Chicago PD Season 11 Episode 8 Review: On Paper


Jo Petrovic is a mirror for Hailey.

The final scene of Chicago PD Season 11 Episode 8 was the equivalent of the Spiderman Meme.

It’s amazing how often one can come face-to-face with another person who sees through the demons.

Jo is a relatively interesting character for the series to introduce, and it seemed as if she came out of nowhere. It was challenging to get a real feel for her, too.

While she didn’t have as much presence during the harrowing Chicago PD Season 11 Episode 7, we got to know her better this time.

And it was with a case that also fell into her purview better.

They also used this hour as another Hailey-centric, as Upton was next up on the roster for an installment that focused almost exclusively on her.

Thus, whether we like it or not, the merry-go-round of character-centric episodes keeps spinning.

Overall, the case was interesting and infuriating.

Fortunately, instead of having one of our beloved characters “happening” across a crime scene that Intelligence takes on themselves, we had Hailey overhearing the call on the radio and responding instead.

I appreciate the break.

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Tender-age cases always get you right in the feelings, so the second the phrase was used, it was enough to put a person on edge.

But fortunately, it was relatively easy to watch. After Noah, we needed a lighter, less traumatizing case to dive into, and while that shouldn’t be how one would describe a baby abduction, in the increasingly bleak world of Chicago PD, this was child’s play.

Trent, Grace’s father, was suspicious from the start.

His aggressive response the moment Hailey showed up at the crime scene was enough to put anyone on alert.

Yet, somehow, some unhoused man got hauled away in cuffs until he was cleared of all suspicions, while Trent got to pull a gun out, attack, and threaten a man, nearly getting shot in the process, and walk away scot-free.

Maybe it was the first clue that Trent would be scummy, and this case would be irritating.

And we went on to learn that he was a serial cheater who couldn’t stay faithful if his life or that of his daughter’s literally depended upon it.

Not only was he a smarmy guy who engaged in infidelity, but he didn’t have the brain cells the good Lord gave a fruit fly to even consider that maybe one of his many bed bunnies whom he brought to the home he shared with his wife and knew the security code could maybe be behind kidnapping his child.

Hailey: Why do you usually ride the desk?
Jo: I just prefer it. I can’t think the same in the field.

If only the right people had the audacity of the Trents of the world, am I right?

Tammy was off her rocker, but you almost sympathized with this poor woman because she fell in love with a married man who used and discarded her after forcing her to get an abortion, and then she was unable to have children of her own.

But before we could even have an iota of sympathy for Trent’s wife and Grace’s mother, this weak-willed woman could somehow muster up the boldness to abandon her child at home after midnight to confront her chronically cheating husband about another one of his affairs.

Still, she couldn’t put that same energy into leaving his sorry ass.

Related: Chicago PD Season Review: Survival

Poor Grace doesn’t stand a chance if she had to grow up in a household with these self-absorbed people with no regard for her or anyone else around them as they live out their soap opera of a life.

Grace’s parents were the WORST. They were a perfect reminder of how frustrating it is when law enforcement tries to help people who won’t even help cops help them by giving them all the pertinent information.

Their nine-month-old child was missing, there was blood in the room, and they never once considered telling Hailey and the others the truth about the timeline or their messy love lives.

They wasted so much time. And there was nothing more relatable than that feeling of wasting precious time.

Frankly, Trent should’ve gotten charged with assault against that unhoused man, and his wife should have gotten in trouble for child endangerment or something.

But it was a decent enough case to bring Jo back into the fold, and she’s such a straight-shooter that you have to respect her technique. The handwriting analysis moment was great.

That aside, the hour focused on her harboring this major secret and Hailey getting to the bottom of it, and I genuinely wish they had executed this storyline better.

I genuinely wish they had executed this storyline better. Hailey Upton‘s initial suspicions of Jo stemmed from her not nailing Baker when they spotted him in the parking lot, and he took off.

But the entire setup for it had me side-eying Hailey more than Jo.

They spent the entire car ride digging around in each other’s heads, trying to get a feel for the other person.

Jo didn’t want to go into the field and wanted to stay behind. For some reason (Because plot), Hailey insisted that Jo had to accompany her instead of literally anyone else, even though Jo was adamant about staying behind.

Jo discussed her preference for riding the desk and not doing fieldwork. And because this was before we had any reason to suspect anything unusual about her, this should have been sufficient information.

Hailey: What happened?
Jo: What do you mean?
Hailey: Why didn’t you shoot?

It also should’ve meant that when Baker got spooked and ran off, Hailey, the woman who opened with a montage of her going on runs and approaching every situation like she’s in an action movie, should have taken off after him.

The logical thing was for Hailey to run after and nab Baker while Jo stayed behind with that poor bystander he shot in all the hoopla.

