Here’s why Chicago PD killed Alvin Olinsky

CHICAGO P.D. -- Season: 5 -- Pictured: Elias Koteas as Alvin Olinsky -- (Photo by: James Dimmock/NBC)
CHICAGO P.D. -- Season: 5 -- Pictured: Elias Koteas as Alvin Olinsky -- (Photo by: James Dimmock/NBC) /

Why did Chicago PD kill Alvin Olinsky? Find out why Chicago PD had Elias Koteas’s character murdered in the Chicago PD season 5 finale.

Why did Chicago PD kill Alvin Olinsky? That’s the question fans have been asking ever since we learned that Olinsky had died of his stab wounds in Wednesday’s Chicago PD season 5 finale.

Chicago PD showrunner Rick Eid has spoken out about the death and revealed that the writers decided to write Olinsky off the show—actor Elias Koteas did not choose to leave.

They felt that the death of Olinsky was an appropriate ending to the season-long storyline between Hank Voight (Jason Beghe) and Denny Woods (recurring guest star Mykelti Williamson), which had gotten Olinsky caught in the middle.

“It was a decision that evolved organically from the ongoing storyline between Voight and Woods,” Eid said to TVLine. “The writers and I kept coming back to this idea that Voight’s decision to kill Bingham should cost him something.

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“Over time, we landed on the notion that Olinsky should be the person to pay for Voight’s sin because Voight admired and loved him so much.”

Eid also spoke of how Elias Koteas reacted to the news of his being written off the show, and how hard it was for them to say goodbye.

“Elias is a terrific actor and a good person. He’s also been an important part of the show since the very beginning,” he continued. “So this part of the process was really challenging.

“But Elias handled the news like a true professional and remained committed to the show and his character until the final shot. We will miss him dearly.”

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So now we know the decision-making behind Olinsky’s demise. Koteas is not the first series regular to be involuntarily written out of a One Chicago show; that’s also what happened to Chicago Fire stars Lauren German, Charlie Barnett and Steven R. McQueen.

He’s the second original cast member to leave Chicago PD in two seasons; last season’s finale featured the exit of Sophia Bush, who elected to move on from the show after four seasons of playing Erin Lindsay.

While Rick Eid’s explanation for Alvin Olinsky’s death makes logical sense, it’s not quite a convincing case for murdering him. The idea of Voight needing to pay a price for his battle with Woods is fine, and Olinsky was the most convenient victim, since Woods had gotten him put behind bars.

But the concept of Olinsky being Voight’s price for freedom doesn’t quite make sense, since what caused him to be killed had nothing to do with Woods. Woods put him in prison, but it was an old grudge from cartel player Carlos DeLeon that prompted his murder. That’s what is responsible for Olinsky’s death, regardless of how he got to the scene of the crime.

As we mentioned after the finale, Woods being behind Olinsky’s arrest isn’t a strong enough connection to blame Voight, because neither was involved in the specific events that caused the crime. If this were a legal case, the State’s Attorney would be prosecuting DeLeon, not Woods or Voight. If Olinsky was really dying for Voight’s sins, it would’ve been a clearer story if Woods had been the man who’d ordered the hit.

At least Chicago PD fans now understand why Alvin Olinsky left Chicago PD, and that it wasn’t to do with Elias Koteas wanting to leave. That’s information that will give fans some kind of closure on the season’s biggest plot twist.

Next: 5 reasons why Chicago PD will regret killing Alvin Olinsky

What do you think of the explanation for why Chicago PD killed Alvin Olinsky? Let us know your thoughts on the rationale in the comments.

Chicago PD airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on NBC.