Chicago P.D. 3×02 “Natural Born Storyteller” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

Children must come first. Always. 

Episode Summary: When a child’s found dead in a freezer, the Intelligence unit goes around in circles before the real killer is actually found. Olinsky’s daughter is back and she doesn’t even know what she wants. Burgess learns the truth about Roman but it must be kept a secret or his job could be in jeopardy. And in the most non-traditional sense, Voight gives Jay his blessing.

Review | Analysis: I have no idea how cops could ever get used to cases that involve kids because while we’ve had a couple so far, they’re still the hardest ones to watch. Tonight’s episode gave us a lot of great subtle moments with the cast and if you’ve been following my reviews, you know those are always my favorites. I love the partnerships that are established in this series, but I mostly love how often we switch around and stage the relationships between everyone in the unit. The theme of this week’s episode was heartbreakingly amazing — it’s so lovely how the entire thing was focused on children in every sense of the word. Kids deserve to be fought for no matter how old they are, and the characters showcased their steadfast devotion to their children beautifully.

It’s great we’ve touched base with Olinsky’s daughter again because for a moment there it seemed it was going to be a one-time thing and that would’ve been ridiculous. Before she leaves with his money the third time around, she breaks down giving Olinsky the opportunity to showcase what an admirable figure he truly he is. She doesn’t know him and while it’s understandable she’d have trust issues, if you can take the man’s money, you can at least give him the chance to explain himself. It felt appropriate to see him tenderly tell her that he’s here now and that he can be more than just a human bank for her. I do hope we get to see more of this relationship because we don’t get enough backstory on Olinsky and he’s one of the most riveting characters in the series.

It breaks my heart to see Antonio’s reaction to cases that involve children because it continuously reminds him of the fact that his kids aren’t by his side. He can’t go home after a painful day of work and spend time with them because his wife’s taken off. Of all the storylines in Chicago PD, this has got to be my least favorite because it’s baffling she was never willing to fight for their marriage. It’s baffling that she just took off and didn’t give him the chance to show the kids how much he cares. Jon Seda is so good at projecting rage when it comes to the helplessness he feels when the lives of kids are threatened. You can see just how quickly he loses himself in fears and the colossal desire to get justice for the innocent lives that are lost.

And while all actors in the series are tremendously gifted, Seda’s especially evocative with scenes like this because the fears within him are immensely strong in the present day. In the final scene particularly, Seda’s expressiveness was incredible — he exhibited immeasurable happiness threaded perfectly with a kind of sadness that’s filled with so much regret and longing. I wish we could get familial scenes more often than this, but it’s nice to see that even though they’re far, they know their dad would give the world for them. It felt appropriate for him to be the one to convince Hollister not to harm another child. And Voight’s choice to be there for him through this entire thing also felt right because to an extent, he knows what it’s like to somewhat not see their child for a while. He knows Antonio dives head-first into these cases because of how much it pains him that he can’t be around his kids. He knows he’d blame himself if anything ever happened to him and he chooses to not only stay strong for him but to give credit where it’s due. The directing in tonight’s episode was well thought through because it was lovely to see Voight commend Antonio with a pat on the back as they both looked at the kid who was now safe from harm. Just as I mentioned in last week’s review, I love how often we get moments of gratitude without the use of too much dialogue because this cast does an exceptional job of showcasing all that lies within them through the tenderness in their eyes.

And on a side note, because I really love the friendship between Antonio and Lindsay, it was nice to see them partnered this week. It was also nice to see her ask him how he was after the gunshot, for it mirrors him asking her how she was last week. It was a short moment, but one I could definitely appreciate. And again on the partnership front, it was also nice to see Olinsky and Jay work together because we were given some light moments that made the episode a bit easier to watch.

