Chicago PD needs a shift in focus

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I like Chicago PD, really I do, but if I may offer it some advice: There are enough standard procedural dramas out there and it’s time for this one to break away from the pack. It can be done too, all the pieces are there. It all comes down to one thing, shift the focus off the case of the week and onto the team members’ personal lives. I like these characters, I want to know more about them, we all want to know more about them, and therein lies the show’s greatest potential.

I often feel frustrated watching Chicago PD. I see glimpses of its characters, and they can be great characters, but I want more. The show can be so much more than it currently is. By having Voight’s family life take center stage during this week’s case, that shift may be starting to happen. I am keeping my fingers crossed that this is the show turning the corner, and a path that they continue down for the rest of Season 2. I’m hoping Chicago PD can take after its sister show, Chicago Fire, and realize that most of the show should be spent on the characters’ lives, with smaller doses of “the job” mixed in.

When you’re talking about Chicago PD the discussion is always going to come back to Sgt. Hank Voight. It was pretty tough to watch as he and his son’s pregnant girlfriend were kidnapped and tortured. From the very beginning, I felt like Voight should have been more suspicious of Olive’s motives (I know I was), and he finally got around to that way of thinking as they tried to track the kidnappers. Thankfully his gut had been right; she wasn’t involved and that is probably a good thing as it would’ve sent him over the edge.

Voight spent all episode doing a balancing act. He teetered on the edge of crossing “that line” multiple times. Another moment of honesty from me: Hank Voight is a tough character for me to take a lot of weeks. There’s plenty of reasons, especially this season, to believe he’s a good guy, but there’s always a nagging feeling in the back of my head telling me it may not be true. That voice was quieted once again this week, and Jason Beghe did a nice job showing Voight’s vulnerability.

I still can’t help but feel that while I’m imploring the show to shift focus to the personal lives of our characters, that I must also ask that the shift be more towards Sophia Bush’s Det. Erin Lindsay. She is the show’s most well-known star, yet we have episodes such as this week where she’s barely a factor. Still, it’s evident whenever she’s on screen that if the show would turn focus to Lindsay, and not so much Voight, things would work out a whole lot better. Again, maybe that’s where we’re already headed, especially given the job offer she received at the end of the episode. That seemed to come out of the blue, but I’ll play along if it means we get to see more Lindsay.

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Meanwhile, as the Intelligence Unit worked to find Voight, it felt a little odd to have Burgess and Roman seeking out the teenage uniform thief. I do appreciate that these two were given a bigger story and focus this week, as I have wanted to see more of their partnership. However, I’m left wondering what we were supposed to learn from this scavenger hunt? Again, too much focus on the case and search for the girl, and not enough personal time between the two new partners.

So far this season Roman has been helping Burgess see the value in the jobs they do as uniform cops. He’s helped her see that yes, she was passed over for the promotion, but their work is important as well. Was that what we were supposed to see this week? I’m not sure, and that isn’t a good thing Chicago PD. I did enjoy Roman’s support of Burgess’ quest, right beside her the whole time, as a real partner. In the weekly game of “Do I or Don’t I like Roman,” this week was a definite “I do!”

While I may be coming off negative here, there were moments when the show did get personal this week. I’m just saying that’s the show I want to watch, and the one that I hope continues to come through. I’m not naive, I know how procedurals work, and there’s always going to be a “case of the week.” I just hope the writers don’t let it hog the limelight. It’d be nice to see it play second fiddle for the foreseeable future, and I believe the show would connect with more viewers. There seemed to be a sense of change in the air, I guess we’ll see if it happens.

Police Blotter:

  • Platt was busy this week. First she was onto Burgess and Ruzek’s secret relationship, and then she had a great moment of understanding with Voight. There’s nothing getting past this woman, and that’s why we love her!
  • Antonio seems onto Layla’s motives, but he better watch his back with that private security gig. I don’t care if the guy is a good tipper, that whole situation spells trouble!
  • At least it turned out there was a good reason behind Olinsky’s grumpiness. Ruzek is right, he should stop standing on the sidelines, and go fight for his wife!
  • It was nice to see Atwater discover the security cam at Voight’s house. He’s not been given much to do this season, though that looks to be changing next week.
  • Was that brief moment with Linstead as the undercover married couple far too short for anyone else? Can they please reprise those roles in the near future?

Do you want to see more of the team’s personal lives? What should Lindsay do with the job offer? Just what was the point behind Burgess and Roman’s hunt for the girl? Share your thoughts in the comments below and take a peek at what’s in store next week:

Chicago P.D. airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on NBC and at 9 p.m. ET on Global.

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