Chicago P.D. 3×17 “Forty-Caliber Bread Crumb” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

The backstory is always the most remarkable type of storytelling.

Case Summary: When an operation goes south at Jay’s second job, Terry loses his life. The Intelligence unit questions Brianna and then learns the facility was bugged. And we get a little bit more on Jay’s past.

Review | Analysis: Episodes that challenge the characters always manage to be the best. “Forty-Caliber Bread Crumb” took a man away from his family, and as he grieved for his friend, Halstead also dealt with the horrific return of war memories. At this point, it’s no surprise that the reason I’ve chosen to review this series is because of the friendships — the subtle moments where we get to see the people behind the uniforms. And these are also the episodes that allow actors to challenge themselves with some of the most gut-wrenching performances.

I may be biased here, but episodes centered around Jay generally tend to be incredibly intriguing. And because we’ve wanted backstory on his character for the longest time, it was delivered in ways better than I had expected. It always made sense to me that details of his past couldn’t be revealed due to the fact that it’s anything but easy to open up and talk about them. And while a lot’s been left to our imagination, it’s nice that we’re still able to get fragments.

The only way to convey such palpable rage and agony is to feel every emotion to the core. Jesse Lee Soffer is undoubtedly gifted, but it’s easy to overdo scenes that require fury cobbled with heartache. However, unsurprisingly, Soffer brought him A-game, delivering some of the most intense emotions a person could ever feel. It’s not enough to know his time in the Army has left him scarred, in order to understand properly, we needed to see the raw emotions with the physically draining sadness take over him. Soffer’s physicality revealed prodigiously more than his grief — he was in pain, the kind that demands to be felt. The kind where he’d rather be heavily beaten than have to relive the most treacherous memories after losing someone dear to him. And his final breakdown may have been the most breathtaking moment in Chicago P.D. history. And unfortunately, it’s not the kind that leaves viewers happy, but rather my heart still hurts so bad for Jay and essentially, for soldiers. Ultimately, what Soffer’s performance and the episode’s writing plus directing have done, is managed to give viewers an organic depiction of a soldier’s life — it’s painful and unimaginably haunting. How do you come home having seen so much loss? It truly takes unparalleled courage and my heart goes out to all who’ve known this pain.

Prior to his breakdown, when he spoke with Mouse and Ethan about the hardest part was looking into the eyes of the widowed wives, Soffer made sure each word was felt to the core. And it made all the more sense to see that when he spoke to Terry’s wife, he was doing everything in his power to keep it together. That kind of restraint isn’t easy to forge, Soffer needed to deliver the right amount of emotions in order to make sure the audience saw just how deeply he was struggling.

Jesse Lee Soffer deserves an Emmy. End of story.

On another, much lighter note, the episode provided us with some great interactions between our main characters illuminating the gorgeous fact that when we have love in our lives, we have everything. The way the unit took care of Jay this week exemplifies why I love this series so much.

I will always appreciate the moments where Alvin Olinsky goes into protective dad mode because Elias Koteas has an incomparable way of exuding tender serenity. I loved the fact that he immediately went to Jay to make sure he was doing okay — revealing that at the moment, nothing else matters. Also, in doing so, he made sure Jay knew that he won’t be alone in this case. Evidently, no one works any case alone, but this is one of those times where the team does everything in their power to emotionally carry their fallen hero through it all.

And it was also great to see Antonio silently comfort Jay just as Jay did last week. These guys are brothers and sometimes, there’s no need for words but rather a single touch to the shoulder that says he’s got his back.

Most adorably however was Mouse’s concern. At this point is clear Jay’s like an older brother to Mouse — someone he not only admires but someone he physically and emotionally cannot stand to see fall. If this episode wasn’t the most obvious indication that Jay is Mouse’s hero, I don’t know what is. They’ve both served together and have carried one another through the darkest times, but Mouse’s admiration for Jay extends far beyond that. And it was sweet to see just how deeply concerned he was this week by doing everything in his power to make sure Jay knew he was by his side. We still don’t know the details of what went on in certain places, but we do know that there’s probably been a moment when Jay’s needed the serious help of a friend. And that friend, brother rather, was Mouse.

