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30 Best Chicago P.D. Episodes Ranked

The success of "Chicago Fire" laid the groundwork for the "One Chicago" franchise, with "Let Her Go" serving as a backdoor pilot for a new series based around law enforcement officers. The episode was a hit with audiences, and "Chicago P.D." was off and running. 

Unlike Dick Wolf's other legal drama franchise, "Law & Order," "Chicago P.D." was a police procedural focused solely on the department's Intelligence Unit, which investigates crimes in the Windy City with none of the courtroom drama. Of course, a trial-focused expansion would come, as the series would prove popular enough to warrant its spinoffs, with a backdoor pilot for "Chicago Justice" airing in 2016.

If you're new to "Chicago P.D.," you might be intimidated by the series' run of nearly 200 episodes, but don't worry. We've put together a list of the 30 best episodes of the show ranked by their IMDb score to help introduce you to the world of "Chicago P.D."

30. A Number of Rats

In the Season 2 episode "A Number of Rats," the show gets a visit from none other than Mariska Hargitay's Olivia Benson, on loan from franchise sister series "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." Detective Benson arrives to assist in a case with similarities to a murder she investigated some ten years prior. The episode is the second part of a three-episode crossover between "Chicago Fire," "Chicago P.D." and Benson's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." 

Picking up where the episode of "Chicago Fire" leaves off, detectives from two major metropolises are on the hunt for a serial rapist and murderer. The case takes a twist, though, when it's uncovered that Detective Halstead may be connected to the culprit. Also guest starring Ice-T as Fin, "A Number of Rats" is highly recommended for fans of both the "One Chicago" and "Law & Order" franchises and should satisfy anyone's itch for an uncommon TV crossover.

29. Actual Physical Evidence

"Actual Physical Evidence" sees several stories collide as Platt deals with multiple cases. First up is Frazier, a desperate man looking for his kidnapped daughter who takes Mouse at gunpoint when told he's filing a report in the wrong department. Investigating the missing person case, they find a despicable stalker and rapist who leads them to a bigger sex trafficker. 

Meanwhile, in two brief crossover appearances from "Chicago Med," Lindsay visits Dr. Charles for advice, and Detective Lindsay gets new info on Detective Halstead while talking to his brother, Dr. Will Halstead. Last, Voight may be in some trouble when it becomes clear that Bunny knows that he lied about witnessing a murder, and a murderer could be let loose because of it — and might even be out for revenge against the man who put him away.

28. Fagin

In "Fagin," Lindsay, Halstead, and Voight are on the case of a bank robbery but have some unwelcome help in the form of a new recurring character named Hailey Upton. Upton tries to bully them off the investigation, as she's been tracking this heist crew for some time and wants the collar for herself. Forced to work together, they first track down the robber's cell jammer, hoping to use it to pinpoint their location. Olinsky interrogates the seller that leads them to a dead-end just as the suspects pull off another heist, leading to a violent shootout. 

What started as a routine bank robbery investigation quickly becomes complicated. The robbers are seemingly a group of teenagers, but could be taking orders from a hardened ex-con named Lavar Spann. But Spann — out of prison for a series of bank robberies — now runs a car dealership and professes his innocence.

27. Home

In the Season 5 episode "Home," the Intelligence Unit is busting up a homemade meth lab run by a man named Carter when they discover a group of lost children locked in what appears to be the drug maker's shed. Suddenly the investigation turns from a straight-forward drug bust to an even more serious kidnapping case. In true cop drama fashion, though, Carter claims the shed isn't even his and has nothing to do with the lost children, instead pointing to his neighbor as the likely suspect.

However, the investigation leads to disturbing discoveries involving a broader conspiracy of child trafficking. The unit then hatches a plan to go undercover to root out those at the top of the conspiracy's hierarchy, which may turn out to be much more challenging than they first thought.

26. Monster

The Season 5 episode "Monster" delves even deeper into Voight's past. Officer Ruzek has finally had enough and gives Voight's former partner, Denny Woods, a 24-hour deadline to deliver dirt on Voight to put him away for good. Meanwhile, Halstead and Upton bungle a sting to stop a prescription drug ring when they let the dealer get the slip on him. The pair make one last-ditch effort to catch the crook and follow their suspect home, but they're left empty-handed when a suburban mom dies of an overdose.

