The case on Chicago PD Season 7 Episode 16 hit close to home for Upton.
The series previously established that Upon comes from a home affected by domestic abuse, and we saw her bring those experiences to the table when dealing with a case that started as armed robbery and quickly took a nasty turn into something more.
Michelle, a witness and "good samaritan" at the scene of the armed robbery, turned out to be the wife of the robber who refused to cooperate because she was too scared of what her husband would do to her. Complicated? Yeah, it kind of was.
As Upton and Halstead investigated -- the dynamic duo is back! -- they unearthed several cases of abuse including a brutal one that landed her in the hospital. Her excuse was that she "fell off her bike."
Because of her past, Upton understood Michelle because she'd seen the same thing with her mother.
She knew that victims tend to get used to the abuse and lose hope, which is why it's hard to get them to co-operate.
But Upton knew how to get through to Michelle to get her on board because she could put herself in her shoe's and think the way she thinks,
And even once she agreed, it was risky because there was always the chance that Michelle would change her mind.
It happened when she decided to give Shane yet another chance and tried convincing him to stay instead of getting a confession, which she was tasked with doing.
Her flip is what forced Upton and Halstead to get involved and foil the case they were trying to build up.
Upton was so calm while surveilling Michelle and Shane because it was her reality for so long.
Pull all the surveillance from the past couple of months. These guys did their homework. Maybe we catch them studying.Voight
She knew what a normal domestic argument sounded like, and she knew when it was time to move in. She also understood that oftentimes intruding doesn't make anything better.
It paints an incredibly sad picture of Upton's childhood -- I can almost see her as a young girl just covering her head with a pillow to block out the fighting -- and one that was nicely juxtaposed with Halstead.
Every fiber of his being was screaming at him to run in there and make the violence stop.
It's surprising that Jay was so triggered by it considering he's a cop, but as Voight said, his heart and compassion are both his strength and his weakness.
Upton: I know how hard it is to leave him. I really do. You built a life with him. You love him. But deep down, you know you gotta get out.
Michelle: Shane's not perfect, but he's not what you think.
Halstead: He's a violent criminal who beats women. What are we missing?
Halstead may have done the right thing by running in there and saving Michelle, but it also meant that they couldn't nab him on any of the armed robbery charges because they had no other evidence.
Voight attempted to use his last play and convince Shane to confess and turn on Brady, but the likelihood of that working was slim since Shane was introduced as someone "old school loyal."
You could see Halstead consumed with guilt over botching the situation, but I can't even be upset with him for reacting when someone is in danger.
Halstead has seen so much, and the fact that he still has such visceral reactions means he's not numb to all of it just yet.
Eventually, Shane was discharged, which meant Michelle was in grave danger.
I was expecting Halstead to arrive on the scene and find her dead, but the episode needed an uplifting moment otherwise it would just be too dark and harrowing.
Halstead was able to save Michelle and give Shane a taste of his own medicine, which Upton later said is all she ever dreamed of anyone doing. I can't say I didn't enjoy giving Shane a proper beatdown.
I love that Upton stressed how vital it is to understand the extent of help that you should offer.
Halstead did everything right and even got Michelle and her daughter a ticket out of town, but that's all he could do.
The rest was up to Michelle to see if she could start over and not drift back to Shane.
We also often get an image in our heads of what an abuser looks like, but that holds not merit, so it was nice to see the series emphasize that most abusers appear to be regular men who even bring their ladies flowers.
The episode kicked off with Halstead getting examined following his shooting earlier in the season, and the doctor left him with some parting advice: don't get shot.
Michelle: No, that's not possible.
Upton: He just did a three-year stint for armed robbery, so it's definitely in the realm of possibility.
The recommendation came after he began reading off all of Halstead's injuries and boy, was that list long or what?
It's incredible that he's still standing in one piece.
And the moment Halstead left the doctor, he found himself at the scene of the crime where someone was firing multiple rounds of shots.
There were several other moments in the episode where I truly feared for Halstead's safety and thought he might not make it through another episode without getting shot.
The moment at the doctor was slightly worrisome because I got the feeling that Halstead was holding back on how he's coping mentally and emotionally following the shooting.
The way he told the doctor to just "sign off" on whatever he needed to so that he could go back to work gave off the impression that he's avoiding dealing with some real issues.
Will they eventually catch up with him?
Admittedly, the episode doesn't clock in as one of my favorites of the season and seeing as it was limited on any personal storylines, it felt more like a filler following Burgess' situation and the events of the crossover.
It's slightly disappointing that the series can deliver episodes that offer up emotional gut-punches and then give us an episode that doesn't do much in terms of story progression.
The emphasis was solely on the case, and we didn't learn anything new about Halstead or Upton as a result.
Most of the other Intelligence members were sidelined, and the plot was hard to follow along at times with so many players involved in the game.
What did you think of the episode?
Other Windy City Observations
- Burgess's gesture of getting Ruzek tickets was equally as sweet as it was odd. There are no right "thanks for being there during my miscarriage" gift so, in that regard, the tickets were a fine choice. But there has to be a better way for her to show her appreciation especially since Ruzek followed up with a mumbled: "I'm still here." He cares about her so much!
- Anytime an episode focuses on Upton and Halstead, I'm convinced it's going to lead to them finally admitting their feelings for each other but nope. Still nothing.
- This is totally random, but I took an acting class over the summer and the woman who played the doctor at the hospital telling Upton and Halstead about the injuries that Michelle sustained was my acting teacher!
- Poor Franklin got messed up in all of this because he wanted money to pay off his mother's cancer bills.
Be sure to watch Chicago PD online and leave your comments about the episode below!