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'Chicago PD' season 2 premiere react: The evolution of Hank Voight

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CHICAGO PD
Matt Dinerstein/NBC

[This post contains plot details from the Chicago PD season 2 premiere, which aired on Sept. 24]

The Intelligence Unit of the Chicago PD is run by Hank Voight, a man who was originally introduced as a criminal who had very little respect for doing things by the book. And considering his past with Chicago Fire‘s lovable Lieutenant Casey, it was difficult to see a day when fans could stand behind Voight. In fact, the entirety of Chicago PD‘s first season was about how far one man would go to put the right people behind bars, and how far he would go if he were betrayed. And when season 1 ended with the questionable death of Chicago PD‘s own Sheldon Jin, Voight’s decision-making was once again thrust into the spotlight.

But thanks to a solid season 2 opener in which Voight seemed to come clean—without losing his edge, of course—it finally feels like rooting for Voight might be rooting for the good guy. That’s not to say that fans haven’t been rooting for Voight in the past, and it’s not to say that Voight is the good guy, but now more than ever, the dynamic of the show has come into its own. And that doesn’t only have to do with Voight. Now that we’ve spent a season getting to know these people, the show’s many relationships carry more weight than they used to, and in a show with an ensemble cast, it’s able to transition smoothly from one partnership to the next.

In the season opener, Voight deals with the aftermath of Jin’s death while the unit takes on an old criminal that Olinsky first attempted to put away years ago. But the episode is less about the details of the crime of the week and more about getting back into the world of these characters. For Nadia, it means joining the Intelligence Unit as a receptionist. For Ruzek, it means learning to treat Burgess as a colleague by day and a girlfriend by night. And for Burgess, it means dealing with a new partner in Sean Roman, an enthusiastic but female-wary patrol cop.

Within the unit, Antonio spends the hour helping one of his informants, while Lindsay dodges her mother’s calls. And as for Halstead, he receives a package from Jin that contains a jump drive with enough info to put Stillwell away for his murder. After a bit of debate—and a bit of digging—Voight decides to turn the information over to Perry, ensuring Stillwell’s arrest. But despite Stillwell’s attempts to bring Voight down with him, Voight still comes out on top. Why? Because Jin was the freakin’ best and left behind some dirt on everyone, it seems, even including the chief of police.

By episode’s end, Voight has come clean to the unit about his work as a “dirty cop” for Internal Affairs, and Olinsky has finally managed to put handcuffs on an old foe. The twist? Halstead’s decision to kill said foe’s brother during the arrest has resulted in a $100,000 bounty being put on Halstead’s beautiful head.

And with a few twists under its belt, the hour ends with Voight giving Jin’s father money to pay off those gambling debts.

So is Voight the most moral person in the world? No. But in this moment, it’s pretty easy to be #TeamVoight, and thanks to the many characters surrounding him, it’s even easier to be #TeamChicagoPD.

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