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Henry "Hank" Voight: How Many Shades of Grey?

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(First topic virgin here, sorry for the corny title...).

Voight is definitely the most interesting character on the show for me. I like how the writers play with the "dirty or not" thing, and yet I'm usually not into anti-villains. And Jason Beghe plays it perfectly. I came to like many of the actors on that show, and like how the ensemble slowly comes up together -imo- but I still watch mainly for Voight/Beghe.

With all the CF crossovers, I'd really love to see a real one with some Boden/Voight  significant "chief" interaction, because I think it would be an interesting play of mirrors.

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I think it said Henry on the card that Erin has on her locker from the first episode.

I agree about Voight being the most interesting character on the show. Everything tells me not to like him but I can't help it, I love the character and his sense of justice. Maybe it helps that I watched Chicago PD first and then went back and watched him on Chicago Fire so I was already a fan before I saw the bad stuff. I'm really curious to find out more of Erin and Voight's history, they're my two favourite characters on the show. I wish we had more scenes between them although I think it is evident that they are really close.

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I think it said Henry on the card that Erin has on her locker from the first episode.

I thought so, and I re-checked on Wikipedia -although it isn't always 100% accurate.

I, too, love his relationship with Lindsay. They have natural chemistry imo,  and I like how they trust each other and rely on each other.

I have to confess I see "inappropriate chemisty" between them (I hoped she wasn't a minor when they met, but it seems she was so I'm trying to forget about it. Maybe if she gets with Kelly from CF...).

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Hmm, I don't know if I see inappropriate chemistry between them but maybe I'll have to rewatch some scenes to double check! I'm kinda confused by the timeline of when they met and things but I think she was a minor. The Internal Affairs woman who was just sacked (forget her name!) said that Erin was Voight's CI when she was 14. Voight then said to Lindsay that she had left a string of broken hearts behind her since she was 15. Erin told Jay that Voight took her in when she was 16. From all that I gather that Erin and Voight met when she was 14 but knew each other for two years before she went to live with him? I don't know, I'm really curious about it all though and I hope it's explored more this season.

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Yes, Hank is a pretty standard nickname for Henry, at least back in the day. 

 

I have to confess I see "inappropriate chemisty" between them (I hoped she wasn't a minor when they met, but it seems she was so I'm trying to forget about it. Maybe if she gets with Kelly from CF...).

Yes, Erin was a young teen, but don't forget, there was also a Mrs. Voight in the picture at that time. In my mind, Erin and Voight became considerably closer after her death. Don't forget, Justin would have been still a little boy back then, and I could definitely see Hank and Justin falling apart, with Erin trying to hold the household together. Most likely, she would have chosen to stay at the house while taking college classes, so there could be someone around when Justin came home from school, there would be homecooked meals and some semblance of housecleaning, etc. as I highly doubt Voight kept anything like regular hours even then.

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Yes, Hank is a pretty standard nickname for Henry, at least back in the day. 

Yes, Erin was a young teen, but don't forget, there was also a Mrs. Voight in the picture at that time. In my mind, Erin and Voight became considerably closer after her death. Don't forget, Justin would have been still a little boy back then, and I could definitely see Hank and Justin falling apart, with Erin trying to hold the household together. Most likely, she would have chosen to stay at the house while taking college classes, so there could be someone around when Justin came home from school, there would be homecooked meals and some semblance of housecleaning, etc. as I highly doubt Voight kept anything like regular hours even then.

That's it! I think that's indeed why I saw "inappropriate" chemistry -since she was a teenager when they met and this isn't Game of Thrones. Beghe and Bush have tons of chemistry imo, but the way Voight relied on Erin was reminiscent to me of a "couple" as in "in charge of the household". She was the one he turned to for personal stuff and seemed to know and trust him more than anyone else, so I guess it added to my impression that they could be one.

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I see Voight as being Vic MacKey from The Shield, light.

I think this is a pretty good description. I still have such a hard time seeing Voight as even remotely "good" after the things he did to Casey and even Hallie. He threatened Hallie, planted coke in their house and then called the cops in to do a search, threatened Casey's life on more than one occasion, etc. And this was all because Casey did the right thing and reported Voight's degenerate son for driving drunk and killing someone. It was a total abuse of power on Voight's part and I hate that IA not only helped get him out of jail but they allowed him to be the head of the Intelligence Unit. I know they are hoping that by his "acting dirty" they will catch some big criminals, but I can't believe he's still in a position of power given his actions.

