“New Guard” may not have been an intense case like we’ve experienced in the last few episodes of Chicago PD, but I loved seeing Jay Halstead as a mentor.
When the chief told Jay (Jesse Lee Soffer), Hank Voight (Jason Beghe) and Trudy Platt (Amy Morton) that Officer Dante Torres (Benjamin Levy Aguilar) could be a planted mole, I thought this could be exciting. Voight was mad, rightfully so. You don’t quietly put a suspected mole in a unit and not give them a heads-up.
I was excited for this angle of the episode, but that’s not what the writers had in mind. It was Halstead being a mentor, and this kid seriously needs one. While I get that, as Torres says, he comes from where cops shouldn’t come from, that doesn’t mean he can lie, especially about knowing their suspect. He can’t walk into an undercover assignment and risk the operation going south. It worked out, but it could have gone another way. Torres also needs to learn to listen to orders. One day that could get him killed. Sure, he helped get the guy defying orders, but an order bigger than staying back might put him in danger if he doesn’t obey.
Dante has a point, too, about Jay not trusting him. Though, Dante hasn’t given Jay any reason to trust him yet. He lies constantly. And while he has a good excuse for every one of them, that doesn’t help build trust. Jay’s right. The job is more than kicking in a door. The job is about trust. That you know your teammate will be there to cover you under gunfire. Intelligence has so much trust for each other. They also have so much love for each other. They protect each other. Dante may be good at doing parts of the job, but he’ll never be a good cop if he can’t trust his fellow officers and get them to trust him.
If only Dante knew that Jay was not suspecting him despite all the lies and suspicious behavior. Maybe following him wasn’t the best of ideas, but he had to get a read on him, and Torres wasn’t opening up. Jay didn’t want to condemn him for where he came from. So Dante could have opened up a lot sooner. The kid has had a hard life, and he’s trying to do good. The police force may benefit from someone who knows the players. You can’t hold being in a gang at 14 against him, especially when he isn’t in one now.
This could be an interesting storyline to explore. Jay’s the boy scout who doesn’t believe in crossing the line and holds crossing the line against anyone else. And now he’s faced with this young guy who did the best for his situation and now wants to make a difference. Jay also has a good heart. It’s why he didn’t want to ruin Torres’ career just because the chief believed he was the mole because of where he grew up. Torres needs some training to adapt to being a cop but also to learn how to use what he knows from his neighborhood. And this could be good character building for Jay. As Dante says, his world is not black and white. Halstead doesn’t see the grey areas, but he’s learning.
With Voight having Anna Avalos (Carmela Zumbado) as his CI popping up from time to time, it could be good to have Halstead mentor this guy. Not that I don’t love our core characters, but bringing in outside ones to work with our faves can work well to drive the story forward, especially after nine seasons.
What did you think of Jay being a mentor? And what do you think of Dante? Tweet me @PrimetimeDrama or @MandyTTCarr or comment below.