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Chicago PD - Pink Cloud - Review

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Last week’s Chicago PD gave us a front row seat to Upton’s grief and how she’s coping with losing Halstead, except she’s not exactly coping with it at all. 

“Pink Cloud” is the title of this episode and it’s a perfect one for it. That haze of comfortability that makes you think you’re fine when everything around you has really gone to hell, like a mask you wear to hide your grief from those around you. It says you’re good, puts a false sense of hope and security in your mind, but really, it just holds you back from dealing with your problems head-on. 

That grief you try to skirt around can quickly become all-too consuming, and it seems to be the case with Hailey in the aftermath of losing her partner and husband since he’s gone to find himself again. They’re still married, still very much the loves of each other’s lives and they always will be, but Hailey is not doing well with the loss of Jay, and we see it immediately. 


She’s lost the one person she knows she can always depend on, the one she could always lean on, and now that she doesn’t have that sense of security anymore, we see her spinning out in a way we’ve seen too many times now. She’s putting up a front, assuring everyone around her that she is fine even though it’s obvious she is not doing fine at all. She finds solace for her pain the only way she knows how: by avoiding it altogether. She’s working herself past her limit, her need for distraction, of not wanting to go home to an empty apartment taking over, but who can blame her really? The team take notice of course — how could they not? But they give her, her space and don’t poke and prod too much even though their concern is well-placed. 


Hailey has always been one to guard herself. She doesn’t trust easily, doesn’t like showing her emotions, doesn’t want to seem vulnerable. Even with Jay, she still held him at an arm’s length in instances where she felt she was better off on her own. Only now, she really is on her own, and having to navigate that while still reeling with the emotions that come with her husband leaving her…it’s a lot for a person to deal with.  

These writers really love traumatizing their characters and this episode is no exception. We not only see Hailey’s vulnerability come to light, but we also see it belittled and taken advantage of too. By the new chief and his son, who at first seems to have good intentions, but new guy Sean is not a good guy at all. He plays into Hailey’s pain, knowing exactly what to say and how to poke at her bruised heart until it gets him the reaction he’s hoping for. He’s just another man she can’t trust, and that much is made obvious by the end of the hour when she busts the case open even wider and discovers just how bad of a guy Sean really is. It serves yet another catalyst for Hailey to throw herself deeper into work because right now the job is all she’s got, and she clings to it. 


All of this is undoubtedly going to send Hailey spiraling further down a deep, dark rabbit hole, one we all know she won’t climb out of until she finds the truth and makes things right. And as good of an arc as it will be, one that Tracy Spiridakos will deliver on beautifully and tenfold with her performance, I can’t help wondering how much it will affect Hailey in the long run once the dust settles and she has nothing to serve as a distraction anymore. She carries things with her, and she is already in a state of avoidance, already feeling gutted, and we know those cases with kids and ones of this magnitude are always the hardest to bear. 

It’s not the first time we’ve seen it on this show though...those tough cases and the terrible things that happen to add to a character’s story, but ultimately all they do is sweep the emotions that come with them under the rug until they’re forgotten about entirely. Every character on this show has been through such circumstances, some much worse than others. I mean, really, how many times can you have the same character be shot or kidnapped before their entire mental health and stability just collapses? 


It is unnecessary shock value for the viewers at this point. It is drama for drama’s sake and has become predictable. It is exhausting to see these characters put through the wringer time after time. We don’t need to see them constantly dragged through the mud for their story to have an impact on us, for them to learn something about themselves, for them to change if that’s what they need to do. 


It begs the question how much can be thrown at a person, and just how much pain can they take until they unravel entirely? I think we are going to find out with Hailey and this storyline and the rest of the team as this season plays out. 


Chicago PD will return with new episodes on Wednesday, November 2nd on NBC. 












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