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Chicago P.D. 2×20 “The Number of Rats” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

This review features spoilers from Chicago Fire’s “We Call Her Jellybean” and Law and Order: SVU’s “Daydream Believer”.

Episode Summary: After an entire building’s caught on fire and medical results indicate that the survivor’s been raped, Olivia Benson remembers a case from ten years ago that sounds extremely familiar. And when members of the Intelligence unit find green nail polish, SVU detectives come down to Chicago in order to catch the creep once and for all. An ongoing pursuit ends with the brutal death of one of our own lovely members.

Review | Analysis: I adore Olivia Benson – she’s the queen of all detectives and Mariska Hargitay is an actress queen on her own. However, one of the reasons I stopped watching Law and Order: SVU despite how fascinated I am with it is because it’s legitimately unbearable. The realistic feel of the series is both incredible and downright heartbreaking. That said, I’m not going to go into much detail about the case in this review because I’ll end up a sobbing mess. Additionally, I don’t feel my words could do the horrors justice.

This was the best crossover yet – full of phenomenal performances and incredibly executed storylines, I found myself thinking about it the entire night. And without further ado, let’s discuss some of the little things that worked wonderfully.

After the episode, I couldn’t stop thinking about how Nadia Decotis deserved better. I am a fan of many things and more often than not, questionable choices writers make are things I find myself still understanding and liking despite the criticism it receives. However, if there’s one choice that always makes me roll my eyes with rage it’s killing a character in order to set up another’s emotional downfall or rise. If I look at it from the standpoint of developing the horrors of the situation to the t, then the death is fathomable. However, there were numerous other ways this could’ve been handled without the death of a female character whose life was just beginning. Perhaps what frustrates me is the fact that Nadia was a woman. And even that I can look at from an objective standpoint, but what I can’t understand is why now and why Nadia. I don’t often review with known spoilers in mind, but because this is to develop Erin Lindsay’s character further, it’s distressing. Nadia could’ve come out of what happened to her spiraling towards her old habits again. She could’ve gone missing for a while. She could’ve endured a lot more that would’ve strengthened both characters in the long run. I understand that this is the depiction of the real world, but Nadia Decotis was a character who deserved more. The determination and strength she fought with until presumably her last moment was breathtaking. And damn it, I wanted her to win. And I believe she would have if the writers chose to keep her alive. It would’ve felt natural and just as real. In my personal opinion, I think writers should take a page from Once Upon A Time on how to kill characters tastefully. Because I was such a fan of Nadia, I’m having an awfully difficult time writing this review. And while I really love the fact that despite being outnumbered, the women on Chicago P.D. are undoubtedly the strongest, it still isn’t enjoyable to watch someone with so much potential lose in such a brutal manner. Also, it’s heartbreaking that one of the boldest, most beautiful friendships on the show has ended – Nadia and Erin’s friendship was impeccable. Erin inspired Nadia by steadfastly trying to show her the better side of things and Nadia showed Erin endless gratitude through her loyalty – constantly striving to her highest potential with such grace. It was amazing to watch it develop and the choice to write off Nadia breaks me for this reason as well. Strong female friendships are incredibly important and while the show does an excellent job with almost everything, it’s severely lacking in this area.

Speaking of friendships, while it’s not astonishing that I adore Jay and Erin as a couple – their partnership has always stood out most beautifully. In an episode that would’ve otherwise been far too heavy, Erin’s surprise birthday party was the loveliest and most heartbreaking part. She’s no fan of surprises, but we all know that at the end of the day, if Nadia had made it back home, the party she and Jay were throwing would’ve been one for Erin’s books. And it’s unfortunate that her birthday is now linked to such a horrific memory. One of the traits I’ve always admired about Jay is the fact that he’s always knows how to approach Erin – he knows how to be the guy she’ll listen to, but most importantly it’s his sincere desire to keep her happy that’s won me over. I loved that the writing included the quick moment where Jay instinctually goes over to assure Erin that this isn’t her fault – it speaks loudly on behalf of their partnership. He knows her well enough to understand that she’d take it all upon herself thereby choosing to console her by reassuring her that it’s not on her. From the kindness of their hearts, her loved ones wanted to show her just how much they adore her on her birthday. There’s not a moment of it any of them would ever regret because she’s their girl – their love for her is unwavering. And when he realizes that the reality of the situation is much darker than the hope he’s trying to spread, in the little ways he knows how to, he reminds her that he’s there to bear the pain with her. #ThatsWhyYouHaveBack truly is a promise that’ll always be kept.

