Chicago PD season 5 by character: Jay Halstead

CHICAGO P.D. -- "Care Under Fire" Episode 507 -- Pictured: Jesse Lee Soffer as Jay Halstead -- (Photo by: Matt Dinerstein/NBC)
CHICAGO P.D. -- "Care Under Fire" Episode 507 -- Pictured: Jesse Lee Soffer as Jay Halstead -- (Photo by: Matt Dinerstein/NBC) /

How was Chicago PD season 5 for your favorite character? In this retrospective profile, we look at how Chicago PD treated Jay Halstead this season.

As we continue to look back on Chicago PD season 5, we’re breaking down the season for each of the show’s characters.

Did your favorite character have a good season or a bad season? What were their strong points and were there any weaknesses? Was the character affected by the show’s writing, or vice versa? Where could they go from here?

Check out our detailed character breakdown, and let us know your thoughts on how this season was for each character in the comments.

In this profile, we’re looking at Chicago PD‘s embattled detective Jay Halstead, played by Jesse Lee Soffer.

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It was a busy season for Halstead. After starting the season with an officer-involved shooting and people calling for him to be fired, he wound up with both a new partner and a new girlfriend.

Jay was in a relationship with drug dealer Camila Vargas (recurring guest star Anabelle Acosta), who ended up behind bars, and finally got some help to deal with his issues when he went to therapy.

While he had both professional and personal struggles to deal with during Chicago PD season 5, the season did open everything up for Halstead and allow him to start over following the exit of Erin Lindsay (Sophia Bush), who was mentioned later in the season but never appeared.

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Halstead’s season was really interesting, because Chicago PD had to reboot him both personally and professionally due to having to write out the Lindsay character. So much of Jay was tied to Erin that obviously Jay couldn’t be anywhere near the same. Without both his partner and his love interest, it was virtually a clean slate.

Jesse Lee Soffer was excellent in the role, giving some of his best performances in a while, as he got to explore new directions for Halstead. Fans also got an answer about what issues Halstead was struggling with that led to the demise of Linstead last season—the answer was a season too late and still not explored enough, but at least it was more information.

But having Jay jump into a new relationship before Chicago PD season 5 was even halfway over felt rushed after everything he’d been through with Erin, and the show missed a big opportunity not diving into more of his problems (or at least giving us a scene where he and his brother were able to talk about said problems—both of them had a rough year!)


There’s some big decisions to make when it comes to Jay Halstead in Chicago PD season 6. Since the fifth season didn’t fully explore some aspects, there’s still some untapped potential and some decisions to be made. It’d be hard to see the show spending another year on Jay’s therapy, so that probably won’t come back.

If the show does move forward, then we’ve got a Halstead who has presumably worked through his issues, and whose last relationship was with a drug dealer. Is he going to be back to the always reliable Jay Halstead we knew from the first four seasons?

Maybe more cautious with who he gets involved with? And where’s he going to go professionally, because there’s not a ton of room for advancement in the unit? There’s not an obvious route for him to go, as opposed to some other characters, but Jesse Lee Soffer has proven he deserves to have some stronger storylines next season—he hit the ball out of the park even when the writing wasn’t there.

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What did you think of Chicago PD season 5 as it relates to Jay Halstead? Let us know how you’d evaluate his season in the comments.

Chicago PD returns to NBC on Sept. 26.