Jesse Lee Soffer, who brilliantly brought detective Jay Halstead to life for 10 seasons on Chicago PD, was written out of the series on Chicago PD Season 10 Episode 3, which aired on Wednesday, Oct. 5. You can read the review here!
The episode titled “Good Man” marked his last appearance in the crime drama. Halstead got personally invested in a case involving a robbery. The men were after pseudoephedrine to make meth. When he responded to the call as a plain-clothes officer, he encountered Lenny, a vet and good samaritan who was trying to diffuse the situation and get as many people to safety. As Halstead pursued the two offenders, Lenny jumped in the line of fire and took a bullet aimed at a pregnant woman. He ended up at Gaffney in a “touch and go” medical state, though his efforts were praised. That is until Upton realized that Lenny was paid out for the robbery. When Halstead and Upton went back to question him, he admitted he was the lookout guy for some money, but since he was dying, he didn’t want them to inform his family about what he’d done. Shortly after his confession, Lenny died.
Halstead didn’t feel comfortable dragging Lenny’s name through the mud as he knew the repercussions it would have on his family, but Upton didn’t agree, noting this was the only way to make a case. Halstead decided to take it upon himself and got evidence of where the drug lab was located. He promised Lenny’s wife he would leave him out of it, which technically made the evidence unusable. However, Halstead still went to the warehouse to scope things out. He was ambushed by Benny, the man making the drugs, and a tussle ensued. Benny overpowered Halstead, who had no choice but to use his pocket knife and stab him several times. Benny died as Halstead looked on in sheer horror at what he’d done.
Upton and Voight arrived and immediately began crafting a cover story. “We’re doing it again,” Halstead exclaimed, suggesting that this has become a toxic pattern. The next day, he went to the bureau hoping to tell the truth, but he was hailed as a hero for helping to clean up the streets of Chicago. He was also told Lenny was being honored in death, with his family reaping the benefits, so Halstead decided to stay quiet. He then tended his resignation by putting down his badge. Upton was shocked as she didn’t know about his decision in advance, and when she tried to talk him out of it, he insisted that this is what needed to be done. If she loved him, she needed to let him go. He also informed her that he was leaving later that day for an 8-month contract in Bolivia where he would be taking down the worst drug cartels in the world alongside his fellow vets.
As Halstead made his way to the airport, Voight pulled up for an official goodbye. He surmised that Halstead never wanted to be him, to which Halstead replied that it was worse, he did want to be him, but Voight always reminded him that he wasn’t and shouldn’t keep trying.
Voight acknowledged his decision and Halstead walked away from Intelligence and his life in Chicago for the foreseeable future.
The following post was written before Season 10 Episode 3 aired:
Halstead has been with the franchise from the beginning, making several appearances on PD’s sister shows, Chicago Fire and Chicago Med, so his departure is an emotional one for fans. Many viewers have long felt that he’s the glue holding Intelligence together, and he’s definitely the heart of the team, ensuring that Voight (Jason Beghe) stays in line. Some even thought he would be the one to take the reins from Voight upon his retirement, so Soffer’s decision to leave has come as quite a shock.
Naturally, fans want to know how he’s going to leave the team, the series, and his wife Hailey Upton (Tracy Spiridakos), along with when it’s going to happen. We’d rather plan accordingly than be blindsided!
While there’s not much information about the events surrounding his departure, the series is building up to it with the season 10 premiere setting up a conflict between Halstead and Upton, which bled into the second episode of the season. The way things are between them this season isn’t what fans are used to from this couple; it’s not “us” as Upton pointed out. And it’s not like Halstead to lie to Upton or buddy up with Voight.
Voight made sure to underscore that their personal feelings cannot affect the job anymore in the premiere, noting, “If it ever shows up on the job again, the three of us, we’re not working together anymore, understood?” as Upton informed him that if he keeps up his rogue behavior, he’s going to lose Jay.
However, one could argue that Halstead’s loyalty to Voight also makes sense as he previously asked his sergeant to be upfront with him about any rogue decisions before they happen so he can help out. Maybe that’s what’s happening here, and Halstead is lying to Upton to protect her so that she’s not dragged into it again.