The victim turns out to have ties to the legal system, complicating matters, but the team does manage to track down her supplier, who cuts a deal to identify the man at the top, but the snitch quickly finds himself dead. Meanwhile, a stash of $20,000 could give Woods the information on Voight he's been trying to deliver to Officer Ruzek.

25. Profiles

"Chicago P.D." celebrated its 100th episode with a party in "Profiles," and everyone was invited. In a two-part crossover with "Chicago Fire," a massive explosion tears apart a TV studio just as the members of the Police Department and Fire Department have gathered to watch one of their own appear on a local TV show. The episode is an action-packed hour of prime-time crossover television at its finest. The characters from "Chicago Fire" handle the blaze at the studio while the team from "Chicago P.D." tracks down an elusive bomber with little more to go on than the dying last gasped words of one of the victims of his crime.

With nothing official to go on, the case becomes a media circus as the public uses social media to hunt down and find the suspect themselves. However, just when they think they've found their man, a new bomb threat raises the stakes.

24. Trust

The intelligence unit has no shortage of suspect's in the Season 6 episode "Trust," when defense attorney Bernie Hoffman is shot dead while members of the 21st District are leaving a fundraiser for Police Superintendent Kelton. Kelton, played by guest star John C. McGinley, is currently running for mayor and wants the killer caught quickly, not wanting to risk his chances in the race. The team begins digging through Hoffman's files looking for a suspect, and they soon find CCTV footage of a crook fencing his wife's jewelry. The culprit is none other than the cousin of a former Hoffman client. 

However, when Halstead digs deeper into the new evidence, it becomes clear that there's more going on than a simple case of client revenge or home invasion gone wrong. As a new suspect emerges, the detectives find themselves smack in the middle of a dangerous political game.

23. Doubt

The Season 7 premiere "Doubt" sees multiple revelations. First, we learn the truth behind the death of ambitious mayoral hopeful and corrupt Police Superintendent Brian Kelton, with the Intelligence Unit's search nabbing their man after an extensive search. Longtime viewers of the series also finally learn what happened to Detective Antonio Dawson, who had departed the series without warning the season before.

Unfortunately, Voight is once again caught in the middle of an investigation. Having visited Kelton shortly before his death, his continued suspicious behavior makes him a potential suspect in the eyes of Halstead and Upton. However, their first criminal suspect is Dwayne Monroe, a man with a rap sheet and a motive. While the detectives continue to make excuses for Voight, lead after lead proves fruitless, pulling them towards one seemingly inescapable conclusion.

22. Silence of the Night

"Silence of the Night" is the seventh season's dramatic finale which sees Atwater take center stage. The Intelligence Unit is working on a case involving a group of gun runners, and Atwater is sent undercover to pose as their latest buyer. Things get sticky when he bumps into another undercover cop — who happens to be the same man he clashed with over racially charged issues in the Season 6 episode "Night In Chicago," Officer Doyle. Their complicated history doesn't bode well for their unexpected partnership on the case.

The tension between the pair seems to abate as they work together on the case. However, just when it feels like maybe things have come around, they get into a fiery shootout sparked by racial profiling. That deadly encounter sparks a new case, though, and Atwater is put in an uncomfortable position as Doyle's defender.

21. The Right Thing

Season 8's penultimate installment, "The Right Thing," finds Voight leaving a dinner date when he notices he's being followed. Voight loses the tail and then decides to find out who the mysterious man is, only to realize it is the police superintendent's son, Darryl. Darryl is in trouble, explaining he owes someone a lot of money and needs Voight's help. He's been dealing cocaine and has gotten mixed up with the wrong people, and now he's in debt to some dangerous people. Voight begrudgingly offers to help but brings Darryl's mother in on the case, who agrees to discreetly help.

This judgment-free assistance riles Atwater, who feels compelled to point out the inherent nepotism, but the unit is on the case just the same. It's clear that Darryl and his mother, the superintendent, don't have the best relationship, which creates challenges on the case and puts the entire unit in a difficult spot.

20. The Silos

The Season 4 premiere "The Silos" sees events from the Season 3 finale spill over, as Detective Lindsay is grilled about her whereabouts the night they were hunting for Justin's killer and her story doesn't add up. Of more pertinent note, however, is a new case involving an apparent arson victim found wrapped in police wire. The wire is clearly Chicago Police Department property, and the situation is made worse when the victim's sister reveals her brother had taken her spot as a police informant to protect her. The boy's handler, another police officer, is brought in, who turns over his original case, which now becomes the purview of the Intelligence Unit.

