Chicago P.D. 4×19 “Last Minute Resistance” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

No means NO! (Shout it from the rooftops. Write it on the skyline.)

Case Summary: When Kim’s sister Nicole (Jules Wilcox) is found sexually assaulted in a train station after a night out with friends, the Intelligence unit must do everything in their power to find the rapists.

Review | Analysis: “Last Minute Resistance” is a powerful example of the kind of remarkable storytelling this show is easily capable of. And while Chicago P.D. has tackled assault and rape in the past, no episode has screamed louder than “Last Minute Resistance.” It’s 2017 and yet somehow, it’s still hard to process that no means no. Fun fact: no matter what theoretical method of analysis is used to analyze the word, the word “no” alone will never change its definition. And Chicago P.D.’s choice to tackle the subject when it’s evidently still an enormous problem in our world today was brilliant.

“Last Minute Resistance” left viewers with the kind of hourly balance that we’re always longing for. (Or at least that’s what it did for me.) Its mixture of a riveting, powerful case along with the exhibition of friendship and effortless character development made for a compelling hour of television.

Most Noteworthy Performer: I needed to revisit this method as opposed to the ones we’ve been doing for the past two weeks because Marina Squerciati’s performance deserved the praise. Squerciati’s had her fair share of vulnerable moments on Chicago P.D., but its the strength she cobbled with that vulnerability that’s left an impression.

From the moment Burgess learns her sister is in trouble, Squerciati brings the right tinges of fear into her eyes without ever distracting us from the rage she’s feeling. You knew she’d fall the moment she found her sister, but you were also certain of the fact that this case is unlike anything she’s faced in the past. You knew she’d bring strengths to the table in a way she’s never done before and that gave Squerciati ample opportunities to show off her skills. But most interesting was her moments undercover where Squerciati brought those fears to life as she attempted to mask them. That’s why when she needed to be in full force detective mode, Squerciati brought out the bottled up rage masterfully in what may have been the most badass moment for her character. You don’t mess with a woman’s blood and expect her to handle it lightly. And you especially don’t rape a woman and expect very little consequences. I’m not someone who condones violence, but these are the instances where I can say without reservation that the beating was deserved.

In that scene, Squerciati gave her all to make sure the fears, heartache, and rage were all on display as she fought for her sister in a way she’s never fought before. You could feel her pain in the punches. You could feel the distress this has caused along with the guilt she silently feels because she couldn’t protect her sister. But in this moment, all of those emotions allowed for her to weaken someone who’d believed he was on top. In that moment, she fought for all those who’ve been assaulted. In that cathartic moment, Squerciati knocked it out of the park with an evocative, raw performance that challenged the actress to feel with every part of being.

In an episode that demanded a whirlwind of emotions, Squerciati masterfully layered Burgess with a plethora of fear, adoration, and strength showcasing that she’s a flawed, multifaceted, wonderful figure who will stop at nothing to make sure justice is served. And for viewers everywhere, I don’t doubt that this turned out to be one of the most emotionally compelling episodes to date.

Most Exquisite Moment: Burgess thinks like a cop who belongs in Intelligence.

Should she have taken the drugged drink? No. But when undercover, sometimes tough shots need to be called, and knowing that Lindsay would have her back, Burgess did what she thought was best to make sure they had hard evidence. And I appreciated Voight addressing that though wrong, at times, it’s what needs to be done in Intelligence. They’ve all been there. They’ve made those choices that could have ended badly but in order to get justice, sometimes, lines need to be crossed. I also appreciated the fact that Voight gave her the time she needs because rape isn’t something a woman can just get over in a day. Nicole will need time to cope with what happened to her, and as her little sister who’s always been taken care of, it’s Burgess’ turn to step up. It was also great to see Burgess make the decision to step aside because her sister needs someone who’ll be there every step of the way, and it was a selfless choice many wouldn’t make.

