Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D. will cross over once again on NBC, with the plots intertwining Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.
NBC got a big lift with its three-show crossover in November with its dramas Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D. and Law & Order: SVU sharing a running plot over three nights. In fact, as Variety reported at the time, ratings increased 29-percent for Chicago Fire and at least 50-percent for the other two programs.
I wrote at the time that I had reservations about whether this stunt would work. First, I only watch Chicago Fire, so I wasn’t familiar with the other two shows other than a few cameos from Chicago P.D. characters prior to that show’s launch. The other was that I wasn’t convinced in today’s DVR world that viewers would know they had to record all three episodes to appreciate and understand the crossover.
After watching all three shows, I have to admit that I thought the story arc worked reasonably well over three episodes. It didn’t make me want to watch Chicago P.D. or SVU again, but it served its purpose of catching my interest for a week. I also thought it was fun to see the actors from the respective shows work together.
Now the downside. I discovered that the main reason I don’t watch SVU is because of the cringe-worthy topics they cover — not that it’s a huge spoiler since the words “sexual victim” are in the title. As the father of two kids, I really struggled with the common plot over the three shows revolving around a pedophile ring. I’m not naive enough to think this stuff doesn’t happen in real life — especially since many Law & Order stories are based on real events — but it was very tough to watch.
The good news for me this week is that SVU is not part of the NBC stunt, so our crossover case now involves a serial arsonist. It would be an understatement to say that paramedic Leslie Shay (played by Lauren German) was a beloved character on the show and that her death last fall was a complete shock to viewers. (Seriously, Google it and read some of the tweets. Some fans were literally bawling when it happened.)
It was initially determined to be an accidental fire, but now the Chicago police and fire departments believe it was set purposefully with Shay possibly as the target. This will obviously not go over well with her former squad members (especially her close friend, Lt. Severide) or fans of the show.
So set those DVRs this week and break out the tissues, folks. Without giving too much away, below is how NBC describes this week’s two emotional episodes.
CHICAGO FIRE, February 3, 10pm ET on NBC
THREE BELLS — More clues surface surrounding the fire that killed Shay, leading Severide (Taylor Kinney) to a most unexpected source who may be able to provide pertinent information. Meanwhile, Shay’s sister Megan (guest star Ellen Woglom) comes to town, prompting members of the firehouse to remember Shay’s life. Elsewhere, Cruz (Joe Minoso) is in for a surprise when Otis’s (Yuri Sardarov) grandmother moves into their apartment, while Boden finds a way to help his dying father (guest star Richard Roundtree) make the most of his last few weeks.
CHICAGO P.D., February 4, 10pm ET on NBC
A LITTLE DEVIL COMPLEX — Antonio (Jon Seda) and his sister Gabriela (guest star Monica Raymund) go to the office of Elliot Gish (guest star Robert Knepper), the man they believe started the fire that killed Shay. Intelligence along with patrol officers Burgess (Marina Squerciati) and Roman (Brian Geraghty) put pressure on Gish to try and make him confess. Lindsay (Sophia Bush) approaches Voight (Jason Beghe) about returning to Intelligence when she realizes that the task force isn’t what she thought it would be. At the same time Desk Sgt. Platt (Amy Morton) is acting strange and has everyone curious as to why she’s being overly cheery, friendly and nice.
Chicago Fire: Elizabeth Morris/NBC
Chicago P.D.: Matt Dinerstein/NBC