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Chicago PD - Unforgiven - Review

30 Jan 2021

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Previously on Chicago PD:
Atwater is still at odds with the blue wall, but without incident after giving Nolan an ultimatum. Rojas is still strangely MIA. Burgess and Ruzek bonded over protecting a sweet little girl, Mikayla, after her entire family was murdered. Dept. Superintendent Samantha Miller and Voight are learning how to work with each other while battling pressure to deliver swift and just consequences under heightened scrutiny. Hailey was offered a job with the FBI following her stint in New York. But after telling Jay that she was declining the offer because of him, Upstead (finally) revealed their feelings for each other and kissed!

The Morning After

So, Jay and Hailey are now waking up in bed together. I cannot believe I get to write that. I'm still not 100% sure if I'm dreaming it, but I am ecstatic for the two of them. They both deserve to have fun, to be happy and to be in love. I have appreciated every second of their slow burn even when things were hard or painful. Maybe especially in those moments because that's how a long-lasting relationship is built. Seeing them together like this only solidifies that we now get to experience Upstead in some new and exciting ways. It's about time!

Unfortunately for them (and us), phones and Upstead don't mix. Hailey receives an urgent text from her mom letting her know that her dad suffered a heart attack and is in the hospital. Her reaction to this news is understandably conflicted due to what we already know about the abusive history she has with him. At first, she seems immediately concerned and prepares to go see him but a citywide call quickly changes her mind on the way to Med. Hailey reassures Jay that she'll see her dad later and they end up taking the call. This sets up a Hailey-centric episode that we'll come back to.

Good Cop or Bad Cop

The case this week promised to be full of twists and they were not kidding. Intelligence had to work hard to retrace the steps of Mike Blaine, a veteran police officer, who was found shot in an alley. It was one of those situations where you think you know where things are headed but in the end you realize you couldn't have put it together if you tried. And since Voight knew and had previously worked with this cop it was obvious no stone would be left unturned.

The circumstances surrounding Mike Blaine's death were hard to reconcile. He didn't appear to have any reason to be in the area, no problems at home and he wasn't targeted for his money or valuables. We discovered that Blaine had some problematic connections that were questionable at best. There was a mysterious exchange with a shot caller, Marco Perez, who Blaine had previously arrested. A run-in with a graphic designer, Zach Phillips, who held a deep grudge against Blaine for mistreating him and was at the scene the night Blaine was murdered. And an unknown woman in a bad neighborhood who Mike delivered a large sum of money to before spending time with her in his vehicle. Things were not looking great.

As the case unfolded, we discovered that Mike was on good terms with Marco after his arrest and had asked him for a loan to help a friend. That friend being the unknown woman Mike delivered money to, Maria Guerra, who was actively trying to escape her abusive ex-boyfriend. Motivated by vengeance the ex-boyfriend, Jose Torres, shot Blaine when he tried to convince Torres to leave Maria alone. Which brings us back to Zach who was nearly gunned down by Torres after seeing him on the news speaking to reporters about the murder. If not for Hailey saving him, Zach wouldn't be alive.

Although Zach's involvement wasn't directly connected to the crime, it did serve to drive home the message of forgiveness throughout the episode. And it hit on a lot of pain points for Hailey who was going through a similar internal struggle when it comes to her father. It was a complicated web that Intelligence had to unweave, but they did finally catch the break they needed and caught up to Torres.

Hailey's Dad

There's still a lot that we don't know about where Hailey is emotionally with the trauma she experienced at the hands of her dad. We know some of the details but her default is usually to internalize and try to handle things on her own. She has a wall and it protects her. But when she chooses to prioritize work over seeing her dad, it strikes a cord with Jay who had a difficult time with his own dad's passing.

Jay had really great intentions trying to help Hailey and his approach was gentle and compassionate. He saw how much it affected her and attempting to stay by her side at the hospital was really sweet. But he may have pushed forgiveness a little too much and she wasn't quite ready. Jay doesn't know everything she went through and I think that put him at a disadvantage in supporting her. This case also poked at the wounds of Hailey's abuse and challenged the ways in which she has chosen to move on from it.

When Hailey did finally end up at Med to see her dad, she could only get as far as watching him from a distance before having to leave. I didn't love that she lied to Jay about talking to her dad, but I won't hold it against her either. It's up to her how quickly she chooses to forgive...or if she chooses to forgive him at all. Hailey's struggle and raw emotion throughout this episode shows that she's dealing with a lot more than we realize. And I hope that her new relationship with Jay breaks down some of that wall and allows her to open up to him about her past. It might be uncomfortable but I do believe they can get there. And when they do, their relationship will be a thousand times stronger because of it.

Sam & Voight

Voight really showed some growth this episode. I'm not sure if it was because of his personal connection to the case but I was both surprised and really proud of this step. Sam's approach with Hank and Intelligence has been consistent and clear; change is mandatory and it starts at the top.

The first indication that something was different with Voight came when he took into account the difficult position that Sam was in. Suggesting that she not make any public statements before he had all of the facts since there were still a lot of unanswered questions. I think even Sam was taken by surprise with that move. The second notable moment for Voight in this episode was when Ruzek asked whether he should include video of Blaine taking a loan from Perez in the books. Voight instructs him to put everything in the file, good and bad, knowing that there was a chance Sam wouldn't agree. I mean this is a small step but progress nonetheless. 

Sam's willingness to listen to Hank and take his perspective into account was made clear following her statements about the case and Mike Blaine's legacy. It feels like she and Voight may have found some sort of solid ground with each other and I'm really excited to see where that takes us.

What did you think of Unforgiven? Let me know in the comments below!