A young girl is found dead in a famous athlete’s home. As the team unravels the case a horrible tale unfurls. The sixteen year old, Maya Collins, is a teen runaway turned prostitute. Was she murdered by her abusive pimp, or by a violent john? No she was pushed and accidently killed by the man who was trying to save her from a life of prostitution and violence.
Jake McCoy had been down a problematic and dangerous path of his own. Having a substance abuse problem, it was lucky he had a friend like Al to bail him out when he got into serious trouble. He walked away from that car crash with a new lease on life and not a DUI like he should have. Being confronted with a life-threatening situation Jake has seen the error of his ways and seeks to redeem himself. Unfortunately in his attempt to make the world a better place, to help young girls in need, he ends up not only ending the life of an innocent teenager, but ruining his own chance of redemption. The meaninglessness of her death is what is the most upsetting. She will never have a chance to change her life, to learn from her mistakes to be happy again. Her life is ended all because of an angry action from a man who is only human himself. For a moment Jake’s anger and hurt gets the better of him. When he came home to see the young girl he had committed to helping, who he let into his home, stealing from him he lost it. And in that split second after he pushed her all of his good work comes undone. He was trying to make the world a better place and all that resulted from his actions was the exact opposite of his intentions. Maya is dead and he is in jail.
During one of his interviews with Maya, Jake asks her what it feels like to do what she does, to have sex with strangers, to let them use her for their own pleasure in exchange for her livelihood. Maya’s response is disturbingly apt, “you feel like you’re not even a human being […] just a piece of tissue.” The men that pay Maya for sex use her like any other sex toy meant for their pleasure. They use her like she is an object and not a human being. This one line, I feel, points to a bigger underlying issue in our society, the objectification of women. As the saying goes ‘sex sells’, images of women in over sexualized moments bombard us everyday. Women in the media are represented as sexual objects in order to sell products and make money. Which normalizes this idea and treatment of women as objects of male pleasure, the idea that the female body is only meant to grant pleasure to men. Chicago PD is once again presenting a larger social issue to its viewers. Without commenting or taking a stance on this issue the show is pointing of the harsh reality of the world we live in. Women are being used and abused.
Never mind the fact that Maya is only 16. She is a child. What does it say about the men that pay to have sex with her? Men over twice her age, that don’t view her as a young girl who needs help, but just as an object to fulfill their needs. They are abusing their position of power over her because not only has that been normalized in pop culture but it has been transformed into a fantasy of an older man with a younger naïve girl. In reality these men are traumatizing a young girl making it so her relationship with any older man is perverted and skewed. She can no longer see them as a platonic parental figure but as someone who will hurt her and take from her without caring about their affect on her. Jake is the first man to treat her like a person, to acknowledge that she has thoughts and feelings. The first man to worry about her wants and needs and to give her hope that she could one day have something more than this life where she is used as nothing more than a plaything. It is even more heartbreaking to think that Jake possibly gave her hope for a brighter future when he was the one to take that chance away from her.