That was a hard one.
It’s hard to imagine a world in which Jay Halstead isn’t part of Intelligence, but if it has to be this way, well, I’m glad he went out the way he did.
It’s never easy to do the right thing, and Chicago PD Season 10 Episode 3 honed in on that.
Since Anna’s death, Halstead has been all over the place trying to figure out exactly where his place is—is it by Hailey’s side or by Voight’s? I think the best way to describe his behavior was like a walking zombie doing things out of comfort rather than necessity.
But Intelligence, and the dark and twisted cases, were bound to get the best of him, especially as the job continued taking parts of his soul, bit by bit, without him even realizing.
Halstead has always done his best not to be like Voight, but along the way, case after case, he lost his way and changed into an unrecognizable version of himself.
The last straw was when he responded to a shooting at a pharmacy and pursued a group of robbers trying to steal drugs to make meth.
Halstead got personally invested in the case because of Lenny, a good samaritan and ex-vet who ended up being part of the robbery crew.
Halstead skirted evidence, used illegal tactics to get information out of suspects, and lied to Upton and others on the team. He was running the Voight playbook, and he couldn’t stop himself.
Everything that made Halstead Halstead was fading. Yes, he had a good reason not to out Lenny’s involvement with the robbery, but that didn’t make it okay either. Halstead has always been a black or white guy, but lately, the job has just become a grey zone where you pick and choose when you want to follow the rules. It took a toll on him, naturally.
Instead of talking or confiding in someone, he kept it bottled up inside, which likely didn’t make it any better. It all festered unresolved until it blew up.
And the absolute last straw was when he killed Benny, in self-defense, and then had to come up with yet another cover story to save his own ass.
“We’re doing it again,” Halstead muttered to Upton and Voight with a glazed-over look. And he was right—they somehow found themselves repeating the same mistakes of the past in order and excusing the behavior as necessary.
One mistake doesn’t make a bad guy, but when you constantly make the same mistakes, what then? Halstead didn’t want to be the bad guy, he wanted to stay the good guy he started out.
In a way, it was admirable that Halstead went rogue to keep Lenny’s name out of it, but it was yet another example of just how long gone everything was. There was no semblance of order; this was just becoming common practice. They were desensitized, and it was quite alarming how quickly and seamlessly they came up with a cover story that was airtight.
Of course, Voight and Upton would do anything to protect Halstead, but to what end? We saw the ripple effects of Voight and Upton’s first rogue mission followed by the toll that Anna’s death took on them.
It wasn’t sustainable. So I commend Halstead for recognizing that and admitting the hard truth instead of being in denial about it.
It was even more messed up because when he did want to come clean, he was basically praised for killing Benny as his death saved countless of innocent lives. It’s dangerous when you begin to justify bending and breaking the rules for the “greater good” in such a way that you lose your moral compass.
Halstead decided against telling the truth so that Lenny’s family could reap the reward, but he also tended his resignation, a move that shocked Upton to her core.
On one hand, I understand where Halstead is coming from, but as a woman who thrives on clear communication, I wish he would’ve talked this over with her. It’s possible that he didn’t because he was afraid she was going to stop him and he needed to pull the trigger, but honestly, if they are soulmates, then despite everything, she should’ve supported his decision. Upton deserved to know first; he could’ve at least given her that.
Halstead’s exit was probably the most well-written and executed because it made sense. His past with the army has always been a huge part of his character, so it was a natural fit when Nolan mentioned a job bringing down some of the most dangerous cartels in the world. And, as Jay pointed out, it would be black and white, good or bad, a necessary way to reset and ground himself.
The door for Halstead’s return, even in a guest role capacity, was left open as the gig seemed to be temporary as he mentioned 8 months in Bolivia. Of course, my guess is that Halstead will actually be a really great fit and it will become permanent, but I find hope in the fact that maybe this isn’t the last time we’ll ever see Jay Halstead grace our screens.
It’s going to be a difficult road for Upton, who has lost her one true love and partner in one fell swoop. She didn’t even really get any closure as it was so abrupt. A mere hours after breaking the news, Halstead was on a flight out of the country and not looking back. I hope Upton doesn’t cling on to the hope that Halstead will eventually come back because I think he truly meant it when he said that she needed to “let go.” He never fell out of love with her, but he fell out of love with the job… and no one can really fault him for that. No one can fault him for needing to clear his head after a decade of dealing with the worst possible cases and trying to find himself again as the man she fell in love with. He needed to find the heart that made Halstead one of the best characters.
The episode honored the character Jesse Lee Soffer built throughout the years, and it was a beautiful sendoff…even if his team deserved a proper goodbye. It was also an incredible performance from Soffer, who gave it his all.
Though, it was most evident in the final scene with Voight, who came out to O’Hare for one last goodbye. It’s comforting to know he’ll always have a place on the team.
When Voight said, “you don’t want to be,” my heart sank, but the gut punch was Halstead admitting that “it’s worse that I do want to be you.”
