Chicago P.D. 9×08 “Fractures” lives up to the name, by establishing what feels like the kind of fracture that can never be repaired. From where I’m standing, there’s no coming back. This is the beginning of the end of the Intelligence unit as we’ve known it for nine seasons. And honestly, as I’ve said repeatedly during the last few episodes, it’s about damn time.
All the arguments about Hank Voight being a compelling character, and the show needing an antagonist ring hollow nine seasons in. Cops shows always need an antagonist, and they get one, every single episode. There doesn’t need to be a full time one. And though the Intelligence unit was indeed set up as the group that went above and beyond, no matter what, we’re not in the same world we lived in when this show started – for the better.
Sure, so much of the same problems still exist. But there’s certainly an awareness of them that wasn’t there before. And that’s especially true when it comes to the police department.
Let me get this out of the way first, Hank Voight isn’t just a cop that straddles the line in the pursuit of justice. He isn’t someone who once took things too far to get justice. He’s a crooked cop who has consistently used the system to his advantage, who has killed for revenge more times than I can count, and who has never met a rule he wasn’t willing to break. Redemption? We’re way past that. And that’s exactly where we should be.
Chicago P.D. 9×08 “Fractures” ends on a cliffhanger, but at the same time, is it really one? What can Jay do but help bring down Voight? He’s already fallen in line with Voight to save Hailey, there’s nothing to make me think he won’t do the exact opposite, which is probably what he wanted to do in the first place, to save her. And honestly, there’s nothing to make me think the show isn’t willing to finally make the sacrifice it needs to make to be able to hold its head up high and tell stories about the police in a way that doesn’t feel hypocritical in 2021.
What comes now is what I’ve been asking for, hoping for and yes, predicting since the beginning of the season. Because if Jay is going to help the FBI take down Voight, well, he’s hopefully going to have to involve the team at some point. If not, things are going to turn ugly when Voight goes down. And Voight will go down. Voight is constitutionally incapable of doing his work without making questionable at best, criminal at worst, calls. That’s who he is. It’s who he’s always been.
Chicago P.D. is just done turning a blind eye to it.
This is it; this is a storytelling corner. Before, there were ways out of it. Ways for Voight, Hailey and Jay to come out of this and continue with their work. Ways for this show to continue being what it’s been so far. After this episode, that’s all done. And typically, shows don’t write themselves into corners without knowing how to get out of them. The pieces are in place. Now, all we need is to figure out how we get to check-mate.
But though this episode seems to be the beginning of the end for Hank Voight, this episode also proves that the heart of Chicago P.D. isn’t and has never been the crooked cop at the head of the Intelligence Unit. Sure, some might mourn his departure, when it comes, but this team doesn’t need him. This show doesn’t need him.
It has Kim Burgess. It has Adam Ruzek. It has Kevin Atwater. It has Trudy Platt. And yes, it has Hailey Upton and Jay Halstead, who in this episode face the defining moment of their relationship so far, and as payoff for all the angst we get …validation. Reassurances. Love. Commitment.
Relationships are hard. They take effort. And as I’ve said before, they’re not just about love, they’re about choices. Despite how hard it’s been, the last few weeks have been about Jay and Hailey choosing each other, once again. And in Chicago P.D. 9×08 “Fractures,” they reaffirm that choice by putting it into words. Because when push comes to shove, Jay doesn’t want to live in a world without Hailey, and Hailey is only willing to entertain this fight if she knows Jay will be by her side.
That’s what it comes down to. The silence, the tension, the space …is all in the past. Hailey and Jay are partners, and they’re in this fight. The fight of their lives. The fight to be able to take that next step, and the one after that. Together. Jay will fight for Hailey – no matter what he must do. And Hailey, she will fight for Jay, because she has finally found that one person who will not abandon her when things get rough. Who will stick by her side, and figure it out, somehow. And Hailey is going to hold on with both hands and never, ever let go.
Forever. It’s a thing now. It’s out in the world. Forever.
And if that’s what the show is going to be from now on, the two of them supporting each other, Kim and Adam learning to be parents and cops as they make their way back to each other, Kevin getting a love interest, and maybe some, interesting characters coming into the unit, so be it. I’m ready for this next step in the Chicago P.D. journey.
Things I think I think:
- Two episodes in a row with Voight intros? What have I done to deserve this?
- The way Jay and Hailey are so synchronized will never not give me a thrill.
- Also, can we also get a thing proving Jay remembers he has a brother? For me?
- “If we stick together,” my ass.
- Did this guy really say “Thank you for your sacrifice” to Kim?
- Is he a robot?
- And is the doctor delivering the news to the girls a robot too?
- They could have a done a more fun episodes focusing on the interrogations, a la NCIS: Los Angeles last week. Just saying.
- Just thinking about the fact that Voight, Hailey and Jay are in this together gives me a headache.
- “Do you think I should turn myself in?”/”No”
- Glad they made it THIS explicit.
- I wanted more, but I’ll take this. I absolutely will.
- The boss ass way Hailey handled that interview. I shouldn’t be cheering for her giving the FBI the workaround, but dang it, she’s the best.
- “Can you come home to me now, please?”/”That’s all I want.”
- AND THE I LOVE YOUs.
- Upstead IS that couple.
- One of the best things about this convo is that it feels like this truly follows through from last episode. Hailey kept a secret, they had a talk when Jay found out, Jay shut down, Hailey confronted him and then …Jay paused, processed, and reassessed his attitude because the truth is, they work better together. That’s some A+ relationship stuff right there.
- Also, man, adorable Hailey at home is my aesthetic.
- They found Roy. Now this is getting interesting.
- FBI guy has been around for 5 minutes, but he already knows Jay is a good guy and loves Hailey. WE LOVE TO SEE IT.
- HELP HIM, JAY.
- HELP HIM.
- Voight Defense Squad, where you at? Because this is exactly what you said I was crazy for suggesting would happen.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think of Chicago P.D. 9×08 “Fractures”? Share with us in the comments below!
Chicago P.D. airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on NBC.