The penultimate episode of Chicago PD gave us an action-packed hour that tapped into Superintendent Miller's personal life.
Voight was introduced to Miller's son, Darrell, on Chicago PD Season 8 Episode 15.
And he got way more than he bargained for following the meeting as Darrell sought out his help.
When Intelligence took on Darrell's case, they thought it would be a quick case to help out a friend who was in way over his head with a local drug dealer, but instead, they unearthed something much more sinister.
Darrell didn't survive the hour, but it wasn't because Intelligence didn't do their best to save him; it was because Miller was adamant that Voight and his team do things by the book.
You can say it, Hank. I killed my son. Say it. I was trying to do the right thing, and I killed him.Superintendent Miller
There are times when doing things by the book pays off, and other times when it's required to bend the rules just a little to ensure that a life is spared.
In this case, it was an ugly lesson for Miller that, sometimes, the law doesn't always work in your favor.
Voight may be too eager to bend the rules on occasion, and admittedly, some of his methods and approaches may be unconventional, but he's also the best at his job.
That's why he runs Intelligence, that's why he has one of the best teams on the force, and that's why Darrell turned to him for help.
Intelligence knows what they're doing, so why not let them do their job?
Asking for forgiveness later would've been much better than living the rest of your life feeling guilty that you contributed to your child's death.
Darrell made some pretty terrible choices; there's no denying that.
It seems that making bad choices has been a recurring theme throughout most of his life.
And it didn't help that no one seemed to take Darrell seriously. From Atwater to his mom to Kent, Darrell kept being told that he was essentially a privileged screw-up.
It's not surprising that he was so determined to make things right and prove everyone wrong.
I think that constantly being told how messed up, he was also likely prevented Darrell from being upfront with Voight, Atwater, Ruzek, and the team.
It's obvious that Darrell knew more than he was letting on about what was happening inside the strip club.
Sure, he wanted to pay off his debt, but he also knew that Kent and Roy were trafficking underage girls and wanted to help them.
When Atwater and Ruzek told him to lay low, he didn't listen because he wanted to save Sasha.
His bad decision-making and well-intended nature got him into an even bigger mess, but it's also what made his death that much more heartbreaking.
He wasn't just a kid dealing drugs and trying to use his mom's position within the city to get out of it -- he was a good kid who walked into something larger than himself.
Voight: What are you doing? This is not reform. This isn’t why people are marching in the streets, why you moved to Chicago to change it. This is about what doing what needs to be done to save your kid.
Superintendent Miller: Then you find him without breaking the damn law.
Superintendent Miller: We don’t get to rewrite the laws because it’s my kid. Every victim is somebody’s kid. We do it the right way.
Sadly, Miller didn't know that or consider it. She thought that by letting this case ride, she would be teaching him a lesson.
It's refreshing that Miller practices what she preaches, which is rare in a city as corrupt as Chicago.
She was concerned about sending the wrong message to the people of Chicago if she allowed them to bend the rules when it suited her.
And truthfully, I was a little surprised by how little emotion she expressed when approaching the situation.
Voight: We had a cold wave come in. People stayed inside, stopped shooting each other until it warms back up.
Superintendent Miller: Wow, is that a you thing or a Chicago thing? Waiting for the next storm?
Voight: More like an alternative theory thing.
She tried to remain neutral and keep her personal life at bay to remain professional, but putting the city and the people first came at a grave personal cost.
Her stance on doing things by the book would have been admirable in any other situation, but one has to wonder how she wouldn't drop everything and do whatever to save her own son?
This was not the time to play things by the book.
As Voight mentioned, letting a Black man die over drugs isn't what they meant when fighting for police reform.
Had Kent been just a low-level drug dealer, they likely could've waited for it to play out until they found probable cause, but it was made very clear from their interactions with him that he was dangerous.
It was clearly a dangerous situation, so even if Darrell weren't her son, Intelligence likely would've done everything in their power to save him, including breaking the rules.
Voight rarely gets that heated about something, but man, he tried his best to sway Miller's mind because he knew in his heart that time was of the essence.
Why didn't Miller? At some point, she should've felt the urgency, especially after they found Darrell's phone, meaning they likely figured out he was working with the police.
What did she think the outcome would be?
It's unclear if they would've been able to save Darrell even if they moved in quickly, but they would've at least done their best and given him a fighting chance.
It was a life or death decision, and Miller basically signed his death warrant.
Though it was obvious that Darrell's fate was sealed when his mother told Intelligence to stand down, it was still heartbreaking to see her realize the weight of her mistake.
She thought she was doing the right thing only to realize how terribly off the mark she was.
As I mentioned previously, it's something she'll have to live with for the rest of her life, and the likelihood that it could've been prevented was high.
After they found Sasha at the Blue Line station, the second half of the episode felt like its own installment.
Intelligence deals with grim situations daily, but even they weren't ready for the execution-style shooting they saw at Kent and Roy's hideout.
This is the second episode of the season that dealt with human trafficking, and while it makes for incredible and compelling television, it's hard to stomach the nature of the crime sometimes.
I'm also really digging the fact that the episode turned into a two-parter, which is very rare for Chicago PD.
The search for Kent and Roy was on, and it was all hands on deck.
Intelligence split up -- also rare for them -- to hit as many of the stash houses as possible.
And in this situation, doing it by the book made sense as there was no room for any errors that could potentially get the case thrown out or allow Roy and Kent to walk free.
They needed to nail these guys in a way that would never let them see the outside of a jail cell again.
When all the stash houses turned up empty, it was obvious that Burgess pulled up to the home in question.
And though I had a hunch that something bad was going to happen, I still jumped out of my seat when the guy attacked her through the window.
We couldn't really see the man, so it's hard to tell if it was Kent or Roy, but who else would benefit from attacking a cop during a citywide manhunt?
Burgess took a pretty bad hit, which gives Intelligence even more reason to nab these guys. No one comes for one of their own.
By putting Burgess's life in danger, it will also likely put things into perspective for Ruzek.
They've been doing this little "are we or aren't we" dance for several seasons, but almost losing someone has a way of making you realize that life is short and you shouldn't waste time not going after what you want.
Will this convince them to pursue their feelings finally?
Especially coming off of a case where there was already so much personal loss and pain felt by the team.
It's also not a coincidence that Burgess is the victim considering her storyline underscored how dangerous it is to be a mother and a cop.
It's a good thing she decided to designate Ruzek as Makayla's custodial guardian if something happened to her.
Sam, I am telling you we have to play the hand we’ve got. If you want to find your son alive, we’ve got to move now.Voight
Will the incident make Burgess rethink being a cop?
There's a lot on the line going into the Chicago PD Season 8 season finale, which makes it all the more exciting.
While the season hasn't always been perfect, it did deliver some of the strongest storylines to date, and I'm glad we don't have to worry about a renewal!
What did you think of the episode?
Was Miller out of line?
Will Burgess make it out alive?
Will Ruzek get revenge on Kent and Roy?
Don't forget to watch Chicago PD online ahead of the finale to catch up on episodes!
Let us know in the comments below!
Lizzy Buczak was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in June 2021..