulnerability as it relates to his past in the military. Sure, we’ve heard that things were rough for him. But he’s never elaborated, he’s never shown us that he was affected by it. Until now.
Later on in the episode we learned that Abby had been lying. Not about the marriage part (ugh), but about the reason that she was in Chicago. There was no fiancé in Philly. There were no divorce papers. Abby came to Chicago because she wanted to make things work with Jay.
Of course the logical person in me is wondering why after so long she decided this was the moment that she wanted to make things work. But then I remember that we live in a television world where logic isn’t always a thing.
Never for a moment did I fear that Jay would all of a sudden be flooded with old feelings for this woman. But it was still nice to hear him tell her that he is not the man for her, but that he hopes that she finds happiness.
Silly me to think that this would be a one-episode arc. Silly me to believe there wouldn’t be any pain. Silly me. Silly me.
When Lindsay came home that night she found Halstead packing a bag. Her shocked face said it all. It was a lot better than my face, which was screaming 80 different emotions. Jay told her that he was going to stay with his brother for a little bit (emphasis on the little bit.)
Abby coming back into his life had opened up new feelings. Not feelings about Abby, but feelings about his troubled past after the Army. Jay realized that he needed some time to fix things within himself. We don’t know the extent of what Jay went through during his deployment. We’ve been presented with this man who appears to have it all together. We’ve heard from Mouse how Jay was able to battle back from the bad. But we’ve never seen it. We’ve never heard specifics. We never got to hear Jay address it specifically.
But this is the time.
While I’m upset that Linstead is temporarily apart (like major upset), I can’t be mad at Jay because he’s doing what he believes is best for himself, as well as for him and Lindsay down the road. If he believes that he needs to fix things within himself before he can be with Lindsay, then that’s what he needs to do.
Ultimately when Jay and Erin reunite, this issue of Jay’s past is something that they’ll confront together. That’s what couples do. This is the good kind of angst. If this were the bad kind, Jay would’ve cheated on Erin with his ex. But these writers know better. They know their characters better than that. So while it sucks, it’s actually going to benefit their relationship in the long run.
This doesn’t feel like a permanent break, more like an obstacle that they’re going to have to work through. And apparently it’s all the rage in television right now to break up happy, loving ships. May sweeps much be fast approaching!
It’s been awhile since we’ve gotten a new episode of Chicago P.D. that I had forgotten that the last new episode we’ve seen has been the crossover event episode where Olinksy’s daughter Lexi died in an arson.
Not only did seeing Olinsky being welcomed back by Voight and Platt feel bittersweet, but it also reminded me of just how emotional that episode was and how it broke Olinsky and the audience.
But as we all know in life, sometimes it’s best to have a distraction than to be left alone with your thoughts. Especially when you’re drowning in emotion, and you have nothing but time to think about said emotion. You just need something to do, something to take your mind off of the heartache.
Which is exactly why Olinsky returned to Intelligence so soon after his daughter died. It wasn’t because he felt he had to be back at work. It was because he needed a distraction. And what better distraction than the Intelligence Unit of the Chicago P.D. that always has something intense going on.
For the most part, Olinsky did pretty well back at work. He was determined to keep the focus on the case and not on his daughter’s death. But when people care about you – as those at Chicago P.D. do – they are going to ask you how you’re doing and let you know they care. And that’s what we got.
Whether it was Platt, who is notorious for her attitude, offering to be the person Olinsky went to if he ever wanted to “not talk” or Ruzek asking Olinsky if he could give him a hug and proceeding to hug him. There was a lot of small moments that remind you the power of this Chicago P.D. family. And while it doesn’t erase what happened, it does make it a little easier knowing you’re surrounded by people who love you.
- My Linstead heart is broken. Like I know couples don’t stay happy on television for long, but that didn’t make it any less painful. It was full of pain. But also full of optimism given the reason for the breakup and the potential that this has to strength Linstead in the long run. BUT IT STILL HURTS.
- Give me more Jay and Will Halstead brother interactions! I don’t care whether it’s on P.D. or Med. I just need them. I would watch a Chicago Halstead spinoff. That’s how much I love them.
- My heart warmed when Ruzek gave Olinsky a hug. Not going to lie, I teared up. Such a beautiful moment that was so small but meant so much. It also reminded me how much I miss Olinsky and Ruzek’s partnership.
- If anyone truly believes they can pull one over on Hank Voight they must be delusional. Our guilty woman surely thought she could. She learned the hard way that Voight means business – and he doesn’t discriminate based on gender. He’ll hurt you all the same.
- Kudos to Chicago P.D. for not using cliched angst with Linstead and Jay’s ex. It would’ve been easy to make it out as if Jay’s feelings for his ex returned. Instead, they used this as a personal issue for Jay and how he hasn’t dealt with his past.
Chicago P.D. airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on NBC.