‘Chicago PD’: A More Vulnerable Side of Voight

Hank Voight-centric episodes of Chicago PD are just not the same when he’s not crossing the lines, but the writers are trying to find a new way forward for this character.

The Chicago PD writers have found a new path for Hank Voight.
The writers have found a new path for Hank Voight. (NBC)

Last season Voight (Jason Beghe) crossed the line again. This time it was to save Kim Burgess (Marina Squerciati). Unfortunately, his methods didn’t save her. Good police work did. The writers sent a message that the show was changing. That’s fine when it comes to all the other characters on the show. Their centric episodes are emotional and personal, and while they may want to cross the line to get the bad guy, they never do.

Voight, on the other hand, his character’s strengths were always getting the bad guy at any cost. It was fun and exciting, and as I said before, exactly what we want to see in our fictional detectives, not in the IRL ones.

I was not mad when Voight slipped back into his old ways last season. It was good to see that side of him again, but the writers are pulling back, saying that’s not how the show will go. In “Trust Me,” the writers try to show a more vulnerable side of the detective. We haven’t touched much on Justin, his deceased son. The Voight-centric episode opened up with him having two burgers, two fries and two milkshakes for Justin’s birthday, but he couldn’t touch any of it. We saw a glimmer of that more vulnerable side the writers wanted to portray in him.

Hailey Upton is trying to move forward after walking into Hank Voight's mess.
Hailey Upton is trying to move forward after walking into Hank Voight’s mess. (NBC)

Then Trudy Platt (Amy Morton) extended an arm for Voight to talk about what was going on between him, Hailey Upton (Tracy Spiridakos) and Jay Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer). But Burgess walked up, and Voight was saved. He didn’t have to answer Platt.

We only scratched the surface of Voight’s new side with this episode. First, Hank trusted Anna Avalos (Carmela Zumbado) because he avenged his own son, and he also did whatever it took to save Kim, even if his methods didn’t work. Now, he’s trying to set Anna on the right path. He’s helping her avenge her brother while also keeping her on the straight and narrow.

Voight is clearly trying to find a new path after pulling Hailey into his mess. He also can’t even say out loud to new people that his son is dead, but you can see in his eyes that it eats away inside of him. This is the direction that the writers should be going. There is a lot of untapped potential in this angle.

Hank is not an emotional guy, whereas Jay, Hailey, Kim, Kevin Atwater (LaRoyce Hawkins) and Adam Ruzek (Patrick John Flueger) play well with emotions. We feel so much in their episodes. We haven’t had as many Voight-centric episodes, probably because he hasn’t been as enjoyable without him blurring the lines. He certainly works well in the other characters’ episodes giving them good advice, but the writers have struggled with a path forward with him until now.

Jay Halstead can't trust Hank Voight anymore after what he did to Hailey Upton.
Jay Halstead can’t trust Hank Voight anymore after what he did to Hailey Upton. (NBC)

We still have the whole mess between Halstead, Voight and Upton to deal with. Jay doesn’t trust Voigth and can’t even talk to his fiancée Hailey, anymore. I want to dive deeper into this conflict. Halstead has a lot to deal with on both sides. And, what does this mean for our ship, Upstead? We finally got them, and now they can’t even speak to each other.

So, putting aside the tensions between the three, Upton and Voight still covered up a death, and it looks like Hailey will have to deal with it next week. That’s going to be one intense episode.

What do you think of the direction the writers are taking Voight? Tweet me @PrimetimeDrama or @MandyTTCarr or comment below.

Mandy Carr

Editor and Founder, Primetime Addiction

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