Chicago PD: The dramatic twist that rocked series fans to the core


If there is one thing that Chicago P.D. demonstrated from the first moment that it debuted in January 2014, is that you never know how the story of a character could end, no matter how important it may be. Over the course of its 9 seasons, fans of the famed One Chicago franchise show have grown accustomed to saying goodbye to some of its leads, sometimes through heartbreaking deaths that have marked major turning points in the narrative’s continuity.

One of these unforgettable characters is undoubtedly Alvin “Al” Olinsky, played by veteran actor Elias Koteas. Presented on screen since the first season, he was one of the most veteran members of the Chicago Police Intelligence Unit and the best friend of the team leader, Sergeant Hank Voight played by actor Jason Beghe, was an important part of the series until his tragic exit at the end of the fifth season.

Jailed for a crime he did not commit, Olinsky (Elias Koteas) died an untimely death when he was stabbed multiple times in prison. Although he managed to survive until he was taken to the hospital for emergency treatment, the attack would prove fatal, leading to one of the most shocking deaths of a leading character in the entire show.

To the end, Olinsky was loyal and refused to turn his back on Voight, even knowing that doing so could send him behind bars for the rest of his life. He never reneged on his commitment to protect his friend, which ultimately led him to pay the ultimate price. This made his death so heartbreaking especially because it was so quick and unexpected, so much so that it gave fans no chance to get used to the idea that he would no longer be in Chicago P.D.

Although for being a police series, the followers of Chicago P.D. they were more than used to seeing heinous crimes, the fact that Olinsky’s death came out of nowhere shook them to the core. Obviously, when a dramatic turn of this magnitude appeared on the screen, the public’s questions about the real reasons for the departure of their interpreter were not long in coming, if it was due to a creative decision or if, on the contrary, to some type of insurmountable conflict with the production.

During an interview conducted at the time, Chicago P.D. executive producer Rick Eid explained that it was simply a decision made to continue other stories, so Koteas’ performance as an actor had nothing to do with it. Simply Voight’s decision to kill the murderer of his son sooner or later would have consequences, and to the sadness of the followers of the show, that cost translated into the imprisonment and subsequent death of his best friend.

“We thought that the possibility of losing his best friend became an interesting idea that we all graduated to, we could see this long arc in that direction,” the showrunner confessed.

For his part, Eid also clarified that this decision was not unwelcome by Elias Koteas, who handled the news of Olinsky’s death like a true professional and remained committed to the show and his character until the final take. Something to admire especially since whoever died from the knife wound hadn’t really been decided until a week before they started filming the scene.