Chicago PD season 1, episode 5 rewatch: Thirty Balloons

Chicago PD's first season cast. Photo Credit: Courtesy of NBC.
Chicago PD's first season cast. Photo Credit: Courtesy of NBC. /

Look back at where Chicago PD began this summer. Read our retrospective on the fifth episode as we rewatch Chicago PD season 1, episode 5.

Over the One Chicago summer break, we’re looking back at where it all began by rewatching the first seasons of our shows—and today we’re revisiting Chicago PD season 1, episode 5.

If you want to rewatch this episode along with us, you can find Chicago PD season 1 on iTunes and DVD.

Episode five is called “Thirty Balloons” and it’s not the fun kind of balloons. Nor does it have anything to do with the Nena song “99 Luftballons.” The balloons it’s referring to are when people swallow drugs internally.

That is not only gross, it can also be life-threatening, which is how the episode starts. Our patrol officers find a crazed woman they have to taze, and when they take her to the hospital, they find that she had swallowed 30 balloons and one of them just exploded in her stomach.

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The race is on for Intelligence to locate not only who she was moving drugs for, but the other drug mules that were working alongside her.

The episode isn’t a “whodunit” but a “where are they.” Chicago PD wastes no time in identifying all of the characters, but it’s not a huge spoiler to say that several of them don’t make it to the end.

Of course, the whole idea of two drug dealers taking advantage of young women is perfect for another of Hank Voight’s (Jason Beghe) scenes where he gets to strong-arm a suspect.

One of the things that Chicago PD season 1 did was to quickly create scenarios where the same qualities that Voight used in a negative way on Chicago Fire were put to use in more constructive ways on this show. The character didn’t change; it was the context of his behavior that changed. Watch this clip and see:

Speaking of people named Voight, this episode continues the drama with Justin Voight (Josh Segarra), who bristles because he can tell his unrequited crush Erin Lindsay (Sophia Bush) has a thing for her partner Jay Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer).

“Thirty Balloons” is unintentionally hilarious in retrospect, because it involves a scene where Hank Voight tells Halstead not to touch Lindsay. He also tells Lindsay that if she wants to date him, she will have to transfer to another district. Of course, Chicago PD fans know now that those were all just empty words.

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By the end of the episode, Halstead and Lindsay are still having a drink in her apartment. Of course, she kissed Kelly Severide two months later, so where was One Chicago going with this originally? Did someone think about setting up a love triangle before realizing that Linstead was the better option?

And when you add Justin’s crush into this, it gets even more eyebrow-arching. Erin Lindsay has not one, not two, but three characters interested in her by the tenth episode of the show!

But looking at this Chicago PD episode in the rear view mirror, all of the personal subplot material does come off as more amusing than serious just because we know now it was in the entirely opposite direction of what actually developed. Still, if you want to see the vast difference, you can watch this episode again on iTunes and DVD.

Next: Chicago PD season 5 DVD release date

Join us every Wednesday this summer for our Chicago PD season 1 review. For more Chicago PD related news, follow the Chicago PD category at One Chicago Center.