The teens were right. It's always the white guy.
It was an incredibly dark, painful, and riveting hour with Chicago PD Season 10 Episode 5 presenting us with its first ongoing case of the season.
The addition of Yellowstone's Jefferson White as a recurring character was exciting news, but did anyone envision this? Sean O'Neal has to go down.
It seems the hour pulled from positive reception from Chicago PD Season 9 Episode 20's Memory. This time, the case was a chilling introduction to sex trafficking and directly involved the chief's son.
It was the first time Halstead's absence resonated because of the effects on Hailey. And the installment did a commendable job of showcasing how distraught Hailey is and how she's coping with his absence without dwelling on it, detracting from the rest of the series, or sidelining the other characters.
The montage of Hailey picking up overtime as a way of depicting the passage of time was a well-done technique and a standout moment of the hour.
Some of the cinematographic and directorial choices this season have been splendid.
The well-choreographed scenes of various unit members entering a property and clearing the rooms were also notable. Little tidbits have added to the appeal of the episode itself.
Hailey throwing herself into work was to be expected, and in its way, it has reaffirmed how codependent Upstead was with one another. Hailey's on an island by herself, one of its own making in a sense.
A refreshing point of this installment was that we saw Hailey interacting with other characters that weren't Halstead and Voight.
The other team members have their way of checking on Hailey, but their lives go on, and part of that is because of how distant she's been from them for some time.
Sean: It was 20 seconds. She was begging me for help. She was in pain. She's scared. Just tell me who has her.
Hailey: I can't tell you that.
Sean: Is this as bad as I think it is? You really hate that I can see it, huh?
Hailey: See what?
Sean: The pain.
The chatter between Ruzek and Burgess about their domestic lifestyle, or the mention of Jordan visiting and how Atwater has a life of his own outside of work, are those little touches and moments that bring the unit together and acknowledge the other characters. I loved them.
Hailey is still hurting over Halstead's absence, but focusing all of her attention on a case is the type of healthy coping that she can do, and she's on something when it comes to this one.
Sure, they fell into their usual habit of a team member picking up a case that got personal. Hailey saw Abby and tried to save her, but she missed her shot after the assailant knocked her out.
Was anyone else wondering why the fake blood job was done so poorly?
It would be hard to let a case like that go when you got that close to saving a teenager and didn't get the chance. To add insult to injury, Abby's warning Hailey to run made one's heart ache to find this poor, selfless girl faster.
Aside from the fact that White is great at dark roles, it should've been apparent from the start that Sean had a more sinister role in all of this. He kept inserting himself into the case at every turn.
It's the best way to gain intel on an investigation and figure out how close the cops are to determining one's involvement. And Sean also has the background and knowledge that comes with being a child of a cop to work in his favor as well.
He has a history of addiction, and Chief O'Neal thinks his son is troubled, but he's also protective of him. It was shocking how loudly and consistently he went on a Hailey bash fest in Voight's office.
O'Neal really thinks that she's unhinged and not fit for the job these days. And now that Sean is on Hailey's list and Voight's radar too, the notion that all things will be copacetic between O'Neal and the unit is long gone.
It's interesting. Chiefs were always antagonists to the unit in some capacity, and O'Neal came in as a friendly who would give Voight everything he desired.
But all that is bound to change beca'
use of O'Neal's distaste for Hailey and what could come with this investigation. It sets the unit directly against its boss.
The wild chase for Abby was exciting stuff. I love when we get to see the police work play out. Everything was about tracking down leads, pulling surveillance, connecting the dots, and good, old-fashion police work.
They hit up a few places throughout the episode, hoping to find Abby. The team combinations were great, too.
We never get this much Hailey and Kim. After begging for it for ages, we got it in spades. The girls were badass the whole hour, though, and they worked well together.
The switch-ups with the partnerships and teams have been a real highlight this season, and it's invigorating to witness these different, underserved dynamics blossom in action.
I am who I say I am, and I take it, my dad is your boss.Sean
The team element has been so much stronger, even when they have been serving us these character-centered installments.
The hour was clearly Hailey-centric, but they didn't sideline the other characters in the process.
Because they utilized most of them well, we got a well-rounded experience and Hailey in different elements because of her connections with the others, whether it was sweet offers by Atwater to have dinner with him and Jordan, Trudy doing her Den mom thing, Torres heeding her words, or her and Kim kicking ass.
Hailey took this case and ran with it, and she was abrasive as heck the whole way through. There were a few moments when she came on too strong or aggressive with some of her approaches, but in hindsight, maybe her gut was subconsciously warning her about Sean, which is why she had a certain energy with him.
Hailey: Sean has been playing me this entire time. I found him at the trap house. I let him sit in on the interview with Blake.He was looking for information, but not because he cares. He was--
Voight: Hailey, what are you trying to say?
Hailey: Abby jumped off that roof when I said Sean's name. I saw it. That's why she jumped. There are over two dozen girls that have gone his place that no longer exist. What if they didn't fall through the cracks? What if the wolf has been in the hen house the entire time? Hiding in plain sight, helping them, protecting them. What if we need to wake the hell up? I'm saying the chief's son is trafficking underaged girls.
It did seem to rattle her that Sean could see right through her. His commentary about the pink cloud that comes about during the sobriety process felt like it was a deliberate reference to her state of mind recently.
However, his constant observations about Hailey's loneliness and the pain that she's in were what got to Hailey most. She's tried to make her inaccessible to people, but Sean didn't see her so much as see through her.
It was unsettling, and one can expect that Hailey will have some conflicting feelings as all of this plays out. Or maybe she won't feel anything beyond her hatred for this man and desire to take him down.
Abby and her inability to save her will haunt Hailey for the rest of her days. She put in the work trying to discourage this young lady that she wasn't in any trouble for defending herself.
Hailey trying to talk Abby off the ledge, had a person glued to the seat.
She almost had her, too, until Sean's name was brought up. You could see the exact moment that Abby decided she couldn't do it anymore. The actress was fantastic during those final moments.
My heart sank when Abby jumped off the building, and Hailey's stunned expression was difficult to witness. Spiradakos put on quite a performance during this installment.
It was unmistakable that the second Abby heard Sean's name, she jumped, and Hailey immediately dove into investigating Sean. I couldn't blame her for a second.
He has access to troubled youth, the primary victims of something like this, because no one pays attention to unhoused kids in need.
He has the perfect set up to continue his human and sex trafficking of girls undetected. I'm looking forward to the cat-and-mouse game that will come.
Even though the case was dark, it could only get darker from here. How many times will they opt to kill kids and teens this season?
Over to you, Chicago PD Fanatics. Did you enjoy the hour? Sound off below.
You can watch Chicago PD online here via TV Fanatic.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is an insomniac who spends late nights and early mornings binge-watching way too many shows and binge-drinking way too much tea. Her eclectic taste makes her an unpredictable viewer with an appreciation for complex characters, diverse representation, dynamic duos, compelling stories, and guilty pleasures. You'll definitely find her obsessively live-tweeting, waxing poetic, and chatting up fellow Fanatics and readers. Follow her on X.