#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. 4×18 “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. 4×16 “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. 4×13 “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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2016 Year-End Reviews: 16 Little Gems

There are always scenes I’ll find myself replaying — scenes that either broke me or have somehow fixed me. Scenes that may not be thematic masterpieces but rather little moments that set everything in motion. In this final installment of our 2016 Year-End reviews, you’ll find the scenes that have left the biggest impact on me this year. The scenes that I’ve found myself wanting to talk about over and over and over again. The scenes that I considered the loveliest little gems.

And before we part ways until the new year, be sure to check out the incredible choices Nerdy Girl Notes and TV Examined have been writing about.

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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. 4×05 “A War Zone” Recap

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And all good things must come to an end.

Case Summary: After Will Halstead calls in the unit to notify them of yet another overdose and a body’s later found, the unit scatters together to find the dealer. Tay’s sent back to her old unit. Jay gives Mouse his blessing to leave and Platt hands him the cleared record.

Review | Analysis: “A War Zone” was solid, but unsurprisingly one of the more heartbreaking episodes. One of the things Chicago P.D. is best at is showcasing the importance of a person’s agency. And in doing so, it’s always done a riveting job of revealing the depth of adoration our heroes carry in their hearts. However, most importantly it reminded us of the fact that soldiers carry admirably selfless passion within them, and we need to remind ourselves of how vital they are everyday.

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