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One Chicago - Heavy is the Head & Thirty Percent Sleight of Hand & Bad Boys - Reviews

17 Oct 2018

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After last week’s explosive crossover episode, it seems like things have settled back done. There are some ripple effects like Stella not receiving the all clear to return to truck after undergoing surgery, the Upton and Ruzek hookup, and the memorial for the late Patrick Halstead, but all in all, things are pretty status quo. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Drama can’t, and shouldn’t, be cranked up to a 10 every episode. If things were high stakes all the time but no consequences, that would get old very fast. We’ve become accustomed to the characters usually escaping death by the skin of their teeth, so if that happened every episode, that would be even more repetitive and annoying than some of shows’ usual tropes.

Chicago Med

WILLINGLY STUPID | Just when you think Will has finally caught a break, he goes and does something stupid like this, or at least will based on the promos for the next episode. Things started out simple enough. During the late Patrick Halstead’s wake, he runs into a friend whose father isn’t feeling well. Will is interested at first, until he remembers said friend’s father, named Ray Burke, has a banquet hall. Seems easy enough; just perform a simple home visit for an old friend’s father in exchange for a discounted deal at a banquet hall for his upcoming nuptials. Nothing too sketchy about the quid pro quo, except then Ray starts leveraging the banquet hall for his continued treatment off book. That maybe should have signaled alarm bells for Will, but by now viewers know he’s a leap first, ask questions later kind of guy. Sure, this may be slightly unorthodox, but it’s been impossible to find a wedding venue in the first place, let alone a cheap one, so why not. Well, it turns out Ray is a “mobster” who the police have been investigating for a few years. According to Jay Halstead, this guy is who has done very bad things; not exactly the sort of guy you want to get into bed with. I can see this storyline is going in two directions at this point. Either Will will end up working as an informant for Intelligence to finally bring this guy down, or he’ll ignore all of his brother’s warnings and find himself in too deep before he knows it. Will from the first two seasons probably would have found him getting into some sort of trouble before inevitably reaching out to Jay to get him out of this mess. However, over the past season, we’ve seen Will grow and mature. He’s managed to make rational medical decisions and hasn’t screwed up his relationship with Natalie just yet, so he must be doing something right. I feel like this storyline will test just how much Will has grown as a character. If he does plan on doing something stupid, I really hope that he remembers that his fiancée has a son, which means if he could be putting both Natalie and her son in danger. If he wants to play Russian roulette with his life that’s fine, but he can’t ask, or even expect, Natalie to risk hers and her son because of him. If that doesn’t even enter his mind, then his engagement will be short lived. However, if he does end up working with the police, he probably won’t be able to tell her anyway, so that would definitely put a strain on things. Either way, Will’s sort of screwed.

TO MANIPULATE OR NOT TO MANIPULATE | Well Elsa Curry, the new intern, certainly know how to piss off the ED staff at Med doesn’t she. First it was Choi, and now it’s Dr. Charles. I wouldn’t be surprised if she got kicked out of medical school, or at least her rotation at Med, because of this. This week Natalie and Elsa treated a woman whose pregnancy unfortunately wasn’t viable. The patient had tried to get pregnant for years, and when she finally did, she considered it a miracle. Yet, the fetus had been place outside the uterus and was putting a strain on the woman’s heart. In order to save the woman’s life, she would need to consent to an abortion, except she refused, believing God would save both her and the fetus. The woman was declared mentally competent by Dr. Charles, so it was her decision to refuse medical treatment if she wanted. She knew not aborting the fetus meant she would die, but she had faith. From the beginning, Elsa make her disapproval perfectly clear, to Natalie, Dr. Charles, and the patient. Talk about unprofessional. Then she had the nerve to ask the mother if she would have the surgery if the fetus had died. Like who even asks that sort of thing? Well it turns out due to a possible machine malfunction, the woman believed her child had died and then consented to the surgery. Only it turned out the fetus was still alive. So the question then becomes whether or not Elsa tampered with the machine. She definitely has the skillset to do so, and Dr. Charles certainly thinks she did. It was rather convenient that at the machine malfunctioned as Elsa was performing the ultrasound, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that she hacked into it. She made her feelings about the patient’s choices very clear, so she definitely had a motive, but that still doesn’t prove anything. She’s innocent until proven guilty, but if I were in Dr. Charles’ position, I’d watch her like a hawk too. The patient was declared competent, and it was her choice. Whether or not Elsa agreed with that, she, firstly, should have kept her opinions to herself, and secondly, she if hacked the machine, she had no right to manipulate the patient into making a decision the woman otherwise would never have made. Elsa’s not even a doctor, and she may already be playing God. As a side note, I’m a huge fan of Lauren Heller, the actress who plays Elsa, and I think she’s doing a killer job in this role. I’m more familiar with her comedic work on Younger, but she definitely proved she can handle drama too.

