Jay Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer) was one of Chicago PD‘s most consistent characters during his time on the show, but his departure in season 10 led to some inconsistent writing.
While it was true that the writers were stuck between a rock and a hard place when it came to the character being out of the country, the decision to have him cut Hailey Upton (Tracy Spiridakos) out of his life did not sit well with fans, and it’s easy to see why.
Chicago PD has mishandled the Halstead character
Historically, Halstead and Upton have had a very empathetic relationship. They constantly looked out for each other, and even when there were disagreements, they ultimately came together and worked things out. The notion that Halstead would bail on Upton after marrying her is an inversion of everything we’ve come to expect from him.
It doesn’t help that the character’s exit made no allusions to the fact that he would cut off contact with Upton. Their last scene together was emotional precisely because it made it seem as though the decision to leave was a conflicted one, rather than one made by someone who was dying to get away.
It’s been confirmed that Upton will be leaving Chicago PD in season 11, and we hope that Halstead plays a role in why she decides to leave. There’s a lot that’s unresolved between the couple, and a storyline that brings them back together, or at least, could go a long way in repairing the damage that was done to the Halstead character the year before.
It’s not yet known how many episodes Upton will appear in before she leaves, but given the track record of One Chicago exits, we anticipate that she will leave within the first five episodes. That’s the way PD handled Halstead’s exit, and the way Chicago Med handled the exit of Dr. Dylan Scott (Guy Lockard).
Soffer hasn’t appeared on Chicago PD since he left in season 10, but he’s directed episodes and continues to be friendly with the cast. It would be nice to see him return to help Upton transition off the show, and perhaps even suggest that brighter days are ahead for the couple.
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