Chicago PD season 5, episode 14 recap: Anthem

CHICAGO P.D. -- "Anthem" Episode 514 -- Pictured: Jon Seda as Antonio Dawson -- (Photo by: Matt Dinerstein/NBC)
CHICAGO P.D. -- "Anthem" Episode 514 -- Pictured: Jon Seda as Antonio Dawson -- (Photo by: Matt Dinerstein/NBC) /

How did Chicago PD handle a charged case with Denny Woods’ daughter in the middle? Here’s what happened in Chicago PD season 5, episode 14.

As Chicago PD signed off with its final episode before NBC starts the 2018 Winter Olympics, the series went out with a bang.

Season 5, Episode 14 is called “Anthem” and begins with the Intelligence Unit in the crowd as an anti-police rally turns into a full-blown brawl once a horde of angry neo-Nazis disrupts it. In the aftermath, almost 30 people are arrested.

But it gets worse than that: our team gets a shots fired call and discovers a dead body in a nearby parking garage. The dead man is identified as a well-known college basketball player named Chris Taylor, who’s a high-profile target since he was publicly protesting the National Anthem.

Oh, and it’s still worse: the key witness is Brianna Woods (guest star Alexa Adderly), the daughter of the unit’s bogeyman Denny Woods (recurring guest star Mykelti Williamson).

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No surprise, but Woods immediately wants a word with Hank Voight (Jason Beghe). He wants to leave all the “crap” between them behind and solve the case, but does anyone really believe him when he says that? Uh, we’ll get back to you.

On the top of Chicago PD‘s suspect list is one of the neo-Nazis named David Dixon. Voight is not impressed by him when he’s hauled into the interrogation room.

"Voight: Why exactly do you feel superior?"

Luckily, Voight isn’t left alone with David for long, because in comes Kevin Atwater (LaRoyce Hawkins). Atwater is equally as unimpressed, he just words it nicer. He confronts David with security camera photos before Chris’s death, and David admits to following the young man into the parking garage but claims he did not shoot him.

Furthermore, he says he saw the shooter, who was a black man. But do you believe the “white nationalist” when he’s blaming a black guy?

Brianna opens up to Jay Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer), which turns out to be a good thing because he’s there when someone attempts to shoot her from a black Jeep. In the aftermath, Halstead and Hailey Upton (Tracy Spiridakos) question Brianna about who would want to shoot her. She has no idea, but it’s the same shooter in both cases.

The Jeep turns out to have been stolen, but it traces back to the college’s basketball coach. They question him and he says he sold the car, but once they leave, he calls a guy named Kendrick who is definitely not above board.

Atwater and Adam Ruzek (Patrick John Flueger) track down Kendrick, who happens to not only be the current owner of the Jeep but also the last person that Chris called before he died. That’s two strikes against him.

"Atwater: He’s lying his ass off.Ruzek: Yeah. Now we’ve just gotta prove it."

Halstead and Upton attend a memorial for Chris, but while they’re doing so, Halstead’s phone goes off and it’s not good news. He snags Brianna and asks her if she knows Kendrick, because that phone notification was about a photo of the two of them together on Kendrick’s Facebook page.

Why was she hanging around with Chris Taylor’s possible killer? The same person who could’ve tried to kill her? Why was she calling him?

So Chicago PD has all of Woods’ good vibes go out the window the second his daughter becomes a person of interest. He storms into the interview room and tells her she should’ve lawyered up. Voight reminds him that Brianna isn’t a suspect, but of course Woods wants a word with his kid. A capital W kind of Word.

Brianna tells her father that her boyfriend (and Chris’s friend) Jamal, as well as Chris, had been getting paid by Kendrick for years and Kendrick approached them about shaving points off their basketball games. She had threatened to tell about the scheme, hence putting herself in the line of fire. You know what that means for Jamal:

"Halstead: We need you to wear a wire, man. We need to get a confession out of Kendrick."

Jamal is looking at jail time even with his cooperation, and Woods is fine with that; what we want to know is that when Chicago PD has Voight refer to the ASA in the case as “she,” does he mean a certain Anna Valdez?

She’s not seen nor mentioned by name, but she is the last ASA we’ve seen on this show, and it’d be kind of funny considering this episode is airing literally right after the SVU episode where her former boss gets another job. Or maybe we’re just being One Chicago nerds here.

Regardless, Brianna hates her dad right now, and Voight is stuck in a car with Alvin Olinsky (Elias Koteas) watching Jamal meet with Kendrick. This allows them time to talk about the body issue from the last episode. Voight doesn’t think telling Woods the truth is a good idea, but they don’t get to debate that before Kendrick is telling Jamal how he shot Chris.

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That would be awesome, except why is Brianna on the scene? She messes up the whole thing as she walks into the bar. Antonio Dawson (Jon Seda) tries to get her out of the bar, which gets him made, and them both held at gunpoint before Kendrick smashes Jamal’s wire. So there’s now no evidence, and people could get shot. Way to go, Brianna. And Denny, for enabling her.

Kendrick thinks he’s the big man on campus now, and uses Antonio’s phone to tell Voight his list of demands. Woods (who has found out and is listening in) seethes, but agrees to get him a car. But he has no idea that Kendrick is taking Brianna and Antonio with him. And in the ensuing chaos as they try to leave, Brianna is shot.

It’s no holds barred at that point, as Chicago PD erupts in a hail of gunfire. Kendrick goes down to an angry Voight, while Woods tries to comfort his wounded daughter. At the hospital, we find out that Brianna is dying from her injuries.

"Voight: We did everything we could.Woods: Well, it wasn’t good enough."

And that’s how we leave things for now, presumably giving Denny Woods an even bigger axe to grind when Chicago PD season 5 returns at the end of the month.

“Anthem” is a strong episode for Chicago PD season 5 to take a break on. It’s kind of what we didn’t get with “Reform.” When we thought the show was going to give us a real discussion of police reform, that turned out to not really go beyond that episode. Whereas “Anthem” actually takes a few pauses to talk about the issues underneath this specific case.

It’s not as in-depth as we would’ve seen on Chicago Justice, but Chicago PD is the place where we can have those talks now, and it’s successful in that respect. Adding in that one of the players has a connection to Denny Woods is a bit ingenious because that’s the hook for the show to mix in its season-long narrative, as well.

If there’s a negative here, it’s that the Brianna character feels legitimately stupid at moments, like she makes dumb choices just to move the plot along. Especially when her father is a schemer like Denny, she should know better. But there are some legitimately suspenseful moments created in the course of the episode, plus the action that we know and expect in the final ten minutes.

Plus, it mercifully does not end on a cliffhanger, but the ending does leave us wanting more. That’s probably the best ending out of the three that we’ve seen before the Olympic break, and we can’t wait to see what effect it has on the rest of the season.

Next: What Chicago PD fans can watch during the Winter Olympics

What did you think of this week’s Chicago PD episode? Leave your reaction to “Anthem” in the comments, and we’ll see you in a few weeks!

Chicago PD returns Feb. 28 on NBC.