Chicago P.D. 3×09 “Never Forget I Love You” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

Don’t make deals with the mob.

Episode Summary: When a decapitated head is found by fishermen, the Intelligence unit steps in to figure out who would commit such a devastating crime. It then leads Hank down a questionable road where he and Erin hit some harsh barriers. Roman and Burgess find Callie’s ex-husband in order to give him a restraining order again, but things end badly when he doesn’t abide by the rules.

Review | Analysis: I’d be lying if I said this was an easy episode to review, and that’s not to say it wasn’t great, but it’s most definitely not fitted for a fall finale. Generally, and perhaps this is due to the variety of shows I personally watch, fall finales tend to be game-changers. It’s the last thing we have to hold onto for the year thereby, naturally, it’s understandable it’s left so many people on the web upset. It’s not often we see a filler episode with a shocking twist as a finale, and that’s unfortunately what “Never Forget I Love You” felt like. I’m a bit surprised actually because I’m the biggest fan of cases that closely involve members of the unit, but the episode missed plenty of opportunities to give us an epic story — the materials were all there, but it lacked a lot of substance henceforth, leaving me with very little to analyze.

Chicago P.D. often does a great job with emotional content in the midst of case-heavy episodes, but the fact that this one essentially ignored a lot of members felt a bit off to me. While the storyline with Burgess and Roman felt fitting and provided the necessary shock factor that’ll lead us into the winter premiere, the scenes between Erin and Hank felt as though it should’ve occurred in 3×02 instead. Strangely, the timeline felt off and it was mostly due to the fact that no other character contributed to the emotional resonance within the episode. I can understand both Hank and Erin’s perspectives, but considering the fact that she was brought down in front of the entire unit, I expected at least one person to comfort her the way she comforts them. Their arc felt surprisingly disconnected from the rest of the unit which again if this weren’t a fall finale, I wouldn’t take these things into consideration. It’s common for episodes like this to be a part of a series like Chicago P.D., but it’s left absolutely nothing for me as a viewer to hold onto. The thing is, what Hank’s done is horrible — you let a man go knowing he’d get killed and while he’s most definitely not innocent, by moral standards, no matter how awful a person may be, it isn’t in our hands to take their life away. Hank may not have pulled the trigger, but he knew very well what would happen to the lawyer. It’s disheartening.

The premise of this episode was fantastic, but if the writers wanted the audience to hold onto something, we could’ve had a scene with Hank admitting to being flawed. We should’ve seen some sort of a moment where the character makes it clear that while he isn’t morally righteous, his intentions are in the right place. And sure we can assume they are because the lawyer’s way of murdering the victim was awful, but it still doesn’t give Hank the right to send him off into the arms of a mob. This would’ve been the perfect opportunity for the series to show us what’s really going on inside his head, but instead, it lacked that emotional poignancy that would’ve been much more interesting.

I loved the final scene between Hank and Erin, but again, it just felt as though it would’ve been more profound if this took place after she’d returned. It didn’t fit in an episode like this. It wasn’t enough for an episode like this. Jay and Voight are the closest people to Erin and to have had a very little conversation with the two of them after she returned felt wrong. If this was featured in episode two or maybe even three, it would’ve been much more riveting and understandable. Or, as mentioned above, if Hank had said a little more about his intentions and where he was coming from, perhaps the scene would’ve been deeper, but because he chose to once again conceal his intentions, it didn’t leave a lasting impression. What left a more lasting impression was Erin’s determination not to let history repeat itself.

I couldn’t lose myself in this episode and like I said above, the premise was brilliant, but the fact that it lacked so much substance threw me off. If we’re advertising this as a fall finale, it demands to be epic. It demands profound character growth. It demands gut-wrenching action. It demands a balance.

Normally, while I’m fine with Roman and Burgess branching out and doing their own thing every so often, their case felt incredibly incoherent with this episode. However, it’s not their fault, it’s essentially because the case with Hank didn’t tie in with anything else thereby, making it easy for audience members to lose focus. The first time within the episode where it felt like I was watching Chicago P.D, was the final moment when Burgess called Hank about Roman’s kill. I don’t know how he could possibly get away with what he did without lying in some way. If he does get away with it, it’ll be one of the things that the unit keeps quiet on and outside of the books.

I did appreciate the little moment between Platt and Burgess — scenes with the two of them are always incredibly delightful. I also thought the scene with Ruzek and Jay was hysterical even though Adam was injured, it was just a nice moment between the men. And that’s ultimately my problem with this review, we could’ve had more moments like this engaging everyone together. It would’ve made episode 100x better.

Here’s to hoping the premiere is more engaging than this. I’m sorry for the shortness of the review — I’m pretty sure I’ve never written anything this short for the series, but as you all know, we have a strict rule here at MGcircles where we can’t get too negative in our reviews. And if I continue, that’s where this will go.

However, if there’s anything you’d like us to discuss, whether you agree or disagree with what we’ve said, let us know in the comments below and we’ll get to it.

What are your thoughts on this week’s episode?

One comment

  1. I agree. Usually love PD but this was one of my least favorite episodes.

    Looking forward to the special post about erin and Jay.

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