Chicago P.D.10×16 “Deadlocked” is a pretty good episode, if you can look past the irony of Voight pretending he has the moral high ground — and how the show completely ignores common sense and laws to get the characters to where it wants them to go. For the record, though, as someone who practiced law for many years, everything Voight does in this episode is not just unethical …it’s also illegal.
But then again, what’s new? That’s Voight, through and through. Chicago P.D has always wanted us to handwave away all his misdeeds. But the show typically cares more about at least making the procedural part look more or less real. In this episode, however, Voight tampers with the jury in very obvious ways and ignores everyone’s common sense commentary about why the things he’s doing might not be the best idea. He does it for “the right reasons” and to “save someone,” and of course, he does. Hero Voight saves the day!
Who cares if he breaks a few laws along the way? He was only trying to help! And when he’s killed someone …well, it’s only been bad guys! It’s bad things, for the right reasons. That makes Voight a hero, not a villain.
Again and again, we come back here. Over and over again, the show sets up a character to be the one to push back — in this case, Nina Chapman. Again and again, both the show and Hank Voight decide they don’t actually have to grapple with these issues, and Voight can continue to do the things he does, unchecked, because, eh … they believe that makes for better TV. Lather, rinse, repeat. Things have never changed in ten years, and they won’t now.
But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t call out the narratives the show is trying to normalize. No, cops breaking laws for what they consider to be “the right reason,” isn’t actually good, and neither is cops (or anyone, of that matter), taking the law into their own hands. We’ve seen firsthand how the type of cop Hank Voight is would act in real life, and tragedy after tragedy doesn’t seem to have made Chicago P.D understand that the message they send is not just wrong, it’s irresponsible.
Don’t tell me this is just TV and it doesn’t matter. TV matters. We take our queues from entertainment and the things we watch help shape our morality. And if Voight is the person anyone is looking to for that, well …to say that’s not a good thing would be an understatement. And again, this doesn’t mean there’s no place for a character like Voight on TV. It just means the narrative should not be tailored to let him “get away” with things all the time, and his actions and decisions should be clearly presented as the wrong ones. He could — and has, at times, made a compelling antagonist. It’s just that, more often than not, the show forgets that’s what he is and starts treating him like a hero.
The Voight of it all (and Chicago P.D.10×16 “Deadlocked” is a Voight episode, so what can we do?) overshadows Jesse Lee Soffer’s directorial debut, which is a shame because the best thing that can be said about Soffer’s turn behind the camera is that we rarely feel he is behind the camera. One of the most important things about directing is that it needs to feel seamless — a good director will make you feel like things progressed without a guiding hand, and that’s exactly what this episode feels like.
Sadly, Soffer has no say in the script, or in the direction of the show. His job is to show up and get the cast to do what they do best, which is be infinitely more interesting than the guy this show — and this hour — is centered around, even when they only get to play sidekicks. On that, he succeeds, and a cast of this caliber makes it easy. He also succeeds in something way harder, making Voight interesting, and the case easy to follow and even emotional, despite the many issues I pointed out before.
But the issues will outlive this director, and the next one …and sadly, Chicago P.D. seems to have no intention of actually tackling those.
Things I think I think:
- In what universe is Voight, with all his canon issues, treated as a reliable witness?
- Is Hailey Voight’s go-to now? Ugh.
- Tracy Spiridakos does a lot with that soft voice. It’s one of the most underrated things actors do.
- Kim’s entire “Adam is setting up his undercover apartment vibes” scream I HATE THIS, and we are with you. 100%.
- Did they only bring Dante in to make him go undercover because he’s less suspicious as a bad guy? Cause …
- More Hailey and Kev!
- What are rules, again? Voight has no idea.
- Run, Chapman, run. Don’t look at this man like he’s your friend.
- I wish Trudy got more to do on this show.
- At least the cage is just for keeping people inside these days.
- “Do you trust me?” YOU SHOULDN’T.