Edited by Rapunzel

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I totally understand what people mean when they say it's hard to see Voight in the position he's in given everything he did to Casey and Hallie on Chicago Fire. I do understand it but I suppose for me it's just easier to get past. I watched Chicago PD first so I was instantly hooked on Voight's character. I think it was the first five episodes I had watched and then when it went on hiatus for the Olympics (I think!), I went back and watched Chicago Fire all the way from the beginning. Voight almost seemed like a different person! I was definitely shocked but because I knew him more at that point, I could get past it.

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Beghe and Bush have tons of chemistry imo, but the way Voight relied on Erin was reminiscent to me of a "couple" as in "in charge of the household". She was the one he turned to for personal stuff and seemed to know and trust him more than anyone else, so I guess it added to my impression that they could be one.

That is one explanation; but another, which I hate to think of but is probably also correct (IRL too, sadly) is that Erin was probably quite sexualized at age 14. The charges listed on her sheet included solicitation (either pimped out by someone else, or perhaps acting on her own behalf, maybe for drugs or sadly just from hunger). You read too many stories where kids growing up in environments like Erin's might have been molested or raped from the time they were in diapers. If that were the case, I have no doubt that Erin might have thought that Voight would also be expecting her to have sex with him in exchange for food, home, schooling, etc. Even if he didn't (I certainly hope, at least) she might have felt, on the basis of her previous experience, that she needed to offer (after all, in her mind that was likely what men wanted from her, and it was the one thing she had to offer in exchange for what this man had given to her). I don't know if TPTB will ever go there or not, but I could definitely see that as a very painful and confusing time for Erin -- for the Voights as well - as she began to learn that not everyone acted according to what she'd been taught all her life..

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That is one explanation; but another, which I hate to think of but is probably also correct (IRL too, sadly) is that Erin was probably quite sexualized at age 14. The charges listed on her sheet included solicitation (either pimped out by someone else, or perhaps acting on her own behalf, maybe for drugs or sadly just from hunger). You read too many stories where kids growing up in environments like Erin's might have been molested or raped from the time they were in diapers. If that were the case, I have no doubt that Erin might have thought that Voight would also be expecting her to have sex with him in exchange for food, home, schooling, etc. Even if he didn't (I certainly hope, at least) she might have felt, on the basis of her previous experience, that she needed to offer (after all, in her mind that was likely what men wanted from her, and it was the one thing she had to offer in exchange for what this man had given to her). I don't know if TPTB will ever go there or not, but I could definitely see that as a very painful and confusing time for Erin -- for the Voights as well - as she began to learn that not everyone acted according to what she'd been taught all her life..

I've been meaning to reply to this for a while but just haven't found the time. It's something that had crossed my mind to, that perhaps Erin would have offered herself to Voight in that way. It's an uncomfortable thought but one that I think is probably quite realistic. I do wonder just how far they're going to go with Erin and Voight's history. I absolutely love their scenes together so I hope for many more to come.

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The answer to the question in the tagline is "zero", in my view.  If this show was trying to subtly comment on how a few highly dominant personalities and the Blue Wall can lead to police brutality, excessive use of force, and torture becoming endemic in a police force (see Chicago, Albuquerque), that'd be one thing, but the show frames Voight's actions as something necessary, and they're not.  Torture is only useful when you're a shitty interrogator, and the idea that torture obtains even reasonably actionable intelligence would be hilarious if not for the, well, torture.  It's like Dick Wolf read about the real life Chicago PD detective who used torture to obtain dozens of false confessions (some of which would land the falsely convicted on death row) and thought "that would be a good idea for a protagonist!".

And the worst part about it is that the show would have you believe that police brutality and torture are only used on people who are unambiguously guilty, to obtain actionable time sensitive intelligence, when civilians who actually get tortured are by in large innocent and people will say anything, no matter how false it is, to stop from getting beaten.  Voight is dragging down characters that I actually like.  I'd like to see him removed from the squad as quickly as possible.

