Chicago PD had a solid season 10. It’s unlikely that it will go down as anybody’s favorite season, but there were strong stories and even stronger character moments scattered throughout the episodes. There were also decisions that made us recoil, or scratch our head out of confusion.
One of these decisions was to sideline Hank Voight (Jason Beghe) for most of the season. The character is the head of the IU, and the default star of the show, and yet, he had nothing to do for most of its episodes. Since PD is gearing up for the release of season 11 in 2024, we thought now would be a good time to reflect on the state of Voight and things need to change.
Is Hank Voight coming back for Chicago PD season 11?
The season 10 premiere suggested that promising things were in store for the character. He was on a vendetta to bring down local drug dealers after the death of his friend/informant Anna Avalos (Carmela Zumbado) in season 9, and his guilt was driving him to alienate the other members of the IU. Especially Hailey Upton (Tracy Spiridakos), who shot Avalos right before the informant was set to turn her gun on Voight.
It was an emotionally explosive storyline for the character, and it pushed him into territory that we hadn’t really seen before. Voight hashed things out with Upton at the end of the episode, but there was still a sense that he had work to do, both on himself and the local drug scene. Apparently not. The character took a back seat for the rest of season 10, as stories shifted to the likes of Upton and Adam Ruzek (Patrick John Flueger).
We aren’t here to knock Upton and Ruzek, or the story arcs they were given. The episodes that focused on them were actually among the best in the entire season. The thing is, Voight is the main attraction, and relegating him to advise-giver, or generic team leader, does the show a disservice.
Voight’s personal life was also nonexistent. In a season that focused heavily on the struggles of the IU characters at home, there wasn’t a single episode that explored Voight’s current situation, and whether he aspires for more. His relationship with Avalos was complicated, and fueled by a shared trauma, but at least it revealed some of the interiority of the character. We could tell that Avalos meant something to Voight, and we understood how devastated he was when she died.
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It’s difficult to tell what he’s feeling in season 10 outside of the first episode. He’s sad for Upton, he’s sad to see Jay Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer) the IU, but most of the “intimate moments” with him lead to him dispensing advice without offering much in the way of his thoughts.
Chicago PD season 10 has its highs and lows, like any other season, but the show has to delve more into Voight in the future, or risk turning him into a shadow of her former self. And nobody wants to see that.
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