#100DaysofFanFavorites | Day 69

25 Inimitable Men 19/25 
Jay Halstead (Chicago P.D.)

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We all know at least one person in the who selflessly gives everything they’ve got to the world and in return, they’re a closed book quietly enduring pain on their own. In the world of fictional television, Chicago P.D.’s Jay Halstead is that character. A former Army Ranger, current detective, and all around ridiculously good person. To be frank, I’ve written and rewritten this so many times that I believe at this point, simply being honest about my frustrations is the best way to go. I don’t know how to write about Jay Halstead without discussing the blatant mistreatment of his character. It seems as though everyone and their mother can’t look beyond Jesse Lee Soffer’s undeniable good looks in order to understand that Jay Halstead is so much more than a handsome face. And this isn’t just something that happens behind the scenes, but in the Chicago-verse, he isn’t taken seriously. Not only do I find that tremendously insulting on behalf of veterans, but rather for the human race entirely — this serves as significant proof of the fact that the world remains shallow and looking into a person’s heart is seemingly too difficult. That said, Jay Halstead is as inimitable as it gets; cobbled alongside the understandably human flaws he’s learning from, his kindness and loyalty know no bounds, but at the end of the day, it’s his integrity that’s unparalleled.

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Chicago P.D. 4×23 “Fork in the Road” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

Case Summary: When kids are overdosing and Bunny’s lover is murdered, the cases tie together in an unsurprising way. Erin makes the decision to accept a job with the FBI.

Review | Analysis: Chicago P.D. is a show about good deeds, but at its core it is a show about family. A family the Intelligence unit has formed through innate dedication to protect one another. Whether it’s past, present, or future members, the unit has always been a family. And a “Fork in the Road” was an episode about family, it was far from perfect, undoubtedly predictable, but nevertheless it featured some beautiful moments reminding viewers of why this show’s special.

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Chicago P.D. 4×22 “Army of One” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

Case Summary: When a group of pedophiles are targeted and burned, the Intelligence unit must figure out who’s behind it. And since capital punishment is now illegal in Illinois, despite the fact that those burned are criminals, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s now a crime. Erin crosses a line and leaves her career in jeopardy.

Review | Analysis: Chicago P.D. is a great show, but like anything in its genre, it can get redundant. Now while that’s not a problem because it mirrors a police officer’s day-to-day lives, on a TV series, it’s up to the characters to make it gripping. And most of the time, the characters succeed, but every so often (too many times lately), the series fails with its prodigious lack of continuity. Although “Army of One” was riveting in every sense of the word, it still poses plenty of questions that will probably not be answered.

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Chicago P.D. 4×21 “Fagin” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

“Fagin”: an acute reminder of just how compelling this series can be.

Case Summary: When a group of bank robbers turn out to be boys under the age of 15, it sends intelligence on a spiraling case to understand who’s controlling the operation. A new member temporary joins the team, Platt learns some inspiring information. Halstead celebrates his birthday, and Lindsay deals with the fallout of her actions, though in self-defense, killing a kid heavily impacts her.

Review | Analysis: When Chicago P.D. focuses on evolving its characters through realistic every day decisions as opposed to rash storylines, the series is at its finest delivering seamlessly balanced episodes. And “Fagin”, much like last week’s “Grasping for Salvation” was an episode that reminded me of why this show’s so incredible.

Chicago P.D. has tackled storylines regarding black kids/teens and the unfair police brutality they face, but in “Fagin” it was the boy’s age which made the killing that much more heart wrenching. Thereby, for Lindsay, this is something that she’ll carry to the end of time because it doesn’t matter that he had an automatic weapon, which was previously being fired and aimed towards her, he was 14. And to end the episode with that sentence lingering in the room left viewers with the haunting heartaches of all the kids who’ve unfairly lost their lives in the face of a gun. In potently powerful scenes, the episode showcased the true darkness in the world, the undeniable fact that sometimes, kids are being forced to do things beyond their desires and in return, they’re losing their lives for them.

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Chicago P.D. 4×18 “Little Bit of Light” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

Heavy sigh.

Case Summary: When a man who films crime scenes and sells them to news outlets dies, Intelligence must figure out who the culprit is. However, what they do come to find is that he was trying to protect a woman whose father had abused her. Voight makes one man’s life a little easier. Halstead and Lindsay take some time. And Kim’s sister visits.

