Was Chicago PD’s Upton and Halstead [SPOILER] worth the wait?

CHICAGO P.D. -- "Tender Age" Episode 803 -- Pictured: Tracy Spiridakos as Hailey Upton -- (Photo by: Matt Dinerstein/NBC)
CHICAGO P.D. -- "Tender Age" Episode 803 -- Pictured: Tracy Spiridakos as Hailey Upton -- (Photo by: Matt Dinerstein/NBC) /

What’s next after Chicago PD’s Upton and Halstead kiss?

Chicago PD ended its spring premiere with the moment everyone knew was coming: Hailey Upton (Tracy Spiridakos) and Jay Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer) kissed.

In “Tender Age,” Upton received an offer from the FBI, whom she worked for briefly at the end of season 7. The Bureau wanted to hire her as an interrogator on “high-level targets.”

Though Halstead didn’t have a strong initial reaction, at the end of the episode he asked Upton if she was going to take the job. Hailey responded by leadingly saying Jay could tell her that he didn’t want her to take it.

More from Hailey Upton

She then confessed that having him as her partner made her better—and that it had been “a long time” since she’d seen him as just her partner. The episode concluded with Halstead and Upton kissing passionately.

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Chicago PD fans have known that the show wanted an Upstead romance for some time now. Executive producer and showrunner Rick Eid publicly stated in interviews that the two were “falling in love with each other” after Upton nearly confessed something to Halstead in last season’s spring premiere.

NBC’s also been promoting their pairing in YouTube videos, like the one you can see below. If it’s being used as promo material, that’s a pretty clear sign that a ship is on the way.

Now it’s finally happened—so was it worth the season-plus of waiting, and what’s going to happen next for these partners turned lovers?

The build-up in “Tender Age” was fairly anticlimactic. Halstead didn’t have a big reaction to Upton’s job offer; he was pretty low-key about it, and actually very respectful in saying that he wanted her to do what was best for her.

Conversely, Upton seemed like she was trying to cajole Halstead into making a move by saying what he could tell her. That felt a bit strange for her to put the onus on him. Was she trying to test if Jay had feelings for her?

However you slice it, this didn’t have the emotional punch of something that the viewer had been waiting for. It felt like an awkward conversation that happened to end in a kiss.

Upstead has been a slightly divisive topic among Chicago PD fans; some are on board the ship and others aren’t. It’ll be very interesting to see how the show handles them as a couple, since the two characters individually are in very different places.

There has yet to be a serious conversation between the two about how Jay dated and wanted to marry his previous partner. Even when Upton was off with the FBI in New York, there wasn’t a nod that Lindsay was working for the same agency in the same office. That feels like an oversight, though we know that the series doesn’t make a point of referring back to past characters. Jay is going into a relationship that looks a lot like his last one, at least on the surface, so wouldn’t that affect him?

On the other hand, Lindsay hasn’t been a character on the show since the end of Chicago PD season 4. That’s three-plus seasons. Halstead is well within his rights to move on, and pairing him with Upton is much better than the awkward Camila storyline of season 5 or bringing back his random ex-wife. At least by pairing him with another main character, the relationship should have a future and some stability for a character who’s gotten jerked around for a while.

And of course, the show will presumably have to have Adam Ruzek (Patrick John Flueger) find out that his ex has hooked up with Halstead. But Ruzek is over Upton and if he’s been paying the least bit of attention, he’s probably not going to be surprised.

There are story points with potential in Upstead’s future, if Chicago PD is willing to take the time to explore them, and not just focus on their hooking up. They’re definitely hooked up now, though, so all fans can do is hang on and see where the new ship sails to.

dark. Next. What else happened in this week's Chicago PD

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