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Chicago PD - Snitch & Home - Double Review: "Fear and Trust"

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Well, it turns out Chicago P.D. is becoming something of a procedural drama this season. “Snitch” and “Home” break the format of the first three episodes this season, which have been heavily featuring one main character per episode. The premiere focused on Halstead, the second episode on Burgess, and the third on Dawson. Instead, the two episodes take a look at what has been going on with Atwater, a character I feel like we know very little about. We know he’s responsible his brother and sister, but I’m not sure if we ever got a reason behind this. It’s sort of a moot point now as “Home” ends with Atwater sending his siblings to live with his aunt in Texas. So let’s dive right into these two episodes and take a look at how we got there.

The case of the week in “Snitch” was a pretty standard police procedural plotline, but it raised the very real question of do people trust the police, and what happens when someone in the community talks to or snitches to the police. From the start of the investigation, people in the community refused to talk to the police due to fear of either being labeled a snitch or getting shot. The first murder victim blatantly refused to identify his killer after finding out Ruzek was a cop. The second murder victim just ran away after he heard the gunshots and didn’t want to talk to the police for fear of ending up like his brother. While their motives were different, both victims didn’t trust the police. This issue was also dealt with in “Promise,” but that episode focused more on the fear of deportation among the undocumented workers. These are two very different situations, but it still boils down to the same end result: our favorite Intelligence officers are having difficulty doing their job. This has become somewhat of a recurring theme this season as people just don’t seem to trust the police, an agency that is supposed to protect and serve the public, anymore. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, but kudos to the series for tackling real-world issues head on. This season has been somewhat of a creative breakthrough as viewers are seeing issues addressed on the screen that affect our daily lives. In real life, people, just like the characters on the series, are wary of talking to the police, for various reasons but it all boils down to fear. Whether it be fear of deportation or fear of being shot or something else, the public just doesn’t seem to have the same trust in the system that it once did.

In a “twist” of fate, but not really because this is a television series, it ends up being Atwater’s brother Jordan who can identify the killer. However, Jordan is initially hesitant, especially after the second victim is murdered. The second victim wasn’t part of a gang or a drug dealer; he was just a guy who lived in the same neighborhood as Atwater and worked at the local convenience store. But since people thought he talked to the police, the guy ends up dead. Jordan, of course, doesn’t want to end up the same way. He just turned 15 and has his whole life ahead of time. What Atwater asks of his brother is no small fete, and while it may be the right thing to do, it comes with risks. While no one was supposed to find out that Jordan identified the killer and testified in front of a grand jury, it somehow still got out that he “snitched.” This not only puts a target on Jordan’s back but also their younger sister Vanessa as well. She ends up getting jumped by some guys who threaten to rape her in “Home” due to her brother being a snitch. Things only escalate further when Jordan steals Atwater’s gun and goes to potentially shoot the guys who beat up his sister. If Atwater hadn’t showed up when he did, things could have been a lot worse for the family. While I don’t think Jordan would have shot anyone, he could have ended up dead himself. Despite Atwater and Jordan coming to an agreement in “Snitch” that Jordan would testify, Jordan feels that his brother forced him into doing it. Despite it being the right thing to do, I don’t think Atwater should have put that responsibility on his brother’s shoulders. Like I said, this is a boy who just turned 15 and should be focusing on girls, not whether or not he’s going to die for doing the right thing.

