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Spring ’15 Finale Roundup: Week Two

| May 17 – 24 |

It’s been an another great week of incredible finales – this week’s review features NBC’s Chicago P.D. and Fox’s Brooklyn Nine Nine. 

Most Noteworthy Performance by an Actress

Sophia Bush | Chicago P.D.

In the last two episodes of Chicago P.D. Sophia Bush has been delivering some of her strongest performances. Plainly, simply 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 Bush does in these last two episodes 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 even while trying to help someone else. 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.

Additionally, Sophia Bush has been delivering a realistic sense of exhaustion and heartbreak. It’s undeniably her delivery that’s making these storylines riveting to watch because Bush’s mannerisms are phenomenal. Erin Lindsay needs to take time to grieve. All she’s been doing since the moment Nadia died is repressing the pain in ways that are entirely unhealthy. Enduring pain isn’t weakness; coming out of the vulnerability by fighting for it is precisely what makes someone strong. And that vulnerability in itself is a form of strength as well. And in “Born Into Bad News” it’s great to know that she’s still got her moral compass straight because the way she stood up for the little girl and took charge of the situation is solidification that the Erin Lindsay we know hasn’t really gone anywhere. She merely needs time. The same hollowness mentioned above and desperation to end the pain is excellently visible in the final scene as she gives her badge to Voight. Bush makes sure the audience sees that there’s Lindsay’s never been more wounded or terrified in her entire life.

Point being, “Push The Pain Away” and “Born Into Bad News” featured some of Bush’s most remarkable and compelling performances – the full range of emotions she delivered were essentially nothing short of brilliant.

Most Noteworthy Performance by an Actor

Jesse Lee Soffer | Chicago P.D.

I’m in awe of the profound poignancy in Jesse Lee Soffer’s performances this week each time Jay shares a scene with Erin. It was extremely difficult to choose for this particular category, but there’s no doubt that Soffer’s performance is worth commending. Anytime we need to see vulnerability from Jay’s character, Soffer’s meticulous acting choices always make for evocatively raw moments. With the sincerity Soffer conveys through his expressiveness, the audience can see that Jay’s adoration for Erin is through the roof. And the subtle manner in which Soffer’s voice would break weaved in with the tenderness in his eyes allowed the audience to understand that Jay clearly feels a great amount of pain because he knows Erin’s hurting deeply. One of the reasons my respect for Jay’s character is strongest is because of the admirable way in which he values Erin’s agency. And for those who are familiar with my reviews, you know it’s something I’ve been saying from the beginning. Thereby, his choice to once more remind her of the fact that he’s looking out for was exactly what she needed. In Jay’s eyes, Erin Lindsay is the toughest cop he’s known because he knows how much she’s overcome to stand where she is. And if a man with military background, endless bravery and commendable passion sees her as the toughest, then we can be certain she’ll overcome all of this as well. We can also be certain that as her partner who’s promised to ceaselessly have her back, he’ll never give up on bringing her home.

Most Exquisite TV Moment

“Johnny and Dora” | Brooklyn Nine Nine

Johnny and Dora was full of hysterically enriching moments that effortlessly tugged on the heartstrings in ways most fitting for a series like Brooklyn Nine Nine. However, since Jake and Amy’s relationship has been progressing so gracefully for two seasons now – it was an absolute delight to watch themfinally delve into the feelings they’ve kept concealed for quite sometime now. It was lovely to watch the playful banter as they were undercover, but it was riveting to see both of them learn what the other means to them even while undercover. And their final kiss was as raw as it can be – at such a vulnerable moment for both of them, Jake took a chance he may have otherwise not have taken. It left audiences not only anticipating what’s next for them, but it also left us cheering and aww’ing out loud because it was without a doubt one of the sweetest moments the series has ever had.

However, it’s impossible not to mention the exquisite goodbye scene with Captain Holt. And no matter the fact that viewers can be certain he’ll return, it was heartrending to know that he’s grown to care so much for his unit. It was a marvelously shining moment for Andre Braugher and his strategic acting choices in a scene that felt impeccably evocative and raw. We saw a side of Captain Holt we’ve never seen before and it felt organic to the tee.

And lastly we can’t end this without mentioning the exceptional development between Rosa and Charles. At first it was an obsessive unrequited love, but today, it feels like a real solid friendship that’s so uniquely entertaining to watch. It’s grown gracefully thereby making it one of the most excellent developments on the series. A great close second after Gina and Captain Holt.

“Wait what? What just happened?”

Between Captain Hot leaving his precinct to Erin Lindsay choosing to quit Intelligence because of her grief, both Brooklyn Nine Nine and Chicago P.D.ended their second season with the shocking goodbyes we never saw coming. And while we know it’s temporary, the ramifications that’ll carry on to the third season will make for incredible television.

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