One thing that viewers can expect from any of the Dick Wolf franchises, is an episode or two dedicated to a ripped from the headlines case or current event.
This go round, Chicago PD Season 4 Episode 12 was a nod at the Charleston shooting.
What I appreciated the most, is that for once the case wasn't "on the nose." In fact, it was so subtle that it barely registered until the end of the episode. Nothing about the case had anything to do with the real life tragedy.
The case was that of a female jogger being sexually assaulted and killed in a park. The two suspects were two young black boys wearing hoodies. You know, same old, same old.
Aside from Tillman having a few physical similarities to Dylan Roof (redhead with a bowl-cut), his being unapologetic and not showing an ounce of remorse, a fire bomb ruining a church, Atwater's standup routine at the end, and Voight's speech about racial profiling...they acknowledged the tragedy without exploiting and/or sensationalizing it.
Zach Grenier guest starred as Father McSorley, and it was a delight watching him onscreen again. I haven't seen him anything since the last time I watched The Good Wife.
I know we were supposed to, I gather, be annoyed by Father McSorley and his essentially interfering with an investigation, but I found his stance to be an interesting one.
Residents, law enforcement, the media, politicians, it seems like everyone has an opinion when it comes to young black men and how they are viewed in society, but we don't really hear a church's stance on the matter.
Let's be brutally honest, the history of young black men with Chicago police,has not been glorious.Father McSorley
Father McSorley, fed up and aware of how young black men in the city can be and are viewed, was reluctant to just hand Miles and Jaylin over until he was sure that they were okay. He didn't believe that they were responsible for Zoe Simm's murder, because he knew them to be good kids, and he didn't want to see them railroaded by the system.
This naturally brought out the ire of residents, including Simm's family who formed an angry mob outside of the church, that had to be contained by police.
It not only made things pretty darn intense, but it guaranteed that Voight and the gang would have to race against the clock to find out the truth, and get justice.
Father, we're not going to change things by ignoring the victims.Voight
I also found the relationship between Voight and McSorley to be rather interesting as well. Voight appeared to be a lot more subdued and accomodating around McSorley.
It was almost like he had to counterbalance Olinski, who didn't hide the fact that he despised the priest, and Rixton who was angry the entire episode.
What was with Rixton anyhow? Do you think that this case hit a particular nerve, or do you think it had something to do with his own faith? He didn't hesitate to tell the priest that he grew up Catholic, but his anger, especially directed at the priest gave me the impression he has had a crisis of faith in the past.
Religion and the church must be a sore issue for him.
On top of that Voight caught him in a lie. I get what Rixton was trying to do, to a degree, but if he has to be upfront with anyone he has to be upfront with Voight.
Kenny I brought you here for a reason. You're doing great so far. I expected a little turbulence. But if you ever withhold information from again, I'll bounce your ass right outta here.Voight
Plus, it's Voight. His reputation precedes him, He's one to color outside the lines himself.
Rixton heading to the gang spot to give Duggie a heads up, was interesting. I'm dying to know more about Rixton. After this episode, it's clear the man has a story and I'd love to know what it is.
Like, for example, what's with his relationship with Duggie? They're on very friendly terms and apparently the gangbanger owes him for a lot. Like what? I want to know!
Tillman was a sick, twisted, despicable creep. He sexually assaulted and killed Zoe, but he also killed the man who let him stay in his house.
How in the hell does one just casually keep a freaking head and a hand in the freezer next to their frozen dinners? How psychotic is that?!
But he also intentionally pointed the finger at two young black boys, kickstarting this entire investigation into two foster kids who had nothing to do with what was going on. He knowingly exploited racial profiling for his own gain.
So you threw a Molotov cocktail into a church. In front of a hundred cops?Rixton
A church was burned down and those two boys had to spend the night in jail, because of Tillman. Plus, he was more than ready to add "cop killer" to his already vile list of offenses, based on his luring Olinski out into the woods.
Oh Burgess, you are a total badass!
I was so proud of Burgess when she tackled Tillman and arrested him, saving Olinski. Olinski spent the majority of the episode, as he has the previous episodes, pretty much treating Burgess like crap.
Olinski: Let me get this correct, you called Tillman to follow up on a witness statement?
Burgess: Correct, but the number was out of service.
Olinski: And that didn't raise a red flag?
I generally like Olinkski, but I don't get his motivation behind how he's treating Burgess. I was not a fan when Platt claimed it was that he's old-school sexist when it comes to women on the force. But his reasoning can't just be that he doesn't want Burgess to become too jaded can it?
That seems ridiculous too. She's already on the team and she doesn't appear to be going anywhere. She's earned her spot and this is what she wants. Talking down to and hazing her isn't going to help matters.
But after she saved his ass, he finally expressed some gratitude and respect so maybe whatever this thing is between them is squashed. God, I hope so.
Okay, I've been a cop for a lot of years. There's one thing I hate. I hate it when people blame the black kid. I get it all the time. I'll tell you something, please believe me when I tell you that, it's not gonna happen today because you're gonna tell me the truth about what happened.Voight
I appreciated the simple but poignant way they acknowledged the race issue in this episode. Voight's speech to Tillman where he addressed the frequency by which people blame the black guy for a crime hit its mark.
And Atwater's standup routine about being a black guy who runs from the cops only to remind himself that he, himself is actually a cop had me chuckling. I'm glad he followed Lindsay's advice.
He's pretty darn funny when he's just being himself. It showed during his routine. And I loved that the team was there supporting him, even Voight. They have all become so close over the years.
I also loved seeing the community and the cops coming together to help rebuild the church after that jackass threw the Molotov cocktail through the window. My favorite thing about the Chicago franchises is the sense of community they show.
Violent step-father, crazy boyfriend, sleazy boss...Zoe sure had some winners in her life.Lindsay
Overall it was a case heavy episode, with very little personal stuff going on. Which means we'll have to wait a little longer to see what's going on with Lindsay after finding out that the man she thought was her father isn't her father.
I didn't mind the episode, but c'mon Chicago PD! You can't have Bunny implying that Voight might actually be Lindsay's father and then leave us hanging like that!
So what did you guys think of the episode? What is your impression of Rixton? Did Voight seem more subdued in this episode? Did you miss the Lindsay arc? Hit up the comments below.
You can watch Chicago PD online right here at TV Fanatic.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.