Whether or not Jordan should have testified is a gray area. In my opinion, there is no right or wrong answer, but it should have been Jordan’s alone to make. Having Atwater put that pressure on him wasn’t fair. Yes, they helped arrest a killer, but at what cost? Atwater ends up sending Jordan and Vanessa to live with his aunt in Texas to keep them safe, a storyline that is eerily similar to Joe Cruz’s on Chicago Fire, which is juxtaposed with the case of the week in “Home.” Foreign adoptees are given away, trafficked and then essentially sold to the highest bidder. Apparently, rehoming is an actual thing people do to children and not just to pets. I was literally horrified to find out that something like that exists, let alone that it’s even legal. I couldn’t even wrap my head around how something like that can happen, but a quick internet search proved me wrong. While Atwater doesn’t see that big of a difference between what those awful parents did and what he had to do to keep his siblings safe, I see those two acts as different as night and day. On the surface, both acts could be considered abandonment, but the true motive is what really matters. One is just a cruel and horrible and indescribable act while the other is protecting people at any cost, even if it means not seeing them on a daily basis. So while it appears this two-episode arc wrapped up in “Home,” I really hope we get to see more of Atwater this season. The character really shines these past two episodes, and it would be a shame if we had to wait another season to for what I consider a series-best performance.

So I know I’ve been sort of jumping around, but I want to rewind and discuss Ruzek’s actions in “Snitch.” He takes the death of the first victim really hard and ends up getting rough with a suspect. It’s really not surprising that Ruzek goes off on the guy. For four seasons, he’s watched Voight literally get away with murder. Here’s his boss doing whatever he wants and barely facing any consequences, so it’s no wonder Ruzek doesn’t think before acting. However, as it turns out, someone made an official complaint about Ruzek’s behavior and there’s going to be an internal affairs investigation. Voight, despite his faults, always has his team’s back and gives Ruzek the spiel about saying he used the necessary force to restrain the suspect. Everything could and would have been swept neatly under the bus if not for Upton. She’s the real wildcard, the unknown, in this equation. Intelligence and viewers haven’t gotten to know her well enough to know where her loyalties lay. Is she the type of person who protects her friends or colleagues or hangs them out to dry to save herself? Like she points out, someone could have recorded the encounter and if she was caught lying, she could end up facing serious consequences. She initially tells Ruzek she has to think about it, but at the end of the episode we learn that she got the witness to recant his or her testimony. We don’t know how she did it or what strings she may have had to pull, but in the end, she has Ruzek’s back. Upton is still a character shrouded in mystery, but it’s becoming clearer that she is a team player. While I initially thought she would be romantically paired off with Atwater by process of elimination and reasoning, it looks like a Ruzek/Upton romance could be on the horizons. While Burzek is probably endgame, I’m not totally against the pairing because I think it could be an interesting match and finally get Ruzek over Burgess.

And last but not least, we finally get a direct confrontation between Dawson and Voight. If you’ll recall, “Promise” concluded Dawson finding the killer murdered in a similar fashion as his victims, and the knowledge that Voight was indirectly responsible for said killer’s death. Voight had told the brother of one of the victims who was responsible for his sister’s death after Intelligence failed to make the charges against the killer stick. In a heated conversation, Voight and Dawson duked it out over whether what Voight did was right or not. Fast forward slightly to “Snitch” where Voight catches Dawson in a lie and jumps to the conclusion that Dawson is working with a prosecutor and Denny Woods to build a case against Voight. I wanted to knock some sense into Voight and remind him that Dawson had been presented with an opportunity to turn on Voight before and head up Intelligence, and he didn’t take it. He’s fiercely loyal, proving as much when the two get into in “Home.” The reason Dawson was talking to the prosecutor was because the guy is investigating the murder of the killer from “Promise.” Dawson wasn’t throwing Voight under the bus; he was protecting his boss who was so quick to think the worst of him. While Dawson and Voight haven’t always seen eye to eye on certain issues, Dawson isn’t the kind of person who stabs you in the back. He’s upfront about his actions and doesn’t go behind people’s backs. However, their little conversation did provide some insight into what many viewers have already realized: Denny Woods is coming for Voight. We all knew a showdown was coming between these two characters, and I’m guessing the city of Chicago isn’t big enough for the both of them.

So hit the comments below to let me know what you think. Did Atwater make the right decision in convincing Jordan to testify? What are your thoughts on an Ruzek/Upton romance? Who will win the inevitable war between Voight and Woods? (I mean it’s obviously going to be Voight right?)

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