“#Chicago PD Season 9 Episode 4 Review: In the Dark”
Case-heavy installments are often when Chicago P.D. is at its best.
One hour can elicit a full range of emotions when you’re following along on a difficult case, rooting for the crew to capture the most heinous individual. And much of Chicago PD Season 9 Episode 4 focused on that.
However, it also displayed Hailey cracking and those shocking but predictable final moments when Halstead learned the truth and reacted passionately.
It’s always a treat when the series mixes and matches unit members for diversity’s sake, breaking up the monotony of the same partnerships.
While a questionable romantic and sexual choice, Hailey and Ruzek have always made a solid team, so when they picked up the case at that urban legend Death House that steals souls, it felt as if we were on the path toward something different.
We also got Hailey and Burgess making the hospital run to talk to sweet Christian, but it also seemed to be used to fuel more tension between Hailey and Jay as he assessed something else was going on with her.
It’s hard to say what was envisioned when Ruzek and Hailey rolled up to the cop vomiting and speechless outside, but somehow, one expected a more graphic crime scene.
The stench and the evidence that someone used the cellar as a torture chamber for children is what disturbed everyone. The small chair and the chains did create quite a visual, from what you view.
So much of the on-scene moments in the hour were dark, living up to the episode’s title, double entendre as it was, and setting a tone for this level of depravity.
Christian: He was going to take me to the dark water.
Hailey: What dark water?
Christian: I knew he was going to take me to the dark water. I had to run or else he’d take me.
The case itself proved to be more straightforward than one would imagine, and it’s frustrating to think that so many children lost their lives in this manner.
Christian was a lucky one for getting out when he did. It’s upsetting that urban myth about this house that should’ve been condemned already kept anyone from questioning anything.
Say what you will about suburbanites, but they would’ve raised enough hell about that eyesore and got some results. And we needn’t get into John’s company holding onto it without bothering to check in frequently or make repairs as they await the perfect time to exploit gentrification and rip people off.
The team never had to look much further beyond John, managing to have no real reason to keep him for 24-hours of questioning when he didn’t sound good for it, other than their case expanded, became grislier, and he was there.
Jay: That moment with Voight back there….
Hailey: What moment?
Jay: Look, I know you haven’t been sleeping, but it’s not just that. You haven’t been yourself since the night you proposed to me. That wasn’t really you.
Hailey: What are you saying? I meant everything I said to you.
Jay: Did something happen to you and Voight that night?
Haley: No. I know I’ve been off. I just haven’t slept.
And then they found out that his brother was a sadistic pedophile whom he thought he could pray the darkness away. Awesome.
For such a disturbing case, we didn’t spend nearly as much time with it. More than anything, it served as a backdrop for Hailey’s dissolution.
I wish we saw the reunion between Christian or the other adorable boy with their parents, or when they were contacted and learned that police found their missing son of eight months alive.
If you’re subjected to some terrible images or the implication of them, you want the payout to make it worthwhile, you know?
We never found out why the second boy was holding a bloody shard. John slitting his wrist in custody seemed like more of a vehicle to drive Hailey over the edge, but the follow-up was non-existent.
And we spent no time with Bradley, the P.O.S. who killed all of these children because, after a two-minute tussle with Hailey that we couldn’t even see, she shot him dead.
We also didn’t get to see the unit working alongside the Feds on this one, despite them getting called in for assistance.
For such a disturbing case that begged for our investment, it’s disappointing that the hour itself didn’t, well, invest in it.
Instead, we got Hailey gradually spinning out and falling apart before our eyes. The montage of her sleepless nights set the tone for how that sleep deprivation would affect her the rest of the hour.
And Tracy Spiridakos sold the hell out of Hailey’s descent. By the end of the hour, she looked far from okay, and well before the midway point, it had you wondering why no one sent her home or kicked her off of this case.
Why would you allow someone on the edge of emotionally strung out to stay on the case? By the time she reached a full-blown panic attack, somewhere after sustaining bloody cuts on her face from, what, scratching? It was time to give her the heave-ho for everyone’s well-being.
It’ll sound redundant, and apologies for that, but the recent history of this character is one of the most glaring reasons this storyline doesn’t work for her.
Voight: You know that was close before, Hailey. Do you need me to-
Hailey: No, I just need sleep.
Spiridakos is doing everything she can with it, and that’s fine, but it’s more frustrating than entertaining or compelling.
Perhaps if it were a storyline that they opted to give to one of the other characters, literally anyone else, maybe even Jay himself, it would’ve been more effective. While putting Burgess in peril for the dozenth time was an emotional ride, this exact situation with Kim instead of Hailey would’ve been more convincing.
Ironically, while the show often heralds Jay as the team’s self-righteous boy scout, arguably, Atwater’s morality is more consistent and his hands far cleaner, so it would be far more believable if he wrestled with the Roy events.
