Chicago PD 3×22 “She’s Got Us”

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Looks like the show is taking a week off from the social commentary and focusing on character development. Time and time again I have talked about wanting more character development. I want to become invested in the team so I will care about what happens to them. Unfortunately Chicago PD’s idea of characterization is beating us over the head with the one character trait that each person seems to embody.

Source: NBC

Source: NBC

It just hit me tonight while watching this episode that most of the characters are two-dimensional. They have no depth to them. How many episodes have we seen Lindsey been overly empathetic to the victim? She cares more than anyone else on the show. She cares on a personal level. We already know this. I have said this almost every episode because frankly I find it hard to find anything else to write about when it comes to the characters. If the audience wasn’t clever enough to already realize this about Erin, which how could you not by now, Jay points it out saying “there’s such a thing as having too much empathy”. Erin is the overly empathetic ex drug addict, any storyline that she is apart of centers around that. I want to see more. I like Erin and I love Sophia Bush, who plays the character so well, but there is only so much life you can give to a character when they are only being shown in certain situations. The only time we see the characters are at work, we barely ever get to see Erin as anything other than Detective Lindsey. With a few little scenes of personal life thrown in. Like the Linstead this episode. We get little tidbits of their banter surrounding Halstead’s apartment hunting but nothing deeper or more meaningful than that. We don’t get to see their relationship, their homes, or their interactions. The most we get is an end of the night drink at Molly’s or a quick glimpse of them falling into bed together. I was to see their quirks. Is Erin obsessed with candles so much that they litter her apartment? Does she have a collection of novelty coffee mugs? Does Jay cook her breakfast every time he stays over? It is the little things you discover about a person that make them unique, three dimensional, loveable. Right now I love Erin but do I really care about her? Of course if something ever happened to her I would be upset but I think that has more to do with the fact that I wouldn’t be able to see Sophia Bush in this role anymore and less to do with the lose of the character.

Source: NBC

Source: NBC

So apparently Broman has gone from let’s-not-put-any-labels-on-this-we’ll-see-where-it-goes to I-love-you-please-throw-away-your-career-and-come-to-San-Diego-with-me. I guess a lifetime injury inflicting, career ending bullet to the shoulder will do that to you. Perhaps Roman has reassessed his priorities and after his near death experience has realized that life is too short to play things safe. If he wants to be with Burgess why play games? That or the fact that this injury may have ruined his career and taken the thing he valued the most in life away from him has got him terrified that he has nothing else. Therefore he has decided to cling on to the only other thing in his life that might give it some meaning. By the look on Kim’s face as Sean walks away I think she agrees with the latter. He has just been through a very traumatic situation, which has changed his life. Now is not the time for him to be making any big decisions. Hopefully Kim won’t just stick to her two dimensional characterization as the hopeless romantic and put her career first for once. She already passed up a promotion for Ruzek, and then almost was terminated due to her lover affair with Roman, don’t move half way across the country just for love and leave behind your dream job. Maybe the writer’s will surprise me and add some depth to Burgess other than her warm heart and naïve sense of love.

Source: NBC

Source: NBC

Speaking of character development. Could this be the beginning of Roman’s? I think it could be a very interesting storyline. What a street cop has to cope with when they are injured and no longer able to do the job that they love. I think it would be quite fascinating watching Roman be shoved behind a desk, out of harms way and how he copes with not only the lose of the career he dreamed of but also perhaps dealing with chronic pain. I think a lot of people could relate to a storyline that centers on someone’s dreams being taken away from them. Perhaps it could also deal with depression or substance abuse. But even though I think this would be a great step to take, Chicago PD has never been one for long drawn out character-centered storylines. We just get snippets here and there to keep us interested. As much as I wish it could be a show like Rookie Blue, which told the story of the characters who just happened to be cops, Chicago PD is a show that centers on the cases and just happens to have the same cops investigating them. It’s funny because even its sister show Chicago Fire seemed to have more character development and character centered storylines. Perhaps the show is just meant to be an entertaining show that presents interesting and controversial cases. Maybe I need to stop looking for something that isn’t there, but I can’t help wanting more.

Shea McKeown

Shea McKeown

a self professed ‘internet nerd’,spends way too much of her free time online. When she isn’t stuck in the infinite scroll of tumblr, or reading endless amounts of fanfiction, she is marathoning her latest tv obsession. The only problem is, Shea’s television tastes are so expansive, none of her friends have ever heard of the shows she talks about. And she talks often and endlessly about her obsessions. So please for the sake of her friends and loved ones, come talk to her so she can tell you about all of her theories. Her Rants and Ramblings can also be found on her: Tumblr!

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  • Jenson K.

    I agree with almost every word you wrote. Although I like Chicago PD more than I like Chicago Fire, Chicago Fire started it all off and I think it’s going to easily outlast PD. Chicago Fire tells the story of a firehouse and manages to work in some interesting fires and outside storylines. They have a variety of characters and you get to know their personalities. There is interaction, there is personal dialogue, there are human moments. Chicago PD tells the story of a case, but then it throws a whole bunch of main characters at it. With such little back story and development, the lines could be read by any character, they’re interchangeable. We get hints of differences, Olinsky came up with Voight so they have a history and memories of their “dark times.” Antonio started off as the counter to Voight, the level headed, true north compass of morality who wanted the intelligence unit to stay on the straight and narrow. But those were just teases and now they’re all identical either standing around in a half circle around the white board or surrounding the building with bad guys with their weapons drawn?

    I really like Chicago PD, but unfortunately, I think it’s going to burn out it’s audience. It’s gotten this far on just the visual appeal of look how badass we all look while we fight crime. You don’t know much about us as people, but don’t we look damn good? But that novelty will wear off and then what?

    While there is a fair share of PD fans that enjoy the straight forward case stories, there is a huge fanbase that watch just for the hopes of seeing the couples involved romantically. Lindsey, Halstead, Ruzek, and now Burgess and Roman. Burgess and Roman had the advantage of being partners and alone in a squad care for the past 2 seasons so they had the most chances at personal conversations. I know they dropped a scene where Lindsey and Halstead were supposed to be on a road trip together and where fans expected they would get to see more personal stories and background. But that scene was dropped unfortunately. I wish everyone had more car rides period. Let’s get some alternate dialogue besides “Boss, so-and-so just called, we have a lead on the suspect.”

    I’ll be super bummed if Brian Geraghty leaves the show. Roman lends a sharp contrast to the intelligence unit, it’s nice to see someone on the show who isn’t jockeying to be moved to the intelligence unit. He just wants to work the beat. It would be an interesting but very sad arc to watch him adjust to a desk job. I see a parallel between Roman and Platt. They’re both gruff and no-nonsense and they don’t take crap from anyone. They’re all substance with no frills. I can’t imagine what Platt went through after she got shot and forced behind the desk. But frankly, I’d rather see him get a second opinion and find his way back to patrol, he’s the only one who wants it that bad.

    • Shea McKeown

      I completely agree! You made some great points about how the show will burn out if it just keeps focusing on the cases and I agree. The reason people stick around to watch a show week after week is for the personal story lines. That’s how Grey’s Anatomy has made it this far! What are they on like season 36 now?!

      I love all of the actors and I know the story lines have been set up but it’s like the writer’s have no follow through! Why haven’t they told us more about Voight and Olinsky’s dark past? Why haven’t we heard more about what happened to Platt to get her reassigned to a desk? What did Mouse and Halstead go through overseas? Why give us any of this information if you aren’t going to expand on it?

      I am glad to know I am not the only one struggling with this show.