Was there anyone who was happy in this week's Chicago PD? Maybe Halstead since he got a new toy. But Chicago PD Season 4 Episode 15 was a joyless affair for everyone else.
"Favor, Affection, Malice or Ill Will" had two major storylines. The first involved a father looking for vengeance on the man that he believed murdered his daughter, but it's not a spoiler to say that the guy he believed was responsible was not the actual killer.
The Intelligence Unit re-opened Rebecca Clark's murder case and unraveled the tangled web to close it. The highlight of this was Voight throwing a guy across a counter to get information. We should start a drinking game for every time Voight does something that is way off book but yet still vastly entertaining.
She'd only been in Chicago six months when she got killed.Voight
One of the other plot wrinkles was that the gun dealer turned out to be an undercover ATF agent. Let's count for a second: Olinsky went undercover. Halstead went undercover. Ruzek went undercover. Is everyone on this show undercover? Except for Voight because he does not give a damn if you know who he is.
But the team eventually found the real killer, revealing Rebecca to be an innocent victim caught in the middle of a grudge between a gang member and an ex-gang member, neither of whom were the original suspect. And you had to cringe when you heard that the guy that the bullets were meant for just dove out the car door and ran away.
So many people were self-serving in this episode. From that guy, to Lindsay's source just helping her to get his brother out of jail (and threatening to ruin the case on top of that), to the original suspect demanding payment for his part in the case. This episode was not one that would restore your faith in humanity.
The other storyline this week was, of course, the return of Ruzek. Speaking of people who didn't look good, Adam's hole just kept getting deeper. The opening scene told us that Ruzek had simply bailed on the Intelligence Unit and that Voight had to find out from a third party that Ruzek was undercover.
We know Ruzek was going to have a hard time dealing with Burgess being his new co-worker, but man, did he go to extreme lengths to run away. Get a grip, dude.
My ex-fiancee was coming upstairs. I freaked out a little bit.Ruzek
Voight did the understandable thing and busted Ruzek back down to Patrol but that lasted all of one episode. There wasn't a ton of suspense because fans know that the show couldn't just write Patrick John Flueger off like that. It would have been interesting to see Ruzek on Patrol having to work with Platt, though.
The 'B' story was actually more notable for how it wrote out Kenny Rixton. Chicago PD revealed that Rixton had a past with Ruzek's father, and thus he did Ruzek a favor, giving up his spot in Intelligence. Rixton said he had an offer to become the "number two" in Narcotics, so he better make a guest appearance or two because he deserves it.
Can we take a second and just thank Nick Wechsler for being a great addition to the show these last few episodes? He clearly gave this role all he had, even if it did peter out in these last two installments.
The one major complaint with this episode is the exchange between Olinsky and State's Attorney Mark Jefferies. As awesome as it was to see Carl Weathers in this episode (Carl Weathers can be anywhere Carl Weathers wants, really), the scene itself felt unnecessarily provocative.
Why does Jefferies immediately assume that Olinsky's reticence regarding arresting Donald Clark has to do with race? Why does the episode even have to go there? It feels like pushing a hot button where there didn't need to be one. Jefferies and Olinsky could easily just have argued over the spirit versus letter of the law and having a sympathetic defendant.
Chicago PD then tries to explain itself by having Jefferies say he was upset after another racially charged case that he had lost earlier in the day. It's good to see him and Olinsky bury the hatchet, but that's a disagreement that didn't need to take things up to eleven in the first place.
Discussions about racial issues and race relations on shows like this can be important and challenging and meaningful, but let's not make them less so by going there when it doesn't matter.
Just so we understand each other, once you start this, there's no turning back.Olinsky
The one highlight of this episode was that Lindsay and Halstead got a new SUV, which happened to be Halstead's dream car, and his girlfriend slash partner let him drive it. Jesse Lee Soffer did a great job nailing that adorable pleading for the keys and all Chicago PD fans have to be happy seeing Halstead getting to drive for what's only the second time in recent memory.
Did anyone else think the camera lingered a bit too long on that GMC logo, though? Hello, free advertising.
"Favor, Affection, Malice or Ill Will" was an episode that will probably leave a lot of people talking about what they would have done or how they felt. That's a good thing. Was it the best episode of Chicago PD this season? Probably not, but it did restore the status quo and any episode that leaves you feeling something is worth it.
And that second to last scene also dropped a nice hint for the Chicago Crossover (though we won't explain it if you haven't seen or don't want the spoilers). So kudos for efficiency, show.
Chicago PD will air early next week as part of the Chicago Crossover. Chicago PD Season 4 Episode 16 is set for Wednesday, March 1 at 9/8c on NBC. Until then, if you want to re-watch this episode or get caught up on any of Season 4 so far, you can watch Chicago PD online.
Don't forget to leave your thoughts about "Favor, Affection, Malice or Ill Will" in the comments. What did you think about this episode? What would you have done in Donald Clark's situation? Let's discuss below and get ready for next week's blockbuster crossover event.
Brittany Frederick is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.