TV Recap: The Chicago PD & Law & Order: SVU Crossover

Chicago P.D.

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

The Scene of the Crime (Episode Summary): Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) heads to Chicago after Voight (Jason Beghe) begins an investigation on a victim found burned alive by Chicago Fire. The M.O. matches that of a cold case from Olivia’s past. A prime suspect (Dallas Roberts) emerges and soon, one of Chicago P.D.’s own, Nadia (Stella Maeve) is taken hostage – and it’s up to the New York and Chicago detectives to track him down and bring him to justice.

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

The Lead Investigator (Favorite Performance): The last time we saw Dallas Roberts he was a walker who put a biting on Andrea. Yes, Walking Dead fans, this is The Governor’s former sidekick. Roberts was absolutely perfect as the always smiling, seemingly nice, but deadly serial killer. Roberts imbues this creepy yet caring sentiment that sends shivers up your entire body. His shining moment comes during the court room scene where he represents himself. Like any good SVU ‘villain’ Roberts is a highly intelligent, cagey self-defender. He’s not unlike the late Robin Williams was all those many years ago on his SVU guest stint.

The Devil in the Details (The Little Thing You Loved): The chemistry between Voight and Benson is fantastic. There’s this natural respect, and also this natural flintiness between the two. Watching them together is vaguely reminiscent of Benson/Stabler, but less contentious. If NBC ever decided to cancel either Chicago P.D. or SVU, they should seriously consider uniting Benson and Voight, they’d made a great onscreen tandem.

Objection, Your Honor! (The Worst Part): While the court room part of the crossover was the best part of the episode by far, having Dallas Roberts character basically orgasm over crime scene photos and the description of Nadia’s death was a little weak. We’ve seen this trick on SVU multiple times before and it was a little far-fetched. Luckily, Roberts saves this scene from being a complete disaster through his performance.

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

Episode Analysis: The numeric rating might be a bit low, but make no doubt about it – this was a fun crossover. Dallas Roberts was fantastic as the villain, and they wrote him as the type of villain that required all the Chicago Intelligence Officers and Special Victims Unit Detectives and the New York District Attorney to defeat. So, the crossover totally makes sense in terms of story. However, the execution of the crossover really lacked the punch of the first one. A lot of characters, particularly the SVU ones, seemed to get pushed to the outer reaches of the episode, merely showing face and delivering an obligatory line or two. First time around it felt like every character got its fair share of screen time. The episode did give a lot of time to Barba (Raul Esparza), and featured the passing of a major recurring Chicago P.D. character, but it just felt that the potential of combining these two casts was squandered.

SVU/Chicago PD Crossover Rating: 6.5 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 is beyond excited that Pop-Break will be six years old in 2015 as this site has come a long, long way from the day he launched in it in his bachelor pad at the Jersey Shore. He can be read every Monday for the Happy Mondays Interview Series as well as his weekly reviews on Law & Order: SVU, Mad Men and Hannibal. His goal, once again, is to write 500 stories this year (a goal he accomplished in 2014). He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @PopBreakDotCom
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Bill Bodkin is the gray bearded owner, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break. Most importantly, he is lucky husband, and proud father to a beautiful daughter named 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