Chicago P.D. can do it all. It can deliver thrilling cases that leave your head spinning while also touching your heart, making you laugh, and making you feel like someone is pounding on your heart with a hammer.
That was “Little Bit of Light” in a nutshell. This week’s Chicago P.D. was a powerful one that consisted of a shocking case with a brave woman fighting for herself after her family let her down. It was a reminder that while, yes, family should protect you. Sometimes, you just have to protect yourself.
As Intelligence dealt with a case that featured a murder of that sleazy reporter that we’ve seen from time to time, it was a reminder that despite one’s personal preferences for a person, they’re still a person. As was this reporter, who was brutally murdered for trying to protect someone he cared about very much. Despite being one of the most powerful families in Chicago, Intelligence managed to take down a man that had not only murdered a man in cold blood but had raped his daughter when she was 9-years-old and failed to recognize that there was anything wrong with it.
Chicago P.D. can be dark. So it’s nice to balance out the darkness with strong character moments – even if one of those storylines involves you sobbing into your pillow. As Kim Burgess welcomed her sister to town, Halstead and Lindsay dealt with the aftermath of their “break,” that hurt even more than I had expected it to. Happiness is a rare occurrence on television. Prayer circle for its return.
Let’s break it down:
Time to Heal (aka Linstead Angst)
I feel like there should be a pool where people bet how long I can emotionally last with Jay and Erin being on a break. Because I barely survived the first day yet alone the week. And then this episode happened, where it reminded me of the pain, the heartbreak, and the love that still thrives within them.
I guess you could say Jay and Erin’s relationship status is complicated. They didn’t exactly break up, but they did take a break after Jay decided that he needed time to fix his personal issues. While the show didn’t address the distance between the two in “Little Bit of Light” until about halfway through, the distance was palpable. It’s something that you wouldn’t really notice unless you were really focused on it. But it’s something you’d see when you watch episodes back. Jay and Erin have this magnetic dynamic that pulls them together. They’re partners in every sense of the word. They’re the truest form of partners that rely on one another in times of need. There’s a natural instinct to stand a little closer together. But that was gone in this episode.
Last week was gut-wrenching. Watching Jay sacrifice his happiness because it was what was best and then seeing Erin try to reassure him that they could get through this together. It was a scene that replayed in my head to the tune of a sad song. But then watching the disconnect this week, it was painful.
They didn’t speak to each other directly until Jay approached Erin at the end of the episode. That just doesn’t happen. And it was as painful as you’d expect. Sure, there was pressure from Voight that if Jay and Erin didn’t manage to get back to “work” that he’d be gone. But this was about so much more than that. This was about the fact that Jay felt this divide in spades. It caused him physical pain. When he’d look in her direction, she wouldn’t meet his eyes. When he’d walk near her, she’d step away. His sad eyes tracked her every move as they both internally suffered.
Jay reiterated that he needs time. Time to fix his problems that stem from his time in the military, problems that were recently reawakened. Erin said that she, too, needed time. Time to process, perhaps.
Jay and Erin aren’t apart because they want to be. We know Erin certainly didn’t want to take a break. When Jay said he needed some time to get his problems in order, he was sacrificing his happiness because he didn’t want to risk ruining their relationship. Jay has seen – and experienced – firsthand the effects that PTSD can have on people, and him specifically. He wasn’t going to let that hurt Erin or their relationship. So he did the only thing he could do. He took a step back.
Jay didn’t walk out because he wanted to. He walked out because he felt he had to. He wasn’t willing to chance ruining his relationship with Erin because he wasn’t in the right state of mind. It’s not fair to her. And it’s not fair to him.
So Jay has every right to yearn. This situation isn’t happy for anyone. But if it’s time that Jay and Erin both need, it’s time that they’ll get. Time to work through their personal issues, time to think about their relationship, time to heal, and time to reunite.
Kim’s Family Situation
Burgess welcomed a family member to town in “Little Bit of Light” when her sister Nicole came to Chicago for what Burgess thought was a short visit. Turns out there was more to it than just that.
While we’d gotten to meet Zoe, Kim’s niece, a couple seasons back, this is the first time we’ve gotten to meet Burgess’ sister. I always love it when we get to meet family members on these shows. It illustrates the importance of character moments on procedurals so that there’s a connection between the audience.
I’ll be honest, at first I thought Burgess’ sister was going to show up merely for a quick visit, which consisted of seeing her (ex?) brother-in-law in what was one of the funniest moments of the show in a while. Ruzek has always been a good guy. Sure, he makes mistakes. He is a guy, after all. But he always has good intentions. So even when Burgess warned him that her sister hated him now, he still made an effort to greet her. While it blew up in his face, I, for one, couldn’t have enjoyed it more as Nicole threw him some not-so-lowkey shade that left Halstead and Lindsay gawking in astonishment.
As the episode progressed, we saw that there was a reason that Nicole ventured to town. It wasn’t just for a weekend with her sister. She was getting divorced, which completely blindsided Kim. We didn’t get a lot of context here, which I assume will come in the episodes coming up, but it really set up some nice emotional moments for Burgess moving forward.
Given Kim’s engagement and subsequent breaking off of said engagement, this surely triggered some feelings within her that probably made her start thinking about her situation with Ruzek. There’s literally been no mention – other than some longing glances between Burgess and Ruzek – of the sizzling kiss the two exes shared when Ruzek returned from his undercover assignment. It happened. But it hasn’t been dealt with.
Expect that to change. We’re ready.
1. So Jay’s face after Kim’s sister dragged Ruzek will have me laughing for weeks. Single handedly the greatest reaction I’ve seen in a long time. Give it for Jesse Lee Soffer. The still is begging to be memed.
2. Halstead and Lindsay being distant broke my damn heart. Like Jay told her, that’s not them. They’ve always had this lovely rapport both professionally and personally. So when that’s gone, it’s like they’re strangers. I don’t know how long I’ll be able to survive this!
3. But perhaps not as much as Chicago P.D. cutting a scene where Jay told Erin about his PTSD group. It’s not fluff, this is important information. This is showing that Jay isn’t standing idly by just hoping things get better for him. This is Jay actively trying to fix his problems so that he can be with Erin. How do you cut that of all scenes?! (Even Sophia Bush was pissed!)
4. I really miss Burgess and Platt’s interactions. That was one of my favorite things before Burgess joined Intelligence. This sense of sarcasm that masked the genuine care underneath. It’s clearly a relationship that both Burgess and Platt respect, and I need more with them please!
5. Ruzek was just so damn cute trying to pretend that his ex-fiancée’s sister didn’t absolutely hate him. Ruzek has made his share of mistakes, but something that’s never been in question is his caring nature. He knew it was going to be awkward AF, but he still made an effort – and ended up embarrassing himself in front of his co-workers.
Chicago P.D. airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on NBC.