Why bringing Halstead back to Chicago PD would be a mistake

It would be exciting, but the character's return would cause problems.

CHICAGO P.D. -- "New Guard" Episode 918 -- Pictured: (l-r) Tracy Spiridakos as Hailey, Jesse Lee Soffer as Jay Halstead -- (Photo by: Lori Allen/NBC)
CHICAGO P.D. -- "New Guard" Episode 918 -- Pictured: (l-r) Tracy Spiridakos as Hailey, Jesse Lee Soffer as Jay Halstead -- (Photo by: Lori Allen/NBC) /

Hailey Upton (Tracy Spiridakos) is on her Chicago PD farewell tour. The character only has a few more episodes left, and one of them will be directed by the person who plays her ex-husband, Jay Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer).

It's not completely surprising, given that Soffer directed a season 10 episode after leaving the show, but it has raised lots of questions about the role that his character will play in Upton's exit.

Since he will be on the set, is there a chance he will suit up and return to the fold as Halstead? Will there be closure between him and Upton before she leaves Chicago?

Fans theorize Halstead might return for S11 finale

Chicago P.D. - Season 9
CHICAGO P.D. -- "To Protect" Episode 912 -- Pictured: (l-r) Jason Beghe as Hank Voight, Jesse Lee Soffer as Jay Halstead, Tracy Spiridakos as Hailey -- (Photo by: Lori Allen/NBC) /

We don't have the answers to these questions, of course, as we're still several weeks out from Upton's exit, but there is a more pressing hypothetical that we want to examine: is bringing Halstead back a good idea? Because all signs point to his return being a bad thing for Upton's character.

Upton has had it rough since Halstead decided to quit the force and leave the country. She didn't get responses from him in the form of phone calls or texts, and she failed to get updates regarding when he would be back (she had to contact his superior to find out he extended his stay abroad).

It's not the ending any of us wanted to see, especially when season 11 kicked off, and we caught a glimpse of the divorce paperwork in Upton's apartment. She's stuck in an emotional rut, as she said in the premiere, and while she avoids singling Halstead out as the cause, he has undoubtedly played a role.

The show should focus on Upton's arc

Chicago P.D. - Season 11
CHICAGO P.D. -- "Unpacking" Episode 11001 -- Pictured: Tracy Spiridakos as Hailey Upton -- (Photo by: Lori Allen/NBC) /

Upton hasn't resolved this rut, but bringing Halstead back and giving the couple a romantic resolution would feel forced. Especially after watching a season and a half of Halstead ignoring Upton, and failing to be lend support even after she nearly lost her life on the job.

There's been too much distance created between them, both literally and figuratively, to realistically bring them back together and have them ride off into the sunset together, like recent couples on Med or Fire.

It would be more narratively consistent and truthful to the character of Upton to let her exit the show on her own terms, instead of forcing some sort of reunion between her and Halstead. It may not be a heartwarming sendoff, but PD has never been afraid of taking the hard-nosed approach.

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