Why did Elias Koteas leave Chicago PD?

Over the course of Chicago PD‘s eight seasons and counting, the series has undergone several shocking cast departures, but it’s hard to argue that any have been more shocking than the exit of Elias Koteas at the conclusion of season 5.

From the very beginning, Koteas was an integral part of the Intelligence Unit as Voight’s (Jason Beghe) righthand man and close confidant, Alvin Olinsky. For more than 100 episodes, Olinsky was a crucial part of the show as a leader and mentor on the team, helping to mold the team’s up-and-coming members.

Perhaps it was for that reason why fans were left in complete shock when Olinsky was surprisingly killed off at the end of season 5 bringing an end to his journey on the show.

Why did Elias Koteas exit Chicago PD?

Koteas’s departure from the show was one that has left fans talking for years and fans still to this day question why he chose to exit the show. However, as it turns out, the decision to write Olinsky off the show was not one made by Koteas.

Following Koteas’s exit from the show back in 2018, showrunner Rick Eid told TVLine that the decision to kill off Olinsky was one the creative team came to which led to Koteas’s exit from the show.

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

So while some actors from the show have chosen to walk away leaving the writers to develop an exit storyline, Koteas’s exit from the series was dictated by the writers’ decision to bring his character’s journey to a close.

As Eid revealed at the time, “Elias handled the news like a true professional and remained committed to the show and his character until the final shot.”

Is Elias Koteas coming back to Chicago PD?

Although it is possible that Chicago PD could find a way to bring Elias Koteas back as Alvin Olinsky, there does not appear to be any plans for Koteas to return to the show and it seems highly unlikely he’ll return anytime soon.

While the door was left open for characters such as Sophia Bush’s Erin Lindsay to return, the fact that the writers killed off Olinsky limits the show’s options for bringing Koteas back for an extended run. Rather the most likely possibility for a return would likely come in the form of a flashback sequence set before the character’s death.

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