The Dick Wolf Crossover: SVU & Chicago P.D.

Photo Credit: NBCUniversal
Photo Credit: NBCUniversal

NBC’s Dick Wolf crossover began on Tuesday night on Chicago Fire, then carried over to Law & Order: SVU and concluded on Chicago P.D. This review will look at the Wednesday night block.

Plot: The Chicago Fire department discovers evidence of a pedophilia ring that involves the long-lost brother of Chicago P.D.’s Erin Lindsay (Sophia Bush). Lindsay and Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer) follow the lead to New York City and enlist the detectives of the Special Victims Unit to help them out. Sergeant Voight (Jason Beghe) soon follows.

Photo Credit: Michael Parmelee/NBC
Photo Credit: Michael Parmelee/NBC

Just in time for November sweeps, NBC plays the Dick Wolf card. It makes perfect sense – why not take shows from the network’s most prolific and successful producer and have them do a two-night crossover.

The crossover results are much stronger than the first time SVU & Chicago P.D. crossed paths back in February. Of course that isn’t saying much since the crossover revolved around the events of the SVU episode, ‘Comic Perversion‘ which is one of the all-time worst episodes in the show’s 16 season history.

“Chicago Crossover” is a very strong installment in a surprisingly strong season of SVU. The show has really turned its attentions away from the personal lives of the detectives and has put the focus back on cases. The episodes this season that work the most all have the same M.O. — “finding someone before it’s too late.” This archetype naturally generates an air of tension of suspense, something lacking from last season. Tonight was no different as the clock was ticking on a young boy in danger of forever disappearing into the world of child porn.

The addition of Sophia Bush and Jesse Lee Soffer’s characters to the episode is nothing special. Much like Kelli Giddish and Ice T’s cameos on Chicago P.D. last season, they are pretty much background players. Well, in terms of the investigation at least. Bush spends the majority misty-eyed and raspy-voiced as she tries to reconnect with her long-lost brother.

Photo Credit: Michael Parmelee/NBC
Photo Credit: Michael Parmelee/NBC

It’s not until Jason Beghe’s Voight shows up does the crossover actually work. The writers smartly put Voight and Benson (Mariska Hargitay) together. They have an amazing chemistry which immediately brings up memories of the Benson/Stabler days of the series. However, there’s more of a sense of equality and respect between the two characters. Voight listens to Benson, maybe a little too much, and Benson allows for Voight’s punch-first-ask-questions-later style of interrogation to rear its head when needed.

The chemistry between Hargitay and Beghe and the heightened sense of suspense that permeated the episode really “Chicago Crossover” a really strong episode. The addition of Bush and Soffer amounted to white noise, but when you’ve got a walking charisma machine like Beghe you can overlook it.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10

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Bill Bodkin is the owner, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break. Most importantly, however, he is the proud father of a beautiful daughter, Sophie. He can be seen regularly on the site reviewing The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, and is the host of the site's podcast, The BreakCast. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @BodkinWrites