Chicago P.D. 9×01 “Closure” promises something with the name it cannot possibly provide. There’s no easy, quick closure for what happened in the season 8 finale, and there shouldn’t be. The show has, many times before, swept Voight’s actions under the rug and pretended that the end justified the means. In season 9, it seems like Chicago P.D. is finally done playing that game, and that’s why, as much as storytelling wise, some people might wish for a swift resolution, there’s none to be had.
The theme of the episode, however, is choices – and the reasons why you make the choices you make. There are the choices you make out of fear, the choices you make out of loyalty, whether that is misguided or not, and yes, the choices you make out of love. Sometimes those things go together. Sometimes it’s hard – nay, impossible, to separate one feeling from the other. And though the choices you make don’t necessarily become good or bad based on your reasoning, it’s important to point out that the choices made out of love in the episode are the right ones. And the others …well, not so much.
For Hailey, the choice to hold onto Jay. For Adam, the choice to step up with Makayla. Those might be reactions, but that doesn’t necessarily make them bad ones. Sometimes we do the best we can with what we have, and if we let our feelings guide us into loving people, into holding on to them, well, as long as what we’re feeling is true and not just a reflection of fear, then those choices can never be wrong.
YOU AND ME, ALWAYS
Hailey is front and center in this episode, in the good ways, and bad ways, and though there’s a lot of that tied to Voight, his decisions, and how they affect Hailey, the most important part, the good part of her storyline, is always tied to Jay Halstead and what he means to her.
For Jay there’s only certainty, which is why the episode doesn’t focus on him. He’s been in love with Hailey for years. He probably knew he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her ages before they even kissed. And deep down, it’s likely Hailey knew it too. But she always had a harder time verbalizing it, because Hailey Upton’s life hasn’t led her to the belief that she deserved the good in life, much less the security that she can have it, and it won’t be ripped away from her.
But when Hailey asks Jay to marry her, she isn’t doing it out of fear – or at least, not the bad kind of fear. Seeing someone you care about hurt forces you to reexamine what is important to you, and what happened to Kim, and later, with Voight, make things crystal clear for Hailey. It wasn’t about running away from her problems, it was about running towards the one thing in her life that she knew was good, the one thing in her life she could trust, even when she couldn’t trust herself. And that’s Jay Halstead.
And Jay’s hesitation has nothing to do with not wanting to marry Hailey, and everything to do with making sure she wants to marry him. Because Jay knows her, he truly knows her, and he would never want to trap her into something she didn’t really want to do, especially if the only reason she asked was fear. He isn’t leaving her, and he doesn’t need a ring to prove that.
Which doesn’t mean that he doesn’t want one, that he doesn’t want the entire world to know he loves Hailey Upton, and she loves him. Which is why, when Jay is sure Hailey really means it, he doesn’t hesitate. In fact, he even flips the script on her and creates a beautiful moment they will remember forever.
The rest …what comes after, it likely won’t be easy. We know there’s angst coming our way, as Jay is sure to find out what happened with Roy, and he has every right to be upset at Hailey about the secrecy. But with the foundation Chicago P.D. has laid down with Upstead the past few years, and the certainties expressed in this episode, I sense whatever storm is coming is going to be the kind that rocks the boat, yes, but not the kind that capsizes it. If anyone’s going to bear the brunt of Jay’s anger, it’s likely to be Voight, you know, the one who has taken advantage of Hailey’s incredibly emotional state, the total opposite of what Jay was shown to do this episode.
In some ways this feels like the calm before the storm, and it surely is. But that doesn’t mean the storm is going to break us – or Upstead. I have faith in what they’ve built, and in the story this show seems to be setting up. But you can rest assured that if they get it wrong I’ll be here to call them out on it, right alongside you.
A WINK TELLS THE STORY
This episode was more about the Adam side of the Burzek relationship than anything, and in a way, if Chicago P.D. is truly going to give these two the chance they have so dearly earned, it really had to be. Kim’s cards are all on the table, have been on the table for a while. And though Burzek has had many issues during the course of their relationship, lately the issue has been trying to figure out if they’re in the same place at the same time, if they want the same things, in the same way.
Love? That was never in doubt. Of course these two love each other. They’ve loved each other almost from the beginning, and they never really stopped, even when they were mad at each other, even when the best thing they could do for each other was take some time. It just so happens that isn’t the best thing for them anymore. Now Adam and Kim are at a point in their lives, in their relationship, where it seems like they’re ready to be their best selves, together.
