Chicago P.D. 4×21 “Fagin” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

“Fagin”: an acute reminder of just how compelling this series can be.

Case Summary: When a group of bank robbers turns out to be boys under the age of 15, it sends intelligence on a spiraling case to understand who’s controlling the operation. A new member temporarily joins the team, and Platt learns some inspiring information. Halstead celebrates his birthday, and Lindsay deals with the fallout of her actions, though in self-defense, killing a kid heavily impacts her.

Review | Analysis: When Chicago P.D. focuses on evolving its characters through realistic everyday decisions as opposed to rash storylines, the series is at its finest delivering seamlessly balanced episodes. And “Fagin”, much like last week’s “Grasping for Salvation” was an episode that reminded me of why this show’s so incredible.

Chicago P.D. has tackled storylines regarding black kids/teens and the unfair police brutality they face, but in “Fagin” it was the boy’s age that made the killing that much more heart-wrenching. Thereby, for Lindsay, this is something that she’ll carry to the end of time because it doesn’t matter that he had an automatic weapon, which was previously being fired and aimed towards her, he was 14. And to end the episode with that sentence lingering in the room left viewers with the haunting heartaches of all the kids who’ve unfairly lost their lives in the face of a gun. In potently powerful scenes, the episode showcased the true darkness in the world, the undeniable fact that sometimes, kids are being forced to do things beyond their desires and in return, they’re losing their lives for them.

Most Noteworthy Performance: It wasn’t easy choosing a performer this week because each cast member managed to convey heart-pounding, emotional destruction within a few split seconds. Whether it was Sophia Bush’s instantaneous grief after removing the mask to find a bleeding kid or La Royce Hawkins’ meticulous approach to making the interrogation a little bit less frightening, the cast took on challenges that required them to show a lot more than what their words could say. And in an episode like this, each performer (Amy Morton, Jason Beghe, Tracy Spiridakos, Patrick J. Flueger, Jesse Lee Soffer) worked well in ensemble moments along with their own brief scenes to convey both the negative and positive ramifications of this line of work.

Most Exquisite Moment: It’s easy for a character like Tracy Spiridakos‘ Upton to get off on the wrong foot when we first meet her, but I was pleasantly surprised by her interaction with Platt in the end. (Instantaneously making its way onto the most exquisite moment.) When Upton reveals that she didn’t meet Platt as an officer but as a little girl, I knew right away that she’d tell her she’s the reason she became a cop. And to have been right brought on the waterworks. I can vouch, that even though I’m not an officer, there’s no compliment greater than when someone tells you that you’re the reason they’re pursuing something. Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote: “To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” And that’s why this moment is so fantastic. Platt knows she’s helped save lives, but sometimes, hearing these things out loud is the perfect reminder of the fact that the choices we’re making in life are right — they’re truly for the greater good. At this moment, Platt understood that. A moment that Amy Morton delivered masterfully with a raw performance that carried ample weight. In this moment, Upton was finally able to showcase her gratitude for the day her family’s life was saved by a brave soul fighting the good fight. A moment both women will carry with them forever.

“Fagin” was a remarkable episode that kept its viewers engaged through a thought-provoking case while balancing its individual arcs with the characters we’ve grown to love. And it even managed to introduce us to someone new without taking away from what needed to be done. It was a riveting, profoundly potent character-driven episode that illuminated a vital issue taking place in the real world. I don’t know about anyone else, but if we had more episodes like this, I’d be the happiest of campers.

Worth Mentioning: 

  • There was a lot to appreciate about this episode but I find myself still thinking of Voight telling Upton to keep the door open. (Runner up for Most Exquisite Moment.) In that moment, Voight wasn’t just a sergeant, but a team member. An equal leader. The door remaining open symbolically revealed the fact that in this unit, everyone’s home, safe, and free to approach whenever need be. Voight’s left the door open before, but in an episode like this, uttering the words exhibited something bigger. Intelligence is a safe place for everyone.
  • Halstead being surprised in response to Lindsay remembering his birthday may have been my least favorite dialogue of choice for a number of reasons. (It’s a small detail, but it was a tiny bit frustrating.) First of all, if your significant other who claims to love you doesn’t remember your birthday, dump them. It’s that simple. If someone truly loves you, that’s one of the first things they’ll remember about you. Another reason being the fact that for a moment, it cheapened their relationship and where they’ve actually stood. Are we forgetting these two used to live together?
    • That said, I loved that we were given the chance to actually see them interact in spite of the fact that they’ve needed time apart to deal with what’s been happening. It allowed the audience to understand that though they’ve needed space, the two aren’t broken up. They aren’t any less of a loving pair because he’s temporary living away from her. I also appreciated Jay’s ongoing story because it brings them back to where they used to be. When Jay wants to say something without actually saying the thing, he’ll go off on tangents — i.e. retiring in Wisconsin. But in this case, Jay most definitely didn’t mean that they’d live apart for decades, instead, he meant that though they’re temporary living apart from one another, it doesn’t change the fact that they’re still one. He is hers and she is his. No part of his love has wavered, and no part of his future plans have altered. She is still the most important person in his life. But this temporary choice is just that — temporary.
    • And I also appreciated Jay instantly realizing that Erin is anything but okay. Allowing her to see that he’d walk away from whatever is in front of him to be there for her is a comforting thought. Additionally, her honesty, and once again reminding the audience of the fact that he was just a 14-year-old boy stung in a way that’d leave us pondering hours after it had ended. And in a single embrace, though nothing will be okay for a while, Jay reminded her of the fact that he’s there. In that moment, there’s nothing he wouldn’t have done for her, but Erin needing to be alone made sense.
    • Erin has opened up so much since she and Jay have been together, and ultimately, all I want is the same thing for Jay. We can’t gloss over a storyline as vital as his without giving him the opportunity to share his burdens — at least a little bit. He doesn’t need to suddenly become an open book, but he needs to understand that he isn’t alone in this life, and Erin will be there to ease the weight on his shoulders. We’re incredibly close to the season finale and this is a character story that’s too important to skip over.
  • I love watching Atwater in the interrogation room. There’s something so compelling about his means of delivering questions, and I want the series to give him more opportunities to do so.

What are your thoughts on this week’s episode? Remember if there’s anything you’d like us to discuss, let me know in the comments below and we shall do so.

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