Bottom line is, there aren’t many bosses who’d be okay with the request Burgess made to leave, but Hank Voight, in spite of his flaws, has always sided with abuse victims. Hank Voight has always understood that men and women are equal and where they struggle, they’re allowed the time to do so. And this friends, is how to deal with a tragedy properly — time is key. (I suppose it’s a good thing Squerciati needed to go on Maternity Leave because it allows the show to tackle the storyline in a realistic manner.)

“Last Minute Resistance” wasn’t an easy episode to swallow. As a woman, hearing Goldwin talk about how no is essentially the start of their game was disgusting. For Chicago P.D. to bring light to the fact that the word “no” isn’t fully grasped by some men was one of the greatest decisions they’ve made. And for the entire unit to put their feet down in order to bring light to the fact that this isn’t okay was a treat to watch. Sometimes, cases get redundant, but this is an issue that needs to be heard over and over again in order for people to truly grasp the ramifications of this vile belief some men have. In the words of Hank Voight: “Men and women, we endure because we care for each other. We need each other. When we find predators who seek to prey on us, we eliminate them.” When it comes to sexual assault, it isn’t a grey area, it is always wrong. The victims are never to be blamed. They weren’t asking for it because of what they wore or how much they drank. No one deserves to be violated in a state where they cannot properly consent, and when they can consent, their decision needs to be respected. Perhaps, one day we’ll never have to put these reminders out there again. One can hope, right?

And thematically, Chicago P.D. did an excellent job of reminding viewers that needing help isn’t a sign of weakness. We are not meant to go through tragedies alone. We are not meant to just bottle up our emotions. It takes bravery to admit defeat, and it takes bravery to admit that we need help. There’s absolutely no shame in the fact that we, as human beings, need each other. It’s messages like this that do the best job of reminding viewers of the fact that life is precious, but where there’s love, there’s always hope. Where there’s someone who’ll help us through something, there’s always the promise of renewed strength. 

Worth Mentioning: 

  • I have missed Kim and Adam’s banter so much that it’s been lovely to watch them this week. And it was especially lovely to see how avidly concerned Adam was even when he didn’t utter a single word. His expressions at the club and then later in the van showcased ample anxiety in a way that made me anxious, too.
  • Much like Squerciati, Sophia Bush was on fire this week as she grilled the second man for essentially murdering a woman because she took drastic measures to get away from him. Bush is often vocal about her campaigns against sexual assault, and in this scene, she gave her all with a type of rage that you know she felt profoundly as an actress as well.
  • The lipstick knife was absolute perfection for the inner spy nerd in me. And for Platt to give it to two of her best girls as they went undercover was the kind of little moment that I’ll appreciate forever. And speaking of the ladies undercover. YES! I’m about 746% here for Lindsay and Burgess to bond more, and it was fantastic to see them undercover in order to tell just how much they care about one another. Erin’s concern for Kim after she drank the spiked kamikaze shot broke me, but more so the way she ran into the room to make sure her partner was okay. One of the things I’ve always appreciated about Chicago P.D. is the fact that it’s always steered clear from catty female drama. Kim and Erin have supported one another from day one, and I have no doubt that they’ll continue to do so for as long as the show runs.
  • My broken Halstead and Lindsay heart felt a little better this week upon learning that they’re having an easier time working together after what’s been going on. To exhibit that their partnership is an unwavering force to be reckoned with is always a great choice, and always entertaining to watch. I can always appreciate the fact that they know just when to pull their partner aside after they’re going to far. As partners, they’ve always known the other better than they know themselves, thereby making working together something that benefits them both greatly.
  • Also, was anyone else stressing out during the scene the girls were offered drinks? I know it’s acting, but somehow I couldn’t get a pregnant Marina Squerciati out of my head and my brain was in “protect the baby at all costs!” mode.
  • Lastly, Jay and Adam attempting to keep it cool while they were clearly stressed out and worried at the club was something I did know I needed to see until that very moment.

What are your thoughts on this week’s episode?

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