Some fans have suggested that it’s possible Voight is trying to help Halstead get a new job, though, I’m not convinced that he would just choose to leave his wife to pursue a different life path without her input.
And while Halstead’s motives may seem questionable for now, showrunner Gwen Sigan assured TV Insider that “it’s going to make sense to the fans when they see the episode that is his exit. We wanted it to be really a showcase for Halstead and who he is and what Jesse has meant to this show,” adding that Soffer’s performance is “one of his best.”
It seems like it’s a real possibility that Chicago PD Season 10 Episode 3 airing on Wednesday, Oct. 5, might be the end of the road for our loyal detective, if not a clear sign that it’s the beginning of the end.
The promo for the episode starts off with menacing music as Halstead, in civilian clothes, explains, “I’m here to tell the truth.”
“One bad act doesn’t make you a bad person,” he continues, sounding pretty guilty about something from his past. It’s also possible he’s vouching for Voight, who he’s been supportive of since Anna died.
Halstead has always been the voice of reason who sometimes has to do bad and immoral things to protect the ones he loves. The line of duty comes at a cost, and maybe it’s one he’s no longer willing to pay.
The teaser attempts to keep things suspenseful with the text overlay reading, “For Someone, This Is the End,” which points right to Jay as we all know he’s leaving. And the ending, which shows Hailey in tears as she looks at Jay in disbelief, seems to seal the deal.
This could very well be Jay’s final episode. It’s possible he confessed to everything and there’s no going back to Intelligence. Maybe he took the blame for what went down with Anna to further protect Upton and his team and clear his conscience?
If you’re not ready to say goodbye just yet, there is a glimmer of hope still as a few fans pointed out that Soffer was spotted filming recent episodes, and since he’s departing sometime in the fall, it would likely put his exit at possibly episode 8 or 9 of the season, and in that case, something major must happen in episode 3 that likely puts Halstead on a path that he’s going to realize he can no longer walk on.
And, as one fan pointed out, his exit, whatever it may be, will bring his character-arc full circle because he’s about to do to Hailey what Erin did to him all those years ago.
Sagan suggested that Halstead’s exit will throw Upton for a loop, which does kind of sound like there’s a falling out between the couple. Or maybe Halstead has just realized that he needs to start putting himself first for a change.
Either way, it’s hard on Upton: “Upton is going to have some fallout, yeah. It’s a tough place for her to be in. She is just so connected to Halstead who not only is her husband but also her partner. They are so so threaded together in their lives and so to see her on her own and have to navigate that—she certainly gets into some really interesting territory this season as she’s trying to navigate that. She’s someone that’s not necessarily the best at dealing with her emotions. She likes to be in control and likes to feel like she has control of her headspace,” Sagan clarified.
Hopefully, as they wrap up Halstead’s storyline and do his character justice, they’ll also give fans one more Halstead brothers moment with Will on Med. We deserve it!
Only time will tell what Halstead’s exit will truly look like, but one thing is for certain—it will be devastating to longtime fans nonetheless.
When Does the ‘Chicago PD’ Fall Finale Air?
It’s hard to believe that we’re already coming up to the halfway mark for Chicago PD.
Time flies by when you’re having fun, right?
The series is taking a two-week break, including this Wednesday, Nov 23, for Thanksgiving, and Nov 30, so there’s a bit of a gap in action before NBC airs the fall finale on Dec 7.
However, the action in the finale is expected to be top-notch as it will likely bring some closure to a long-running case.
While the season has explored some individual cases involving members of Intelligence, the finale will delve deeper into, and hopefully, resolve, the overarching case involving Hailey Upton’s (Tracy Spiridakos) investigation into the new chief’s son, Sean O’Neal (played by Jefferson White), which has been building up over several episodes in a seemingly new—and promising—format for the crime procedural.
In the penultimate episode, Chicago PD Season 10 Episode 8, Burgess (Marina Squerciati) and Upton discovered something disturbing in their case against Sean. Not only is Sean believed to be involved in human trafficking, but new evidence unearthed indicates that he’s also responsible for murdering his victims.
