Chicago PD has consistently high stakes. The danger that the IU gets put into on a regular basis cannot be overstated, especially when you consider how courageous so many of the characters can be.
While this danger can be thrilling to watch, it also means the characters are prone to surprising exits. Whether it be through death, a transfer, or a desire to start anew in another city, characters have turned in their badge and never been seen in the precinct again. And given the recent news regarding Hailey Upton (Tracy Spiridakos), we thought a trip down the memory lane of unexpected exits would be especially fitting.
Here are the examples that have surprised us the most over the course of the show’s ten years.
Olinsky (Elias Koteas) is a Chicago PD staple. He cut corners sometimes, but he had a charisma and a sense of right and wrong that always kept us on his side. It was this favoritism that made his death in the season 5 finale so unexpected.
Olinksy took the wrap for a murder that Voight committed (out of revenge for his son) and went to prison. While inside, he was stabbed by an inmate and died as a result of severe blood loss. Voight was bereft over the loss of his friend, and in some ways, has yet to get over it.
Rojas (Lisseth Chavez) was primed to join the IU from the moment she was introduced in season 7. She got more and more to do as the season went on, and her dynamic with the rest of the team brought out different elements of their respective characters.
Then, as quickly as she arrived, she was gone. Rojas was last spotted in the season 7 finale, and hasn’t been mentioned since. PD showrunner Rick Eid hinted at the possibility of giving her a more detailed sendoff, but no such such thing has happened. The surprise here comes from how sudden it all was.
Sean Roman (Brian Geraghty) is not the most popular character on PD. His antics made him a polarizing presence, and he often butted heads with the IU. That said, it seemed like he would be around forever. He was not. Roman decided to accept a position in San Diego after suffering nerve damage in the field.
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Granted, Roman returned for a season 7 episode, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that his initial departure was a shock.
This one is tricky. Anybody who was keeping tabs on the production issues going on between Sophia Bush and the rest of the cast knew this was coming, but for those who were just watching the show, it was a shock. Bush’s Erin Lindsay dipped out in season 4 to work for a narcotics unit in New York.
What made Lindsay’s onscreen exit so surprising is that she was one of the central characters during her time on the show. She felt like the closest thing to a protagonist besides Hank Voight, and its a testament to the PD writers that they were able to keep things running smoothly.
Talk about a blindsiding. Hailey Upton (Tracy Spiridakos) spent most of season 10 at the center of the story, whether it be her pursuit of a suspected serial killer or her struggle to make sense of her marriage with Jay Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer). There was a sense that there was still plenty to get from her character over the course of the show, but apparently, Spiridakos and the writers felt differently.
According to Variety, the Upton character will leave Chicago PD at some point during season 11. It’s unclear how far into the season she will be leaving, but based on the handling of the Halstead character last year, our guess is sometime in the first handful of episodes. Even though we know it’s coming, the notion that someone as crucial as Upton will soon be gone is a tough one to process. The character will definitely be missed.
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