Chicago PD season 6 character review: Jay Halstead

CHICAGO P.D. -- "Brotherhood" Episode 610 -- Pictured: Jesse Lee Soffer as Jay Halstead -- (Photo by: Matt Dinerstein/NBC)
CHICAGO P.D. -- "Brotherhood" Episode 610 -- Pictured: Jesse Lee Soffer as Jay Halstead -- (Photo by: Matt Dinerstein/NBC) /
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How was Chicago PD season 6 for Jay Halstead? We’re looking back at how Chicago PD’s latest season went for Jesse Lee Soffer’s character.

As we continue to look back on Chicago PD season 6, 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 article, we’re profiling Jay Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer).

What happened

Chicago PD season 6 gave Jay Halstead some complex personal storylines, which allowed fans to see Jesse play vulnerable, strong, and everything in-between.

The former was seen in the Chicago Med crossover episode “When to Let Go” when Jay and his brother Will Halstead (Nick Gehlfuss) faced the possibility of their father, Pat Halstead (guest star Louis Herthum) dying. Both actors played off each other’s emotions, conveying the intensity and fragility that those harder scenes required.

In the Chicago PD episode “Endings”, viewers saw Jay deal (or more accurately, not deal) with the aftermath of his father’s death. A bit of anger was seen onscreen as Jay projected the unresolved issues with his father onto his partner, Hailey Upton (Tracy Spiridakos). Of course, when he gets shot in the end of the episode, Hailey’s by his side through the ordeal, resolving their earlier strife.

Jay’s stronger side came out in “Trigger” when his Ranger past came back to haunt him as he investigated bombings with possible military connections. He tried to remain impartial during the case, but his bias made him miss the signs that a former Army vet was the perpetrator. Jay then confronted both his PTSD and the bomber to save innocent lives. One of his most poignant lines was said during this episode: “The war was a part of my life – it’s not who I am; not anymore.”

Later on in the season, Jay’s personality continued to fuel his investigative skills. One example of this was seen in the second crossover episode “Good Men” when Jay had a suspect on the hook. Given that it was a young kid who inadvertently saved a man’s life earlier, Halstead was more sympathetic than objective, which could have cost them the case. Upton backed his decision to de-escalate the situation by talking the kid off the ledge, which made their partnership stronger.

Jay’s protective nature was on display in the season finale “Reckoning”, when he shielded Hailey from an array of bullets; but also when he begged Hank Voight (Jason Beghe) to let him take some of the weight from Adam Ruzek’s (Patrick John Flueger) IAD situation. Ultimately, we saw Jay go from part of the team to a possible leader in the unit, especially since Voight is MIA by the finale’s end.