Chicago PD Season 11 Episode 13 Review: More


Is everyone okay after that tension-filled season finale?

A good chunk of Chicago PD Season 11 Episode 13 featured Voight facing off with serial killer Matson or hallucinating while alone, and Upton’s rescue effort didn’t help things.

Let’s all take a minute to catch our breaths before we dive into that disturbing season finale!

Matson Vs. Voight Was One of Chicago PD’s Creepiest Stories

One-on-one standoffs with a creepy villain are hit-or-miss propositions. They can be fascinating character studies, psychological thrillers, or annoying and scary for the hell of it.

Voight vs. Matson was among the most disturbing, second only to Law & Order: SVU’s William Lewis saga.

Voight and Upton won their battle against Matson partially because Voight knew how to push all of Matson’s buttons. He refused to show pain or fear when Matson’ tortured him and didn’t do what he wanted, either.

Chicago PD Review: Inventory

That got Matson off his game, so he made a colossal mistake and underestimated Upton.

Why Not Kill Matson Outright?

Upton and Matson’s standoff in the parking area made no sense, at least not on a surface level. The cops on police procedurals, especially PD, are always killing perps before they get the info they need, so why should that stop Upton from shooting Matson?

I didn’t understand why she surrendered until she fought him off and freed herself. Then it was obvious: she let him think he won so he wouldn’t see her coming.

That was a brilliant plot twist! Well played, even if it led to another fight in the basement that felt like a repeated beat.

Chicago PD Gave Us Brilliant Mind Games, But…

The other weakness here was Voight’s refusal to call Upton. As mentioned above, that threw Matson off his game, but it seemed to make finding Voight unnecessarily hard.

Wouldn’t it have been easier for Voight to make the call so the entire team could trace his location and ambush Matson when he was expecting Upton to come alone?

Matson was counting on Upton taking the bait and being so eager to rescue Voight she’d take any risk, no matter how reckless, and he was right — but it didn’t have to go down that way.

The cop who faces a violent psychopath alone is enough of a tired TV trope without making the cops do things the hard way for no apparent reason.

If the writers wanted Upton in extreme danger, fine. At least explain why neither Voight nor the team considered the more obvious strategy.

Upton’s Unsurprising Exit

We knew Upton would be leaving before Chicago PD Season 11 began, so the only question was how she would exit.

I guessed she’d decide Petrovitch was right and she had to leave the unit after rescuing Voight.

Close, but no cigar. Voight had to talk her into doing it even though she admitted she was a workaholic who became a cop to escape her troubled childhood.

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There was that one moment after she got shot where it seemed like she might exit in a body bag, but once she survived, it was clear what would happen next.

Given all the unsubtle announcements this season, it makes sense that Upton is using the job to run away from her problems. Petrovitch kept insisting it was the case, and Upton kept denying it, so she’d have to realize it eventually.

This could have been a moving mental health story if it hadn’t felt as if it had been tacked on to Upton’s character this season solely to give her an exit story.

Upton has never been my favorite, and I don’t remember her stories in complete detail, but I never got the sense that she had these serious issues until this season.

It seemed as if the writers ran out of road for her to travel down after Halstead left and then came up with the idea of running from a troubled childhood and needing an equally troubled cop to help her see it.

Petrovitch is not a compelling character and hopefully will not stay now that Upton has seen the light and left the unit.

Of course, Upton left to go to another law enforcement agency where she’ll feel more fulfilled. How exactly does that solve the problem of working as a cop to avoid dealing with childhood trauma?

Voight’s Survival Techniques

Voight spent a good deal of time trying to survive and breaking down mentally.

Was that a ghostly visit or hallucination of Olinsky? Either way, it was good to see him again, and his telling Voight that Voight wasn’t dying yet gave Voight strength.

Still, this isn’t Days of Our Lives. We don’t need dead people visiting the living to miraculously get them out of a near-death situation.

Voight’s flashbacks were a great technique for showing his state of mind. Before Olinsky’s visit, he was focused on remembering Upton’s upset at having to shoot a perp. Afterward, he remembered all the violent and not-quite-legal things he used to do.

That suggested Voight had gained strength again and was ready to fight with everything he had — and he did, once he got over how angry he was that Upton risked her life to save him.

I don’t know what that weird father/daughter vibe between them was unless Voight was so far gone he had Upton mixed up with Lindsay.

Chicago PD’s Hunt for Voight Was Frustratingly Realistic

The actual police work part of the hour was kept to a minimum to accommodate the mind games, but what we got was realistic.

Chicago PD’s Most Compelling Characters Aren’t Who You Think

The difficulty finding leads, the gray sedan turning out to be a dead end, and the uncertainty over whether the burner phones they traced were actual leads or planted to throw them off felt like a real police search for a missing person.

Petrovitch’s skepticism was unnecessary and annoying, marring an otherwise perfect search arc.

Petrovitch: This can’t be this easy. Matson is more careful than this. He’ll turn off the cameras.
Upton: He doesn’t have access. Also, he’s not a genius. He doesn’t have all the city’s cameras memorized.

No wonder Upton ignored her warnings about the phone at the abandoned building being a trap.

She didn’t do anything all hour long but tell everyone not to pursue leads in case they were phony.

Stray Thoughts

  • There were no real cliffhangers unless you count Upton leaving. In that sense, it would have been better to end with Chicago PD Season 11 Episode 12 and let viewers worry all summer about Voight’s fate.
  • I get time was of the essence, but why not call for backup as soon as shots were fired so that Upton didn’t end up going after Matson entirely on her own?
  • The hospital scenes would have been an excellent place for a Chicago Med crossover. Also, what insurance covers hospital stays that are merely encouraged and not deemed medically necessary?

Your turn, Chicago PD fanatics.

What did you think of this finale?

Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know.

Chicago PD Season 12 will air on NBC on Wednesdays at 10/9c in the fall of 2024. Season 11 is streaming on Peacock.

Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. His debut young adult novel, Reinventing Hannah, is available on Amazon. Follow him on X.

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