Wednesday, February 4, 2015

REVIEW: 'Chicago P.D.' - Antonio & the Intelligence Unit Help Gaby Catch Shay's Killer in 'A Little Devil Complex'

NBC's Chicago P.D. - Episode 2.13 "A Little Devil Complex"

Antonio and Gaby go to the office of the man they believe started the fire that killed Shay. Intelligence put pressure on Gish to try and make him confess. Lindsay approaches Voight about returning to the team when she realizes that the task force isn't what she thought it would be. Platt starts acting strangely and everyone is curious why she's being overly cheery, friendly and nice.

This big 2-part crossover event between Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D was very effective in that it allowed the personal connection and remembrance of Shay to happen on Fire and the investigative into who this sick man is who killer her on P.D. The people in the police side of this world don't have that personal link to Shay. Antonio does somewhat - only because she was his sister's best friend. He's the one who has to carry the brunt of the emotional load throughout this episode. Gaby needs him to catch Shay's killer. He just wants to do so without corrupting his moral compass.

The more and more the Intelligence unit looks into Adrian Gish the more disturbed he becomes. He's a sociopath that loves chaos. Yes, the reasoning for why he is the way that he is is painfully trivial and uninspired. His father set their house on fire which killed his mother and his brother. And now, he's attracted to fire because of it. His ability to blend into the background is masterful. He has gone decades without being caught. As everyone is quick to point out, arson is very difficult to prove. The only reason why Intelligence takes on this case is because Gaby asks them to do so. It's not until after they meet Gish and see how slyly he teases them about everything that they are energized and passionate about bringing him to justice.

And yet, the only way to stop Gish is to catch him in the act. So that means, he has to be up to something in order for justice to be served. With both Intelligence and Firehouse 51 putting pressure on him, he should know better than to provoke them more than he should. However, he's also ready to go out in a blaze of glory. He believes that if he can hurt these people yet again than it would all be worth it. Gaby becomes the easy target because thematically she provides the most rich material for other characters to play off of.

The reason why P.D. isn't my favorite show of the Chicago-based franchise is because it often feels too plotted. Chicago Fire allows its characters to have lives that aren't so serious all the time. Things almost always feel more grave in your typical episode of Chicago P.D. Firehouse 51 is dealing with emotionless fires. They serve as heroes rescuing people from the natural elements around them. Intelligence has to deal with the criminal faces amongst the population. The frequently disturbed people who enjoy hurting other people. That's darker stuff. The show trying to give the characters light-hearted character beats outside of that almost always gives the show tonal whiplash.

That quality is even on display throughout this episode. Antonio and the team are racing against the clock before Gish kills Gaby and himself in a big blaze. Whilst that is happening, Burgess and Roman are trying to figure out why Sergeant Platt is so cheerful and upbeat lately. It's a simple story. She's being written about for a puff piece in the paper. But it's largely trying to break up the darker moments of the episodes plot. It is effective but also a little disjointed.

And in the end, Antonio is only able to stop Gish by killing him. It's the only choice he had. If he didn't kill Gish, then Gaby would have died. But is that the kind of justice Gish deserved after all the devastation he unleashed on the world over the last few decades? I'm not sure. Shay's sister and Boden aren't quite sure how to react at episode's end to the news. They should feel relief that he can no longer harm anyone else. Happy isn't the best word for the situation but it's the only one that they can come up with. It does bring about closure and that is a nice thing to have in a tragedy such as this. It's not wrapped up too neatly. Antonio will have to deal with this experience for the rest of his life. He's already shaking because of it. But in the end, everyone is safe. Protecting the people that you care about most in this world ultimately is what the Chicago shows are about. So this crossover was worth it in the end.

Some more thoughts:
  • "A Little Devil Complex" was written by Michael Brandt & Derek Haas and directed by Steve Shill.
  • Lindsay is also officially back on Intelligence again. Her joining the task force wasn't that strong of an arc. The build up kept telling her all the reasons why she should do it and then as soon as she did it only presented reasons why she should be back on Intelligence.
  • But now, Lindsay and Halstead get to have that awkward conversation about what the future of their relationship is. Voight's no office romance policy is still in effect and neither of them wants to hide this from him.
  • Lindsay's mom also pops up again - likely introducing the next case that the team will have to deal with.
  • The explosion of Burgess and Roman's police car was a moment that genuinely surprised me. The threat against Gaby was a bit too calculated.
  • Sgt. Platt definitely has charisma!