- “I did what I had to do” is Voight in a nutshell.
- “Should I be thanking you then?”
- If she’s here to be the person calling Voight out …I’m gonna need a lot more.
- He’s not gonna think about the kind of man he is. He’s just not.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think of Chicago P.D.10×16 “Deadlocked”? Share with us in the comments below!
Chicago P.D. airs Wednesdays on NBC.
At first I liked this show, but the longer I watch it became disturbing that it shows that cops can do what.. if the end justifies the means! Our country has enough problems with police behavior, this show only enforces it.
Ok ok ok..
I get it with Voight, but you cannot judge him if he is an ethical cop. This is TV and for our enjoyment. The normal viewer
Knows the diff bet×even right and wrong. Our law enforcement is fighting everyday
to do the right thing. Cop shows are supposed to be dramatic and dark. Let’s not judge this TV show from an attorney point of view..relax.
Sit back and let creativitys flow,.we have to much other stuff to worry about
I thought it was an excellent episode. Sometimes you have to do unethical things to get the bad guys! Love Hank a true Hero! Especially now
The show was good and it was like old time Voight !!!! The show needs to give some more personal stories ( Kevin should have a girlfriend) The show needs a burst of lightening a new sexy woman!!!! Bring back Jay!! Love Chicago PD ❤️❤️❤️❤️
I have loved cpd from day one and I give kudos to the find writing team and it is ‘dud’ just tv I’m not a law breaker by no means but I do love me some hank v I just wish the writers would bring back hank’s grandson all grown up maybe he and his mother could be in some kinda of trouble or just Danny in trouble like his dad used to be and then see if hank could get him out. I love Jason Begh
I understand where you are coming from in your criticism of Voight, however I disagree. What would you have had Voight do? If he tells Chapman what is going on, a mistrial is called and the juror’s wife is killed, how is that a just result? By the letter of the law, what Voight did was probably a violation. However, as a lawyer, you full well know that things aren’t always as black and white as they sometimes seem. There are always exceptions to rules and this was certainly an exigent circumstance that allowed Voight to act as he did. Remember it is the defendant that is tampering with the juror, not Voight (though Hailey should have been the one to speak with him and not Voight).
While Chapman judges Voight, she ought to look in the mirror herself. Once the juror’s wife was rescued, she had an ethical obligation to disclose the kidnapping to the judge and have that juror removed from deliberations. Whether an alternate could be used or a mistrial would have to be declared would be subject to the judge’s discretion. Chapman chose not to do this because 2 of the accomplices were killed and the remaining accomplice was pleading guilty to drug trafficking. As such, there was no way for the defendant to challenge his verdict as he couldn’t admit to having a juror’s wife kidnapped and argue that the police must have spoken with the juror. Chapman herself decided that “the ends justified the means here,” and chose to ignore her ethical obligations.
You continue to go on and on about your dislike of Voight everytime you do a review. If it wasn’t for Voight they’d be no show- he is Chicago PD. Just for the record most of us do know that it is just a tv show and we also wish the end always justified the means. In the case of Voight it does because only the bad guys get taken care of. How I wish real life could go that way. He’s the most interesting person on the show and I love all of the cast. Remember it’s not a damn soap opera, it’s gritty and messy and I for one wouldn’t have it any other way. If you hate it so much then don’t review the show…
Hey Joan! If you hate my reviews so much, maybe don’t read them? Just a thought! Thanks for reading and commenting, though.
Typical defense attorney review! As a former city cop in a big city, my observations are that the so-called unethical and illegal things that Voight does in the interest of justice, and his opinion, are quite normal and every large city or metropolitan police department! The storyline although a little bit exaggerated at times does mirror the real every day interactions of big city cops and bad guys! I think the show is great and entertaining as it is!
Lissete, you seem to be overly critical of Voight’s morals on Chicago PD! In reality, it’s probably more like reality in the current world when you have a decent police officer dealing with today’s unscrupulous, political law officials, District Attorneys and Judges.