If you’re new to MGcircles then you probably don’t know I’ve always been weary of Roman’s character. Sure there have been moments where we’ve seen his heart, but for the most part, something’s always been missing. I never fully felt his dedication to humanity and by extension his job because honorable cops have to always want to do what’s right. Thankfully, I can now say I adore Roman’s character to bits and I’m so glad he’s been added to the cast. The needle Burgess found in his bag last week was unsurprisingly not something used for addictive drugs. Instead in “Natural Born Storyteller” we learn that he’s donating bone marrow to a child who’s battling acute myelogenous leukemia. And what’s most admirable to me is why he’s keeping a secret — he’s not doing this for attention but rather to save a life. If people in the unit find out he could potentially be suspended and at the moment, nothing matters more than saving the little boy. Here’s to hoping he does indeed survive and also that just as Roman wishes, it’s kept a secret. However, I’m also hoping nothing actually happens to him because of the shots so it doesn’t jeopardize his life or anyone else’s on a case. This was a wise choice in storytelling by the writers because it’s ultimately what viewers need to believe Roman’s not just a smart mouth who occasionally does good. It reveals to us that his heart is indeed incredibly huge, and there’s nothing I love more than evidence of the particular notion.

And lastly on the “protecting our children” storyline — I loved watching Voight and Lindsay fall back into their old father/daughter routine. It was sweet to see her talk about the fact that she never thought she’d be back in her old room and how things haven’t changed much. It doesn’t matter how angry or betrayed he felt by her decision to leave, Voight would do anything and everything to protect Erin. It doesn’t matter that the same blood doesn’t flow through their veins because she is his daughter. She’s someone he cares deeply for and he wouldn’t ever want to be unprotected. And it’s not that Lindsay can’t take care of herself, but when you love someone as your own, you want to make sure they’re always safe. Of all the episodes to give his awkward blessing during, this episode’s the most suitable. Voight tells Jay that at this point, he doesn’t care or want to know about their relationship status, but he needs the assurance that Lindsay has someone looking out for her 24/7. To which a stunned Jay replies with “always” — paralleling their break up in What Puts You on the Ledge”. It was a surprising moment of growth for him because while this is the time he should hold onto Lindsay hardest, he’s choosing to let her go in a way he knows is truly best for her. He’s never going to stop being her father figure, but at the end of the day, if anyone’s going to be good enough for her, it’s Jay Halstead.

If there’s one thing I love most about Jay it’s the way he respects Erin’s agency. And that’s the one thing I’ll keep talking about so I hope you guys never get sick of it. It’s always been the number one reason why I’ve wanted them together and it’s great that Voight’s finally doing the same thing. It’s why her mother’s such a toxic figure in her life because instead of supporting the good decisions she makes, she attempts to physically and emotionally poison her. Erin’s grown up in an environment that hasn’t allowed her to rise to her highest potential. She might as well have been an orphan until Voight took her in.

Thereby, it’s great that she’s now surrounded by such positive male figures who not only respect her but ceaselessly commend her. Jay’s choice of words in “Natural Born Storyteller” was exactly what was necessary — the ‘always’ and the ‘we’ll see’. Derek Haas has stated that Jay won’t be telling Erin about Voight’s blessing and I’m so pleased with this. Although he cares deeply for her, he’s choosing to let it all happen naturally. Lindsay’s still grieving and it doesn’t matter if she openly conveys it because Jay knows it’s not something that she’s going to get over in one night. Nadia’s death still haunts her despite the fact that she’s now back at work, and the best thing he can do now is there for her as he’s always promised. He respects her choices and for the two of them, it’s best to take things slow. It’s best to fortify their partnership before they get back into a relationship, but that pace doesn’t change the fact that he’s the happiest he’s been in a while. It was nice to get with Will essentially grilling him on the matter as all siblings do. And again, it’s interesting that the series chooses to have male/male conversations where women aren’t sexually objectified. Jay’s over the moon, things are great now that Erin’s back, but even during this time when he could’ve made it all about him and his desires, he’s choosing to showcase that it’s all on her. It’s her timing. It’s her desire. He’ll be there for her as he should be, but he validates that this relationship is so much more than a couple of nights together.

It’s always nice to see casual intimacy and I love how often we see it with Burgess and Ruzek. And while it’s clear that there will be trouble in paradise, I just hope it doesn’t involve a ridiculous love triangle because as a long-time TV viewer, nothing makes me want to claw my eyes out more than that horrible trope.

What are your thoughts on this week’s episode? If there’s any matter you’d like to discuss that I haven’t leave a comment below and we shall get to it.

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