Chicago P.D. It is famous for being full of great stories and also for presenting shocking and often devastating dramatic twists on screen, which frequently cause an avalanche of comments among its fans who try to analyze the true reasons for them to occur. One of the narrative arcs that is still going strong concerns the departure of one of his most admired characters, Alvin “Al” Olinsky, played by veteran actor Elias Koteas.
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, although no one imagined that this would also be the case with Al Olinsky. Although in the course of its 9 seasons, fans of the famous One Chicago franchise show have gotten used to saying goodbye to some of its protagonists, what happened with the departure of actor Elias Koteas, was a fact that the public did not see come.
Featured on-screen from the first season, Olinsky was one of the most senior members of the Chicago Police Intelligence Unit and the best friend of the team’s head, Sergeant Hank Voight played by actor Jason Beghe. The character personified by Koteas was an important part of the series and won the admiration of the public until his tragic exit at the end of the fifth season, in a shocking scene that immediately provoked public protests and endless theories about why the writers They decided to remove him from the show.
For several episodes the audience began to suspect that Olinsky would have a terrible end, as indeed it did. Imprisoned for a crime he did not commit, he suffered 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. Given the rumors about whether the dismissal of the beloved character was due to a creative decision or if, on the contrary, it was some kind of insurmountable conflict between the artist and the production, the executive producer of Chicago P.D., Rick Eid, spoke about it.
“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.
In Eid’s opinion, sometimes through harrowing deaths, important turning points are marked in the continuity of the narrative that redirect benefits to the show. In the specific case of Alvin “Al” Olinsky, he explained that it was simply a decision made to continue other stories. So Koteas’ performance as an actor had nothing to do with it, so much so that the actor handled the news like a true professional and remained committed to the show and his character until the final take.
As a curious fact regarding the way they devised to close the Koteas character arc, although it was already known that simply Voight’s decision to kill his son’s murderer would sooner or later 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. Actually how he would die from a violent knife attack had not been decided until a week before they began filming the scene.