Chicago PD season 5, episode 13 recap: Chasing Monsters

CHICAGO P.D. -- "Chasing Monsters" Episode 513 -- Pictured: Marina Squerciati as Kim Burgess -- (Photo by: Matt Dinerstein/NBC)
CHICAGO P.D. -- "Chasing Monsters" Episode 513 -- Pictured: Marina Squerciati as Kim Burgess -- (Photo by: Matt Dinerstein/NBC) /

Did Chicago PD get taken for a ride by a foreign detective in this week’s episode? Here’s what happened in Chicago PD season 5, episode 13.

This week’s Chicago PD episode was supposed to be about international relations, but that wasn’t quite what the Intelligence Unit got.

Season 5, Episode 13 is called “Chasing Monsters” and it starts very ominously, with Hank Voight (Jason Beghe) watching cops look for a body.

He’s joined by Alvin Olinsky (Elias Koteas), and their talk confirms that the uniforms are looking for the body of the man who killed Voight’s son Justin, who Voight then killed. That’s a Very Bad Thing indeed.

Meanwhile, Antonio Dawson (Jon Seda) pays a visit to an old friend who’s reporting a shakedown attempt. Antonio promises that he’ll “figure something out” and come back the next day.

More from One Chicago Center

But the next morning, he and Kim Burgess (Marina Squerciati) get a call of shots fired at the very same store. And Antonio’s friend Marco is dead, stabbed multiple times with a message written in what’s looking like blood on the wall.

So this week’s episode is personal on two counts.

Our team is introduced to Marcella Gomez (guest star Sofia Lama, Designated Survivor), who says the message is a motto for a gang from El Salvador. She might be the only one who wants to help, because everyone on the street warns about how deadly this gang can be.

Marcella is visibly upset by the footage of Marco’s death. She starts crying, so Good Guy Antonio comes out to comfort her. He’s even got tissues on hand.

"Antonio: It’s a bigger problem if stuff like that doesn’t get to you."

Just as Intelligence agrees to Marcella’s idea of setting up a sting operation, Chicago PD gives us Denny Woods (recurring guest star Mykelti Williamson) to rain on the parade. He knows about the body and wants to talk to Voight about it. He’s even brought in the FBI to help out and calls it “the least we could do” for Voight. This is the “I want you to know I know” conversation.

Back to the case of the week, kind of. Marcella points out that Antonio isn’t wearing a wedding ring, and she tells him that she’s also divorced after her son died in a traffic accident. Then she almost tears up again.

Upstairs, Jay Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer) and Hailey Upton (Tracy Spiridakos) are working surveillance for the sting operation. Upton uses this time to ask Halstead about his therapy; he says he likes it, and it’s helping him work through things that happened “in Afghanistan [and] in Chicago.” You go, Halstead.

They watch as two suspects approach the bakery and everything goes as planned, with the owner refusing to pay them protection so that they can track the thugs back to their boss. But Antonio’s view gets blocked by a passing truck, leaving Marcella as the only person who can see what goes on next.

And she suspiciously drops off the radio at the most important moment.

Burgess catches up with Marcella just in time to watch her tracking a girl that one of the suspects spoke with to her house. That is not in the plan, and Burgess doesn’t buy the other woman’s story either. Now Chicago PD needs a Plan B.

Where’s Trudy Platt (Amy Morton)? Still at the desk by the time Burgess gets back, and she hands Burgess an envelope that’s meant for Marcella. With what happened earlier on her mind, Burgess opens it and finds tons of information on several gang members. Why didn’t she mention this?

And why is Antonio ignoring Burgess’s phone call to have a drink with Marcella? Yeah, you can see where this is going, and it’s not good. There are even Tinder jokes.

Then they’re making out, and that sound you hear is Chicago PD fans, and Brettonio fans, cringing at the knowledge that they’re going to sleep together since Marcella invited him to her hotel room. While Burgess keeps calling a grand total of four times:

"Burgess: I guess something better came along."

The next morning Olinsky tells Voight that he spoke to Erin Lindsay (Sophia Bush, who is not in this episode) in New York and she’s “solid,” and he assures Voight that nothing will happen with the body investigation.

Burgess finally has a chance to tell Antonio what she found, and Antonio then asks Marcella why she’s talking to someone in the CPD Gang Unit. She tells him she was trying to help, but what she doesn’t know is Burgess is interviewing the Gang detective to get his side of the story.

He says Marcella talked to him two months ago, chasing a man who goes by the street name of “El Lobo” and that he thought she was in Chicago now for “training.” That’s another lie, but first our heroes converge on the thugs when they come back to the bakery. They’re forced to shoot one so that leaves only one to arrest.

At least there’s a really funny exchange between Antonio and Voight when Voight sees the kid’s coming in bruised:

"Antonio: He walked into the bakery like that.Voight: …Antonio: I’m serious."

It’s time for another Hank Voight interrogation scene, with Antonio Dawson on the assist. Voight is obviously the bad cop, and is able to deduce that the kid killed Marco. He also gets him to give up a possible location for El Lobo.

But while Antonio’s in the room, Marcella flees and leaves with a guy whom Burgess and Ruzek are able to identify as a member of a “vigilante death squad.” It’s not a huge shock that Marcella’s kid was killed by El Lobo, and now she’s in Chicago for revenge. Antonio realizes he’s been played and the last ten minutes are about catching up before it all goes down.

Intelligence runs the address of a vacant house where Marcella must be holding El Lobo and they get there just as she’s preparing to kill him. Unfortunately, Antonio has to shoot her and she dies in his arms. Chicago PD then gives us the shot of Antonio staring angstily at Marcella’s photo, as he says she wanted him to shoot her.

“Chasing Monsters” ends with Voight waiting for Woods at a bar. He talks about the evidence he’s found since the episode started, and that “we’re getting closer. Way I see it, just a matter of time.”

Watch One Chicago on fuboTV: Watch over 67 live sports and entertainment channels with a 7-day FREE trial!

“Chasing Monsters” is a pretty cliche Chicago PD episode. We’ve seen the “a new person comes in and cozies up to a main character” storyline on tons of other cop shows, and it’s not well executed here. It’s hard to tell how much is the acting and how much is the writing, but this episode makes the character of Marcella so obvious that it’s hard not to notice something is up with her.

That, in turn, makes it so much more frustrating that Antonio can’t see what’s up with her. These plotlines are always a bit cringeworthy because there’s always a certain degree of denial, but in this case it’s particularly obvious. When Marcella’s in tears within five minutes of us meeting her, there’s no sublety, no chance for us to get to know and trust her. She just immediately seems off.

And especially when Antonio Dawson has always been a very smart character, he shouldn’t be this blind. Even her death has little impact because it’s hard to see why he (or we) should be so upset.

Certainly Chicago PD could make the excuse that Antonio is vulnerable and/or lonely thanks to his being dumped by Sylvie Brett over on Chicago Fire, but even if you concede that, he still shouldn’t lose all his common sense. This isn’t a good look for him, and it’s not a good episode for Chicago PD as a result because it feels so out of character.

At least we have Burgess on her game, and the Lindsay reference will be a nice hat tip for longtime fans. But even Jon Seda doing the best with what he’s given can’t save an episode that has quite a few flaws elsewhere.

Next: Jesse Lee Soffer on Halstead's Chicago PD future

What did you think of this week’s Chicago PD? Leave us your reaction to “Chasing Monsters” in the comments.

Chicago PD airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on NBC.