We kicked off Chicago PD Season 2 Episode 9 with Detective Lindsay coming home to a mysterious woman OD'ing on heroin in her bathtub.
It turns out her name is Alicia and Nadia met her at an NA meeting, but this isn't just about helping someone in need. She has a tip for a drug operation that turns into this week's mystery of the week.
Cut to a nightclub and we see some masked men coming in looking to stick up the place. We think they want money, but they're really after the drugs. They jump into the back of a pickup truck and start laughing in relief. When we see Lindsay as the getaway driver, we know it's the Chicago PD undercover. It's a good twist and one that the show can afford to treat nonchalantly considering its premise.
The episode escalates as Voight and company try to track the drug ring up the pipeline, starting with a nightclub owner and ending with a corrupt judge. Along the way, a gangster named Blue waxes poetic about being above the law and Olinsky's wife gets held at gunpoint by a two brothers who blackmail him into getting them their drugs back from the police storage locker.
One of the brothers tags along with Kosteas in his car to make sure he's keeping his side of the bargain. As soon as he gets the drugs back, the gangster tries to pull a fast one on him only to have his plans backfire because, well, Olinsky's not gonna die midseason if Elias Kosteas' agent has any say about it.
So when we hear a shot go off and the action cuts away before we know who got shot, we know it's not going to be Olinsky but there's a certain artistry to the cutaway anyway. This is a police procedural and it's formulaic by its very definition, but there's a decent amount of effort puts towards mixing things up and subverting our expectations, helping to elevate the show above the genre mold.
It turns out none of the thugs is the main ringleader and the trail starts to change direction towards a particular judge who gave Blue and the two brothers parole and tried to stop a court order. Some higher ups attempt to stop Voight and his boys from getting to the judge, and then the trail leads to his clerk. The damning evidence is found in his car, bringing about the episode's ending.
In and of themselves, the action scenes and the eureka moments that lead the detectives from one point in the case to the next are serviceable, but the episode's end feels somewhat anticlimactic. Neither the judge nor his clerk were particularly deep characters and they never fulfilled much of a narrative role other than being there so the plot could end. As a result, nothing in the main story had any staying power at hour's end.
Perhaps, the portly man who made a bomb threat towards the Bulgarian official out of love for his wife in the b-story would have made a better villain for the A-story but, unfortunately, he was straddled in a B-story that gave him less than a minute of screen time in a story that was unforgivably superfluous. It's nice that a B-story can add a lightweight counterbalance to the A-plot but, come on, watching Roman and his ex-girlfriend bickering? How did that one slip through the writers' room?
The high point of the episode by my estimation was the development between Nadia and Lindsay. There's a palpable chemistry between those two that is a nice parallel to the Voight-Lindsay relationship. If Lindsay were to leave, that would leave a big hole, which is what's being suggested by the suggestion she's leaving for a position with the Feds.
Also Burgess gets shot. Not much build-up there, but at least we have a reason to tune in next time.
Did you guys think the B-story was superfluous? Who do you think shot Burgess? Was there much meat to this week's episode?
Don't forget, you can watch Chicago PD online via TV Fanatic any time. We'll see you again in the new year!