“In the criminal justice system, some killers are so depraved that it takes multiple
police agencies to bring them to justice. This is one of those investigations.”
This time, when New York’s Special Victims Unit joins forces with Chicago Fire and Chicago PD, we saw a much meatier crossover and a story that had some serious teeth to it. Some SVU fans may not be thrilled that some of the Chicago PD stars were given so much attention in the SVU segment of the crossover, but in my opinion the nature of the kidnapping and eventual murder of one of Chicago PD’s own people (Nadia) made it necessary, and I think it blended very well. It was also a great chance for those who are SVU fans but not too familiar with Chicago PD to get a real taste of the dynamic of the Chicago team and how they operate. Voight was true to his hot-headed form and clearly he thinks the detectives at SVU are a bunch of weaklings. Using force is his method of operation, but in this case, the SVU detective tempered and methodical manner of interrogation helped to get that one nugget of information that helped to find Nadia.
Having Jay Halstead checking out his brother Will’s alibi was a mistake that helped the defense. I can understand that Halstead was leery of letting Will do any talking with the police, but someone outside of Intelligence should have independently verified Will’s alibi. And I can’t quite put my finger on it, but the legal segments of SVU episodes seem a little weak as of late and I echoed Voight’s displeasure with the way Barba was handling the case. I don’t have Barba’s legal acumen either but it seems Barba has lost some of his spark.
If we compare Greg Yates’ rapist/serial killer persona with SVU’s William Lewis, we can assume that all serial killers like to keep their victims duct taped in the back of the car, under a tarp, while the killers play silly/campy music. With Lewis, it was “Ain’t We Got Fun” and with Yates it was “Daydream Believer.” It seemed intentional that they made both perps have similar behavior. (Or maybe the writers only can think up one kind of serial killer?)
Dallas Roberts does creepy very well, and he pulled out all the stops for this role. Dallas is a Law & Order “repeat offender,” having been on Law & Order (3 times), Law & Order Criminal Intent, and already on SVU in season 6 in the episode “Weak.” I may never be able to look at him again and not see “serial killer.”
Overall, this crossover was excellent. Personally, I find Chicago PD a more compelling series than Chicago Fire. Chicago PD’s method of storytelling is far more intense and the characters far more complex. Chicago Fire seems to cater to the under 20 crowd, with the story lines and character relationships that are more fitting to a soap opera. I felt the Chicago PD segment of this crossover was the best out of all three hours and I also think Chicago PD has a good foundation - in both their stories and the cast – for some real staying power. They just need to pull in more viewers, and I hope this crossover helps in that regard.
A side note: On April 23, The Hollywood Reporter teased a clip from the Chicago Fire episode “We Called Her Jellybean” – the first part of the crossover event – with the headline “Benson's Visit to 51 Elicits an Emotional Stabler Flashback from 'SVU'.” The article showed a video where Benson looks at a victim’s photo and she flashes back to Stabler consoling her over a victim in New York from years back. That flashback clip was taken from Law & Order SVU “Soulless” (season 4, episode 25). But, the actual Chicago Fire episode used an altered/edited version of that preview clip, and Stabler is not present at all. The body in the Chicago Fire clip has also been changed (from the original SVU episode) and ME Warner’s dialog has been dubbed from the original episode to change her assessment to fit the Chicago Fire storyline. The case from the original episode had nothing to do with this current case. Bottom line: NBC/Chicago Fire teased the clip with Stabler to get viewers to turn in, and then did a “bait and switch” and wiped him from view. Many viewers were insulted and have every right to be. This is a clear case of false advertising. The reasons why Meloni was cut likely deals with $$$, but it should have never gotten to the point that NBC/Chicago Fire used the clip and actively promoted his presence. That’s just sloppy. And using a clip from an episode for a gratuitous flashback scene when we all know the case in the flashback scene had nothing to do with the current case is another case of sloppy. I can’t quantify how much this kind of stuff annoys me and makes me believe that there is little concern for quality and accuracy in their story telling. It also confirms to me that they think the fans are idiots and won't notice or won't bother to check.
Here is the recap:
Mariska Hargitay – Sergeant Olivia Benson
Ice-T – Detective Odafin “Fin” Tutuola
Kelli Giddish - Detective Amanda Rollins
Danny Pino - Detective Nick Amaro
Raúl Esparza - ADA Rafael Barba
Peter Scanavino - Detective Dominick “Sonny” Carisi, Jr.