Meanwhile, we're introduced to a new member of the unit, the newly assigned partner to Officer Burgess, Julie Tay. After revealing her troubled past, the pair sets out on their first case together — finding a rapist who poses as a rideshare driver.

19. Last Minute Resistance

"Last Minute Resistance" follows the unit's determined efforts to catch the man responsible for the rape of Burgess' sister Nicole. This assault occurred after a night out with friends at the conclusion of the previous week's episode "Little Bit of Light." In a mini-crossover with sister series "Chicago Med" and "Chicago Justice," Dr. Manning features prominently, as Nicole has endured a brutal attack and requires immediate surgery. State Attorney Valdez, meanwhile, shows up to reprimand the crew when their quest for justice begins to step over the line.

One suspect fingered by Nicole's friends seems like he might be the man responsible, with a motive, a long list of prior's, and a violent streak that makes him appear guilty on sight. However, while his story leads to more questions than answers, it's Nicole's vague recollections of the moments prior to the assault that leads them to a new suspect.

18. Fork in the Road

"Chicago P.D." always seems to be at its best in its season openers and season finales, and the Season 4 ender "Fork in the Road" is no exception. Focusing squarely on Detective Erin Lindsay, the story opens with fallout from the previous episode as she must face the music after brutally beating a suspect in the interrogation room. Unrepentant for doing what she feels had to be done, Lindsay is stripped of her badge, with her career hanging on a final fateful decision from the review board. So when she receives a call from her mother, Bunny, asking for assistance when her boyfriend turns up dead, Lindsay is helpless.

Relying on her friends in the Intelligence Unit to take up the case on her behalf, she enlists the help of Voight, Halstead, and Olinsky. However, her colleagues soon discover things aren't quite the way Bunny said and worry that Erin is being taken advantage of once again.

17. Captive

Atwater is the star of the Season 5 episode "Captive," who is held hostage after walking in on a setup, and the man holding the gun, Joe, is out for revenge for the death of his son. When Atwater fails to report for work the next day, his colleagues track the last position of his phone, but when they find him missing — save for his badge and a stain of blood — and they fear the worst. 

What could have easily been an episode about a case of mistaken identity is turned on its head when Atwater admits to the killing outright, but the pain he says he feels from it doesn't make Joe feel any better. While the Intelligence Unit works on meeting Joe's demands, Atwater is left to beg forgiveness from his captor. Mekhi Phifer guest stars in one of the most harrowing episodes of "Chicago P.D." to date.

16. Ties That Bind

"Chicago P.D." loves dragging its characters through the mud, and "Ties That Bind" sees two of our heroes fighting for their lives in another hostage crisis episode. It all starts as Burgess discovers that Ruzek and Upton are a romantic item, which makes for an awkward opening but leads to the thrilling setup of a gun deal gone horribly wrong. Tracing the arms to a gun show across state lines, Burgess and Upton go undercover to strike a deal but are quickly forced into a truck at gunpoint. 

The dealers demand $20,000 in cash for their release, but when it becomes clear the duo doesn't have it, they're left zip-tied in the basement of a remote cabin. The rest of the Intelligence Unit is hunting for the missing pair but struggles to find the right location. With no way to track them and the suspects not talking, the episode becomes a race against time to track down the missing officers.

15. Justice

In the backdoor pilot fans may have seen coming, "Justice," introduces audiences to the courtroom aspect of the "One Chicago" legal system. After Burgess and Roman are ambushed in a fiery shootout with a teenager, Roman goes down while Burgess gives chase. She shoots the apparent assailant, but since she lost sight of him momentarily during the pursuit, the victim is able to claim he's not the same person who shot her partner. The matter is put in the hands of the District Attorney's office to determine the truth.

The district attorney on the case, Peter Stone, has a complicated history with Voight, but he assures the team he'll do everything he can to investigate the case properly. "Justice" features members characters from the future "Chicago Justice" series as well as several of the "Chicago Fire" team as well, making this another memorable "One Chicago" crossover episode.

14. I Remember Her Now

If you've watched a decade or more of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," you may feel like you've seen this Season 4 effort "I Remember Her Now" before. It's a bleak story of abuse, so don't go into this one looking for an inspirational tale of justice on city streets. Instead, we find Detective Halstead undercover at a center for troubled girls, where one corrupt supervisor has used her access to young women to operate a teenaged prostitution ring behind its closed doors. 

