All eyes will be on Hailey Upton (Tracy Spiridakos) as Chicago PD season 11 gets underway. The veteran police officer will be leaving the show, despite there being no signs or implications of this major career change during season 10.
Naturally, fans are curious as to how the character will be written out of the show, and whether it will have anything to do with her estranged husband, Jay Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer). The details for the season 11 premiere have been kept under wraps, but showrunner Gwen Sigan has finally clued fans in on what to expect.
Chicago PD season 11 will focus on Upton's 'growth and change'
Sigan told TV Line that PD season 11 will be a big season of "growth and change for Hailey Upton", and revealed that the character will be facing down some harsh truths with regard to her marriage:
""We find her at the start of this season in a precarious place; wanting to move her life forward after finally taking off her ring, finding that it’s more difficult than she’d like. There’s a lot she still has to confront in herself and doesn’t necessarily know how to do so.""
This falls in line with the Upton that fans saw throughout season 10. The character has really had a difficult time moving on from Halstead; largely because she's unsure whether she should. Halstead promised he would be coming back to the Windy City, but his lack of communication, and his desire to extend his stay in Bolivia, suggest otherwise.
The Chicago PD showrunner also gave out some interesting spoilers for the season 11 premiere, which is titled "Unpacking" and largely revolves around Upton. The character will be forced to shadow a crisis prevention team, but she finds that her approach to policing is "at odds with the team's mental health clinician."
Upton's personal struggles will dominate the season 11 premiere
It's an interesting take on the character, given how Upton has become increasingly comfortable with taking matters into her own hands, and diverging from what it traditionally considered "good" police work. Unsurprisingly, Hank Voight (Jason Beghe) will take Upton's side in the disagreement.
Gwen Sigan promised that the conflict with the crisis prevention team will bring out Upton's "personal struggles," which she has desperately tried to keep under wraps since Halstead left for Bolivia. Given how much the showrunner has stressed season 11 being a "growth" season for the Upton character, we're inclined to believe that Upton sticks around for longer than we initially thought.
At least, we hope that's the case!
Chicago PD season 11 will premiere January 17 on NBC.