Spoilers ahead for Episode 12 of Chicago P.D. Season 9, called “To Protect.”
Chicago P.D. needed all hands on deck when the pressure was on to bust the head of the Los Temidos gang, which meant using C.I. Anna to get close to the bad guys. Voight went back and forth on how much danger the Intelligence Unit should let Anna put herself in for the sake of the investigation, and ultimately relied on Halstead’s input much more than usual. By the end of the hour, I found myself wondering: is P.D. heading into a new era for their characters?
Of course, Halstead fully intended for things to start working differently between them by the end of the midseason finale back in December, when he demanded that Voight bring him in on decisions to keep things from getting too dirty. What was more in doubt was whether or not Voight would actually go along with this once they got back into the swing of things without the threat of the Roy secret hanging over their heads. Based on “To Protect,” Voight is not only keeping Halstead in the loop, but giving him the chance to do things the right way before getting creative and breaking the rules his own way.
And it worked… more or less. Anna wasn’t outed as a C.I. after they put the pressure on somebody who could have talked and gotten her killed, although they couldn’t protect that man behind bars. The good guys all lived, and Anna is still in Chicago to work as a C.I. It’s hard to imagine that would have been 100% possible if Voight had gone rogue himself to take care of the problem. At the very least, he probably would have had a brand new secret hanging over his head and threatening to take him down Roy. As much as they operate differently, Voight and Halstead working together seemed to work pretty well.
As recently as half a season ago, Voight might have been unlikely to willingly keep one of his cops in the loop and rely on their judgment to make the big calls on cases. He spent so much time giving Upton as little information as possible about their shared situation, not to mention keeping the secret from Halstead until Halstead connected the dots about Roy himself. As of “To Protect,” the dynamic of them working as equals seems pretty effective. In fact, Voight and Halstead almost operated as partners, with Upton riding with Atwater for most of the hour.
If P.D. continues with Voight keeping Halstead informed and bringing him into the decision-making, this could indeed be the beginning of a new era. It’s worth noting that a big change has happened behind the scenes, with Rick Eid stepping away from his role as showrunner on Chicago P.D. (while still running FBI over on CBS and taking the reins of the Law & Order revival on NBC) and executive producer Gwen Sigan bumped up to become showrunner.
Based on some comments from LaRoyce Hawkins, Sigan has already been active in crafting stories for Season 9. Any changes that have already happened recently in Season 9 could well carry forward under the new showrunner. For now, only time will tell what changes will happen, and whether Voight will be able to work with Halstead as more of an equal in the long run. Or if, as Hawkins is hoping, Atwater finally makes detective!
Unfortunately, “To Protect” was the last episode of Chicago P.D. for some time, as the show won’t return with new episodes until after the Olympics finish airing on NBC. It will return to Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on NBC, however, following Chicago Fire at 9 p.m. and Chicago Med at 8 p.m. ET in the winter TV lineup.
Resident of One Chicago, Bachelor Nation, and Cleveland. Has opinions about crossovers, Star Wars, and superheroes. Will not time travel.
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