1. His death had no purpose
The biggest reason why Chicago PD will regret killing Alvin Olinsky is that killing him had no real meaning. There was no reason why he had to die or why his death was somehow worthwhile in the end.
Compare Olinsky’s exit story to that of Erin Lindsay. We were sad that she left, but we knew that she left because she really didn’t have a choice. She could technically still have fought for her job in Chicago, but she was likely going to lose that fight—or she could go to New York, take the FBI’s deal that helped her mother, and get a fresh start. It was bad for us, but we understood it and we felt it was a natural conclusion to her story.
The death of Alvin Olinsky didn’t have any of that. If Olinsky had died in one of Chicago PD‘s many shootouts, perhaps literally taking a bullet for Voight or Kim Burgess (Marina Squerciati), that would’ve had purpose. We would’ve appreciated his sacrifice and he’d have died a hero, instead of getting killed over something we only heard about. If you understand what leads up to a character death, it makes it more real and gives it more depth than the backstory happening off-screen.
Or if he’d gotten out of jail and decided to walk away, putting his quality of life above his loyalty to Voight for once, that would have had purpose. It would’ve been more interesting than Olinsky just spending the last few weeks repeating how much he’s “got this” over and over again. And it wouldn’t have required changing anything in the Chicago PD season finale, because Voight could still freak out over Olinsky leaving rather than dying.
According to Eid’s TVLine statement, the idea of Olinsky’s death is that he paid for Voight’s sin. That the show wants us to be uncomfortable and frustrated at his death. But what would’ve been so much better than that message would’ve been seeing Olinsky go out for a reason that had meaning for his character, whether it was known to Voight or not. Not as a prop in someone else’s storyline, even Voight’s.
It would’ve always sucked to see him die, but for the fans to know that it was in some meaningful way or that we went through some memorable experience because of it—that closure would’ve made it a lot easier for fans to swallow. And while we can appreciate leaving Voight hanging, Chicago PD viewers deserved to be left with something to hold onto after all that Alvin Olinsky had meant to the unit, the show and the fans.
Did you agree or disagree with Chicago PD‘s decision to kill off Alvin Olinsky? Let us know your thoughts on the latest plot twist in the comments.
Chicago PD airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on NBC.