Chicago PD stars discuss shocking finale cameo: "It was really emotional"

We have to admit, we didn't see this one coming.
CHICAGO P.D. -- "Still Water" Episode 913 -- Pictured: Tracy Spiridakos as Hailey -- (Photo by: Lori Allen/NBC)
CHICAGO P.D. -- "Still Water" Episode 913 -- Pictured: Tracy Spiridakos as Hailey -- (Photo by: Lori Allen/NBC) /

Chicago PD had a lot to achieve in its season 11 finale. It had to juggle a tense survival story involving Hank Voight (Jason Beghe) with the final case/appearance of Hailey Upton (Tracy Spiridakos). It pulled this tricky balance off thanks to a very intense emotional thrust. We care about both characters, and seeing them race against time to reunite with genuinely touching.

It also made for one of the most shocking cameos in One Chicago history. Voight spent most of the episode delirious after getting kidnapped the week prior, and Upton was leading the charge to get him back in one piece. In his delirious stage, Voight gets paid a visit from his former partner, Alvin Olinsky (Elias Koteas). A partner who's been dead, we might add, for several years.

Tracy Spiridakos teared up when Olinksy returned

The two men have a brief exchange before Olinsky disappears. It's a brief moment, but it's the first time Chicago PD fans have gotten to see the character since his murder in season 5. It should then come as no surprise that the cast were overwhelmed to see him return.

"Seeing him on set in his Al costume, I mean, it was just a really emotional moment," Tracy Spiridakos told People Magazine. "I think everyone that saw him teared up... Elias is a dear friend." Jason Beghe, the actor who actually played the scene with Koteas, felt similarly emotional. He told NBC that he had a hard time collecting himself before the shoot started:

"I just kinda walked onto the set, and uh, I burst into tears, you know? Cause it was just, it’s just a lot."

Jason Beghe spent years lobbying for an Olinsky reunion

Chicago P.D. - Season 5
CHICAGO P.D. -- "Reform" Episode 501 -- Pictured: (l-r) Elias Koteas as Alvin Olinksy, Jesse Lee Soffer as Jay Halstead, Tracy Spiridakos as Det. Hailey Upton -- (Photo by: Matt Dinerstein/NBC) /

This reunion was something Beghe had been pitching for years. He admitted to the outlet that he'd wanted to bring Olinsky back ever since the character died. "The way I pitched it is like, every three or four episodes, Voight’s alone and he’s at home," Beghe explained. "You know, having coffee, and he’s talking to Elias. Just a regular conversation with Al."

The pitch was always turned down on the basis that it should be saved for a particularly dramatic moment, and the season 11 finale served proved to be that. We're glad the writers and producers ultimately waited, as it will be a PD moment that we remember for a long, long time.

Next. S. Chicago PD just pulled off an insane cameo. dark