Which is why this episode focuses on Adam, on his feelings for Kim, on his relationship with Makayla, on him realizing that Kim didn’t name him as co-guardian so he could do what she wanted, but because she trusted him to do the right thing, even if she wasn’t around to decide. And so when Adam makes the choice to trust his gut, to step fully into Makayla’s life, not just as a backup in case something happens, but as an integral piece of her family, that means something.
Not just to Makayla, but to Kim and Adam. Now we just need Kim to get better so we can finally have that overdue conversation.
WHEN WE ENCOUNTER A PROBLEM, WE WILL TAKE CARE OF IT
There are many issues with Voight. There have been many issues with Voight for quite some time. Frankly, I’m a bit surprised we’re here, that Voight as a character has managed to make it to season nine. I haven’t re-watched most of the first few seasons in a few years, and I can still come up with a pretty long list of borderline questionable, or worse things Voight has done. And that’s what he was always supposed to be, that was the character the show sold us. Someone who would do anything, and everything, for justice.
Of course, the problem with that idea, the problem with people like Voight, is that all of that seems worth it as long as you agree with their idea of justice. But just isn’t a thing that should be beholden to someone’s interpretation. Things aren’t just depending on the point of view. Justice is one, and whatever that ends up looking like on a specific moment in time, it should never be up to just one person. Particularly if that person is Voight.
Last season I thought maybe, maybe, Chicago P.D. was finally willing to shed the Voight weight, that they were finally going to write him out of the show – perhaps in a much more heroic manner than the character deserved but write him out for good. This season has done absolutely nothing to change my mind. It should have happened earlier, but at this point, I don’t know how Hank Voight remains on this show. And it’s not just because it’s 2021 and we’ve all had to grapple with the things the police force does wrong, and the things we were all too willing to look away from before – though there’s that, but because storytelling wise, how many times can we be here again? What does Voight even add, at this point?
Certainly not more than he takes away from the show, and I hope Chicago P.D. is finally ready to fix that.
Things I think I think:
- I truly appreciate how the scene picks up RIGHT WHERE IT LEFT OFF. Truly.
- Even if the lack of an answer on Jay’s part borders on painful.
- Not the shower scene the fandom wanted – but there is a shower scene, I guess.
- It’s hard to blame Adam for losing it on the doctor, when I’ve been where he is and sometimes your emotions just get the better of you. Not an excuse, really, but an explanation.
- “Boss, I need to stay with Kim” might be one of the most mature things Adam has ever said.
- The hilariously sad part about Voight been so calm is that he’s got a hell of a lot of experience with cover-ups.
- You always notice when you lose hair ties, okay? Okay.
- Watching this episode, I don’t know how Chicago P.D. puts off a Burzek reconciliation anymore. It’s time. No, it’s way past time.
- “I need to understand what the plan is,” Hailey asks, like Voight has ever needed one. That’s probably the most infuriating part about this. That’s he’s dragged her down into this mess with him, and he’s so nonchalant about it.
- When Voight tells Hailey to calm down …I’m kinda glad he’s a fictional character, because I would have gladly punched him.
- The process of Adam coming to terms with his role in Makayla’s life, and what he needs to be doing, not just for Kim, but for her, is perfectly done.
- It’s good to see that Hailey’s first reaction, her gut reaction, isn’t the same as Voight’s – despite the show trying to play with the idea of her dark side last year.
- Also good to see? Jay starting to get a little suspicious that something is going on. He won’t be able to put it together yet, but if he’d been totally oblivious …well, that’s not Jay.
- I truly respect Kevin just being all like “that’s a bad idea” to the boss.
- Hailey was literally willing to give herself up to save the hostage, let’s remember that.
- My heart grew three sizes at Makayla painting Adam’s nails, I ain’t gonna lie.
- AND THE NICKNAME.
- Gah, feelings.
- Also, the look between Adam and Kim in the hospital? That’s love.
- KIM AND HAILEY SPOKE TO EACH OTHER. THEY SPOKE!!
- Of course, only to underscore how Hailey is going to be forced to keep a secret from Kim, because we can’t win them all.
- “Now you gotta make peace with the fact that …you’re never gonna be able to make peace.”
- Look, the first time I watched this final scene, I was so shocked and elated, I literally screamed when Jay knelt.
- Scared my neighbors, for sure. It was late at night. Don’t regret it.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think of Chicago P.D. 9×01 “Closure”? Share with us in the comments below.
Chicago P.D. airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on NBC.