Chicago P.D. 9×16 “Closer” is an episode about Hank Voight, and how far he will go to “get justice.” It’s also an episode about morally dubious choices, the kind Voight has been making for nine seasons, and the kind he is now dragging Jay and Hailey into. And it’s also an episode about how, despite a few episodes of pretending to be the “benevolent father figure,” Voight will never truly be that.
Hank Voight is who he is, who he has been for nine seasons, and Jay and Hailey would do well to remember that. They would do well to remember Justin and Al. Everyone who’s ever trusted Hank Voight has been burned — and burned bad. And it hasn’t just been bad luck. Hank Voight is, really, just like Escano. And he is not the kind of man you give your life to.
But here we are, with Anna, Jay and Hailey — not to mention Kim, Adam and Kevin — just…trusting him. Because this is TV, and apparently bad men who have done good things sometimes get not just a pass, but another chance at family. That’s the theme of the season, after all. Family. The team as a family, and the different family units within the team.
And then there’s Voight, steadfast in his desire to be alone. He had a family once, and he lost it. And though the show has tried to pretend the team + Voight is a family, the truth is, Voight has never let anyone in. He might care, in his own way, but that’s all Hank Voight is capable of giving anyone. “In his own way.”
This was about Anna, at one point. It’s not anymore. Now, it’s about Voight and about the job being “all he has.” Except that’s a choice he’s making. He’s had plenty of opportunities to have more, plenty of people who care about him — even when, perhaps, they shouldn’t. Except all he knows of “love” is the part where he yells and tortures someone, or the part where he hides a body.
I won’t deny that, in some senses, Hank Voight is an interesting character. Morally dubious characters are sometimes like that; they can surprise you with their nuance. But Voight isn’t really interesting because he has any depth, he’s interesting because he’s like an immovable object, and the people around him are the irresistible force. He hasn’t changed at all since we first met him. He hasn’t grown. He hasn’t even gone backwards. He’s just …the same Hank Voight, nine seasons in.
More broken, more jaded, and even more dangerous, but ultimately the same person.
And it’s been nine seasons, but at some point, something’s gotta give. My preference would be something that takes him out of the show for good — and I haven’t even gone into the horrible message he sends as a cop because I’ve already written thousands of words on that — but I will take something that actually changes him. For better. For worse. I don’t even care at this point. Just give me something that doesn’t feel like déjà vu all over again.
Make Voight choose to be better. Make him choose his team. Or hell, make him go out a hero. If he’s not going to pay for his many sins, that would at least be something. Anything that isn’t this long slog to finally get Escano that ends with Anna dead and Voight more “jaded” but “determined to do whatever it takes” to “put the bad guys away.”
I’m tired. And even worse, I’m bored. So, please, surprise me. I’ll take anything.
Things I think I think:
- Don’t you just love it when women on TV say they’ve been eating a lot and their “jeans don’t fit,” but they look exactly the same? I mean, I know I love it …NOT.
- There’s a cute moment in the car where Hailey looks at Jay a little bit like I look at my husband sometimes, in the “he’s a pain in the ass, but he’s my pain in the ass” kinda way.
- Paddy, what did you do to yourself that Adam is still hurt?
- I really, really hate “the end justifies the means” kinda decisions.
- Everyone judging Voight is a mood. Hailey’s judging face is particularly chef’s kiss.
- What I truly hate is how Voight ends up making everyone complicit.
- People keep trusting Voight, but when has trusting him ever worked out for anyone?
- Anna, WHY? Why, girl, just …why?
- Look, if you’re still here and you read through everything I said just to complain about me hating Voight and/or leave a long comment about how Hank Voight is the best thing since sliced bread, I have two questions for you: …why? And also, what does it feel to have so much free time?
Agree? Disagree? What did you think of Chicago P.D. 9×16 “Closer”? Share with us in the comments below.
Chicago P.D. airs Wednesdays on NBC.
Paddy broke his shoulder.
I don’t think it’s fair to say that Voight hasn’t changed. He has changed since we first met him in Chicago Fire. The change was enough that Casey acknowledged “burying the hatchet” with him. Over the years “the cage” has been used less and less. In fact, Season 7 was the last time it was used. Voight has adapted to the times and police reform. Not saying that he has become a saint, because he hasn’t. One can certainly argue that he has always been an “ends justify the means” person and that has not changed. Whether Jay can reign him in when the stakes are high we will have to see. Jay has done it before most notably in Season 1 with Al’s help.
This was another excellent episode. My only critiques are 1) no Trudy and 2) while it was a cute Upstead moment while they were on stakeout, I think it would have been better for Kim and Kevin to have been there. Kim could have mentioned Makayla or Adam, how last episode affected her. I would have liked to see some tie into the previous episode. I love Anna and Carmela Zumbado’s performance. When we first meet Anna, she’s confident, almost arrogant. She’s been a CI for a while and has manipulated both law enforcement and the criminals she’s informed on with ease, until now. In this episode she has come to realize these are not the people she’s been able to manipulate in the past. These are careful strategic thinkers she is dealing with. She knows very little about Voight or Javier and they both know everything about her. Where they go with this has me intrigued, I see a number of different possibilities.
Not sure if I’m one of the targets of your last comment, but I would not characterize my comments as saying that Voight is “the best thing as sliced bread.” but appreciating the role that he has on the show and that while you may not like his character others do. A minute to read your post and less than 5 to respond doesn’t really take up too much time. A question for you, when you ask agree?, disagree? and invite comments are you sincere about it or do you only want comments that agree with your take on the show? Fandom is supposed to be fun and part of that fun is the argument the show can produce, like fans of Star Trek debating who the better captain is Kirk or Picard.
I appreciate your comments — any respectful comments, even if we disagree. IMHO we all get something out of the discourse around TV, even if it’s just to appreciate different POVs. My comment was more about the …ahem, less than respectful commentary, one that focuses on insulting me vs. my opinions.