Chicago P.D. 4×18 “Little Bit of Light” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

Heavy sigh.

Case Summary: When a man who films crime scenes and sells them to news outlets dies, Intelligence must figure out who the culprit is. However, what they do come to find is that he was trying to protect a woman whose father had abused her. Voight makes one man’s life a little easier. Halstead and Lindsay take some time. And Kim’s sister visits.

Review | Summary: It’s too hopeful to assume the episode was one huge April Fool’s joke, right? For the most part, “Little Bit of Light” was one of the more intriguing case-heavy episodes, but the story it told for our most prominent duo was incredibly disappointing. Chicago P.D.’s lack of continuity does nothing promising for the show, and if there’s one thing that could drive viewers away, it’d be this.

As it turns out, once this review was submitted and all that fun stuff, the deleted scene was released the following day. I then debated whether or not I should start the entire review over to give it the proper attention it deserves, but decided against that only to showcase what it’s like to have something so prominent erased. So, I suppose this will be the strangest review we’ll ever write with new opinions on top of the old following.

Who would’ve thought that approximately 30 seconds could’ve made an immeasurable amount of difference? Oh wait, everyone did. And it did. It did so gorgeously because Jesse Lee Soffer and Sophia Bush have such an exquisite grip on the layers that make these characters special, that when needed to act opposite to one another in such a heart-wrenching moment, a thousand words are exchanged in a few seconds. And Bush’s tearful state as she turned back was entirely understandable — to care for someone so deeply, not knowing how to armor them, and having to take time away from them is anything but easy. A fact Bush crystallizes as she looks to him with immense adoration and gratitude. Lindsay didn’t need to say she was proud of him for seeking help because her tearful approval did so beautifully. And in her faint attempt to tell him it’s great that he’s getting help, Bush illuminates the fact that it was prodigious heartache, which forced her to turn away in a facade that she’s okay in order not to burden him further.

And in the same way, Soffer made sure that the audience could see how difficult being apart is for Jay, but even more difficult is the fact that he’s now essentially forced to tackle the demons that have haunted him for years. Just like that, the entire break makes sense. Just like that, we can see that in order to come out stronger and give one another everything they’ve got, this rough patch needs to be paved. And the only way it can be is if the proper attention is given to the wounds that have broken Jay for years. I can’t say I don’t wish Erin would remind him she’s there, but I’m hopeful we’ll get a little more as a bit of time passes. Too optimistic? Perhaps. (But weeks? How on earth have weeks passed? Oh, Chicago P.D. ,get your ship together.)

Essentially, the scene changes the entire course of their relationship allowing the audience to fully grasp just how upsetting the break is for both of them. There’s a colossal amount of love that runs through their veins for one another, a solid partnership they’d defend to the end of time. Though bridges stand in their way, there’s no anger or resentment lingering in the room, but unwavering adoration and a promising future. A reminder that no matter what happens, they believe in one another, care for one another, and will perpetually carry one another through everything. Though temporarily apart, the promises haven’t altered.

Below you’ll find the opinions on the episode prior to seeing the deleted scene.

As a fan, I feel cheated. As a writer, I’m incredibly disappointed. There comes a point in every show’s run where it feels as though it can’t potentially shock the audience anymore, and as a result, writers often feel that either a death or a breakup will do the trick perfectly. However, it is the exact opposite. And on a cop show where cases often run high, an unnecessary drama of the sort isn’t needed to shock the audience. While I was able to look past the unnecessary addition of an ex-wife, the choice to delete a scene that would’ve benefited the storyline is nothing short of ridiculous.

It’s also really upsetting that because of this unpleasant surprise, once again another review needs to be focused solely on a couple as opposed to the unit as a whole. And that’s essentially what happens when something throws you too far from an episode. Stunts like this have the power to be anything and everything viewers will later discuss.

I was hoping the deleted scene Sophia Bush talked about would be released. But considering it’s Saturday and no such thing has happened, I suppose there’s no point in waiting longer. Presumably, this entire storyline with Abby was to give us the opportunity to dig into Jay Halstead’s past with the Rangers, but how are we supposed to do that when we’re not canonically told he has a support group for PTSD? The part which throws me off as a writer is the fact that this is a show that demands to be taken seriously through the heavy genres it tackles, but it’s storylines like this that make it relatively impossible. And this storyline, much like what happened with Kim and Adam last season, is something that’d be found in soap opera.

Here’s the thing, presumably couples can’t always be happy, and thereby, breakups are necessary. But let’s look at Madam Secretary — one of the most successful and well-written shows centered around marriage along with politics. There’s also FX’s The Americans. Just to name a few, there are a number of series once a couple gets together, they’ve stayed together through all hardships (especially if they’re endgame and the audience knows it) — The Office, Parks and Recreation, Chuck, Prison Break, Once Upon A Time, Friends, One Tree Hill, Outlander, and so forth. I’m pretty sure I could name about 20 more if I thought about it. Happiness doesn’t make a show less riveting, redundant makeup and breaks do. Solace and simplicity aren’t boring, they’re realistic. But dramatic breaks like this are anything but intriguing. And without the proper homage to Jay’s past being the reasoning behind the time apart, this feels like a cheap trick to bring in more drama. I’m sure I’m not the only one who wanted to see Erin fight for him, stand by him, and be with him. In order to get through this darkness, if she stood by his side, it would’ve been 10 times more satisfying. But if we’re not going down that road, in order to properly tell an evocative story, the audience deserves continuity.

If Jay had told Erin about the support group, needing time apart would have made perfect sense. It would have also made her reaction more hopeful. Remember their breakup in season two? I wasn’t even a little upset after it because of how much hope and adoration was left in the locker room. This time, it felt as though they’d been dating for two days as opposed to a couple that’s lived together and been through a great deal with one another. At that moment, they didn’t feel like the Jay and Erin who’d do anything for one another. They felt like strangers. After a few viewings and analysis, the scene cut is evident because once Erin leaves, Jesse Lee Soffer projects immense heartache through his expressiveness telling the viewers that while this is incredibly difficult for Jay, he wishes he could continue standing by her through it all.

Essentially, the absence of continuity in Chicago P.D. has made it that much more difficult to enjoy the show for what it is. We can’t get to know our characters if we’re constantly tip-toeing around them and their issues. For as much as the series is intriguing through its cases, it is the characters that have gripped the audience.

I can understand a scene cut that’s sweet or perhaps even a little funny such as their discussion on pillows in 4×04, but something as serious as his support group makes absolutely no sense.

Most Exquisite Scene: While Halstead and Lindsay’s break threw me off course, this may have been my favorite episode for Hank Voight. Or at least my favorite scene. His choice to make sure that a little girl reunited with her father even for a little bit was beautiful beyond measure. It’s truly all about the little moments that leave viewers with the bit of hope they all need.

TV is often viewed as an escape from the real world, and while we all love the drama here and there, it’s moments like this that remind us of what matters most in life. The moments spent with those we care most for. Moments where we can be certain that every little thing will be all right. Hank brought irreplaceable light into a family’s life that day, and it’s something that’s made his character stand out.

Worth Mentioning: 

  • I loved that we got an extra episode with Kim’s sister before next week’s, and I also loved the amount of shade she threw at Adam. (Primarily because of how great everyone’s reactions were to it.)

I don’t have much to say on this episode because as most of you know, too much negativity in one review isn’t my forte. However, if there’s anything you’d like me to discuss, questions, concerns, let us know in the comments below and we shall do so.

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