Why did Jay Halstead leave Chicago PD? (SPOILERS)

CHICAGO P.D. -- "A Good Man" Episode 1003 -- Pictured: Jesse Lee Soffer as Jay Halstead -- (Photo by: Lori Allen/NBC)
CHICAGO P.D. -- "A Good Man" Episode 1003 -- Pictured: Jesse Lee Soffer as Jay Halstead -- (Photo by: Lori Allen/NBC) /

It finally happened. We knew going into Chicago PD season 10 that we would have to say goodbye to Jay Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer), but knowing didn’t make it any easier. The character was a huge part of what has made the show work, and fans were skeptical that he could be given a satisfying sendoff.

Theories about his death, his divorce from Upton (Tracy Spiridakos), and his return to the military were all over the internet, and now that we’ve seen the episode, we can delve into the real reason he chose to walk.


Who is leaving Chicago PD?

The episode spins a tangled narrative about a crew of military veterans who rob pharmacies in the greater Chicago area. Halstead’s past makes him empathetic towards the veterans, but his duty as a cop takes precedent, and he’s able to crack their operation open.

Unfortunately, Halstead is backed into a corner where his life is in danger, and he has to stab one of the veterans or risk being killed. Upton and Voight (Jason Beghe) are the first people to arrive on the scene, and immediately start to concoct a story about what happened so that Halstead avoids trouble in his official report. Halstead goes with it at first, but he recoils when he realizes that he’s falling into the same trap he perpetuated when he agreed to cover up for his wife last season.

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He rejects Upton and Voight’s plan and decides to resign from the IU. He turns his badge in and tells his wife that he will be leaving town to go work a squad tracking down cartels in Bolivia. The rationale is that things are morally clear out there, and he feels like it will be a necessary change of pace after years of moral ambiguity in Chicago.

"“It’s not forever,” he tells Upton. “It’s eight months, maybe a little longer, but I swear to you, that we’re going to get through this because you’re the love of my life.”"

It’s not the exit we expected, but it makes sense given Halstead’s ironclad sense of right and wrong. The fact that the show left the door open for his return makes things very interesting, suggesting that both the actor and the character could reappear in the One Chicago universe.

What do you think of the reason Halstead left?

Next. Why is Jesse Lee Soffer leaving Chicago PD?. dark

For the latest Chicago PD season 9 spoilers and news, plus more on the entire series, follow the Chicago PD category at One Chicago Center.