But Hailey? It’s hard to buy that the woman who spent a season and a half attempting to be some version of a mini-Voight is spiraling. Her previous actions and attitude were so bad he sent her to the F.B.I. for a break after telling her not to be like him.
I can’t live with it. I can’t. I killed him, and it’s destroying me.
Hailey arranged for the murder of Darius Walker and didn’t bat an eye over it. Somehow, that death doesn’t keep her up at night or some of the other troublesome things the unit has done over the years but covering up what was technically a good shoot with Roy does the trick? How?
Maybe if they managed to intersperse flashes of past things that Hailey did to show how she’s walked down this path — all of them compiled weighing her down and ruining her, but they haven’t done that.
Instead, they’re asking us to believe that something she willingly inserted herself in, claimed she could handle, and attempted to emulate in the past is destroying her inside and out, and it’s all Voight’s fault.
Her casual lying to Jay started to catch up to her, too. He reached a point where he questioned what she was saying, and he realized that she hadn’t been the same since they found Burgess.
It’s not surprising that Jay made the connection between Voight and Hailey. He always casts suspicions on his sergeant for almost everything.
But the silent exchange between Voight and Hailey when he found Jay comforting her during a panic attack tipped him off. Hailey was definitely about to tell Jay the truth during that moment.
By then, she was too emotionally wrung out and sleep-deprived to keep up the lie, and her sobbing out that she killed someone between gasping breaths wasn’t something Jay wouldn’t press further.
Jay’s ability to pull not only Voight’s current whereabouts but where he was the night they found Burgess was a bit of a stretch. How long was that desk jockey away, and did no one else pay attention to Jay plugging away?
Nevertheless, a showdown between Jay and Voight was inevitable, and Jay’s ire was palpable.
Here’s a time when one wishes he and Hailey weren’t romantically involved. Jay standing toe-to-toe with his superior over a platonic partner would’ve been far more compelling than him getting pissy at his boss over his fiancee.
Voight told Jay everything that happened that night, yet Jay unleashed the full scope of his anger on Voight for “breaking” Hailey.
While some people may find that attractive, hot, or delicious ship fodder, it’s actually a bit offputting that he regards Hailey as fragile, with no agency, and like some victim susceptible to Voight’s influence.
Has he met Hailey? And damn it if a person has to agree with Voight on this one, but does Jay know the woman he sleeps next to then?
Voight wasn’t wrong about how he didn’t want Hailey there that night. He tried multiple times to send her away, and she insisted that she was staying.
And he isn’t wrong about all the times he’s attempted to pull her from the precipice of darkness before she was lost to it forever. He warned her of this time and again. Hailey’s been like the stubborn kid who still touches the hot stove anyway.
Voight is Voight; that much is true. But as awful as Jay may consider him, he cannot absolve Hailey from her actions and the consequences from them.
Voight: Help her.
Jay: Me, help her? You did this to her!
Voight: I didn’t call her. I didn’t want her there. She came there. I wished the hell she hadn’t. Bro, I tried to pull her back over and over again, but she went there.
Jay: Because you put her there. YOU did. Don’t you get that? You dragged her down with you!
Voight: I don’t think you know the woman you’re sleeping next to.
Jay: I found Kim. Kevin and I found her. We didn’t cross a single line. We did good police work, and we found her. You did everything you did. What’d you get?
Stating that Voight dragged her into the willful choices she made implies that she’s weak. If Jay meant that night or recently, then those were her choices.
If Jay meant overall Voight ruined Hailey from the moment she stepped foot on their team, then what does that say about the rest of them who haven’t gotten sucked into Voight’s particular vortex of shadiness? And if that’s the case, why are any of them still there?
The tension between everyone on the unit will be thick enough to cut with a knife if the rest of them learn the truth.
And Jay’s anger won’t dissipate overnight with this one, so how fractured will the team be?
Jay: Your SUV was out here the night we found Kim. Did you bring Roy out here that night? Did you kill him?
Voight: Yes. Roy’s buried out here. Isn’t that what you wanted? You wanted to know?
Jay: What I wanted? No, not what I wanted. Hailey was with you that night? So you just let her carry this? You let her cover for you?
Also, will this cause another division over the proper policing styles? Jay didn’t hesitate to bring up that he and Atwater used good policing to save Kim while the only thing Voight got for his troubles was a dead body to dispose of and more dissension amid his team.
And while this should cause issues between Jay and Hailey, and the final scene could foreshadow that, at the moment, it seems as if Jay is more intent on making Hailey the victim. Will he address all the lies that she’s been telling him? Some of them weren’t even necessary.
And what does this mean for their engagement in which he already doubted the sincerity and motivations behind?
Will Burgess be relieved that Roy is dead or angry that she’s been living in fear of his return?
Over to you, Chicago PD Fanatics! I posited some hot takes in this review, so sound off below.
You can watch Chicago PD online here via TV Fanatic.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.
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