And yeah, Beghe and Bush have good chemistry and I like their interactions, but he's dragging her down.  I don't want them to kill Voight, but I'd like to see the IA guy prevail and have Voight arrested or forced to retire, and then Erin can pay him a visit to come to terms with how her father figure was also a total monster.

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It's something that had crossed my mind to, that perhaps Erin would have offered herself to Voight in that way. It's an uncomfortable thought but one that I think is probably quite realistic.

I think so too...much in the way that the kid D'Anthony that Voight saved from the gang had asked him, suspiciously, if he didn't have to do anything in return, like be a snitch. When Voight shook his head, D'Anthony seemed so grateful at not having to that he volunteered. IMO Erin's situation would have been like that. We already know that she volunteered to be his CI, so it seems reasonable enough to imagine she offered him sex (which, I hope to every deity above he had enough restraint and brains not to accept).

It would also explain why Justin seems to have a "thing" for Erin, and how he also seems a bit jealous of Erin and his dad's closeness. It's true, that closeness may simply be largely through their long days working together, in a job that is highly dangerous and requires everything of everyone just to survive. But it's also quite possible that Justin knew Erin had offered herself to his dad (either at the actual time, or if he was too young back then, pieced together the memories when he grew up). Perhaps he figured Erin owed that to him instead. It's weird, to be sure, but an awful lot about Justin Voight that we've been given to date is pretty off, so it really wouldn't surprise me. 

 

And yeah, Beghe and Bush have good chemistry and I like their interactions, but he's dragging her down.  I don't want them to kill Voight, but I'd like to see the IA guy prevail and have Voight arrested or forced to retire, and then Erin can pay him a visit to come to terms with how her father figure was also a total monster.

That touches upon something that has interested me a while now...namely, how did Erin fare while Voight was in prison? Presumably, there was no imminent release in site, and Justin - her only other family member - was also incarcerated. So aside from friends and co-workers, Erin was essentially alone in the world. Was she able to keep strong, or did she relapse in any way during that time? More importantly, how will she act/react if it happens all over again?

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I've often wondered about how Erin coped with Hank and Justin in prison too. I wonder if it'll be mentioned at all. I really just want more Voight and Erin scenes so I don't care what they're discussing really!

Oh and I'm sure that if Erin did offer herself to Voight, he wouldn't have accepted. I know he's a shady character and his morals are a little loose but I don't think they're that loose. I don't see the show going down that route at all.

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I can also see it the other way - that Erin might have been frightened of going home with him, and what that would entail. Even if she had some sort of working relationship with him by that point - supposedly she'd been his CI for a year before going to live with him and his wife? - imagine the kind of life the poor kid had likely known up til that time. I have no doubt that as the daughter of a junkie, her mother would have sold or given her to men, probably many times before. So it would hardly be any shocker to a girl like that to expect more of the same from Voight, who was after all, a man like any other. Even if he had a wife and kid in the house, what difference would that make, truly?

So, with that all in mind, it really makes me admire Erin more. Imagine what kind of horrific life you'd have to be living, in order to take such a leap of faith as to allow yourself to be taken in by virtual strangers! It's the kind of thing most adults would hesitate at, let alone a 15-year-old. No matter her fears or possible mistrust, she clearly felt that whatever she would face in the Voight home would be better than what she was currently facing.

I'd love to know something about Hank's wife - what she was like during that time in general, toward Erin, toward her husband. Was he always some shade of the Hank we know today, or was he a bit more mellow around her?

Also, aside from Erin and Justin, does Voight have anyone in his life? Parents, siblings? I would really be interested in some exploration of any and all these things, because all the seemingly unimportant details DO shed a lot of light upon characters like Voight that hold their cards so close to their chests.

 

 

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I happened to read an article about Jason Beghe, who plays Voigt, and it talked specifically about his growly raspy voice, which has essentially been the thing that landed him a lot of roles. It's rather unusual-sounding, but I just figured it was one of those things, y'know?

However, it mentions here that the voice is the result of a car accident he was in back in '99, where he had a tube in his throat, which - for some reason - he kept trying to pull out.

 

http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv-movies/jason-beghe-tough-break-led-memorable-voice-article-1.1765027

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My apologies that I didn't reply to your post before, SnarkySheep, I've been doing lots of night shifts over the past couple of weeks and haven't really been online much.

