Chicago PD season 7’s first half MVP: Jesse Lee Soffer

CHICAGO P.D. -- "Brother's Keeper" Episode 705 -- Pictured: Jesse Lee Soffer as Det. Jay Halstead -- (Photo by: Matt Dinerstein/NBC)
CHICAGO P.D. -- "Brother's Keeper" Episode 705 -- Pictured: Jesse Lee Soffer as Det. Jay Halstead -- (Photo by: Matt Dinerstein/NBC) /

As we wait for Chicago PD to return, we’re recognizing the most valuable actor from Chicago PD season 7 so far: Jesse Lee Soffer, aka Jay Halstead.

While we continue to count down to Chicago PD‘s return, we’re taking a moment to recognize the actor who’s given the most to Chicago PD season 7 so far: Jesse Lee Soffer.

One Chicago fans haven’t seen as much of Soffer this season as we have in some previous ones; it’s possible to make the argument that Jay Halstead has been underused. But when we have had big Halstead scenes or episodes, Soffer has brought his ‘A’ game.

We somewhat saw Halstead try to assert himself in the Chicago PD season premiere, when Jay was concerned that his boss was a murderer—and then went against orders to arrest Katherine Brennan (recurring guest star Anne Heche), the real killer.

More from Jay Halstead

That episode petered out somewhat, as Halstead never seemed completely against Voight and the tension between them dissipated by the second episode. But for certain scenes, Soffer had a wonderful energy playing a cop who didn’t know who to trust.

In the first One Chicago crossover this season, Jay didn’t have a huge role but Soffer was amazing in the penultimate scenes where Halstead was face-to-face with the perpetrator and moments away from having to put his own life on the line. His performance was what created the fear and tension that made the crossover ending so memorable.

And of course, it all comes down to Chicago PD‘s midseason finale “Absolution” in which Halstead was the fall guy for Intelligence’s poor decision-making earlier in the season. Spending most of his time acting opposite one co-star, and not being able to move considering Halstead was chained up at the time, he did a lot with a little. He showcased Halstead’s inner torment, which made it all the more painful when we had to realize this might be his last episode.

Lucky for us, it’s unlikely that Jesse Lee Soffer is leaving the show—though not impossible. So the season could get even better for him, as Halstead recovers from his injuries and hopefully starts to challenge people more. He’s got more than enough reason to be angry and to question how things get done.

If Chicago PD gets rid of him now, it’d be dropping an actor who’s become a very big part of why the series still works.

Next. Chicago Fire season 8's best actor so far. dark

For the latest Chicago PD season 7 spoilers and news, plus more on the entire series, follow the Chicago PD category at One Chicago Center.