HOSPITAL POLITICS | We knew things were going to escalate between Goodiwn and Gwen Garrett, but I didn’t expect things to unfold like that. I figured there would be more hospital politicking bullshit; I didn’t anticipate a father committing suicide in the ED, just so he could give his kidney to his son. To backup, a father came into the emergency department with his sick son, who was born with bad kidneys. The son had been receiving dialysis, but that was no longer enough as the son needed a transplant. As it turns out his father was a match, so the man could have donated, except the hospital wouldn’t allow it. Why? Well, it turns out the father had technically kidnapped his son and would be returning to prison, so Gwen wouldn’t allow it. Apparently, the father wouldn’t have enough time to recover before going to prison, and Gwen didn’t want to risk the hospital’s success rate. It was a cold and calculating decision, as Gwen prioritized the hospital’s success rate over the life of a little boy. Choi and Goodwin’s hands were tied, and there was a chance another hospital would be willing to perform the transplant, but the father and son were running out of time. The son needed the transplant right away, and the father was going to be escorted out of the hospital by police, so the man grabbed the officer’s gun and shot himself in the head. At that moment, the father was all out of options, and the only way he could see to save his son was to commit suicide. The man was essentially forced to kill himself to ensure that his son would live. And the worst part was that Gwen didn’t even seem to regret her decision to stop the transplant. Even the new ED chief, who had backed Gwen, was shaken enough to realize maybe they made the wrong decision, but not Gwen. I’m just appalled at her lack of remorse or regret. Like if I was in that positon, I would be wracked by guilt, yet she just seems to brush it off. All the Chicago series’ head honchos – Boden, Voight and Goodwin – are involved in a power struggle with some higher up – Gorsch, Brennan and Gwen, respectively – but Gwen topped the list of hated “Big Bads” in “Heavy is the Head.” I usually don’t wish characters ill will, but I really hope Gwen gets what’s coming to her. If she were killed off in some horrible fashion, I wouldn’t bat an eye. I’d just be perfectly content with her onscreen death.

Chicago Fire

NEW LIEUTENANT | Remember that storyline from seasons ago when Hermann passed the lieutenant’s exam and nothing ever came of it? Well, the series has decided to revisit that, as Hermann is now the lieutenant for Engine 51. Except in several instances, engine companies have been completely ignored on Chicago Fire, so it’ll be interesting to see what the show does with this moving forward. Case and point, the former lieutenant for Engine 51, who we never even met, retired out of the blue. However, the commanding officer’s retirement allowed for both Hermann to be promoted and for the continuing battle between Boden ad Gorsch. Upon learning that there’s an open lieutenant position, Gorsch, unsurprisingly, suggests some firefighter named Troy Jennings as the replacement. Who is this firefighter? We have no clue, but he obviously has some connection to Gorsch, as Grissom’s lackey isn’t just offering a suggestion without some sort of ulterior motive. And even though Boden has final approval, Gorsch would appreciate if Boden could do him this favor. Yeah, right. So it wasn’t surprising at all to learn that Jennings is Gorsch’s brother-in-law, and suddenly everything clicked for Boden. Appointing Jennings would just give Gorsch another set of eyes in the firehouse, and there’s no way Boden would let that happen. Except by not appointing Gorsch, Boden puts the entirety of Firehouse 51, as Hermann rightfully points out. For Hermann, it’s all about picking your battles, and if Jennings is a capable firefighter, then who cares about the rest of it. With Firehouse 51 being under seize literally every season, you’d think Boden would have learned to play the long game by now. Yes, it seems that Firehouse 51 is untouchable, but there might come a day when the firehouse could be on the verge of falling. So pick Jennings to live another day; that’s Hermann’s take on things. Of course, that rousing speech did have the reaction that Hermann intended as we all know. Was it the smartest move? No, but Boden announcing the new lieutenant at the barbeque after letting Gorsch think he had “won” was very satisfying. Watching Gorsch squirm was epic, and the promotion rightfully belongs to Hermann, yet appointed the father of five will have dire consequences. Was it the right call? Maybe; it’s too soon to tell, but Boden’s act of defiance definitely sets the stage for this remaining arc. We know Boden will survive this, but I think there’s a chance he may be temporarily ousted as chief. I feel like there need to be some consequences because it gets really repetitive with some Big Bad coming in and trying to take down Firehouse 51, yet failing every time. Sure, it’s good drama, but we’ve literally seen this storyline every season. Something needs to change to pique my interest.

