It’s time for another three-show crossover for “Chicago Fire,” “Law & Order: SVU” and “Chicago P.D.” on NBC, and it all begins on Tuesday, April 28. Executive producers Warren Leight and Matt Olmstead have previewed what to expect for reporters.
This time around, “we wanted to make it more of an integrated crossover,” Leight said. They’re doing that by changing things up a bit and having the story stay in Chicago at 9 on Wednesday before moving to New York at 10, rather than moving to NY for “SVU” at 9 and going back and forth. “That’s a little bit of a hopscotch for a criminal,” the “SVU” EP admitted.
The idea for the case came from an idea “SVU” had been thinking about for a while, originally a two-parter, “about a serial rapist/murderer who, in the mode of a Ted Bundy kind of guy – incredibly charming, incredibly manipulative – [is] able to get away with these crimes for a very, very long time across multiple jurisdictions,” Leight explained. This killer’s crimes warrant these squads teaming up.
Olmstead explained that it all begins with “Chicago Fire,” as 51 responds to a call and learns that a female victim was sexually assaulted and cracked over the head. Certain details then get on P.D.’s radar and then Benson’s. It turns out that the fire was set up to cover up the crime scene, Leight previewed, “and Benson remembers a similar MO to an unsolved case in her early days at SVU.”
As has been seen in the past, the squads of “Chicago P.D.” and “SVU” have different ways of approaching cases, though both Voight and Benson “want justice mo than anything,” and with the former, it all begins with Voight, who started out on “Chicago Fire” as a dirty cop. It is “less by the book” in Chicago, Olmstead admitted. “There’s a slight wish fulfillment into the Chicago of it all where there’s just certain corners that are cut, certain things that are overlooked in service of justice so to speak.” That said, don’t necessarily expect to see that from Voight with this case, especially when Benson’s involved. “She knows how to wrangle him because one of the things that comes up in this crossover is the case has a personal connection to her,” the EP previewed. “And she lets it known to Voight, ‘do me one favor, you can’t screw this up in case it ever goes to trial.'” In this case, he does defer to her.
“SVU” also has the legal component to consider, and that’s where Barba comes in. “There are a couple of tense moments between DA Barba and Voight as well,” Leight promised. “It’s more of a harness, I guess I could say, than Voight is used to wearing, an he bristles a bit with it.”
When both the second and the third hour of the crossover air on Wednesday, expect a “pretty provocative” moment for the transition between hours. With the way the crossover is structured, Olmstead and his staff wrote the 9 p.m. episode, and Leight and his staff wrote the 10 p.m. one that took place in New York – and were responsible for something pretty big concerning Voight. “There’s certain accusations make against Voight that will make you sit up in your chair,” Olmstead revealed. “And you can see his jaw set in. And never before have I seen that guy want to jump across a table and do harm than in that thing.”
One thing that connects both the “Chicago P.D.” and “Law & Order: SVU” hours is Dallas Roberts, whose performance as “a very likely suspect in all that’s going on” Leight called “sensational.” “He’s a pretty great villain, and it’s a fantastic acting performance,” the “SVU” EP went on to add. “And watching him test both squads to their max, just push them to their brink emotionally in several cases and just avoiding them for as long as he does, it’s a remarkable performance.”
Not everyone in this crossover will come out unscathed, as “P.D.” will be losing someone, and that loss will have a great impact on Lindsay, whose back story has been established. “When this stuff happens, it starts to send her back over to the other side of the tracks,” Olmstead shared. “She’s from there. She’s comfortable there. And she starts to have a crisis of conscious in terms of, ‘Do I belong here?’ Is it worth it in terms of just kind of distancing yourself from grief and pain?” In fact, one of the cliffhangers of the season for “P.D.” will be Lindsay dealing with going down that road and “the proverbial fork in the road for her in terms of continuing to be a cop or to hang it up and get the party started again.”
Halstead will be there for her, but he knows that she’s going to have to make her own choices. He knows she won’t listen to his advice. “He sees around him other people trying to give her some firm life advice, and it’s not working,” the “P.D.” EP added. “He doesn’t need to be an additional kind of nagging spouse to her, so it breaks his heart, but also he realizes that she’s going to do what she’s going to do, and all he can do is let her now that he’s there if and when she wants the help.”
The “Chicago Fire”/”Chicago P.D.”/”Law & Order: SVU” crossover airs Tuesday and Wednesday on NBC.