This Week’s Most Noteworthy Performance

February 26-March 4
“Emotional Proximity” | Chicago P.D.
Elias Koteas

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Chicago P.D. 4×16 “Emotional Proximity” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

Why?

Case Summary: When a warehouse hosting a rave burns down critically injuring some and killing 39 — Fire, Med, P.D., and Justice must do everything they can to put the right culprit behind bars. As it tragically turns out, one of the injured is Olinsky’s daughter Lexi, who later succumbs to her injuries.

Review | Analysis: To say that this crossover was brutal would be an understatement, and it wasn’t my favorite episode. I’ll never revisit it. “Emotional Proximity” along with the other series’ episodes served as solid, seamlessly moving storytelling, but the ramifications of it aren’t entirely great. At its peak, this series gives us a glimpse into the lives of the characters we’ve grown to love, but sometimes, it wrongs them, too. I’ve often said that death on TV could be merited if it’s handled properly, and thus far, on Chicago P.D. it hasn’t been. From Nadia Decotis to Justin Voight, and now Lexi Olinsky, it comes across as an attempt to inflict shock rather than to tell bigger stories. Because let’s look at show like Game of Thrones for example, as much as it pains me, The Red Wedding was completely merited. It effortlessly contributed to allowing the remaining Starks to fight harder for Winterfell. But where continuity is often lacking on Chicago P.D., we don’t see the story lines move forward in the way they deserve. Because the grieving process is glossed over as opposed to diligently explored, it leaves very little room for the general audience to experience the changes alongside the characters. It leaves very little room for us to see growth.

On another note, if there’s one thing “Emotional Proximity” did perfectly, it showed off Elias Koteas’ skills as an actor. And I’m always here for excellent performances.

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Chicago P.D. 4×06 “Some Friend” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

Case Summary: When a dead body is found in the house of a man Olinsky knows, things get personal in the Intelligence unit. And after Lindsay receives flowers that weren’t sent by Jay, concerns arise.

Review | Analysis: “Some Friend” was an acute example of how intriguing this show can be. It’s admirable to want to genuinely set a strong example for someone in order to help them improve their lives. But if that person doesn’t respond the honorable way, how do we respond that shows our character? The Intelligence unit and almost everyone who works for law enforcement does so because they selflessly seek justice, and while things don’t always go as planned, with the exception of Voight they’ve often reacted in ways that have been admirable.

Alvin Olinsky hasn’t been the focus of Chicago P.D. too often and when he is, the episode is always memorable. Olinsky’s empathy has been a bright light in a dark world, and “Some Friend”gave that light the opportunity to shine beautifully.

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Chicago P.D. 3×19 “If We Were Normal” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

Case Summary: When a disheveled female is found hiding out from a man she attempted to stab, the Intelligence unit learns she was held captive and sexually assaulted. When they eventually find the man responsible, they also learn he’s married to a woman who’d gone missing years ago with a different identity and he’s murdered another. After finally convincing Madison that she’s actually Jamie Lynne, she agrees to testify against the man she believed was her husband, and Ruby, who’s now pregnant with Drew’s child decides to keep him/her in order to have one good thing come from her horrifying experiences.

Review | Analysis: The Intelligence unit and specifically Olinsky once again prove to be some of the most empathetic officers on television. Chicago P.D. has some of the most compelling ensemble casts on television and as viewers, we constantly find ourselves missing our favorites. Thankfully for me, there’s not a single character whose centric episodes I don’t appreciate, and thereby, I often find myself grateful for whatever we’ve gotten. It was beautiful to be reminded of the kind of father Alvin Olinsky truly is — not only to his own girls, and the unit, but to the victims. Elias Koteas exudes such warmth in his performances, it’s no wonder people tend to feel safer around Olinsky.

To be quite honest, I’m still trying to figure out if “If We Were Normal” is a proper episode title because it doesn’t seem to fit with everything that went on. In fact, some of the subplots, despite the fact that they were entertaining, didn’t belong in the episode either.

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