Jay’s immensely selfless — soldiers generally are, and it’s never easy to admit they’re not okay. They’re supposed to be the ones taking care of people. They’re supposed to be doing the fighting. And watching everyone extend a hand in order to remind Jay he doesn’t need to go through this alone was beautiful. And naturally, Jay’s the kind of man who’d blame himself. But that level of comfort was especially beautiful coming from Lindsay — the only person who’s able to physically and emotionally calm him down while spiritually carrying him through. There are things our friends are great for, but sometimes love’s touch is enough. Erin is Jay’s person — she’s the one he feels most comfortable around when it comes to being utterly vulnerable. And though his time at the army isn’t something he’s able to open up with, it still speaks volumes that she accompanied him to the funeral — cried with him and held his hand reminding him of the fact that she’s perpetually by his side.

The best moments, and frankly, my favorites to write about are casual intimacy. An embrace does wonders and coming from a kindred spirit especially, the healing touches are indescribable and unmatched. It was lovely to not only see Lindsay waiting for him, but like Soffer, Bush needed to embody a woman whose partner is a soldier, and that’s not an easy place to travel to. Through the cracks in Bush’s voice and the genuine sorrow she wore in her eyes, you could see Lindsay was breaking for Jay.

There’s a moment at the funeral when Lindsay looks to Jay where Bush’s performance floored me. I don’t think she’s ever realized how fortunate the two truly are in the sense that he could’ve been in Terry’s place. And though she isn’t his wife (yet), if she ever lost him she’d lose herself — the best person she’s ever known and the partner whose heart she adores in more ways than she can say. Words aren’t always enough but love’s touch is, and Lindsay ceaselessly taking care of him showcased just how effortless being together truly is. It not only illuminated her gratitude to call him hers, but the ardent adoration neither of them is able to put into words yet. Their feelings run colossally deep for one another, and when one’s in pain, the other suffers just as much.

And finally, I’m so thankful to hear Voight commend Jay. He truly is the luckiest Sargent to not only have a hero in his unit but an honorable man who’ll stop at nothing to rightfully get justice. Jay’s a gift and though he can be intense when passionate, it doesn’t change the fact that in the noblest ways, he’s a great detective. Also, I’m glad Voight demanded he takes a vacation because men never want to admit when they need time.

Worth Mentioning:

  • My heart broke so badly when Terry’s wife handed Jay the acceptance letter to the Police Academy because it took me right back to Nadia. Though we knew him for a brief time, there’s no doubt in my mind that he would’ve done a fantastic job as an officer. And the fact that Jay can keep it was a pleasant touch.
  • Pinpointing Adam as nothing but a mere jealous ex was distasteful. It still doesn’t make sense to me how he and Kim haven’t discussed their breakup. Although I did appreciate the bit of advice his outburst prompted from Olinsky.
  • Brianna dear, when a man hesitates to go to dinner, take a hint.
  • It was frustrating to see Voight accuse Halstead of sleeping with Brianna. Jay’s most admirable trait is his loyalty and to have that questioned was not only insulting but incredibly disheartening in an episode like this. It felt like a cheap ploy to create unnecessary drama between Jay and Erin, but thankfully, by now everyone will know Jay’s loyalty is steadfast. And he’d never do anything to harm Erin — she’s more than just his partner, she holds his heart in a way no one ever has. Let’s remember that from now on.
  • It’s episodes like this where Will’s presence would’ve been nice, even for a moment. Jay is his brother after all.

What are your thoughts on this week’s episode? Remember if there’s anything you’d like us to discuss please let us know in the comments below — we unfortunately cannot respond on our Tumblr.

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