SEVERIDE IN THE MIDDLE | Severide once again finds himself involved in the lives of the people he rescued, but at least this time, there’s a happy ending. Squad 3 and Ambulance 61 respond to a call about a car that has fallen off an overpass. Fortunately, both victims – a father and son - are fine, save some minor injuries, until it’s revealed the son’s mother thinks her soon to be ex-husband may have intentionally driver off the overpass in an attempt to kill their son. The police look into, but without hard evidence of a crime, they can’t move forward. That doesn’t sit right with Severide, so he takes it upon himself to find out the truth. The woman believes this was due to their divorce proceedings while the man claims he swerved off the road because his son shrieked and then saw a shape in the road. So what really happened? As improbable as it seems, Severide and Stella find a dead deer near the accident site, confirming the father’s version of events. So the good news is the father didn’t try to kill his son, and the family lives as happily ever after as one would expect in this sort of situation. So what was it about this call that drove Severide to go to such extremes to find out the truth? As viewers, know Severide had a dysfunctional childhood and his parents didn’t exactly win any awards in that department. His father was absent for a good chunk of his childhood, and things got so bad at one point that he even lived with April’s family for a while. As a child of divorce, Severide knows what it’s like when parents go at each other like this and if he can spare the boy of that, then he’ll do what he can. Some characters may have called it quits after hearing the father’s ludicrous story, but not Severide. He bails on his dinner date with Stella, and they go searching for a deer in the dark. If anyone needed a reminder of just how awesome Severide is – although I don’t think they would after he rescued the boy from the structure fire by going out the window in “Going to War” – look no further than this. I also can’t help but wonder if this specific storyline was thrown in because the series intends to revisit Severide’s family dynamics. Last we saw, his parents had gotten back together, but hearing about the couple secondhand, there’s no guarantee they’re still together. If that happens to be the plan, then count me in. And as long as we’re on the subject, can the series also bring Katie back as well. Let’s just make it a giant reunion.

Chicago P.D.

BAD BEDFELLOWS | So it seems we officially have a new Intelligence power couple, or at least a casual and continual hookup. When Hailey Upton was first introduced, many fans were afraid the series was essentially going to be replacing Lindsay by pairing Tracy Spiridakos’ character up with Halstead. When diehard Linstead fans can rest easy for now, but things aren’t looking too great for Burzek shippers. After the emotional ending of “Endings,” it seemed like Upton had feelings for Halstead, nearly bursting into tears when she thought his life was in danger, yet the start of “Bad Boys” picked up the morning after, with the reveal that Upton and Ruzek had slept together. If this was a one-night stand, it could be interpreted in several ways. Upton could have feelings for Halstead but sought comfort in Ruzek after the whole ordeal. This is supported by the pair agreeing last night was fun but decide to play like it never happened at the beginning of the episode. However, during the case of the week portion of the episode, Upton tells the suspect she understands the appeal of bad boys, as she herself has fallen for one, but sadly it never lasts. Ruzek, being Ruzek, thinks this is a reference to their night together, as the self-centered officer believes the world revolves around him. Upton later tells him he isn’t a bad boy, which is somewhat debatable, but before she can even consider moving forward, she wants to know what the deal is with him and Burgess. It’s a fair question, as even though the pair has been broken up for a while, there was a brief Burzek reunion, albeit mostly off screen, last season. So if fans were hoping this question would lead for Ruzek to declare his undying love for Burgess, they were sorely disappointed. While Ruzek admits he loves Burgess, at the end of the day, she didn’t want to be with him. Now, this could be read one of two ways: Either Ruzek is still in love with Burgess or he has since moved. At this point, it’s still unclear about the depth of Ruzek’s feelings for Burgess, but he does know that they aren’t getting back together any time soon. So why not have some fun with a girl he likes and sees where it goes? Upton agrees, and only time will tell for how serious Upzek? Uptzek? Rupton? Ruzton? will be. This could be a fun fling or delve into something deeper. I, personally, believe the deciding factor will be Burgess’ reaction when she finds out, either sending her back into Ruzek’s arms or giving him her blessing to be happy. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

