Normally, unraveling a mystery and seeing our favorite characters triumph over the week’s murderer/drug dealer/generally bad guy (or girl!) is enough to keep me interested. But that’s not what I’m thinking about after this week’s episode. This Chicago PD 8×03: “Familia” character focused review will not be about the case, per se, but everything the case was a catalyst for. Let’s get into it.
Welcome to Intelligence, Rojas!
Oh girl, what a rough first day. From sassing Platt to not calling for backup when she was specifically told to do so, Rojas was really not off to a good start. I was really stunned at her first interaction with Platt, honestly. That’s the first impression you want to give to your superior by miles and the woman in charge of the entire district?
Since she was plucked straight from the police academy and put straight into undercover, it’s clear that Vanessa’s not quite accustomed to working with a team or with the standard procedures required of their admittedly break-neck paced unit. She chalks it up to instincts, which is fine – up to a certain point. It’ll take more than instincts to make it in this job, and we know from many years with this team that sometimes our instincts can be wrong.
It’s also hard for me to gauge her age (something I am not good at lol) so I’m curious to know exactly how many years the other members of Intelligence have over her, not just as police officers and detectives, but as adults. It would have been really disappointing to have her dramatically introduced to the unit only to have Voight decide against her, so I’m glad we’ll get to see her develop just as we watched Adam, Kim, and Kevin do the same.
For now, I withhold any firm opinions. I’m not as in love with Vanessa as I was with Blake Gallo from Chicago Fire, but we’ll get to that comparison in a minute.
Careful What You Wish For, Annie
Okay, I know what I said in September about wanting some partner shake ups and gender parity, besides Voight and Adam both safely back to work. BUT NOT AT THE EXPENSE OF UPSTEAD.
(“It’s fine,” she says.
Narrator: It was not fine.)
The unit’s had a full shakeup: Voight broke up my favorite partnership to pair Hailey with Vanessa, Jay with Kim (lowkey thrilled), and Ruzwater is back in full force. After the decree is handed down, Jay and Hailey exchange exactly one (1) single, long look as he leaves their desks and crosses the bullpen. I made a small agonized noise, and then an even louder one as Hailey immediately followed Voight into his office to demand an explanation.
[Me, internally: WHY, HANK?
Hailey, out loud: Sarge, what just happened?
Me, internally: THEY BELONG TOGETHER.
Hailey, out loud: It takes a lot of time and trust to build a partnership that works, and Jay and I are working.
Me, internally: WORKING UP TO LOVE.
Hank, seemingly unaffected: I know.
Hailey: Then why split us up?
Me: *whale noise*]
Stand Out Scene
Okay, I’m fine. Sorry. The ensuing conversation between Hailey and Voight is one of my favorite professional, work-related speeches that Hank has ever given and inspired my most popular tweet of the night`. He explains that he needs someone to watch and evaluate Vanessa. She may be excellent on paper, but that says nothing about team dynamics which are integral to Intelligence. The value of being able to mold an officer into a detective from the ground up is paramount – Hailey and Jay (and Antonio?) are the only members to enter the unit as ranked detectives (though presumably Al was one from the get go, given the breadth of his career… but I digress).
This scene and single conversation actually revealed a lot. Not only were Adam, Kim, and Kevin brought up as stand out officers specifically to be molded into Intelligence, but Jay and Hailey are such good detectives that Hank accepted them without having trained them himself. What’s more – Voight outright trusts Upton to a) tell him the truth about Vanessa’s abilities and b) truly cares for her judgement and opinion.
Hank’s pairings speak to his intimate understanding of his unit. Hailey will be an impartial judge and strong mentor to Vanessa. Kim gets along with everyone, including Jay. Ruzwater is real, but more operatively: Kim and Adam used to be engaged. Partnering them up would most likely end in disaster – you can’t just be rid of all that history.
So I’m good with this, for now.
The crossover though, is going to murder me. With Upton in quarantine and potentially in life threatening danger, if I don’t get a real Upstead moment or seven I will riot.
The Tale of Two Rookies
I’ve said it before, but I’m very pleased with the running parallel between Chicago Fire and PD with their new characters who are specifically new to their professions. Gallo and Rojas both seem impulsive and eager to prove themselves. They are both carrying heavy baggage – either as the sole survivor of a massive fire or a foster child with absolutely no support into adulthood. I’m probably a little biased towards Blake because I love Alberto as an actor, but what also bears considering is the context of the space each character is filling.
Blake Gallow works in the shadow of a gruesome and terrible death of a beloved character. Rojas has to step into the shoes of a man who was, for a long time, the moral backbone of the entire show. Antonio did not die (thankfully) but I felt that ache Adam did when Kim erased his badge number from the board. With that context in mind, it makes sense that Voight and Chief Boden’s management styles would be different. Voight might be a little more willing to take a risk on Vanessa than Boden is for Blake; Hank’s trust in his experienced team members feels stronger than Wallace’s right now, but the season is long. There’s still time.
The crossover should be rife with opportunity for each rookie to stress me out. Can’t wait.
- Platt definitely referred to Atwater as “Detective.” I double checked. MY BOY DID THAT. Are Kim and Adam finally up there too?? I NEED TO KNOW.
- As devastating as the Upstead break up is (it’s gonna be okay eventually!) I’m thrilled to see Jay and Kim paired up. I really want them to bond more.
- Hailey offering Vanessa a place to live was very sweet. My mind immediately jumped to every Upstead “beer and talk” scene we’ve had at hers, but I guess this means they can hang out at Jay’s?
- Their mentorship relationship is going to be amazing.
Vanessa: So what the hell was Platt’s deal?
Kevin: Deal is, do not mess with Trudy Platt, under no circumstances. She ain’t playing.
Vanessa: I thought Voight was our boss.
Kevin: Right, he is, but we work in Platt’s house. She controls the weather, right? Piss her off and she can make it rain. All day, every day.
Hailey: You live by your instincts, eventually you die by them.
Hank: Or someone else does.
The first One Chicago Crossover Event of this season begins next Wednesday, October 16th at 8 7/c on NBC.