Chicago PD: What does Halstead’s exit mean for Upton?

CHICAGO P.D. -- "To Protect" Episode 912 -- Pictured: Tracy Spiridakos as Hailey -- (Photo by: Lori Allen/NBC)
CHICAGO P.D. -- "To Protect" Episode 912 -- Pictured: Tracy Spiridakos as Hailey -- (Photo by: Lori Allen/NBC) /

Chicago PD is gearing up for big changes. The long-running police procedural has confirmed that one of its main characters, Jay Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer), will be leaving after season 10. It’s a tough pill to swallow for fans who have followed the character’s story for a decade, but it’s going to be even tougher on his onscreen wife, Hailey Upton (Tracy Spiridakos).

Season 9 was a pivotal one for the couple, not only in terms of being able to trust one another (the situation involving Upton’s manslaughter could have been a real deal breaker), but in how serious they were about spending their lives together. Their wedding was one of the season’s biggest surprises.

Now that Halstead has a ticking clock until his exit, the notion of happily ever after seems to be in jeopardy. Will they stay together? Let’s take a look at what the character’s exit means for Upton.

Are Halstead and Upton getting divorced?

For starters, one can’t bring up this difficult narrative issue without referencing the same thing going on for Chicago Fire characters Matt Casey (Jesse Spencer) and Sylvie Brett (Kara Killmer). The former left Fire midway through last season, and Brett has had to soldier on despite dating him. It isn’t an easy thing to navigate, especially if the actor who leaves doesn’t want to put in the work to connect the dots via voice cameos or return appearances.

Fire has toyed with the possibility of Casey and Brett making things work in a long distance form, which implies that Jesse Spencer is happy to do what he can to make his character’s absence feel organic.

The problem with Halstead’s exit is that we don’t yet know if Jesse Lee Soffer is going to want to make cameos or if he wants to cut ties with the show entirely. If he wants to do the former, then it makes sense that Halstead and Upton will remain married and (mostly) happy. If he doesn’t want to, then the showrunners will have to consider more drastic measures.

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Because Halstead and Upton have been through so much together, and their marriage is ironclad, the notion of them getting divorced feels disingenuous. If a split was on the table, it would have already happened. This, of course, raises the question of death.

If the PD showrunners wanted to preserve the sanctity of the Halstead and Upton marriage while still allowing Soffer to walk, then the best way of doing that would be to kill the character off in dramatic fashion.

It would be devastating to both Upton and fans, but it may be the only realistic way of allowing Upton to carry on, and develop character arcs that aren’t dependent on her husband. Maybe PD will come up with a solution less drastic, but as of right now, things are not looking good for the future of their marriage.

Next. Will Halstead get killed off?. dark

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