Chicago PD 4×20 Review: An Excellent Voight-Centric Episode

The last major Voight-centric episode was in the early part of the season where he was dealing with the aftermath of his actions after Justin’s death. Luckily, Lindsay had his back then and yet again, she, as did the entire team, supported him well.

The case begins when Richard Dowd, son of a prominent defense attorney, is found shot dead in the middle of the street. Voight puts Lindsay in charge of the case while he seeks to uncover why the gun that killed Dowd matched ballistics on a case he worked 17 years prior (where his friend Nick Ruffalo was allegedly killed by a man named Terrence Valentine). Eventually, despite the team finding initial suspects such as Dowd’s ex-girlfriend JoJo (who he posted inappropriate pictures of online) and her father, all roads lead to Voight’s former partner Lieutenant Denny Woods and Woods’ CI, Mark Scalise.

Apparently, Scalise killed Ruffalo when he was high and called Woods to clean up the mess. First, Woods planted a gun of the same make and model of the one that his CI used in Valentine’s apartment, effectively framing him for murder (they apparently had a long running beef). Then, he managed to convince Ruffalo’s wife that her mind was playing tricks on her because she was convinced that the man who shot her husband was white, while Valentine was black. However, Scalise kept the gun and his son, Eric (who happened to be JoJo’s best friend), used it to kill Dowd. This turned out to be an accidental shooting as he only tried to use it to warn Dowd off of posting the inappropriate photos of Jojo, but it went off when Dowd lunged at him.

I thought the case was extremely well written.  It was interesting how, despite the fact that both Scalise men were murderers, the worst criminal of the episode was the cop who allowed an innocent man to go to prison due to his personal issues with him. I loved how Intelligence, led by Lindsay, continued to investigate the case despite being pulled off of it. It shows how much this team is a family and would literally go to the ends of the earth for each other.

Of course, Woods tried to stall Voight’s investigation from the beginning; first, by insisting Valentine was guilty then by threatening him using Voight’s trademark “we’re going for ride” phrase. Then when he realized intelligence was getting closer, he convinced Chief Lugo to bring Voight before the review board for insubordination and ignoring an order from a superior. However, Lindsay arrives just in time to clear Voight by revealing Woods’ corruption which results in his police powers being stripped until an investigation is conducted.

At the end where Voight tries to talk to Valentine after he is released from prison, Valentine closes the door in his face, without a word. It was understandable, given Voight’s connection to the man who framed him but it was still sad because Voight wasn’t culpable in his life being ruined and did everything thing he could to free him once he realized he was innocent.

Photo from the episode "Grasping For Salvation"

I love these episodes where a case is personal for Voight, when we get to see his emotional and caring side. This episode also shows how far Voight has come since Season 1, especially as, very uncharacteristic of him, he sat quietly as his former partner said some harsh words about him.

“As you can see, the historical records show 56 complaints of excessive force against Sergeant Voight. That’s the kind of officer he is, has been and always will be, until someone finally does something.” – Woods

While the complaints are of no surprise, that’s just the tip of the iceberg with Voight. Yes, his force is often excessive, but it’s always in an effort to get truth and justice. Does that make it right? No. But is that a reflection of the cop he is? Definitely not. The kind of cop Voight is, is not defined by his use of excessive force but rather his motivation for justice.

Side notes

Loved how Ruzek sneakily got the thumb print from Dowd’s dead body to unlock his phone, while Atwater flirted with the medical examiner. Hilarious!

How awesome was Lindsay in charge of Intelligence? I must admit I always thought Halstead was Voight’s #2 but Lindsay being in charge was great. She definitely has learned a lot from her surrogate father/boss.

Photo from the episode "Grasping For Salvation"

Lindsay and Halstead seem to be working well together despite the ambiguity in their relationship. Although the ambiguity is quite confusing for me given this week’s Chicago Med Episode (I won’t spoil for those of you who didn’t watch it yet).

Let’s hope the remaining 3 episodes of the season are as good as this one.

Photos credit: NBC

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