Chicago PD: 3 Reasons why Tracy Spiridakos’ exit isn’t surprising

CHICAGO P.D. -- "Into The Deep" Episode 1007 -- Pictured: Tracy Spiridakos as Hailey Upton -- (Photo by: Lori Allen/NBC)
CHICAGO P.D. -- "Into The Deep" Episode 1007 -- Pictured: Tracy Spiridakos as Hailey Upton -- (Photo by: Lori Allen/NBC) /

It’s official: Hailey Upton will be turning in her badge during Chicago PD season 11. According to Variety, the character, played by Tracy Spiridakos, will be ending her decade long tenure with the IU, though its unclear how many season 11 episodes she will be appearing in.

While it’s undoubtedly sad to see a character as beloved as Upton prepare her exit, there were several signs that implied such a decision was going to be made. The depiction of Upton over the last few seasons, coupled with her complicated personal life, basically laid the foundation for what the PD writers are now working to address.

Here are some of the most notable signs that Upton was always going to be leaving Chicago PD.

Upton covered up a murder in Chicago PD season 9

Upton was characterized by her strict moral code when she joined the IU. It was a shocking turn, then, when she killed a man out of self defense, and subsequently agreed to cover it up with Hank Voight (Jason Beghe) in season 9. The decision not only put her at risk, but her husband Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer) as well.

Halstead was tasked with blackmailing a federal agent who looked into the death, and did so as a means of protecting the woman he loved (and, to an extent, his mentor). It was a riveting storyline, but it also marked a point of no return for Upton as an officer. It stripped her of one of her most distinct qualities.

Ruzek and Burgess became the main couple on Chicago PD

The tenth season of Chicago PD was basically the Adam Ruzek (Patrick John Flueger) and Kim Burgess (Marina Squerciati) show. The two characters really claimed the spotlight thanks to the various personal struggles they were going through, and the romantic tension that eventually brought them back together in the penultimate episode of the season.

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The role being occupied by Ruzek and Burgess was previously filled by Upton and Halstead, which meant the latter couple had become less important to the foundation of Chicago PD. Besides, the decision to have most of the IU members dating each other was beginning to strain believability, and making the ensemble insulated from outside, possibly interesting side characters.

Upton’s husband Halstead left Chicago PD in season 10

The biggest hint that Upton’s days were numbered on PD was that her husband left in season 10. The two of them had just gotten married, so the notion that Halstead would leave and allow his marriage to fall apart was a stretch for the character and an incredibly disappointing end to an otherwise sweet relationship.

The only real fix was to write Upton off the show as well, so that they could be together without having to appear in front of the camera. The PD showrunners and producers have not spoken at length about their decision to get rid of Upton, but we’d be shocked if Halstead’s exit didn’t play a major role.

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