“Due Process” had me missing the old Hank Voight. I think the episode’s case also had Voight missing the old days too.
Chicago PD finally gave us a Voight (Jason Beghe) centric episode. He was the first one on the scene of a gunshot victim that turned out also to be a kidnapping, rape and murder.
The suspect, Caleb Hoff (David Lind), had been released from prison for similar charges because the arresting officer used excessive force while arresting him.
The officer, Lisa Martinez (Shirley Rumierk), didn’t have enough evidence to convict him for his serial rapes and murders, so she took it into her own hands.
“Due Process” opens up an interesting conversation. Plus, it certainly had Voight wanting to revert to his old ways to get this rapist off the streets.
Is excessive force okay when you know without a doubt that the person is guilty? Maybe, but what about the people who are completely innocent that the officer profiled or the fact that under the law, someone is innocent until proven guilty?
In the end, playing it by the book is best, so excessive force is never used, especially on innocent people. I can understand the heartache of family members that didn’t get justice under a technicality, but this is why policing needs to be reformed.
Long are the days of Chicago PD where Voight would beat a suspect until they give Intelligence what they needed. That wouldn’t feel right on our screens anymore.
But Voight appeared to almost be slipping back into his old ways when he held Adam Ruzek (Patrick John Flueger) behind and sent the rest of the team back to the district. I thought he might beat the guy to get Hoff’s whereabouts. Clearly, Adam believed that too when Voight asked if he was up for this.
They tried to use the meth to get him to talk, but he kept asking for his lawyer. Voight kicked the bed, but that’s the most force he used, and they ended up empty-handed with only arresting the guy on meth charges.
Voight goes to think in an abandoned lot. He’s so frustrated that the rapist is still roaming the street, and the lawful police tools are not getting the job done fast enough.
Voight has been a background character this season, keeping the rest of the team on the straight and narrow, only diverting slightly here and there.
It was definitely time for this episode. With the new protocols put in place, that has to be eating away at Voight sometimes. He was the get the suspect by any means kind of cop, but that doesn’t fly anymore.
The biggest frustration point was when Voight beat up a truck. A red pickup that either was the car Hoff stole or was just an ironic coincidence. He was always two steps behind, and his lack of control over the situation made him infuriated.
But his team is good at what they do. They tracked Hoff down. Voight was, of course, the first one on the scene because that’s how these episodes are formulated.
Martinez was also there because she said she wanted to make things right. Well, interfering in an arrest is probably not going to be the way to do it.
Voight was dying to be able to shoot the guy, just saying, “give me a reason” to Hoff over and over again, but the suspect didn’t take the bait.
And if it weren’t for Voight, Martinez would have killed him. He left that detail out of the report, though.
Hoff’s lawyers were all over that trying to get these charges dropped too. Samantha Miller (Nicole Ari Parker) asked Voight point-blank if Martinez was there. Voght gave a great statement that didn’t have him lying but also didn’t have him saying yes or no, out loud at least.
Voight has a point. She didn’t want to know, and if Voight said yes, Hoff would be free to kill more women. And Voight didn’t let Martinez interfere with the arrest. He even stopped her from shooting Hoff. Voight played it all pretty close to the book while it was eating away at him inside.
Voight let Martinez off the hook not just because he didn’t want to risk Hoff being released but also because he understands and even agreed with everything she did to keep Chicago safe.
Clearly, Voight still believes in his old methods, but he’s playing by the rules, so they can convict criminals and not have the evidence thrown out because they overstepped, which has happened this season.
Voight embodies the complexities of trying to get a serial rapist and killer off the street without using excessive force when you have very little to go on. But I’m sad to say that his character isn’t as interesting when he’s not that “by any means” cop. That’s just how the creators built the show. The writers are having a hard time figuring out what to do with him. This was the perfect fit for a Voight-centric episode. He does do a good job playing the mentor to his team, though, but maybe there is a way to find a new place for him other than a mentor.
What did you think of this Voight-centric episode? Tweet me @MandyTTCarr or comment below.