Hailey Upton is on her way out. The character played by Tracy Spiridakos will be leaving Chicago PD at some point during season 11, and presumably rejoining her husband, Jay Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer), in an attempt to revive their marriage.
An IU without Upton will take some getting used to, but at the same time, it may not be a bad thing. The character has undergone lots of changes in recent years, and not all of them have been for the best. As such, we compiled a list of things that nobody wants to admit, but may come to agree with if given some time to gestate.
Upton has killed someone and covered it up
Some Chicago PD viewers brush past this incident, but it radically shifted Upton’s character. She joined the IU as an upstanding, moral police officer who looked down on the corrupt, and yet, in the season 9 finale, she shot a man and collaborated with Hank Voight (Jason Beghe) to cover it up.
Upton has tried to maintain her upright approach to policing since, but the fact that she committed a crime and then lied about it makes whatever moral stance she takes seem extremely shaky. It’s a far cry from the character we met, and while that’s not inherently a bad thing, there’s a sense that the writers still want to pose her as the by-the-book member of the IU.
Upton coerced Jay Halstead into blackmailing an FBI agent
Jay Halstead left the IU in season 10, after deciding that he could no longer deal with the rampant corruption in the Windy City. He’d grown tired of cutting corners and agreeing to break rules at the behest of Voight or the necessity of a given case, which makes Upton’s decision to include him in her aforementioned cover up especially damaging.
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Halstead was brought in to help Upton and Voight when the FBI came asking about the man that Upton shot, and despite his reluctance, Halstead agreed to blackmail an FBI agent to get him off of his co-workers’ backs. Morally speaking, not a cool on his wife’s part.
Upton’s characterization is inconsistent from episode to episode
As we previously mentioned, Upton has gone from rigid, morally strong officer to someone who is willing to cross the line if it means securing an arrest. We saw her propensity for blurring the lines when she was dealing with serial killer Sean O’Neal (Jefferson White). The problem is, there were season 10 episodes after that in which Upton acted completely different.
More than any other character on the show, it feels like Upton has fallen into a bit of an identity crisis. The writing for her peers is consistent, but she is the piece that gets altered depending on the needs of the story, and it’s made it tough to get a sense of who she is in the present day.
It may be too late for Upton and Halstead to fix their marriage
Our assumption is that Upton will leave Chicago PD in an effort to repair her relationship with her husband. We all want to see them together, and Halstead creating distance between them in the tenth season was tough to watch. The thing is, the two have grown so far apart that it could be too late.
Halstead decided to extend his stay in Bolivia without even telling Upton, and when the latter was kidnapped and nearly killed, she didn’t mention it via text or phone call. These two characters are on pretty different paths in 2023, and honestly, they may be better off going their separate ways for good.
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