The next episode of NBC’s “Chicago P.D.” likely will have some viewers fidgeting uncomfortably — maybe even covering certain body parts.
In “You Wish,” airing at 9 p.m. Wednesday on WMAQ-Channel 5, the discovery of a mutilated body leads the Intelligence Unit to investigate a “special” police force that monitors a housing development in the city.
While that investigation is the episode’s main story, the mutilation might linger with certain viewers a little longer. You can test our theory by watching this first-look scene NBC provided exclusively to the Sun-Times:
If you’re thinking — or shouting — “Ouch!,” that’s exactly the reaction series executive producer Matt Olmstead expects. The “P.D.” writers wanted one of the characters to share the viewers’ discomfort, he said. Detective Kevin Atwater, played by Harvey native LaRoyce Hawkins, serves as the audience’s surrogate.
“He’s the one who’s literally squirming in his chair. He does not want to see the photos,” Olmstead said. “So he’s the one who is, again, articulating what many men would feel, which is, “Ooh gaah — the less I know the better!’ ”
The mutilation investigation leads detectives Jay Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer) and Kenny Rixton (Nick Wechsler) to the special police force. Their initial visit only causes the force to close ranks and demand a search warrant. Sgt. Hank Voight (Jason Beghe) takes another angle, appealing to their egos.
“Voight does a follow-up; he smartly treats them with respect as a fellow cop, and that respect ultimately pays dividends,” Olmstead said. “Voight’s not going in there, twirling his nightstick and saying, ‘Look, I’m the real cops, and you guys are nobodies.’ He’s smart enough to deal with them on an equal playing field, which is reciprocated.”
According to Olmstead, the idea for the special police force — like the severed penis story — came from recent news articles. The show’s writers learned that in Virginia, a state law allows private police forces to carry firearms and badges, and to make arrests. (The Sun-Times previously reported that private security forces patrol some Chicago neighborhoods as well, and the University of Chicago Police Department is one of the largest private operators in the country.)
While Olmstead discovered varying opinions about these private forces, he wanted to show both sides of the issue in “Chicago P.D.” Not so with the severed penis story.
“As soon as you hear it — I can only speak for myself — you double over,” Olmstead said. “There’s a visceral, physical reaction to hearing that.”
Read more from Curt Wagner at tvshowpatrol.com