Chicago P.D. 9×05 “Burnside” gives Kevin Atwater a chance to shine, all while setting up a storyline that’s sure to break our hearts in the near future and oh, yes, giving Laroyce Hawkins the chance to slay us with a different side of Kevin Atwater that we always get to see. For that last reason, I’m not going to complain too much, even if part of me just wants to cry about how unfair it is that I really, really like this storyline, really, really like this love interest, and oh, pain is coming my way.
A lot of it.
Obviously, Kevin shouldn’t have lied. A part of me understands that, at the end, in literally his final shot at telling the truth and maybe coming out of this ahead, he was too overwhelmed by her words, her anger, his grief, his anger, to confess. But this lie is like trying to cover the sun with one tiny finger …it’s just not doable, and sooner rather than later this is all going to blow up on his face.
There’s a part of me that doesn’t want it to. A part that wishes he could keep this lie going forever, keep his secret. But the problem isn’t just that being a cop is who Kevin is …the problem is that his team is, in many ways, his family. And the more this goes on the more he’ll find that he can’t mix the two things that should easily go together, if this were any other situation.
And that’s without going into the way Kevin Atwater played fast and loose with the rules in this episode. Sure, his heart was in the right place. But so was Adam’s last year, when Kim was missing. Hell, I’m not one to give Voight the benefit of the doubt — he hasn’t earned it — but you could even argue his heart was in the right place when he was trying to find Kim. That shouldn’t be the standard we judge police officers by. And Kevin Atwater himself would tell you, has told you before, it isn’t.
In this episode, however, Kevin takes a step towards Voight that’s actually uncomfortable to see, and that ends up doing more harm than good. It’s important to note, however, that before that, there’s no real attempt by Voight to do anything other than …recognize what Kevin is doing and then …let him decide if he’s gonna hang himself? It’s ironic how willing Voight is to step over that line when it benefits him, or when he thinks he’s justified, and how little he’s willing to step out over the line for his team.
Because Voight’s line has always been team first, and yet this episode proves that to be false. Not that I ever truly believed it, and not that anyone should believe it at this point, considering his emotional manipulation of Hailey this season. And yes, perhaps a character like Hank Voight can be, at times, necessary on a show like this. But at this point, Voight has ceased to be a character that could, perhaps, be redeemed. He works as nothing other than an antagonist, and he’s not even an effective antagonist right now, because the narrative continues to justify him by trying to bring other characters to his level.
People aren’t perfect, of course. Kevin Atwater isn’t perfect. But that’s not the issue with Voight, we’re not asking for perfection. Hell, we’re not even asking for good decisions all the time. Just like, half the time. Half the time and some growth shouldn’t be too much to ask, right?
And …as for the Upstead of it all, we got exactly one line, which is about one line more than I thought we’d get, but we can get a lot out of that line. Jay and Hailey needed to talk through what happened, how Voight made her feel, everything. And considering they talked all night, I would hope they at least talked about the facts. And though Jay is chilly as she approaches him this episode, it’s clear that he didn’t just up and leave, as some people were afraid he would.
I would have loved to see the convo. I think we needed to see the convo. I hope we get some sort of flashback, or at least, that the convo they had is more fact-based, and the one about emotions is still to come and we get to be witness to it, because that’s the one that matter. The rehashing of the facts we already saw, not so much. But if this episode, if one line, made one thing clear, it’s this …when things got dark, really, really dark, Upstead didn’t quit on each other. Instead, they held firm. And they’re going to ride this wave, together, and later talk about Jay’s fears, and whether that proposal was truly what Hailey wanted. We’re probably going to get another one. If this didn’t break them, after all, what can?
Hey, maybe Kevin Atwater should ask Hailey Upton for some advice on how to salvage a relationship after a big lie? Not that I think it would truly help him, but right now, man needs all the help he can get.
Things I think I think:
- Look, the way Kev bites his lip at the beginning of this episode should be ILLEGAL.
- Link me to all the fic about the Upstead convo, I need it ASAP.
- Also, it’s literally the next morning from last episode. We know, as the Jay and Hailey convo places it. And somehow Hailey looks …fine? Like, we’re not even gonna go on her mental state, which, like Kim, I wish the show were better at the little things, because anxiety, like trauma, doesn’t go away … but physically? SHE LOOKS AS GREAT AS EVER. Not even undereye circles. And we know she didn’t sleep all night! After a bunch of other nights of not sleeping.
- I’m not asking for you “continue” the convo this episode if you’ve decided you can only do that on an episode that focuses on them, show, but for the love of God, at least get THAT right.
- The sense of foreboding that accompanied me this episode, I swear to God.
- And Adam saw right through Kev when the line went dead, right? Right?
- You really need to stop trying to make Voight look sympathetic, show. It ain’t working.
- ANGER is my #1 emotion after this episode.
- There’s sadness too, though.
- If Voight gets why you did what you did, you’re probably wrong, Kev.
- Some days I wish this show were more balanced. Today is one of those days.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think of Chicago P.D. 9×05 “Burnside”? Share with us in the comments below!
Chicago P.D. airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on NBC.