Back in the Season 5 finale of Chicago P.D., Alvin Olinsky leaves the show and leaves us all wondering what happened to our favorite lovable detective. Olinsky was not only a series regular since the start of Chicago P.D., but also appeared in many other shows that are part of the Chicago P.D. canon: Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, and Chicago Justice. Since Olinsky was such a big part of the Chicago P.D. universe, it was more than shocking that he really did leave.
Olinsky, played by Elias Koteas, was an undercover intelligence officer who was murdered. Many fans are wondering why Olinsky had to leave Chicago P.D. and if it was Elias’ decision, or a decision made by the Chicago P.D. writers. Although it’s not very common for series regulars to leave shows before they are finished, this is not the first time the One Chicago universe has written off a major character.
Olinsky did leave ‘Chicago P.D.’ but it wasn’t his decision.
When Olinsky left Chicago P.D. in 2018, the audience thought there must be a reason beyond the good of the show. However, in an interview with TV Line, showrunner Rick Eid explained that Olinsky was written off of Chicago P.D. to further the plot. For some background: Olinsky was very close friends with another detective, Hank Voight (Jason Beghe). In the fifth season of Chicago P.D., Voight was pitted against his ex-partner, Denny Woods (Mykelti Williamson).
Voight made a decision to kill Bingham (Joseph Sikora), who killed his son. But as the storyline between Voight and Woods progressed, Olinsky got caught in the middle. Woods decided to frame Olinsky as the killer, even though he also suspected it was Voight. The writers of Chicago P.D. discussed how this storyline between Voight, Woods, and Olinsky could come to an end, and the only conclusion they could come to was that Olinsky had to die. He was stabbed while behind bars for Voight’s crime.
Rick Eid explained, “From a creative perspective, it was a decision that evolved organically from the ongoing storyline between Voight and Woods. The writers and I kept coming back to this idea that Voight’s decision to kill Bingham should cost him something. Over time, we landed on the notion that Olinsky should be the person to pay for Voight’s sin because Voight admired and loved him so much.”
Although Elias Koteas, who played Olinsky, did leave ‘Chicago P.D.,’ his career is far from over.
While Elias is most known for his role in the Chicago P.D. franchise, other opportunities have risen from leaving Chicago P.D. According to Rick, there was no bad blood between Elias and the Chicago P.D. team, and writing him off was one of the hardest parts of making the decision for Olinsky to leave the show. “Elias is a terrific actor and a good person. He’s also been an important part of the show since the very beginning. So this part of the process was really challenging.”
Shortly after leaving Chicago P.D., it was announced that Elias would be taking on a recurring role in Season 4 of Goliath. According to Deadline, Elias will be playing Tom True, a co-founding partner of a law firm that will butt heads with some of the law firm’s most significant clients. However, Goliath’s fourth season release has been postponed until later this year.