'Chicago P.D.' Boss Talks Voight's "Bittersweet" Victory, Series "Reset" and Linstead's "Bond"

"To see him looking back and accessing those memories was the best ending we could have hoped for," Matt Olmstead tells THR about the show's emotional final scene.
Matt Dinerstein/NBC

[Warning: This story contains spoilers from Wednesday's episode of Chicago P.D., "Now I'm God."]

Chicago P.D. closed out its first episode of the new year on a very different note than normal. Instead of a joyous celebration at Molly's or a shocking cliffhanger, the final hour of the three-show crossover wrapped with an emotional Voight (Jason Beghe) drinking alone and watching old home movies of his late wife, Camille.

"It's a complicated reaction to the culmination of this investigation in that it's not, 'Hell yeah we got 'em,' " Chicago P.D. showrunner Matt Olmstead tells The Hollywood Reporter. "There's still a little confusion: 'Did I get all the answers I was craving? At the very least I put someone away who was responsible for this,' but it’s a bittersweet victory if ever there was one for Voight and its captured in a pretty magical way."

Although producers had originally considered including a flashback scene to when Camille was alive, they eventually decided to have Beghe and his wife look into their old home movies. "It's far more powerful, for us, to see real footage than made-up footage. Once we saw the home movies that Jason submitted, we knew we had a home run," Olmstead says. "To see him looking back and accessing those memories was the best ending we could have hoped for."

The episode not only shed light on an important part of Voight's past but also allowed the normally rough and tough sergeant to show a rarely seen softer side.

"Jason Beghe called me at home one weekend before and he was processing this script. His head was spinning because there was a lot of backstory to it, there's a lot of emotion and different aspects to it," Olmstead recalls. "He was just talking out loud about how to play these scenes, and he didn’t feel like playing the traditional Voight of the strong-arm and he couldn’t understand why he felt reluctant to play it that way.

"I told him, 'In all these scenes, for me, when Voight's behaving or interacting with people, Camille is in the room,' and that unlocked it for him. He knows she's watching in a way. He's seeking justice for her, but he doesn’t want to do it in a manner that would disappoint her," he continues. "He's restrained because he wants to do it the right way."

The episode brought Voight and Lindsay (Sophia Bush) closer together as they leaned on each other for support and shared memories of Camille, who became the mother Lindsay had always wanted when Voight took in her as a teenager. However, they won't remain on solid ground for long.

"Just as much as they're locked together by this crossover and reminded of this shared loss in his wife and her second mother, invariably you're going to go back to a difference of opinion over casework because she's pretty headstrong and he has his own ways," Olmstead says.

Thankfully, Lindsay won't have nearly as many issues with partner and boyfriend Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer). Olmstead teased an upcoming episode following next month's crossover with Law & Order: SVU that will see the two hit the road together, and away from the rest of the team, to get a witness. "It's not a road trip story but it’s a great cop story featuring Halstead and Lindsay and we do address where they're at," he says. 

The episode is written by Chicago Fire co-creators and Chicago P.D. executive producers Derek Haas and Michael Brandt. "It's more of a wish fulfillment where they are together and they're just really into each other. Of course, complications ensue where they're not able to get some alone time, so to speak, until a certain time but it's refreshing to see them back into each other," Olmstead says. "Their relationship, as they define it mutually, holds true, which is, 'I don’t want to see anybody else but I am also really into my job. I'm pretty independent. I'm not going to ask you any questions in terms of where is this going?' They're both completely on the same page. They're there to comfort each other. They're both there to ascend within Intelligence and there's a real bond there so we're going to be showing that more coming up."

Lindsay and Halstead's decision to put work before romance comes at just the right time. Olmstead says that upcoming episodes of Chicago P.D. will "reset the show" and put the focus back on cases, particularly "tense, adrenalized investigations" the Intelligence Unit is uniquely qualified to handle.

"This unit is not the homicide investigation unit so it's not our guys walking up in a suit and tie with a pad and pen saying, 'Where were you on the night of the fifth?' It's Intelligence. They're a specialized unit that's called when shit hits the fan somewhere or they can actually intercept something. It's a big deal," Olmstead says. "It's some really bare-knuckled storytelling in terms of cases. That’s what we're excited about — recalibrating and reminding people what the show is about."

Chicago P.D. airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on NBC.

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