Review | Summary: It’s too hopeful to assume the episode was one huge April Fool’s joke, right? For the most part, “Little Bit of Light” was one of the more intriguing case heavy episodes, but the story it told for our most prominent duo was incredibly disappointing. Chicago P.D.’s lack of continuity does nothing promising for the show, and if there’s one thing that could drive viewers away, it’d be this.

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Chicago P.D. 4×17 “Remember the Devil” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

On a scale of one to 10, how heartbroken are our readers right now?

Case Summary: When a young girl is found locked up in a secluded area, the Intelligence unit must track down the man who placed the Craigslist ad to lure her and her still captive friend in. Olinsky returns to work. Jay’s ex-wife (?!?!) returns.

Review | Analysis: Chicago P.D. is far from perfect, in fact, its lack of continuity and the decision to ignore significant parts of a character’s life that was previously established never fails to make my blood boil. And the fact that the series makes me angrier than anything else probably triggers the good ol’ frequently asked question: why do you continue to watch and review it? Because my love for these characters knows no bounds. I care way too much about them to give up. And sometimes, I wonder if the writers think about the characters as much as fans do after an episode. Essentially, “Remember the Devil” is one of those episodes that legitimately makes me question a lot of things.

I won’t be doing a performer and an exquisite scene this week as there’s a lot to focus on in regards to the series as a whole. I hope that’s okay with our readers.

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Chicago P.D. 4×13 “I Remember Her Now” Recap

Spoilers Ahead 

Raise your hand if the beginning of this episode made you extremely uncomfortable, but all the plaid made it somewhat better?

Case Summary: When a 15-year-old is found brutally murdered, the unit learns that she comes from a school known for dealing with mischievous kids. In order to figure out what goes on behind closed doors, Jay must go undercover, where he’ll experience even more traumatic events.

Review | Analysis: “I Remember Her Now” was a risk to take, but it’s one that I’m slightly pleased the series has targeted. No matter how uncomfortable it made me (seriously, I was very uncomfortable), it was a raw depiction of the nastiness in our world. And nastiness isn’t a word that’s used often here because it’s one of my least favorite words to use for how demeaning it is. And that’s what this case showcased — the horrors that people will succumb underage girls to for money. An episode like this is never easy to watch, but it was fascinating to see Jesse Lee Soffer take Jay out of his normal element and into something we’ve yet to see from him. It was fascinating to see good win. It was fascinating to see these girls find a proper home.

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Chicago P.D. 4×09 “Don’t Bury This Case” and 4×10 “Don’t Read the News” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

Case(s) Summary: After Severide’s car is found at the scene of a hit and run, he becomes the suspect of what turns out to be Vehicular Homicide. Erin’s father comes into the picture. Burgess tries to settle in with Intelligence. Ruzek goes undercover.

Most Noteworthy Performance:  If I had more time, I’d watch Chicago Fire because Taylor Kinney’s performances often leave me thoroughly impressed. And while this may be cheating because he isn’t really a member of Chicago P.D., Kinney stole the show with his honest, overwhelmingly heartfelt sincerity. And when Severide says that he doesn’t deserve to be fought for if it turns out he’s guilty, my heart was in pieces. You understood his guilt in a way felt haunting. Severide’s heart and the magnitude of goodness it’s filled with despite whatever painful issues he’s personally dealing with. To not watch Chicago Fire, but to see a character’s heart in a single episode showcases great strength in an actor. And while I knew he wouldn’t be guilty, never have I hoped for something so desperately on Chicago P.D. 

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2016 Year-End Reviews: 16 Characters

There’s no feeling quite as indescribable as finding a fictional character to care deeply for. A character who we perhaps see ourselves in or a character who’s just so well written, it’s difficult to turn the other cheek. There are a number of fantastic TV characters — whether heroes or villains or somewhere in between, they’re so well written, they become a part of us. They become someone we cherish, someone we want the best for. They become someone we’re constantly in awe of. And 2016 has truly been one of the best years in the world of television. It’s been a strong, undeniably powerful year for complex, incredible characters.

And whatever you do, in order to get the best of Year-End reviews, you need to check out the beautiful work Nerdy Girl Notes and TV Examined are doing as well.

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