Chicago PD season 6, episode 8 recap: Black and Blue

Chicago PD told a Kevin Atwater story this week, but did it have a happy ending? Here’s what happened in Chicago PD season 6, episode 8.

Fans of Chicago PD got what they wanted this week, with a Kevin Atwater-centric episode. Yet was it worth it, or just more tragedy for the criminally underrated cop?

“Black and Blue” opens with Atwater (LaRoyce Hawkins) in the surveillance van watching while Hailey Upton (Tracy Spiridakos) and Jay Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer) are doing a buy-bust. But a shots fired call interrupts their plan.

And when the whole team arrives on the scene, they find the body of the young man that they were just trying to buy drugs from. It’s no surprise when Malik dies in Atwater’s arms, another teenage casualty of the drug war.

Hank Voight (Jason Beghe) shows up to start the homicide investigation. He suggests that Malik was shot by his supplier Kenny Armstrong, and orders the team to track down a kid named Nathan Hawkins, who could either be a witness or somehow involved. Or maybe dead by now, too.

Atwater and Adam Ruzek (Patrick John Flueger) visit Nathan’s aunt’s home. He’s not there, but they look in his room and spot a camera across the street. It’s easy to find him on video, in a car being driven by a woman who pulls a gun when she sees them coming toward her apartment.

Meet Laila Davis (guest star Milauna Jemai Jackson), who claims she hasn’t seen Nathan in a few weeks. But then here comes Nathan to disprove that theory.

Someone has some explaining to do.

Nathan swears he didn’t kill Malik and doesn’t know who did. But Ruzek points out he wouldn’t need to be hiding out at Laila’s if he wasn’t worried about something.

As for Laila, she says she’s been out of the drug world for nine years and isn’t associated with Kenny  (who also happens to be her ex-boyfriend) or anyone else anymore. Atwater tells Laila to introduce him to Kenny, which she agrees to do only if Intelligence gets Nathan out of Chicago.

Deal done, he takes Nathan to a hotel for safekeeping, and Chicago PD uses that scene to give us a brief mention of how his younger brother likes Texas after being sent there last season. Then Laila takes Atwater to Kenny’s mother’s birthday party, to introduce him as “my friend Keith.”

It sets up a scene of Atwater looking around Kenny’s house, planting a few surveillance bugs while Kenny is trying to get back on Laila’s good side. Too bad Kenny has cameras and has seen her new friend in his man-cave. Only a text from Laila gives Atwater enough time to make up an excuse. It still gets him punched in the face.

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Kenny isn’t convinced that the guy he just met, just happened to “get lost” in his basement. That forces Atwater to come up with half of a second excuse, which gets cut off by Laila coming into the room. She winds up saving Atwater’s bacon, causing enough of a fuss that Kenny apologizes and calls it a misunderstanding. For now.

The two of them end up back at Intelligence. Atwater thanks Laila for protecting him and tells her that they’re still looking for a place for Nathan. She suggests that he buy her a drink, and Chicago PD fans can guess where this is going to end up.

While Atwater enjoys a morning with Laila and agrees to see her again, everyone else has gotten a warrant and are ready to execute a raid on the bar that Kenny owns. Ruzek searches the bar office and finds a whopping 27 guns. Kenny must have been buying in bulk.

Ballistics finds one print on a Beretta that links back to a homicide from a decade earlier. Hey, do you remember that Laila said she’s been out since nine years ago? Because it’s her fingerprint.

The lab tech gives this information to Atwater, so it’s his decision to tell everyone else or keep it to himself. He chooses Option B and goes home to confront Laila about why her print’s on a gun that killed a convenience store clerk. She swears she didn’t shoot anyone; it was Kenny, again, and she just loaded the gun. And she demands to know what he’s going to do about it.

Atwater listens to Laila’s spiel about how she’s saving lives through the work she’s doing now at the community center, and reiterates what she told him to Voight, who decides that it’s time for Laila to wear a wire of her own. And for Atwater to break things off because it’s about to get real. He should’ve said that to Halstead about Camila, too, but at least Kevin is listening.

And he’s listening when Laila starts calling him names when she finds out what her fate is. She feels like he owes her for saving his life with Kenny earlier in the episode, and she’s angry.

Laila: I should have let Kenny know he was a cop. And let him kill his ass.

Well, that makes it pretty clear that Chicago PD isn’t going to give Atwater a happy end to this story. He tries to apologizes to Laila, who continues to insult him and then tries to turn it into a racial issue, saying that he decides “when to be black and when to be blue.” And hey, Laila’s safe word is “Voight,” which is funnier than it should be.

Cut to Atwater going to find Nathan, who’s decided that he’s not leaving Chicago anymore because Kenny’s crew just threatened his aunt. Atwater’s getting spurned by everybody at the moment. He can’t stop it, though, so he leaves Nathan to fend for himself.

Laila goes into the bar and almost immediately yells the safe word because someone killed Kenny. (Insert South Park joke here.) That’s only one plot twist: Voight gets a phone call from an unseen and not heard ASA who’s decided to charge Laila with that decade-old murder anyway. Well, we all know it wasn’t Steve Kot, at least. Because Kot wouldn’t send Laila to prison for three years after she held up her end of the bargain.

Atwater shares one last look with his now ex-fling as she’s driven away, and totally hates his life right now. He knows who killed Kenny—it was Nathan, trying to protect his aunt. So he gets to make another choice about what to do with that gun and that crime. He throws it into the river, and Chicago PD fans can decide for themselves what that says about Atwater. And why he can’t get a happy ending.

Next: Why Chicago PD needs more Kevin Atwater

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