Chicago P.D. 4×15 “Favor, Affection, Malice or Ill-Will” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

Case Summary: When Olinsky goes undercover after the murder of a woman and hidden gun issues, Intelligence must work behind him to find the culprit. Adam’s down in patrol. Erin gets a new car. Platt gives Ruzek advice. Rixton does the unimaginable. Jay gets to drive.

Review | Analysis: There seems to be a running theme of fathers and their children on television this week and Chicago P.D. decided to join in. Any time Olinsky is given moments to shine, I generally find myself in tears. The mirage we’re often left with is one of serenity, and effortlessly reminds viewers of why this character is so special. “Favor, Affection, Malice or Ill-Will” had it all, but with more than one surprising moment, it turned out to be one of the more entertaining episodes of season four.

Most Noteworthy Performer: I was actually torn this week with the number of interesting moments that took the actors on a journey, but the reality is, Elias Koteas knows how to put on a great performance, and he did so most evocatively. To speak in silence is a gift not many actors possess, but Koteas has mastered it. And all throughout “Favor, Affection, Malice or Ill-Will, he showcased a sense of uneasiness poignantly. I wasn’t sure how the episode would end, but it was clear that it’d end with him thinking of his daughters. How could he not? But what’s interesting is that Koteas never let go of the restlessness in his expression — even as he embraced his daughter, heartache remained in him.

Cases that seem to pull on personal heartstrings generally tend to give actors the best material to work with. By digging into deeper parts of the characters, it contributes to heavily layering them in ways that we wouldn’t be able to see on a series like Chicago P.D. Koteas was able to bring forth some of the most subtle emotions solely through his expressions, but when he spoke, you were able to understand the trials of his position even further. This was a man who desperately wanted to do right driven by an understanding of how far a father’s love extends.

Most Exquisite Moment: Ruzek’s acceptance of the consequences of his actions has been wonderful to witness. And while I was originally going to go with Platt’s advice for this scene, Rixton’s unexpected gift left me floored. Up until this moment, he was just there for me. I hadn’t entirely welcomed his character with open arms, but at this moment, I had a difficult time letting go. Rixton’s choice to share his story about Adam’s father was sweet, but his choice to resign was incredibly admirable. And it wasn’t just admirable because he’d lose his job, but it meant that he is a man of great honor. He had felt he owed something, and owning up to it is exactly what a noble figure would do. There aren’t many people who’d do something like this, but to understand the value of a team and the importance of one’s position in it takes great strength and bravery. And for Ruzek to be opposed to it at first felt right. No one of great character would feel okay with something like that, but Rixton wasn’t going to take “no” for an answer. Bottom line is, I’m glad Ruzek’s back, but now I miss Rixton.

Worth Mentioning:

  • One of my favorite things about Halstead and Lindsay that’s always contributed to making their relationship unique is the banter regarding who gets to drive. And their sweet little moment about Jay just needing to live his dream was precious. But nothing was more precious than Jay calling her his angel. (Be still my heart. Stop swooning. It’ll be alright.) It’s truly all about the little moments — the moments where we’re reminded of the fact that in the same way they can be each other’s backup through dark times, they can have fun together. And that elated, childlike happiness that took over both of them was incredibly telling of how right they are for one another.
  • I’m really loving Ruzek owning up to his mistakes and not whining about the fact that he lost his job. To stand up as a man and take on his responsibilities day by day was lovely. Short-lived, but nonetheless great.
  • I loved watching Alvin reconnect with Mark Jeffries after he felt he was being accused of racism. It felt right for the men to share drinks and tell stories. It felt right for Jeffries to open up in order to showcase where his frustrations came from back in Intelligence.

What are your thoughts on this week’s episode? Let us know in the comments below.

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