The story is a dark one from beginning to end, and while it's well-trodden ground for police procedurals. The episode is memorable because of its incredible performances from its young guest stars and Halstead's position as the one officer who cares. 

13. Rabbit Hole

"Rabbit Hole" served as the Season 5 mid-season premiere, and, as usual, its return after a break didn't disappoint. Voight finally discovers the mole within the department is Ruzek and that he's been feeding information on him to his former partner, Denny Woods. Voight only has one demand of Ruzek — to declare whose side he's on. 

Elsewhere, Halstead continues his flirtatious and dangerous pursuit of Camila. After a night out, he stumbles upon a homicide when he spots a woman coughing blood on the street who promptly dies in his arms. Being spotted with Camila gets him in hot water with the Police Department., and Halstead is forced to lie to cover up their affair. Meanwhile, an investigation hits a snag when the victim turns out to be an undercover DEA agent.

12. Allegiance

In the culmination of a long-running storyline, Olinsky is officially charged with Bingham's murder and now awaits trial in "Allegiance." While Voight works to find evidence to clear him of the crime, Olinsky refuses to flip on his old partner. However, things only get worse when he's viciously stabbed by a fellow inmate, leaving his life hanging by a thread in the prison's medical wing. 

The rest of the Intelligence Unit has no time to react to the news, however, as Atwater's weapons case has gone sideways. Atwater and Halstead are racing against the clock to stop the gun runners, and they need a stroke of luck to prevent some serious black market firepower from hitting the streets of the Windy City.

11. I Was Here

"I Was Here" sees a newly relocated Burgess caught in the middle of a sex trafficking ring after receiving a 911 call while working at an emergency call center. Despite the responding beat cops insisting there is no problem at the address she reported the call came from, Burgess takes matters into her own hands and calls her old bosses Voight and Platt for help. A little digging makes it clear that the caller isn't the only one in trouble.

The investigation leads them to a sex trafficker, which local FBI field agents have also been tracking. The agents insist that they've got the person they want, but Burgess isn't satisfied and wants to do better than taking down a middle man.

10. A Shot Heard Round the World

In a story ripped from the headlines, "A Shot Heard Round the World" sees a sniper taking aim at the officers of "Chicago P.D." However, these are not the actions of a psychopathic killer with a distrust of authority, as the suspect is the son of a murdered officer who has washed out of the academy and blames the police force for his troubles. 

Feeling the young man is in some ways one of their own, however, the officers of the 21st District must work to save the killer's life, along with the wounded officers he targets. Featuring guest appearances from S. Epatha Merkerson and Nick Gehlfuss of "Chicago Med," the episode takes a current event and gives it a new twist, with an ending you won't see coming.

9. Descent

"Descent" is yet another dramatic midseason finale, this time in Season 6, that left audiences wondering what would come next. As Ruzek and Upton's relationship gets more serious, Antonio struggles with a drug problem, which also concerns his daughter Eva. When he doesn't respond to calls, the Intelligence Unit goes on a bust without him, only to find that it's Antonio himself who is among their targets. Confronted by his fellow officers, Antonio tries to make excuses, but Burgess isn't buying it.

As Antonio pressures his dealer, now in lockup, to keep quiet about his involvement, Voight urges him to come clean. He wants to help his troubled fellow officer, but the situation changes when Antonio's daughter is abducted, forcing him to come clean. Now a kidnapping case, it's a matter for the Intelligence Unit to get Eva back.

8. The Forgotten

In the Season 6 episode "The Forgotten," the ongoing story of the aspiring mayor and ambitious Police Superintendent Brian Kelton comes to a head. As the episode begins, Alderman Ray Price, played by "The Wire" star Wendell Pierce, is meeting with Voight to go over Kelton's plans for the mayor's race, and it's clear that Price is putting pressure on Voight to get his help in winning the election. However, a new case pulls Voight away when a series of missing persons — all exotic dancers — leads to the conclusion that there's a serial kidnapper on the loose who has already claimed at least three lives.

Things get more suspicious when Superintendent Kelton tries to get the case transferred to the homicide unit he commands, and Voight discovers Kelton had shut down the investigation when it was with his squad before. It's evident that Kelton is hiding something, and Voight wants to get to the bottom of it.

7. Reckoning

Another season finale means another top-rated episode of "Chicago P.D.," and "Reckoning" sees Voight's season-long clash with corrupt Superintendent Brian Kelton reach its climactic conclusion as Kelton is finally elected mayor of Chicago. The Intelligence Unit knows having him run Chicago would spell doom for the city and their team, so they will stop at nothing to ensure he doesn't take office.