As Sophia Bush states on her Twitter Greg Yates is indeed the “creepiest creeper of all the creepy creeps.” And Dallas Roberts’ faultless performance managed to make him so. Yates was one of the vilest criminals we’ve gotten – the perverse and terrifying desires of his were mind shattering and though his patterns were known, the uncertainties of what he’d do next weren’t fun to imagine. Frankly there are no words that could ever make amends for the kind of damage men like Yates do.

Essentially what this episode has done is taken a piece of my heart and stomped on it. And what did the doing even more than the fact that Nadia was murdered was the hope she left with. Nadia Decotis clearly had a heart of gold – a vivacious spirit determined to make it because she knew that the only way to go was up. Stella Maeve floored me with her outstanding performance. I was expecting a great performance but the way she spoke to Yates in the car quickly surpassed great the moment she opened her mouth. Stay tuned for a performance review coming this weekend where I’ll dive more into the sheer strength Maeve exhibited wonderfully through vulnerability. Nadia fought with such bravery and commendable heart I’m still in a state of admiration because of it. And probably always will be. She spoke up. She chose to literally and verbally spit in Yates’ face to solidify the fact that justice will be serviced. He cannot silence the voices of all those he’s raped and murdered. He cannot win in the end because men like him never do. She chose to remind him of the strength he very much doubted in her by putting up the strongest fight she could’ve at the moment. I loved that her confidence spoke for all girls – lord only knows what was going through Nadia’s head at the moment, but her words dominated in every way they could’ve. Her heroism came from the officer within her – the one she was always destined to be because in a moment where she was physically unable to do anything, her heart cared mostly for justice. In this moment her words showcased more strength than the body could ever. She was admirable and if you ask me, she died an officer. She’d made it even without official certification. Her heroic character shined most beautifully through her heart. And that’s pretty badass because true strength isn’t just physical, it’s remaining good in a cruel world – it’s selflessness and bravery.

I loved the way the entire unit fought fearlessly for Nadia and the rest of the girls – from Voight’s sturdiness to Jay’s rage, Beghe and Soffer delivered a full range of emotions authenticating just how valuable Nadia is to their team. And don’t even get me started on Sophia Bush who’ll receive this week’s honorable mention for her gut wrenching performance throughout the entire episode.

It was beautiful to see the team together toasting to Nadia – especially after the chilling and sickening trial we’d just witnessed. During one of the loudest and most heartbreaking moments of silence in Chicago P.D. history, I found myself in tears. Each and every person in the room made the moment profoundly compelling – they’d caught the bad guy and saved countless girls from a horrific fate, but they lost one of their own and that’s a wound they’ll have to carry for the rest of their lives. A wound that’ll hopefully remind them to strive to their highest potential like Nadia was doing. A wound that’ll hopefully remind them that when you hit rock bottom, the only way to go is up.

For those who don’t know, Mariska Hargitay has created an empowering organization to help victims of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. Joyful Heart Foundation is a remarkable movement meant to create a safer place for the future generations – their voices and their happiness matters.

The episode was a bit much for me to cover on all grounds. And it’s also the reason I took so long to write this – the heavier the topic, the more time I need to really give it my all. However, if there’s anything you’d like discussed that I haven’t done so above, let me know and I shall try my hardest to do it justice.

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