The next line, his final words, his final goodbye underscored why Halstead had become such a fan favorite through the years: “You always told me I’m not. And I shouldn’t try.”
It would be easy for Halstead to follow in Voight’s footsteps; it’s what all of us expected, but it’s braver that he’s carving his own path.
After all, it’s the right thing to do.
What did you think of Jay Halstead’s final Chicago PD episode?
Chicago PD Season 11 Episode 6 Review – Survival
Chicago PD came through again, this time with a rare gem that focused on Voight.
I say rare because while Voight plays an integral part of the series, he’s rarely ever the sole focus of the case in such a way that we actually see him dominating the screen for most of the 45-minute episode.
And, on top of that, the episode ended without Voight and the team finding the suspect, which also allows for another multi-episode angle to play out and keep viewers invested.
Voight’s carefree night took a turn when he overheard a beeping sound in an alleyway and found traces of blood belonging to a young man named Noah, who he saw getting violently kidnapped by an offender in nearby surveillance footage.
Without much to go off of, Intelligence worked together to try to build a case and save Noah before it was too late. Since they found a baggie of party drugs near the scene of the abduction, they linked it to a dealer in the area whom Chapman, coincidentally, has tried to nab a handful of times.
The dealer’s MO is to abduct those who stiff him, break their legs, and then dump them back at the place where he sells as part of his warning.
However, after locating the car that kidnapped Noah, they found the young man in dire conditions after he was abused—stabbed six times and had his eyes stapled open (one of the most horrifying sights I’ve ever seen on television, might I add)—which indicated that this was the work of someone else entirely.
Even when Noah identified his dealer in a lineup, Voight wasn’t convinced as he knew he simply did it to get them off of his back. Chapman, who offered to help Voight on the case, wasn’t pleased with the idea of letting a violent criminal that they’ve been pursuing walk away based on a hunch, so she went above Voight to get him arrested.
Still, Voight knew that they were going after the wrong man, so he milked him for any information about Noah.
Noah’s situation was a heartbreaking one as he was a lone wolf in the city on his own after his family turned on him when he came out as gay. When Voight made contact with them, Noah’s mother essentially said Noah deserved what happened to him and that she didn’t want updates because he was no longer their son. I can’t even imagine a mother saying something so cruel, especially when her son was missing and brutally tortured. How could you not want to know if he survived? It broke my heart—and it broke Voight’s heart, which is why he dedicated himself to the case so strongly.
He knew that whatever Noah went through was personal, which was confirmed further when he realized that the suspect they were looking for had been stalking the boy for months, ever since he arrived in Chicago. This was a planned and calculated attack, but they had no suspects to work off of, which didn’t make it easy.
It’s likely one of the main reasons why Voight took Noah in after he was discharged from the hospital. He needed Noah to feel safe and comfortable enough to open up so that they could finally catch this monster and put him behind bars. However, Voight also felt a personal connection to Noah, who reminded him a lot of his late son, Justin, and he felt for the kid since he had nowhere to go and no one to lean on. It’s not exactly all that shocking that an Intelligence member connected with someone on the case as we previously saw Burgess and Ruzek adopt Makayla after her parents were brutally murdered, however, it does sort of cross the line into getting too personally connected. Chapman seemed concerned with Voight’s decision, but only time will tell if he made the right one.
If I had to wager a guess, I’d say Noah knows who his abuser is, but he’s not saying anything because he’s scared and traumatized since it’s someone that he cares about. Since we know the attack wasn’t random—and everyone who did come in contact with him explained that he didn’t have friends or make many connections with anyone—it has to be someone from home. Maybe someone like his brother or a friend whom he confided in.
This is one of those lingering cases that we will revisit in future episodes, but it has so much promise. Voight’s seen a lot during his tenure in Chicago, but even he seemed completely shaken by what Noah endured.
And will the series ever make any positive moves with Voight and Chapman? It’s clear that there’s something between them that goes beyond their workplace friendship.
What did you think of the episode? Who do you think Noah’s attacker is?
Chicago PD Season 11 Episode 5 Review – Split-Second
Atwater does it again, but that’s really no surprise. Kevin Atwater episodes of Chicago PD are consistently the strongest—delivering complex issues, a riveting performance, and making us all question why LaRoyce Hawkins isn’t allowed to take the wheel more often.
And would it kill them to give him a love interest so he doesn’t have to carry this burden all on his own?
On Chicago PD Season 11 Episode 5, Atwater responded to a robbery in progress on Jeweler’s Row, but the situation quickly escalated as the robbers proved to be dangerous and careless, firing shots that killed the store owner and hit an innocent bystander, who ended up bleeding out to death.
The moment was one that haunted Atwater for much of the episode, as the wife of Corey, who was trapped between the safety door, blamed Atwater for making a conscious choice to try to save the owner over her husband.
And she’s not wrong—Atwater went to check on the other man, allowing the impenetrable doors to close, preventing him from rendering life-saving aid to Corey.
