'Chicago PD' Season 8 Episode 2 Review: Atwater comes up with a 'third option' to overcome Blue Wall harassment
Kevin Atwater continues to deal with the Blue Wall harassment, but this time, it is affecting his team as Ruzek gets shot
Spoilers for 'Chicago PD' Season 8 Episode 2
When we return to 'Chicago PD' this week with the second episode of Season 8, Kevin Atwater (LaRoyce Hawkins) is still struggling to overcome the Blue Wall intimidation as he is locked out from the police radio and its systems, making it very difficult for him to do his job. Hank Voight (Jason Beghe) tries to suggest that Atwater drop his attempt to tell the truth but the latter will have none of it. The two then respond to a call where the local alderman's son, Billy is holding a dead woman's body. Billy is out of it and it is later revealed that he is an addict. All signs point that Billy had probably killed the woman in a crime of passion but he insists that a white man in his 40s is the real killer -- though everyone in Intelligence is skeptical about whether he is telling the truth. Billy's description matches a news anchor, but he insists that the man he described was really at the scene of the crime.
Meanwhile, Deputy Superintendent Samantha Miller (Nicole Ari Parker) is on Voight's ass to make sure he does his job cleanly and won't give preferential treatment to an official's son. The alderman shows up to see Billy and Miller is angry that Voight hasn't charged the kid yet, but Voight points out that she would not push on charging so quickly had the suspect been a Black kid. Billy becomes sober and declines to see his father and refuses the lawyer and continues to talk to the police to figure out what happened.
Billy explains that he had been sober with the victim for a year but the previous night, she had suddenly texted him asking him to go over to her house. They took the drugs and when he came to, she was already covered in blood. Intelligence goes to a posh area where the victim's phone pinged a cell tower when she texted Billy and discover a narcotics lab in the basement.
However, while on the call, Atwater gets a call from his brother from the landline saying the security alarm tripped. He rushes over and deduces that their phone has been bugged. Atwater becomes paranoid, smashes his brother's phone, and checks behind everything, saying he was sure that the police who had been intimidating him had gotten in. He is eventually proven right when he discovers a bug behind the switch panel. When Adam Ruzek (Patrick John Flueger) tells Atwater they need to compromise, Atwater fights back, saying he did nothing wrong.
Later Jay Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer) comes up with a new suspect, named Tim Rollins, when Billy tells them that the victim had more drugs on her -- which was not recovered from the crime scene. When Atwater, Ruzek, and Kim Burgess (Marina Squerciati) chase the suspect later, their calls for backup are ignored. Ruzek is shot and the suspect gets away. While Ruzek is okay because he was wearing the bulletproof vest, Atwater gets upset that Ruzek got shot because of him -- he knows the backup did not respond because of the Blue Wall pressure against him. He confronts a patrol officer who was on the scene but the latter says that it is the dead cop's partner, Nolan who is giving orders. Atwater then confronts him, but Nolan says that he will keep going for Atwater and his badge.
Intelligence then captures Rollins and while Ruzek is still in pain, Atwater apologizes. Ruzek then tells him that he has nothing to apologize for and that Atwater is not alone as Voight watches on. Later, Miller congratulates Voight on making the arrest and tells him she just wants to do her job and does not hate him.
After the case is solved, Atwater goes to talk to Voight who tells him that if he accepts their deal, the harassment will stop. But that would mean that Atwater will never become a detective or leave Voight's unit. Atwater then tells Voight he would rather not be a cop at all and that he is mad at the police system for what is happening to him.
So the officer comes up with a third option -- he goes to Nolan and tells him he is not afraid of giving up his badge, but if Nolan continues to harass him and his team, Atwater will sue Nolan and Chicago PD and drag his name through the mud. Does it work? Will Atwater keep his job safe?
'Chicago PD' airs on NBC on Wednesday nights at 10/9c. 'Chicago PD' will return with new episodes on Wednesday, January 6, 2021.