CAT AND MOUSE | The struggle for power between Voight and Brennan continued this episode, and I’m already enjoying their cat and mouse dance way more than Voight and Denny Woods. So without getting too much into the case of the week plot, the daughter of a man who opposes some of the CPD’s policies finds herself “abducted” by two robbers. So of course, Brennan wants this case wrapped up quickly as the man has been a major pain for the CPD, and could make things difficult for her boss’ mayoral campaign if this drags on. Intelligence does their stuff and finds out the daughter wasn’t really kidnapped. It was just a ploy and the daughter was never in any real danger, but she won’t give up one of the robbers because she’s in love with him. Brennan then orders Voight to arrest the guy’s daughter and charge with felony obstruction, but then changes her tune after the guy makes a sizeable contribution to her boss’ campaign for mayor and promises to stop badmouthing the CPD. However, if Voight is going to let her walk, he’s going to need something from her in return. So in exchange for dropping the charges, Brennan signs the letter of exoneration for Olinsky, therefore allowing his family to collect his pension. In this instance, both Voight and Brennan were able to get something in return, but Brennan is still clearly in control. She’s the puppet master making Voight dance, but he’s tenacious enough to figure out a way to get something in return. What I really like is that Brennan isn’t trying to take Voight down or destroy him. She’s more or less using him to achieve her goals, which is especially refreshing after viewers were forced to sit through an entire season of Woods trying and failing to take down Voight. We all knew Voight would win in the end, but I’m not sure how this will play out. There’s going to come a time when Voight ends up on the losing end of their forced détente, so to speak. Knowing Voight, he’ll most likely bury Brennan, either literally or metaphorically as you never know with him. Since I assume we’re still a long while off from that happening, I don’t have a problem to just sit back and enjoy the ride while it lasts. Also, I’m pleasantly surprised that the series continues to acknowledge Olinsky’s absence. With Lindsay, her departure was sort of just shoved under the rug after a suitable amount of time had passed. Although I guess it’s sort of different as Lindsay is still alive and well in the Chicagoverse, whereas Olinsky is firmly six feet under.

Some stray thoughts:
- It’s been a while since Firehouse 51 had a candidate, and I think the Ritter, also known as the floater who got bounced from Engine 37 due to freezing up in “Going to War,” is going to be filling that role. Especially now that Hermann has been promoted, and there’s an empty spot on truck. I’m assuming that will happen in the next couple episodes, with Mouch taking the candidate under his wing.
- Well it seems Emily has been making the rounds with the rest of the Firehouse 51 crew. She’s slowly settling into the groove of things, as she gets to know Brett better and befriends Otis and Cruz. I’m really glad that the series is taking its time in getting her acquainted, as I’d be disappointed if she was just accepted into the firehouse so quickly, especially with her being a quasi-Dawson replacement.
- It seems like Cruz is finally getting a shot at finding happiness. He hasn’t been in a healthy relationship since Brett, so it’s hide time he found someone who likes him and is available. Also, is it just me, or does Cruz’s romantic woes take up too much screen time? I mean, what about Otis? How about finding a nice girl to date, or is he still with Lily, who we haven’t seen since last season.
- April really needs to stop telling Ethan what to do. First it was how he should react to his sister’s unplanned pregnancy, and now that he shouldn’t call the cops and let the father stay with his son. Firstly, they broke up, so she doesn’t really get a free pass. And secondly, she’s a nurse, so it’s not really her business or her decision.
- Maggie may think returning to the OR as a scrub nurse is a demotion, but I’m really excited to see her get in on the action. As a charge nurse, she mainly delegates, but I really want to see her in the fray of things. Also, her job change would provide some enjoyable chaos among the ED staff.
- Maggie may think returning to the OR as a scrub nurse is a demotion, but I’m really excited to see her get in on the action. As a charge nurse, she mainly delegates, but I really want to see her in the fray of things. Also, her job change would provide some enjoyable chaos among the ED staff.
- Like Will, Connor has always been quick to make decisions without thinking things through. While they usually work out for him, I’m glad Ava continues to call him on his crap. She’s definitely grown on me over the past season, and even though she clearly has feelings for Connor, she’s not afraid to stand up to him. These two are episodes away from getting together, but I have to wonder how long it’ll actually last between them.

So hit the comments below to let me know your thoughts. Which higher up do you hate the most? Which character made the stupidest decision? Whose romance will crash and burn the fastest?