 

I agree with you regarding Voight, I just want to know more about him. Surely he can't always have been the way he is now? I think something must have set him off. I did think earlier on in the series that maybe whatever happened with Erin turned him into the guy he is now but I don't think that anymore because there seems to be backstory with Olinksy that Erin doesn't know about.

 

I definitely admire Erin the same as you do! I just really can't wait to find out more about her life pre-Voight. I think they've set it up really well with loads of little hints and nudges here and there. I wonder how she'll react when it all comes out and the rest of the intelligence unit knows about her?

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Personally, I've got this little niggling thought at the back of my mind that something significant happened with Voight's wife...that she didn't just die of breast cancer or in a car accident or something. This is partially due to comments that have been made casually, such as when Voight was talking to Justin just before sending him to the Army recruitment place, and said something like "after all we went through with your mother." That really sent up a red flag to me.

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Another random thing...Voight keeps talking about Chicago being "his" city, implying he's spent his life there. Does he have any other family around besides Erin and Justin? Parents or siblings, perhaps? Wouldn't Dead Wife have family, who would be interested in keeping in touch with Justin? etc.

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Yeah I think there's definitely a story waiting to come out about Voight's wife. That's partly why I don't think we've seen the last of Justin yet either. He was sent off screen way too quickly. It'll most likely be season two before any of this comes out but I definitely think it'll be touched upon.

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Anyone else find it interesting how quickly Voight knew that Charlie had come to see Erin? Nobody could possibly know except for Platt...and from the interaction when he left a message with her, they didn't seem to know one another. Does Platt have instructions from way back, to let Voight know whenever anyone from Erin's past comes looking or calling? Does she have her own kind of spidey-sense, that something wasn't quite right about the guy? (i.e. his not wanting to leave a last name)

 

And regardless of who this guy is/was, why on earth would Voight's taking Erin in have been contingent upon his leaving the state??

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I didn't think about the possibility of Platt telling Voight but that does actually make sense. I just assumed that maybe he had people on the streets who were instructed to tell him if Charlie or anyone else from Erin's past comes knocking about again. The Platt thing makes more sense though.

 

I hope we get a few more scenes between Erin and Voight in the last two episodes, the little one we did get this episode was good.

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It's the little things that tell you the most sometimes...for example, the fact that Platt calls Voight "Hank" to his face. Not too many others do that; in fact, no one that I can think of, other than Olinsky and Erin (but her reasons are different of course.)

 

She would definitely have been around when Erin was first introduced into Voight's life, as would Olinsky. Likewise, Olinsky's daughter has known Voight all her life, as when she was brought into the precinct she said "Uncle Hank."

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With this whole thing coming up now about Jin trying to hunt up info on Voight's computer to hand over to TPTB, I'm really surprised no one mentioned digging through ERIN'S electronics instead. He's a man in his fifties; do you really think he's texting Olinsky his every thought? Does he have every movement on an Excel sheet? Overall, many men in that demographic, especially ones like Voight who are not really office workers (I doubt that he would ever really use a computer at work except to fill out case paperwork or maybe to email within the district, etc.) are not really good typists and just not "into" the whole thing, as they didn't grow up using it and didn't really need to learn as adults. (Dad, I'm lookin' at you...)

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I'm glad Voight admitted that he was wrong in this past episode, I doubt that's going to happen often! As much as Pulpo deserved what was coming to him, Voight doesn't get to be the one to make that decision and decide what is going to happen to him. He has to realise that and it was a nice moment when he admitted as much to Jay.

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I find it a lot harder to get behind Voight with this latest episode, now that we know he's for sure executed a suspect and he was willing to do it again. Given everything we've seen him do and he's been implied to do I really hope there's a reckoning coming for him down the line.

 

The thing that bothers me most about Voight is that he isn't outright bad; he obviously has some morals, and he's shown to care about his family, his allies in the Intelligence Unit, and Chicago. The issue is how hostile he becomes when those things are threatened. To say he's violent against suspects is an understatement; he's gone to excessive lengths against people who he considered a threat to his family (his actions towards Casey in CF, the implications in what happened to that punk kid that Justin was hanging around), and how he's treated Sumner implies he's willing to go after people in his command he finds suspicious regardless of merit. In other words, Voight represents everything I dislike and fear about actual police officers, and I shouldn't get that sort of feeling from a show which is supposed to represent the police as protagonists.

