Chicago PD’s villain of season 6: Looking back at Brian Kelton

CHICAGO P.D. -- "Trust" Episode 611 -- Pictured: John C. McGinley as Brian Kelton -- (Photo by: Matt Dinerstein/NBC)
CHICAGO P.D. -- "Trust" Episode 611 -- Pictured: John C. McGinley as Brian Kelton -- (Photo by: Matt Dinerstein/NBC) /

Chicago PD season 6 introduced fans to corrupt superintendent Brian Kelton, but how does this season’s villain rank compared to others?

Every One Chicago series had a recurring villain this season, and for Chicago PD season 6 the bad guy was Brian Kelton (guest star John C. McGinley).

From the moment Kelton was first mentioned by Deputy Superintendent Katherine Brennan (Anne Heche) in the season premiere, One Chicago fans could probably guess that he was going to be the season’s villain. Brennan asking Hank Voight (Jason Beghe) to help Kelton get elected was just suspicious from the start.

Kelton didn’t make his first on-screen appearance until later in the season, but John C. McGinley played him with the exact amount of smarm and self-confidence that viewers would expect from the typical political climber.

If you’ve seen any of McGinley’s other work (like Scrubs or Office Space), you know he’s an expert at playing that sort of overbearing management type. And it was a contrast from season 5’s villain Denny Woods, because Mykelti Williamson was often given scenes that made Woods look like he was downright obsessed with Voight.

Unlike Woods, though, most of what was revealed about Kelton was off-screen. He usually didn’t pop up until the skeletons had already been yanked out of his closet—though you could chalk that up to him being too busy with his mayoral campaign, too.

And of course, Denny Woods didn’t end the season having been shot to death.

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But other than that, Chicago PD‘s villain of the season felt a little too like his predecessor—and a little stereotypical. The corrupt high-ranking officer or politician has been done on crime dramas before, and on this show, we’ve already seen someone that ends up having a vendetta against Voight with the rest of the Intelligence Unit caught in the middle.

Kelton didn’t add anything new to the show except for the way he went out, which presumably will add a very strange layer to the start of season 8. How much time will the writers spend on Kelton being murdered? Will Voight get caught and have to face real consequences for the first time? Is a new mayor going to be introduced?

In a lot of ways, Brian Kelton is more of an antagonist dead than he was while he was alive. And he probably won’t go down in Chicago PD history as one of the top bad guys the show has ever seen.

Next. Chicago PD season 6's toughest characters. dark

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