There was no reason whatsoever other than a contrived need to push this plot forward for Hailey to stay with the victim and send Jo, the woman who was just talking about spending all her time at a desk, never doing fieldwork, and had gotten dragged there in the first place, after the suspect.

Even if we didn’t learn that Jo was a functioning alcoholic, Jo would not have been the person to send after the perp after the little we knew about her.

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Hailey’s insistence was bizarre and contrived and didn’t make her look the greatest or brightest in this scenario, which is ridiculous.

Using that behavior as the crux of Hailey’s suspicions didn’t work as well as it should have.

It made Hailey look dumb for forcing Jo into a situation she wouldn’t and didn’t volunteer for, only for her to latch onto Jo like a dog with a bone because Jo didn’t behave how Hailey wanted her to.

My problem with how this was executed was that before we learned that Jo had alcoholism, she mostly exhibited behaviors that felt “neurodivergent-coded.”

My main concern is Grace’s safety, not your feelings. So yes, you will be providing us with a handwriting sample.


So by then having Hailey seemingly randomly pick on her for behaving differently, it was easy to be put off by Hailey more than focused on what, if anything, was “wrong” with Jo.

The entire premise had her initial odd behavior as being “wrong” or “suspicious” well before we got to her drinking in her car.

Jo’s hesitation to nab Baker or draw her weapon could’ve been related to many things, especially given her history of only being on the desk and not having much field experience.

She could’ve had PTSD or any number of things. So, this scenario instantly put Hailey in the ‘annoying’ category for her initial fixation. But as customary, she was proven right, so we’re supposed to forget about the rest.

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Things got even more offputting when she went through Jo’s bag in the middle of the bullpen.

Hell, it almost had me wishing there was something else going on with Jo other than the obvious and what Hailey suspected. But this was meant to nod at Hailey’s personal background as they fed us a bit more history about her experiences growing up.

She can spot an alcoholic a mile away because her father was one, and she had to deal with him while growing up.

It’s another piece to the puzzle, Hailey Upton, that we can file away and use to add more context to this character who carries so much of her past in everything she does.

The background and her experience make her angle more understandable.

But it’s still a tough sell for some of us when Hailey gets on a sanctimonious kick because you can’t stave off the urge to shove her own misdeeds back at her in a classic “Is This You?” form.

But at least that was generally the point this time. What does Hailey look like digging into Jo’s business, searching for something wrong about her, and then lecturing and exalting this moral superiority when she has no ground to stand on herself?

No, Hailey doesn’t have alcoholism on the job, and she’s not jeopardizing cases or potentially putting people at risk because of a booze addiction, but she’s had her own crosses to bear.

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Hailey still works herself to the bone, which clouds her judgment on cases. Her sleep depravity and overexerting herself have been their own risk to her and others.

And we needn’t rehash the litany of things she’s done in her past that makes one smirk at the idea of her ever standing on any moral high ground.

Jo was so interesting because she didn’t deny her own faults. But she also didn’t hesitate to let Hailey know she saw her.

They’re the same.

Voight: You want me to ask you what’s going on?
Hailey: No. Not now.

She sees right through Hailey using her runs to punish herself and her body as some way of addressing those sleepless nights and as a band-aid for more significant emotional issues she refuses to do anything about.

Hailey pointed a finger at Jo, but there was a finger pointing back at her. The chin check was nice.

In the end, Jo didn’t lose her job after killing Tammy while under the influence.

Because Hailey did what she’s notoriously done and covered for her — something Hank Voight didn’t even bother prying her about.

Hailey returned to those punishing runs because she didn’t appear to know what else to do. Unfortunately, Hailey Upton will do anything but go to therapy. Bless her.

However, she and Voight are coping in their respective ways and checking in with each other.

They both have their own demons and seem to suck at knowing how to deal with them, but it’s connected them more than burying bodies and covering up misdeeds ever did.

The paternal quality Voight exudes with her is coming through strong.

It’s clear he’s still deeply affected by this case with Noah, and I appreciated that they had some follow-up on that rather than not addressing it at all.

It’s eating away at him, and they still have nothing to go on. I cannot wait until we dive into this storyline again.

In the meantime, we got to check in with Hailey again, and while she’s not as bad as she was throughout Chicago PD Season 10, she’s still coping in a manner that doesn’t seem to be doing much for her.

It makes you wonder what will have to give before she makes a real breakthrough.

Over to you, Chicago PD Fanatics. Did you enjoy this installment? What did you think about Jo’s secret? Sound off below! 

Chicago PD airs on NBC on Wednesdays at 10/9c. You can stream on Peacock.

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Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is an insomniac who spends late nights and early mornings binge-watching way too many shows and binge-drinking way too much tea. Her eclectic taste makes her an unpredictable viewer with an appreciation for complex characters, diverse representation, dynamic duos, compelling stories, and guilty pleasures. You’ll definitely find her obsessively live-tweeting, waxing poetic, and chatting up fellow Fanatics and readers. Follow her on X.

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