Wednesday, October 16, 2019

REVIEW: 'Chicago P.D.' - A Massive Manhunt for the Suspect Leads to a Fatal Confrontation in 'Infection, Part III'

NBC's Chicago P.D. - Episode 7.04 "Infection, Part III"

After zeroing in on the suspect responsible for the bioterrorism that's gripping Chicago, the PD prepares to undertake their biggest manhunt yet. Upton is torn between helping track down the perp and providing emotional support to the scared young girl that needs her. Voight fears his team is being sent on a wild goose chase.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of NBC's Chicago P.D.

"Infection, Part III" was directed by Eriq LaSalle with story by Dick Wolf & Derek Haas and teleplay by Gwen Sigan

Life is precious and beautiful. The doctor behind this infectious disease outbreak wants people to be terrified though. He wants there to be mass panic so that the proper funding is given to his research. That's the big explanation for everything that happens throughout this crossover event. This doctor presents as being very capable and smart though. He forces the Intelligence unit and the entire police department into a massive manhunt. One that creates many false leads. Paranoia and fear is driving so many actions as well. An officer shoots at an innocent civilian simply because he fears it could be the man with this deadly bioweapon. The threat from all of this is unlike what people in this profession face on a daily basis. They know the human connection to crime. Voight directs his people to investigate the motive to help figure out where this doctor is hiding and what he plans on doing next. Again, it creates a couple of false starts along the way. It's not until the end though that everyone pieces together that he has a vendetta against the company that finances his research. BRT were the initials the first victim kept repeating over and over again. But now, it takes until the Intelligence unit has all of the pieces that they figure they should look into which buildings in Chicago happen to be owned by the same company. When they arrive on the scene, a woman is shot and flung out of a sixth story window. That's terrifying. Up until that moment, it was all about the uncertainty that came from this threat. The entire city is seemingly on lockdown because they fear the unknown. No one wants to come out for Octoberfest because they just see that as an unnecessary risk. The media has them scared that something could happen at that event. Sure, the empty streets where the parade should be is a horrible image for the mayor's office. The representative from that office was adamant about keeping the schedule for this event despite the uncertainty. And now, it blows up in his face because it's such a massive failure. But again, no lives are lost. The terrorist wasn't targeting this specific event. Instead, it's all about personal vengeance. That's his motivation. It makes him feel human in a way that is easily understood. He is not trying to do the most harm to as many people as possible. He simply wants these board members to take a serious look at the importance of his research. He has the cure for this bacteria. That's necessary once Jay exposes himself to it. Of course, that also means this is yet another crossover event in which the Halstead brothers but themselves in harm's way just to potentially save the city. That is a very familiar pattern. One that may excite the viewer because of the strong connections they have to the organizations they serve. However, they can frequently come across as annoying and arrogant characters as well. It's much more effective to watch as Upton is unsure if she should be out in the field helping the manhunt or at the hospital hoping Amanda can make a full recovery. She is pulled in two different directions and is allowed to perform well in both. She may not deliver the fatal shot but she does create the distraction that allows Voight to confidently enter the hostage situation. Sure, the doctor being killed may be too neat a resolution. It puts a clear and concise ending to this story so that it is contained to these three specific hours. But there is a major loss of life with no real understanding that it will have meant anything at all. Instead, life will keep moving forward - with Amanda pulling through in the end. That is a blessing. These characters have to cherish the relationships they hold with each other. But even that depends on just how engaged the audience remains with those dynamics. The final montage shows how they all cope after this brutal attack on their city. Some have love. Others have a strong drink. The various ways to deal with the world have to be validated and cathartic. It does feel like that which helps create a solid conclusion.