It’s easy to see where Chicago P.D. 9×02 “Rage” gets its name. Because watching it, I felt nothing but building rage. It got stronger, and stronger, until I didn’t know what to do with it. The episode has been over for a while, and I’m still not sure how to process the rage. Because if this episode reminds us of something, it’s that …there are no easy answers for most things. There isn’t always closure. Not everyone gets the kind of justice that matters.
This applies to Kim, and it doesn’t. It applies to her because the thing she managed to give to Sarah at the end of this episode, that sense of safety, it’s something she doesn’t feel herself. Something Voight’s decision took from her. And she cannot ever get it back by herself, because Roy cannot be caught. In this sense Kim is dependent on others. That’s why she and Hailey are suddenly getting scenes together, because every second Hailey spends with Kim in this state is one more second Hailey doubts that she made the right choice. One more second we get closer to Hailey possibly confiding in Jay, and this whole deck of cards collapsing.
On the one hand, I’m happy Kim and Hailey are indeed getting scenes together. We’ve had these two as main female characters for a while, and this episode tries to show them as close, they got each other, they’re family …except Chicago P.D. has never taken the time to show us that. So, hey, if this bad storyline is going to bring them closer, I’ll take it. But I want the storyline to actually bring them closer, not for their relationship to be a stepping stone for revelations, confrontations and feelings between other people. If they’re going to be in the center of this, let them be at the center of this – and let us see it.
Kim is fine, of course. She’s fine, and she isn’t. She’s fine and, at the same time, she might not ever be the same again. The last part isn’t really the biggest issue, we all change. Life changes us. We don’t always get the choice in how. The problem is, of course, that right now Kim is going through something that could be made easier, or better. And there are people in her life choosing not to do that.
This is mostly on Voight, let’s be clear. Hailey is keeping a secret from Kim too, but this is still mostly on Voight. I said it last week, and I say it again, this storyline has to be leading somewhere with Voight, because this episode makes it clear that, in many ways, Voight has affected the way everyone on this team views policing. That can sometimes be good in the sense that they’re all pretty I’ll-do-whatever-it-takes-to-help-people, but there are often more drawbacks to that mindset than there are positives.
For example, Kim pushes herself in this episode. Does she do it because she’s ready? No. She does it because Voight emotionally manipulates her into it. There’s no doubt he’s trying to do her a kindness, this isn’t the same type of emotional manipulation he did with Hailey – but is he really doing her a kindness? We often tell victims of every type that they must push through their pain, their trauma, because that makes them strong. But who are we to decide what anyone else’s process looks like?
Sure, the show will probably paint it as Kim is okay to come back to work. She’ll continue to struggle, mostly because Roy hasn’t been “caught” and that repeated reminder will make Hailey feel guilty and Voight feel nothing, probably, as I’m not sure he has any kind of normal feelings at this point. But it will be played off in a way that makes us forget that, in the end, the way that Kim got back to her job wasn’t the best one.
Mid season 7 we could have said hey, something like this doesn’t really have to be leading somewhere, doesn’t need to be taken as an indictment of Hank Voight. But the show continues to push the same message, in many different ways. Maybe it’s just that I hope it leads somewhere because that’s what I expect of this show. Maybe it’s that too many breadcrumbs have been left in the way. And perhaps it’s that …this is the most interesting story they could tell.
Here’s to telling it. I won’t even complain if it takes a while. Things don’t always work out. Not everyone gets justice. But in this case, we can. The show can. And they better.
For our sake, and for theirs.
Things I think I think:
- This was a much more balanced episode than most of the ones last season, despite the fact that there was no Upstead. At least Hailey and Jay were featured prominently, and hey, Hailey and Kim got to speak, again!
- It even looks like they’re actually …friends. Who would have thought?
- The Burzek family dynamics are on point.
- I continue to be impressed by the man Adam Ruzek is, by how much he’s grown. Now he needs to keep it up. Growth doesn’t have an end point, and if he wants to be part of a family …well, he’s gonna have to step up even more.
- I also continue to be amazed that no one seems to want to date Kevin Atwater. How? Now, that’s criminal.
- Are we ever going to go into the whole issue he and Adam had last year, though? Inquiring minds want to know.
Agree? Disagree? What did you thin of Chicago P.D. 9×02 “Rage”? Share with us in the comments below!
Chicago P.D. airs Wednesdays on NBC.