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This Week’s Most Noteworthy Performance

February 26-March 4
“Emotional Proximity” | Chicago P.D.
Elias Koteas

Elias Koteas often exudes the warmth of a fatherly figure, and in “Emotional Proximity” Koteas made us feel profoundly for his character. Chicago P.D. took viewers down a dark road this week, and from the moment Olinsky learns that Lexi was injured at the rave, Koteas wears distress all throughout the episodes. And in a single, heart wrenching moment, we can see a part of him diminish as he realizes Lexi is gone. An emptiness engulfs him to the core once his daughter dies, and a part of him completely shuts down.

But after that moment, Koteas speaks with such weariness, you could hear the calamity and heartbreak in his voice. You could feel the pain of a man who’d lost too much too quickly. And that level of change isn’t something I’ve seen many actors do on television. The anguish and desolation were a constant presence throughout the episode, which Koteas delivered in an organic, precise matter. There was not a single moment that felt underwhelming or over done. He met each emotion with the perfect, natural beat resonating with the audience beautifully.

As mentioned in our episode review on Wednesday: “Koteas took us on an emotional journey with heart wrenching agony on full display from the moment he learned Lexi was at the rave, too. And that horrified, wearied expressiveness was carried all throughout the episodes until her passing where his voice brought to life grief evocatively. Koteas is great keeping the audience engaged with his character because the full range of emotions make it hard to look away, but in “Emotional Proximity”, it was almost easy to look away. It was easy to look away because Koteas made sure you could feel every little beat of the Olinsky’s pain. And anyone who watched the episode could understand that this man had just lost someone who’d meant the world to me. This man had lost a part of him — a reason he lived for.”

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