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Chicago P.D. 2×22 “Push the Pain Away” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

“Push The Pain Away” featured some of the strongest performances we’ve everseen from Sophia Bush.

Episode Summary:  A group of men go on a shooting spree, but with the help of Mouse and Erin, the Intelligence unit puts an end to their schemes. Kim has loved her first day as an official detective while Atwater’s adventures as a regular patrol officer weren’t as great. Platt’s kind advice is ignored and Lindsay spirals backwards in the worst way possible.

Review | Analysis:  It’s a shame that I don’t have a lot of good things to talk about in this episode. And it’s a shame that I’m more nervous for the finale than I am excited. However, despite the fact that I don’t have a lot to have actually analyze, this week’s case was a lot more interesting than last week’s. I found myself intrigued with the men because you know that their reasoning was going to be something personal and while it didn’t justify their actions, it made for a great hour of television.

Does anyone else miss Antonio and Olinsky? I know they’re there but these men deserve more centric episodes and it’s sad that we get very little. Also, let’s add Atwater into this equation because he also deserves more opportunities to excel as a detective.

I watch and review a lot of television, but as I’ve previously said no series has an ensemble cast as likeable as this one. The Intelligence unit as a whole are a paradigm of a great group of figures that are easily appreciated and the biggest issue I have is that the series has great potential. There’s endless room to explore all their lives and yet we’re focused on a storyline that seems forced.

I don’t have issues with the way Erin’s grieving because there’s no right or wrong way to grieve – I have issues with the way some things are written. I find that the most frustrating part of this situation is the fact that Voight knows what’s going on but won’t do anything about. I’m the first to argue that respecting someone’s personal space and decisions at a time like this are incredibly significant; however, if the person is putting their lives at risk, then people need to step in. While there’s no right or wrong way to grieve, drugs are wrong – plain and simple. If something can harm your body and end up getting you killed, it’s not good for you. So my question is why aren’t more people trying their hardest to heal her with kindness?

Voight’s not exactly the most graceful man on the block, but the fact that we’ve seen more sincerity from him in the past than we are in this moment is a bit ridiculous if you ask me. As a father figure who knows Erin better than anyone else, it’s his job to remind her of the bigger picture. It’s his job to kindly make sure she knows that what happened with Nadia wasn’t in anyway her fault. It’s not his job to call her out the way he’s doing because that’s not how you get someone to listen. Erin’s not only unreceptive to people because she’s grieving but because they aren’t giving her anything she could care for. And the frustrating part of the writing is the fact that I know it’s leading up to an even bigger confrontation next week. Thereby making this a filler episode that’s leaving me perplexed with the way situations are handled.

I loved Platt’s approach but the sad part is, it’s a bit too far in the game. As friends and colleagues, the unit isn’t paying enough attention to the fact that one of their strongest is falling apart. I do however love the fact that she’s the one telling her she needs some rest and in the best way she knows how, she’s reminding her that Nadia’s death isn’t her fault. If only Lindsay would listen because you can see how incredibly concerned Platt is.

And the fact that Jay was pretty much absent from the entire episode doesn’t seem fitting either – he respects her agency wonderfully, but he’s also someone who knows how to approach her in a way that’s bound to leave a lasting affect.

I understand Lindsay’s need to feel nothing thereby, the scene at the end makes complete sense. However, the choice to dive back into drugs is unlike the Erin Lindsay we know who’s fought so hard for everyone and Nadia especially. And while I also understand that relapses happen, I also know that sometimes they don’t. Ultimately it’s not easy to watch though it humanizes Erin and it’ll make her stronger in the long run as she fights through these dark times. It’s just not enjoyable to watch and that’s saddening for a show that does so well with fighting for justice. No one wants to watch their favorite character go down such a dangerous path when they’ve got so much potential for greatness. What I’ll gladly say however is that these episodes are giving Sophia Bush some fantastic opportunities to challenge herself as an actor. And the work she’s done in this week’s episode has floored me.

Sophia Bush is the queen. I’ve been a fan of hers since I was 12, y’all. And much like the way she’s a fangirl for Connie Britton, I’m a total fangirl for her. (But also, I’m a total fangirl for Connie Britton because hello actual human perfection). That said, the work Sophia Bush does in this episode alone is unparalleled to anything she’s done in the past. Bush is playing Lindsay with a brilliant hollowness in her expression – the ever-present hope that was once a trademark in her expressiveness has been eclipsed with guilt and anger. And the fact that it’s so organically believable is astounding. It’s impossible to decide which scene she was best in but the moment I found myself most fascinated with Bush’s performances was when Nick had Erin held at gunpoint. Bush made you feel every ounce of pain within Erin masterfully through the poignancy in her expressions.

This particular scene was Chicago P.D. at it’s strongest and most gripping – there’s nothing quite as evocative as two people paralleling one another in such a gut wrenching moment. Erin’s falling apart, but she’d give her all to help someone else. And that’s exactly who her character is. She’s selfless and courageous in more ways than she can even imagine, but it’s not easy to listen to herself when it’s regarding the consuming guilt and heartaches she’s engulfed with. She’s doing everything to push the pain away but she doesn’t have someone giving their all the way she’s doing to Nick. And that’s the most frustrating part – I want those closest to her to show her that they’re there. I want them to fight for her the way she’s fighting for this complete stranger. So here’s to hoping that’s how the finale plays out. Point being, “Push The Pain Away” featured some of Bush’s most remarkably compelling performances – the full range of emotions she delivered were plainly, simply, nothing short of perfect.

Burgess loved being in the Intelligence Unit and I loved seeing her a part of it. C’mon, Voight, just make some room for both Atwater and Burgess. When did Ruzek become such an adorable dork in love? He went from being a character I was reluctant to trust as a significant other to someone who’s really outdoing himself with the kindness he shows Kim. Patrick Flueger did an incredible job of really grounding Ruzek at the bar – you could feel how genuinely proud he is of his leading lady. There’s nothing more enamoring than a man who’s proud of all that girl is – selfless love is the best kind. When Atwater gets back it’s clear that the relationship may go down a bit of a rocky road, but I’m certain it’ll end well.

I loved the fact that Erin congratulated Kim, but I only wish that it were in different circumstances. The two of them could possibly have a great friendship and it’s frustrating that the series doesn’t acknowledge it often. These dark days bring room for a solid female/female friendship and it’s so rare on television we definitely could use more of it. Especially on a series like this with such strong female figures.

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