Like Sam, I love a good crossover. I’ve seen many over the years (DCTV, the early years of One Chicago (“8:30PM/A Dark Day” remains one of my favorites, RIP Shay) and even strange ones like B99 and New Girl. Besides the draw of an overarching narrative affecting a host of different shows, the best part of a well-done crossover is the seamlessness with which characters interact and work towards (or sometimes against) a common goal. With that in mind, here’s a combined, supersized Chicago Fire and Chicago PD (8×04/7×04) review of ‘Infection: Part I and III. Find Sam’s review of all things Med here!
What’s Gonna Work? Teamwork!
That’s a little song my little cousins would sing as babies when they helped move tiny socks and sweaters from the washer to the dryer. I have no idea where they got it from, but that’s what I kept thinking to myself as the show moved quickly from a fun tailgate to something so gruesome I was glad I decided against having a slice of leftover pie while I watched. It was a joy and pleasure to see all three casts hanging out so comfortably, from football tossing to ribbing poor Kevin as he tried to get the TV working.
Casey being the true Captain he is, doesn’t hesitate to move towards a man in distress. What’s more, no one even blinks before following. Natalie, Emily, and Sylvie look as though they’ve been teaming up their entire lives – we love powerful women working together. Even when we’re quickly transported to Med, Jay’s also willing to do everything within his power to help ID the victim – Stuart Anderson – even before there’s evidence of a crime. And barring the obvious massive fire at CCU, it’s hard to tell whose hour is whose, which is what makes this crossover so compelling to watch. Med is immediately up to their ears in patients, while Intelligence’s investigation begins long before 10pm.
Throughout the episodes, evidence of these friendships and collaboration abound. Sam already waxed poetic about Hailey and Natalie; I also loved Boden calling Voight directly, Intelligence helping Med sweep the apartment, Hank asking Dr. Charles why he can’t just drug all the panicked quarantined victims (I laughed out loud). All teams have the utmost respect for one another not just as professionals, but as friends and family. Moving all three shows to one night was such a smart network move for NBC. Ratings are boosted and it allows for incredible television.
The mystery of the spreading Necrotizing Fasciitis (drink every time they said it, and don’t make it to hour three) was gripping, as was that twist – but the emotional highs and lows of our beloved first responder crews was my favorite part of the crossover. Joe did not deserve that breakup! Hailey’s possible infection raised the stakes for Intelligence, and her comforting and bonding with Amanda throughout their ordeal allowed her to shine. Her revisited origin story featuring Platt was definitely a highlight for me.
Jay was likewise his usual ultra-hot and heroic self. It was awesome to see him taking the lead on the investigation – though I would definitely prefer him not almost die every week! I know several people were disappointed by a lack of a certain dynamic, so we’ll get to that in a minute. But in lieu of a normal Stand Out Scene, may I offer in no particular order, a few of my favourite character beats throughout “Infection” that helped us forget about disgusting flesh-eating bacteria, if only for a moment.
1. Voight and Hailey’s fistbump
It’s rare that we get to see the normally gruff Sargeant be anything but professional, serious, and stern, so Voight using Hailey’s first name and fist bumping her through the protective sheeting was such a lovely reminder of their great relationship.
2. Severide being That Romantic
Only Kelly would pull out a heartfelt declaration of love and intention as a casual fact in the aftermath of a biohazardous fire. I swooned a little (a lot) at the whole kids and grandkids idea; Stella was reassured and we’re all even more in love with them than before, if that’s even possible.
3. Mouch and Platt’s check in
No words necessary between the underrated parents of 51 and the 21st District – the look of deep concern on Mouch’s face, the steely resolve in Platt’s, and their silent hand hold in the middle of the chaotic precinct said everything we needed to know about them and their relationship. Love them forever.
4. Burzek is sailing y’all
My most underappreciated tweet of the night: “Nothing like everyone almost dying to get a flagship back together.” I screamed through that entire interaction between Kim and Adam. I can’t even decide how I feel about it? I’m so curious to see if it comes up next week when everything goes back to quasi-normal.
Honorable mentions include Platt making sure Rojas has support and down time, and that fleeting but charged look between Casey and Brett while they rescued Mama Garcia. I’m not giving up on that ship, in case anyone was wondering.
Missing Pieces and Final Stray Thoughts
At the end of the final hour of “Infection,” (technically PD’s though poor Will took a big hit from our killer) one of the biggest complaints I saw about the night was the lack of Jay and Hailey. Now, I love a good ship as much as anyone. And anyone who’s been following these reviews or my personal twitter knows that Upstead is one of my favorite partnerships of recent years – romantic or otherwise. From the way promo pics presented the episode and press junkets described it, everyone was expecting at least one semi-emotional scene or exchange, but there wasn’t one.
I was sad, I’ll admit. But will I happily survive off the single, silently relieved look Jay gave her after returning safely to work and the way he reached out a shattered window to thank her for saving his life with that sniper shot. I was also a little sad to realize that we were effectively dealing with a limited cast – Gallo, Ritter (love you boos) and most of Squad 3 didn’t speak at all. Maggie was sent home for being immuno-compromised, and Ethan was only in a few scenes. Intelligence was effectively the only team operating at full steam. But given the amount of cast members across all shows, it made sense for them to focus on a few. Certain things had to give in order to allow for a cohesive narrative.
On a semi-final note, I have to shout out the directorial, editorial, and musical teams of One Chicago. The tone, visuals and score of this crossover were some of the best any of these three shows have ever done. My particular favorite had to be the parade scene – or lack of one. Wolf Entertainment revealed on Twitter that they had to shut down multiple city blocks on an early Sunday morning to get those shots and they were truly stunning to witness. From the One Chicago press day and various interviews leading up to the crossover, it was a massive undertaking for everyone involved. In my mind, it was worth it. I loved every minute.
Dr. Sellden was like many a crazed person intent on killing people to prove the worth of their cause. He was ready and willing to “kill a few to save the many.” It speaks to the power of One Chicago that its few – its very best doctors, firefighters, paramedics, officers, and detectives – were able to work together and stop him. They are the very best of Chicago, and the city is lucky to have them.
Dr. Selldon: The research up here–
Casey: Yeah, a billion dollars, we heard.
Dr. Goodwin: Blame is the least of my concerns, but then again I’m not a politician. People are dying sir, and you’re wasting my time.
Jay: Look at this, man.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think of the One Chicago crossover? Share with us in the comments below! And don’t forget to check out the first part of this One Chicago crossover review HERE.
Chicago Fire and Chicago PD air at 9/8c and 10/9c respectively on NBC.