Meanwhile, Antonio's spiral continues right up until the end, and it's clear his days in the 21st District are numbered as he slips further into the depths of his addiction. With Kelton and Antonio each careening towards the conclusion of their dramatic storylines, the episode's title is appropriate. It all leads to a shocking, climactic finale that is well worth the wait.

6. Emotional Proximity

"Emotional Proximity" is the second part of a three-part crossover event that began with the "Chicago Fire" episode "Deathtrap" and concluded with "Chicago Justice" episode "Fake." After a massive fire at a local factory leaves dozens dead, the Intelligence Unit hunts for the person responsible for the blaze. With Olinsky's daughter identified as one of the surviving victims lying in critical condition, the team is determined to catch the suspect and bring him to justice.

Helping out the Police Department is the team at Firehouse 51, with Assistant District Attorney Stone ready to offer all the support he can muster. Voight and his team run through a long list of suspects, while their manhunt forces Voight down a dark path he may regret.

5. The Other Side

In a season that sees the writers confront the real-life controversy surrounding police tactics and racial bias, the department's efforts at police reform reach a boiling point in the dramatic Season 8 finale "The Other Side." Burgess is held hostage, and the team is hell-bent on rescuing her, but Atwater and Halstead balk at the rule-bending tactics proposed by Ruzek and Voight in light of recent misconduct cases. 

The reckless pair has broken the bounds of protocol throughout the series, and now when it matters most, their hands may be tied. It soon becomes a "Chicago P.D." civil war, in a story that splits the Intelligence Unit down the middle. The two sides clash over how to handle the situation, but the fate of Burgess may depend on the team working together. 

4. In the Dark

"In the Dark" is one of the most recent episodes on our list, a Season 9 entry that sees the Intelligence Unit's fracturing continue, focusing more on the tension and drama inside "Chicago P.D." than on the criminal case they're investigating. However, they still have a case, this time responding to a call about a possible abduction. The team is led to a location with what looks like the work of a child killer, and they begin tracking leads. 

When one suspect commits suicide while at the station, Upton is blamed for pushing him too hard, leading to more in-fighting within the team of investigators. With Upton distracted, and Voight covering for her, Halstead has had enough, and the two men come to blows, leaving audiences to ask if the days of the Intelligence Unit might be coming to an end.

3. Fractures

"Fractures" is another Season 9 installment that focuses on the aftermath of the team's decision to cover up a police shooting at the tail end of Season 8. The FBI is hounding Voight over the disappearance of Roy Walton, and the agency is looking at the entire unit to get to the bottom of the missing person. Meanwhile, a stabbing case leaves the team mystified when no clear motive can be found.

However, the real story here is the FBI's bloodlust for the Intelligence Unit, and it seems there may be more going on than nailing a corrupt cop. In spite of the trouble, there's still a case to be solved, and the officer's scrutiny of the suspects leads them to the man's disgruntled daughter.

2. Start Digging

If you guessed that the top two episodes would be season finales, you were right. "Start Digging" ends Season 3 and sees Voight starting down his dark path when the body of a young mother is discovered in the trunk of her car. If that wasn't harrowing enough, all evidence soon points back to Justin, Voight's son with a troubled past. However, the case takes a particularly devastating turn when Justin turns up in the same manner as the young mother — but clinging to life — and Voight must now find his son's attacker.

With guest stars from their sister series "Chicago Med" — who help tend to Voight's dying son — it's a crossover episode that earns high marks. But it also boasts a pulse-pounding climax that leads up to one of the franchise's darkest endings.

1. Homecoming

"Homecoming" didn't just wrap up the season-long story but brought some major shakeups to the world of "Chicago P.D." as Olinsky is suffering multiple stab wounds from a prison attack. Voight tries to cut a deal to get Olinsky off the hook for the murder of Bingham, while the rest of the Intelligence Unit sets out to find the man who attacked him. Voight's troubles only worsen when he again crosses the line and lies to cover it up. 

The assistant district attorney wants to build a case against Voight with a new witness fingering him for Bingham's murder. At the same time, Voight's investigation culminates in a violent shootout that may alter his fate. Olinsky's destiny is revealed, and we learn just what has motivated Woods' vendetta against Voight all season — all in one explosive, series-altering finale.