You do not, I repeat, do not want to upset Hank Voight. Ever.
But that's exactly what Paul Staples from homicide did on Chicago PD Season 7 Episode 17.
Staples didn't give off the impression that he was a newbie, but what established professional (in homicide, of all things) has no knowledge of Voight, the power he wields in this city, or how he gets things done?
Voight knows everyone, and everyone knows Voight.
Staples' actions made him look green and unprofessional and gave him zero credibility from the get-go.
Frank Rochester, Voight's good friend and CI during the episode, said that the cause of death was male ego. He was referring to himself with that statement and how he triggered Lamar, but it perfectly summarized Staples' actions.
Upton: Stay warm kittens.
Ruzek: Did she just call us kittens?
Atwater: Think so.
Staples came onto the scene thinking he could call the shots. He proved that when he grabbed Voight's arm and said: "who do you think you are."
That was mistake number one. We all knew it was over for him. Staples, who do you think you are?
He didn't just make a bad impression on Voight and his team, but he was also in it for the wrong reasons.
He was motivated by personal reasons as he explained one of his CI's was killed in the part of town where the shooting took place, and this was his way of getting revenge.
But his biggest flub was that he disrespected and undermined Voight's authority by blowing the cover.
Voight has dealt with some straight-up buffoons in his long career, but Staples was quite frankly the most irritating.
I think I speak for the #OneChicago fandom when I say he had it coming. I even read some tweets that said "punch him again," and I can't argue with that.
The punch Voight threw was so well deserved especially after Staples tried to justify his actions and dared to say that the only thing that mattered was that they made the arrest.
I don't know where this dude got his training, but the arrest is not the end all be all, at least, not in Voight's unit; it's only a teeny, tiny, small chunk of it.
Voight has a responsibility to his CI and whoever is undercover, which in this case was Atwater.
Atwater walked in there trusting that his team would take care of him. He had no weapon and couldn't do anything as Lamar began to bash Frank's head in once he heard the cops arrived. He could've gotten killed!
Staples put Voight's men in danger, and that kind of behavior needs to be punished.
The problem with having someone like Staples riding along on a case is that he has no connection to Voight's team and doesn't trust them the way Voight does.
Voight knew he could count on Atwater to control the situation even when Lamar came at Frank and Frank mouthed back, but Staples immediately thought he needed to intervene.
If he had taken Voight's orders and held back, Atwater would have likely gotten things back on track, made the deal, and popped Lamar in the way they'd planned to while sparing Frank in the process.
Voight: So, why don't you save the speech, get off my scene.
Paul Staples: Hey, who the hell do you think you are?
Voight: Are you out of your mind?
It would've been a clean arrest with no casualties. So yeah, seeing how it went sideways for absolutely no reason, Voight had every right to be pissed off.
Staples needed to be put in his place and learn that "by the book" has a different meaning depending on who you're working for. I wouldn't be surprised if his career was over after the stunt he pulled.
Voight's team had his back and didn't even move a muscle when he threw that punch.
Halstead's expressions were pure gold -- his "oh damn" face when Voight hit Staples and his chuckle and shrug after Voight walked away were priceless. Keep 'em coming, Halstead.
If he's home, talk to him. If he's not, we do a sneak-and-peak off the books. We were never there. Unless we find something. Then we'll do some creative writing.Voight
It was a subtle parallel, but both Voight and Frank were undermined in their "house" -- Voight in his unit and Frank in his church -- by people that should've shown them respect.
While Atwater wasn't the focus of the episode, he really brought his A-game with that outfit!
Looking that good should be a crime. We stan a man who can hold down the bad guy while rocking a fitted, purple peacoat.
My plea to the writers: let's see more of Kevin's impeccable fashion sense!
Aside from Voight's big moment towards the end, the episode was kind of a dud.
While gang wars are an unfortunate reality in Chicago, the trope has been exhausted by the series to the point of predictability.
There were so many players involved that it was hard to keep track.
And in the end, Lamar was the killer because his greed consumed him and his plan wasn't exactly fool-proof. He paid his cellmate to kill Brooks Campbell, which could be and was easily traced back to him.
The only surprising twist was that he willingly killed his old cellmate that many described as his "brother," but that's business, I guess.
Voight led the episode, which allowed him to get back to his no-nonsense roots while also showing how much he's progressed as a character.
However, it wasn't enough.
By now, the show has proven that it can successfully juggle an episode that delivers gut-punching moments, action, and character development all in one, so when we get an episode like this, it almost feels like a filler.
What did you think of the episode?
Have you missed this side of Voight?
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Lizzy Buczak was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in June 2021..