Chicago PD considered bringing Halstead back for Upton's exit (here’s why they didn’t)

Halstead did not return for Upton's final sendoff, but that doesn't mean the writers hadn't considered reuniting the characters before ultimately deciding not to for one major reason.
CHICAGO P.D. -- "No Way Out" Episode 909 -- Pictured: (l-r) Tracy Spiridakos as Hailey, Jesse Lee Soffer as Jay Halstead -- (Photo by: Lori Allen/NBC)
CHICAGO P.D. -- "No Way Out" Episode 909 -- Pictured: (l-r) Tracy Spiridakos as Hailey, Jesse Lee Soffer as Jay Halstead -- (Photo by: Lori Allen/NBC) /

From the moment it was announced that Tracy Spiridakos was leaving Chicago PD, fans had a lot of opinions and thoughts on how the show should write the character off the series. There were a lot of discussions among fans regarding just what they hoped to see, but there is no denying that at the top of the list was a hope to see Jesse Lee Soffer return as Jay Halstead. 

While Hallstead and Upton parted ways early in the season via an off-screen breakup and divorce, fans never stopped holding out hope that the couple might find their ways back to one another before the season’s end as part of Upton’s exit storyline.

Sadly, Upstead shippers did not get their happy ending as the couple was very much still separated as the season drew to a close and we did not get a cameo from Soffer in Spiridakos’ final episode. However, it seems we came close but the creative team ultimately decided not to bring him back into the fold as part of Upton’s exit. 

Why didn’t Halstead come back for Upton’s last episode of Chicago PD? 

Although Jesse Lee Soffer was on set when filming of Tracy Spiridakos’ final episode took place, he did not step in front of the camera to make a return for Upton’s last episode. He didn’t even get a mention in her sendoff, and there’s a very big reason for this: the creative team wanted the exit to be about Upton, as it should be. 

Speaking with TVLine, showrunner Gwen Sigan wanted Upton’s final sendoff to be about her journey and her journey alone. While there were discussions about bringing Halstead back, at the end of the day Sigan thought it best to make the exit about what she wanted in life not about anything or anyone else. 

“We definitely considered [bringing Jesse Lee Soffer back]. We talked about it a lot. We wanted to go through all the different choices of where this character would go, and it really came down to I wanted it to be about [Upton],” Sigan revealed. “But it’s about her, and it was important because that’s what she needed — just to know that it’s OK to make it about you. That’s why it shook out the way that it did.”

Ultimately, the writers landed on Upton turning in her gun and badge and leaving the CFD to pursue a new career option that was left unknown to the audiences at home. While we got to see Upton heading to the airport to start her new journey, her exact choice was never revealed though it was hinted that she might be taking up a job at the DEA, FBI, or FEMA, as we saw her browsing through all three organization’s websites before hitting the road and leaving Chicago behind. 

While we would have loved to see Upton and Halstead reuniting as part of her sendoff, there is no denying that the writers gave Upton the sendoff she deserved. And even though we might not have gotten to see the pair together, that doesn’t mean we can’t imagine a world where their paths cross again and they get their happy ending off-screen!

Next. Here's how Upton left Chicago PD. Here's how Upton left Chicago PD. dark