Edited by T-A-C

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The thing that bothers me most about Voight is that he isn't outright bad; he obviously has some morals, and he's shown to care about his family, his allies in the Intelligence Unit, and Chicago. The issue is how hostile he becomes when those things are threatened. To say he's violent against suspects is an understatement; he's gone to excessive lengths against people who he considered a threat to his family (his actions towards Casey in CF, the implications in what happened to that punk kid that Justin was hanging around)

 

The thing is, to date the suspects we have seen Voight abusing are people who have actually BEEN guilty of whatever they were thought to be. What I'm waiting for - because I'm sure it's bound to happen - is for Voight to turn all that violence and hatred onto someone who he THINKS is guilty, but then finds out actually isn't. What then? 

 

I guess that having him admit to Jay in the bar last week that sometimes he's wrong was at least a tiny step in that direction (or, really, kind of major, since IMO Voight isn't the kind of guy who's quick to admit his shortcomings, especially to an underling). He's just always so incredibly sure that he's right about X, Y or Z -- and then, he goes off the rails and distributes his own vigilante justice. That's the second part of the problem, and to me the real issue. While part of me understands how Voight could get so infuriated by some of these scumbags -- we see it in the news IRL all the time, how utter monsters' trials go on for years, how lawyers get them off on technicalities or "bad childhood" types of excuses, etc. -- imagine a world in which EVERYONE took law and order into their own hands. That's why we HAVE a legal system in the first place. You simply can't have each person dishing out what he or she thinks the person deserves.

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I loved the scene with Voight and Lindsay in his office yesterday, where she went to him in clear desperation, confiding what she obviously felt was the worst she could possibly tell him...and he just pulled her into his arms in a fatherly way and it was clear his feelings for her wouldn't change one bit. 

 

I wouldn't doubt someone like Lindsay no doubt feared for YEARS that there would one day be a limit to Voight's love and support for her, that his feelings for Justin as a biological child were different than for her, and he showed her otherwise. In a way, it was a relief to have gotten to that point where she HAD to spill, because I'm sure it was a load off her that she'd been carrying probably from the age of 16.

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How does everyone feel about Voight currently?  There's no doubt that he's a bad guy, albeit good intentions usually.  With losing his wife, son, Erin and even his grandson, due to distance, he's a pretty broken guy.  I wonder if they''ll ever give him a love interest?

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On 3/29/2018 at 9:51 PM, SuzieQ said:

How does everyone feel about Voight currently?  There's no doubt that he's a bad guy, albeit good intentions usually.  With losing his wife, son, Erin and even his grandson, due to distance, he's a pretty broken guy.  I wonder if they''ll ever give him a love interest?

He's got a hooker, but they "just talk."

Give him Upton; she needs to stay away from Halstead. 

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1 hour ago, FnkyChkn34 said:

He's got a hooker, but they "just talk."

Give him Upton; she needs to stay away from Halstead. 

Maybe they need to do more than just talk.  He's usually pretty cranky, lol.

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I still think he might've made it work with Olivia Benson from SVU (or, as my mother always calls it, SUV)...but I understand the logistic problems of the actors' schedules.

IMO he literally has nothing left to lose at this point. Everyone he's ever loved is gone, same as Olinsky. That's a very dangerous position to be in.

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Perhaps a tad off-topic, but I just watched the new Netflix series The Good Cop. In it, Tony Danza plays a disgraced detective who just did a 7 year bit for corruption on the job. Good ghods, it may as well have been Jason Beghe. The accent, mannerisms and attitude were screaming Voight, if Voight were being played for sort-of laughs. It's a fun little show, too.

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10 hours ago, NJRadioGuy said:

Perhaps a tad off-topic, but I just watched the new Netflix series The Good Cop. In it, Tony Danza plays a disgraced detective who just did a 7 year bit for corruption on the job. Good ghods, it may as well have been Jason Beghe. The accent, mannerisms and attitude were screaming Voight, if Voight were being played for sort-of laughs. It's a fun little show, too.

YES!! We thought the exact same thing...it's as if Voight had had to deal with a mild-mannered Lindsay instead of the real one. Which would certainly have been interesting, to say the least.

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