Tamara Tunie – ME Melinda Warner
Jason Beghe – Hank Voight
Sophia Bush – Erin Lindsay
Jesse Lee Soffer – Jay Halstead
Marina Squerciati – Kim Burgess
Brian Geraghty – Sean Roman
Dallas Roberts - GregYates
Stella Maeve - Nadia Decotis
Jenna Stern – Judge Elana Barth
Mary Bacon - Susie Frain
Jaqueline Hendy – Attorney Crane
Jen Ponton - Layla
Darryl Knight – Bo
PJ Powers – Glen
Rachel Neiheisel – Renee Walden
Ozzie Stewart – Lisa
Aja Frary – Nila Green
Fiona Horrigan – Forewoman
Chicago PD Episode Cast
Jason Beghe - Hank Voight
Jon Seda - Antonio Dawson
Sophia Bush - Erin Lindsay
Jesse Lee Soffer - Jay Halstead
Patrick John Flueger - Adam Ruzek
Marina Squerciati - Kim
Elias Koteas - Alvin Olinsky
Laroyce Hawkins - Kevin Atwater
Amy Morton - Trudy Platt
Brian Geraghty -Sean Roman
Stella Maeve - Nadia Decotis
Jesse Spencer – Matthew Casey
Eamonn Walker – Chief Wallace Boden
Rachel Melius – Charlotte Reegan
Laura Lapidus – Janine
Jeff Parker – Dr. Smith
Tiffany Bedwell – Victoria Lewyn
Previously, in the first episode of the crossover, Chicago Fire “We Called Her Jellybean,” a woman is sexually assaulted and her apartment set on fire. She is badly burned. Benson contacts Hank Voight of Chicago PD Intelligence regarding that incident as she noticed similarities with that case and one she had ten years prior. She heads to Chicago and gets more information from Voight and Battalion Chief Boden. She flashes back to a previous case from 10 years ago that was very similar. She thinks these cases are connected.
Chicago PD “The Number of Rats” airs second, with SVU’s “Daydream Believer” airing as the third part of the crossover with a dual introduction: “In the criminal justice system, some killers are so depraved that it takes multiple police agencies to bring them to justice. This is one of those investigations.”
Benson is waiting at a hospital to talk to the rape victim - Victoria Lewyn - who was also burned. Hank Voight brings Benson some coffee. The doctor tells them the victim has 3rd degree burns over 70% of her body; the damaged went through to the muscle and her nerves are completely gone. The only good news is that she can’t feel anything. She is coherent and Voight and Benson want to talk with her. Benson stresses the situation, saying if the woman is able, she would want to talk to them. The doctor goes to check. Jay Halstead explains the victim’s sister is there and Voight tells him to have Olinsky and Atwater talk to her.
Halstead speaks with a doctor – who is his brother Will – about Victoria’s condition. His brother knows her as she is a nurse in maternity.
The other doctor returns and lets Benson and Voight in to talk to Victoria and tells them to keep it short. Victoria recalls taking out the trash and saw a man wearing hospital scrubs out of the corner of her eye and she turned. She then woke up in her apartment and it was on fire. She did not see his face but he was white and a little under 6 feet. She begins to code and the doctor rushes Benson and Voight out of the way.
Meanwhile, Olinsky and Atwater speak with Victoria’s sister who says Victoria was not seeing anyone and doesn’t know anyone would do this. As she sobs, they try to console her.
Later, back in the Chicago PD Intelligence squad room, Benson explains the 3 other possible related cases from New York in 2004 who were nurses, were raped murdered by blunt force trauma or burned. Two had green nail polish applied sometime during the crime. Witnesses all saw a man in medical clothing with his arm in a sling who was seen approaching the victims. They do not know if the current victim had green nail polish applied as her hands were severely burned. There was no DNA on the New York crime scenes. They wonder why the killer stopped for 10 years and Benson is not sure that he has. Benson recaps that the suspect is a male white, 5’9”, about 40 years and old and either in the medical field or posing as someone who is. There is nothing distinctive about him but witnesses were consistent as describing him as average looking and normal. Chicago PD explains the action they have taken so far and what they will also be doing next. Halstead gets a phone call who says Olinsky called and said Victoria didn’t make it. Lindsay tells Benson they will get him.
Sgt. Platt works the phones at the front desk and tells Burgess and Roman to start taking statements from people waiting in the lobby area. Nadia arrives and apologizes for being late and asks Platt to hold some stuff behind the desk for her. Platt is annoyed that because Nadia came late that Platt had to take all the hot line calls and tells her to plant her ass upstairs and start taking notes.
Meanwhile, Benson speaks with Amaro and Fin about what she needs them to do on cross matching cases and getting files. Voight suggests they bring the stuff out themselves and Benson agrees. She also tells them to have Rollins and Carisi work the case from New York.
At the apartment of Victoria Lewyn in Chicago on Saturday, April 11, the Chicago PD work the case along with Matthew Casey from the Chicago Fire department. Inside the apartment, Casey explains how the fire started. They suspect there is no DNA. Lindsay finds a bottle of green nail polish. Outside, Dawson and Ruzek talk with people in the area
Back at Chicago PD, Nadia fields calls and Halstead reviews what they are doing with Benson and Voight, who tell him what else he needs to check. Benson gets a call and it is Carisi in New York who tells her he is going over the witness statements for one of the victims in New York who was a med student who knew one of their victims and he was named Will Halstead who is a doctor at Chicago Med and his brother Jay is a detective in Voight’s unit. When she gets off the phone, Benson says it was her son’s nanny checking in.
Later, Benson meets up with Voight in a bar and tells him what she heard about Will and she wants to question him and “check his temperature” without telling Jay. She wants to ambush Will. She explains she has been carrying around the case for 10 years and just wants to see the look on his face. She does not want to disrespect Voight as she knows this is his house. He says he will think about it.
Meanwhile, Amaro and Fin arrive at Chicago PD Intelligence and when they make themselves at home, Platt says Voight likes things just the way they are and they shouldn’t be moving things around. Amaro quips he is glad she told them because he was planning on stealing the copier. She glares at him and Amaro says he was kidding. She glares at him again and leaves.