He was filled with instant regret knowing that his choices could’ve made a difference, and while we know that it’s simply Atwater’s personality to want to take accountability, the case showed that sometimes, despite our best efforts, we can’t change the outcome. And we can’t save everyone.
It wasn’t stated in the episode—and Atwater said time and time again that he didn’t know why he chose to check on the owner instead of Corey—but my guess is that he didn’t imagine that the doors would be impossible to break through. He likely also felt that the injuries of the owner may have been more extensive than Corey’s, and felt the need to prioritize helping him.
At the end of the day, he followed his gut in a split-second, trying to make the best decisions for everyone, and there’s not much more you can ask for when it comes to the person responding to a critical situation.
He went back to the scene of the crime, retracing his steps an replaying the situation over and over in his brain, making himself feel guiltier, particularly when he found the keys under the shattered glass, which could have bought Corey the necessary time until the paramedics arrived, but that’s all hindsight and doesn’t change what happened. Atwater can learn from it, but he needs to let himself move on for his mental health, especially as Voight pointed out that there is no handbook on who you should save first.
Atwater’s regret aside, the episode was action-packed as they tried to identify the two robbers, who were leaving behind a trail of victims during their heists. The key person to helping them make a break in the case was Teresa. They knew she saw one of the suspects as there was video footage of her looking him in the face before he put his mask on, but when confronted, Teresa insisted that there was a “glare” and she saw nothing.
Considering the suspects took off with every victim’s driver’s license, I’m not surprised Teresa chose to stay quiet as she feared retaliation against her family. She already lost her husband, and she didn’t want to put her husband in harm’s way.
While Voight’s tactics of pushing her to talk or charging her with obstruction of justice may have seemed harsh, it was necessary to motivate her to help them make a break in the case. (I’ll be honest, I first thought that Teresa was keeping the suspect’s identity a secret because it was someone she knew/someone connected to her son, so I was glad that wasn’t the case.)
But the sad reality is that even if she hadn’t identified the suspect, they could’ve still come for her to silence her since they knew that she saw one of their faces, which is exactly what happened. They didn’t care if she sold them out—if she could, she needed to be taken care of. Working with the police and giving them what they needed sooner may have ensured her safety as they could’ve caught the bad guys, but I’m also not surprised that there’s a distrust of police, in general, but also specifically for Teresa.
Teresa felt betrayed by Atwater since he didn’t save her husband—it’s all she could focus on. Not to mention that even though Atwater told her that they would have units watching her house until the bad guys were caught, he couldn’t guarantee her safety as the moment one of the suspects broke into her home, no one was stationed outside of her home because they were switching shifts. They dropped the ball, and if it wasn’t for Atwater’s quick thinking, it could’ve cost her and her son their lives.
Atwater went above and beyond on the case, as he felt a sense of responsibility to the family, but he also found himself with conflicting emotions after he shot Aiden and asked Teresa for assistance with putting pressure on the wound, which she refused to do because “he didn’t deserve to live while her husband died.”
And, quite honestly, as a victim who is grieving a major loss and feels betrayed, I totally get where she’s coming from. This is a man who killed her husband and who broke into her home to kill her and her child without a second thought. If Atwater wasn’t there, he wouldn’t have shown her any mercy, so why did she have to take the high road in this case?
On the other hand, Atwater is not in a position to pick and choose who he saves. He has sworn to serve and protect—so while he stopped the suspect from hurting someone else, he also has to render aid and do everything to prevent the suspect from dying. Atwater did his job, even if the outcome wasn’t fair. And honestly, when is life ever fair?
As we’ve seen time and time again on Chicago PD, there are many inner struggles that come with being a cop, and no one feels guilter, harbors more regret, or is harder on themselves than the cops that find themselves in those tricky situations, toeing the line between right, wrong, and necessary.
Thankfully for all of us, Atwater has always excelled in those storylines, rising to the occasion every single time.
What did you think of the episode?
Is ‘Chicago PD’ New Tonight? Everything We Know About Season 11 Episode 5
Chicago PD fans, you’re going to have to wait an additional week until new episodes return to NBC.
The police drama will not air a brand new episode tonight (February 14, 2024) as the show is skipping a week before airing a new episode, likely due to Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday cutting into potential live audiences. In its place, the network will be airing a rerun of the season 11 premiere episode.
Chicago PD Season 11 Episode 5 will return to your TV on Wednesday, February 21, 2024.
Thankfully, a synopsis for the next episode has already been revealed, along with a teaser, so fans can know what to expect. The wait will be worth it as the episode, titled “Split Second,” will be the first of the season to focus on Det. Kevin Atwater (played by LaRoyce Hawkins), who always delivers an outstanding performance!
Here’s the official episode tease: “Atwater turns to an unlikely source of support when a string of jewellery store robberies shakes his confidence.”
For now, check out the trailer for the next episode below:
Chicago P.D. airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on NBC.
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