It was a case-heavy installment, but isn't that preferable most of the time?
We got a better glimpse of what it means for Halstead to be the holder of Voight's leash in their new, egalitarian partnership on Chicago PD Season 9 Episode 12, and now that they've figured out how to merge their styles and adapt, it seems to work.
We also spent more time with Anna, and it's enough to put a person on edge.
It's saying something that four bodies dropped before the installment even hit its 15-minute mark.
Voight and Halstead arrived at a landfill to respond to their first body, and from that point forward, the case took them in the direction of Los Temidos, and it showed off their shiny new partnership.
While Halstead took the backseat and barely had a presence during Chicago PD Season 9 Episode 11, he made up for it here, and blessedly, they switched things up by placing him with Voight for the remainder of the hour.
The path it took to get to this point was annoying as hell, but it's such a refreshing change of pace to have Jay partnering with someone other than Hailey. It was the first time in a while that we got to see Voight and Jay where it didn't feel as if they were opposing forces to each other.
Instead, they managed to balance one another out. We got some interesting scenes between the two as Voight sought Jay's advice about Anna and even inquired how he would handle the situation with her.
And when Paco posed a threat to Anna, Voight was upfront about the solutions he had to the problem, knowing that none of them would be anything that Jay would approve of, and gave Jay the space to find an alternate way out of things that wouldn't lead them down a shady path.
Voight: I got about 20 ways out of this in my head right now. I don't think you're going to like any of them. If you got a clean way out of this, let me know. Otherwise, I'm going to find a creative solution.
Halstead: Give me about an hour
Jay's solution seemed simplistic, and it's odd that Voight, a man who has C.I's and Trudy at his beck and call to find out all the information he needs about a person before he ruins him, didn't think to find Paco's girlfriend and kid on his own.
Nevertheless, we can accept the scenario for what it was: an example of how Voight and Halstead can work in harmony with one another and give Jay his flowers and Boss moment. I'm still not convinced by this Halstead future successor thing, but I've gone along with worse.
Admittedly, whether it was unfortunate personal distractions or some issues, the beginning of the case was a bit hard to follow as we jumped right into a robbery, carjacking, and execution-style murders, as the opening parts of getting from A to B felt a bit messy.
And our bad guy was apparent from the second we saw José Zúñiga playing some suspiciously helpful bakery owner. He's not the type of actor you'd see in a brief cameo that isn't pertinent to a larger arc.
The entirety of the case was spent building up how untouchable and badass Javier Escano is and why taking him down won't come with ease.
He had Paco out murdering folks like John Wick. The ice pick was particularly brutal. And the bread he's serving up at his bakery is of a different variety.
Javier is a powerful man who knows how to put on a picture-perfect facade and has incredible reach, affluence, and power. He's inaccessible to them, and he knows how to stay that way. It'll take a miracle for them to get close enough to take him down.
As much of an asset as Anna is and how determined she is to destroy Los Temidos, it's not convincing that even she'll be their ace in the hole to nail Javier to the wall. If anything, by the time we saw Anna fixing the sign outside the bakery, the only thing I felt was that she was on borrowed time.
Voight: What do you think happened last night?
Halstead: With Anna? She looked spooked. It happens.
Voight: Not like that, not with her.
It's something that weighed heavily on the hour as she found herself in a couple of potentially deadly situations that could cost her. The life of a confidential informant is not an easy one, and when they're going as deep into dangerous waters as Anna is doing, it's a short life, too.
The more time we spend with Anna, the easier it is to become attached to her, and it feels as though the series is luring us into a false sense of security before something terrible happens.
It doesn't help that she has become close to Voight. Their relationship is fascinating, and we haven't seen Voight display this level of attachment to another person in some time.
It only makes sense that around the same time that he's testing the waters with a new partnership with Jay since Olinsky's death, we're also witnessing this affection he has for Anna that we haven't experienced since his fondness for the mother of his grandchild.
Voight: What would you do?
Halstead: We've both seen CI's crash and burn, but she's so pissed off at the world, it's keeping her alive.
It's that paternalistic Voight that we haven't had beyond glimmers in some time. And Beghe and Zumbado have great chemistry. But that's what makes this storyline with Anna feel ominous. In the end, Voight loses everyone he allows himself to care about.
They hadn't held back on the references and allusions to Anna sealing her fate well before she signed up to work with Voight. It feels like at any moment, she'll get killed, and it makes every scene she's in more nerve-wracking than the last.
Anna is a great C.I., and she always delivers. It was amusing that they addressed how there was no love lost between her and Jay the last time they worked together. But even Jay can admit that she's a good informant, and his observation that her quest for vengeance and justice is what's keeping her alive.
She's fearless and willing to throw herself into the deep end for the results, but it's also what can get her killed. She doesn't wait on Voight.
She always wants to jump into action, and she pushes her limits at every turn. Anna also keeps too many things close to the vest.
You could tell that she got spooked when she was in that basement, and Voight's new attachment to Anna and his ability to read her had him charging into the place before she gave the safe word and despite the rest of the unit visibly hesitant. But it took until the end of the hour before she reluctantly confided in Voight and told him the truth.
Trauma is a hell of a thing, and the emotional scars can far outweigh physical ones. Los Temidos gang members raped her, and now there are moments when she thinks she sees or hears one of the men who hurt her. It threw her off entirely while undercover.
The more they build up a story around Anna, the more stressful it is, and if something happens to her, Voight will lose it.
But one can't help but be invested in this Escano storyline. Hopefully, it's something that they'll continue to weave into the next installments rather than dropping it entirely until some time later.
Escano seems like the type who will have his hands in so many things that his name will pop up on other cases the team works over the season.
Their full focus on this one had so many perks. Jay accepting the baked goods and eating them while they talked to Javier was a fun moment, and Kim's undercover shenanigans, while she and Ruzek cased out the bakery, was fun.
She balanced stuffing her face with some delicious-looking pastry with getting the scoop on Javier and Paco.
And it's always a treat when Burgess gets to flex her Spanish skills.
Anna, you're not safe. Ok? You're not. I gotta be in your life. I gotta know you so we can keep you upright.Voight
We already established that Voight and Jay teaming up was refreshing. We got Atwater and Hailey working together, which you never see at all.
The downside is that they rarely showed them, so we didn't get to see it in action. Hailey took the biggest backseat during installment, similar to how Jay did in the previous one, but she had a heavy presence in the first half of the season. When the series returns, she's getting another installment that features her more, so it works out.
They solved their case, but with Paco dead despite their efforts to keep him in protective custody and Anna getting deeper into this, we've only just scratched the surface of the Los Temidos storyline. It should be interesting, though.
Over to you, Chicago P.D. Fanatics!
Was this a decent enough installment to hold you over until after the Olympics? Are you worried about Anna? What did you make of Voight and Halstead's partnership? HIt the comments.
As always, you can watch Chicago PD online here via TV Fanatic.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.