In the promo for the finale, Chicago PD Season 10 Episode 9, Voight informs the Chief that his son led them “right to it,” but Patrick O’Neal (Micheal Gaston) seems to be in denial about his son’s crimes and determined to protect him at any cost.
Here’s the official synopsis and the promo teaser for “Proof of Burden”:
After a shocking discovery, the team begins closing in on Sean O’Neal with every shred of evidence they can find. Determined to keep his son out of prison, Chief O’Neal hires a lawyer.
Patrick Flueger, who plays Adam Ruzek on the series, told NBC that nailing Sean and proving he’s guilty speaks to Upton’s incredible instincts as a detective, even in light of her personal battle with losing her husband and partner, Jay Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer).
“I think it reinforced that both Hailey and the team as a whole—their instincts are often right,” he said, adding, “It’ll come to a climactic and dramatic conclusion in the mid-season finale. I think it definitely tees up a heartbreaker of a mid-season finale.”
Chicago PD Review – Kim Burgess Tracks Down a Serial Killer (1008)
I’m not going to lie, Chicago PD Season 10 Episode 8 was probably the creepiest and most disturbing installment to date.
Overall, this season of Chicago PD has been especially dark. Good… but dark and twisted. And maybe that’s because the characters are dealing with such heavy subject matters with every single episode, including the Sean O’Neal plot spanning multiple episodes.
Burgess did not expect to stumble upon a serial killer when she responded to what seemed like a run-of-the-mill call to ID a body possibly connected to Los Temidos. Nor did she expect to have her PTSD from her near-death bubble up to the surface the way it did, though, I am glad that the writers are acknowledging what happened to her and showing that even though she worked through it in her own way, these things can come back to haunt you at any time.
The line of work that she does has the power to take a toll on people. Makayla and her BFF may have been playing monsters, but Burgess deals with them in real life.
Quinn, the suspect that was found brutally stabbed six times in the abdomen, turned out to be the latest victim of a serial killer.
I’m glad Ruzek was also totally spooked by the shrine that they found—and I would never enter an abandoned sewer the way they did without knowing what I was going to find down there— but it was crucial in unearthing the other victims.
The killer seemed to be targeting the elite—very wealthy people who commuted to the city for a job in finance or investment banking. But why? The investigation led Intelligence to question the families of the victims, who all recalled that the killer stalked their loved ones prior to their disappearance while breaking into the house and leaving a window open to alert them of the break-in. At one house, they found a glove, which brought them to Tyler Jerome Hansen.
Voight and Burgess pressed him as hard as they could, but it was clear that Tyler was telling the truth: he was innocent. Plus, he didn’t fit the profile as he had a family, a wife and kids, and a stable job. There was nothing tying him to the victims.
By luck, the killer struck again, and though Intelligence was unable to stop him in the act, they were on his tail and eventually managed to nab facial recognition, which revealed that Tyler’s brother, Mark, was the man responsible for the murders.
Without Tyler, Intelligence would’ve struggled to make their case and likely wouldn’t have arrived at the house in time to save Linda, which would have been Mark’s final victim. And though Tyler didn’t know anything about what Mark was doing and refused to believe that his brother could be responsible for something so deranged, he clued them in as to the “why.” Mark was targeting the one percenters as revenge for the deaths of his parents, who were killed by a CEO drunk driver after a business meeting. Mark’s mother was stabbed in the abdomen, which explained the injuries he’d inflict on his victims, while the number 6 represented the number of drinks the CEO—who used his wealth and power to get off easily with a two-year prison sentence in a cushy prison—had before the accident.
As for the symbols on the shrines, they connected back to the Greek King Lantos, who also targeted the wealthy and built shrines to ask for forgiveness. The whole thing was messed up, but you have to admit that it was one of the more unique cases that Intelligence has ever taken on.
Once they finally got an address for Mark, Burgess realized that while dealing with the trauma of her shooting, she misplaced her service weapon, which only added even more tension to the whole situation. Because her judgment was clouded, she was now naked with no protection leaving her with no choice but to send her partner into danger without backup.
When she heard a gunshot coming from the house, she bolted in without any weapons and was relieved to find Ruzek safe and with Linda, who was, thankfully, still alive. They got there in time. And since Burgess has been in this very situation before, she knew exactly what would be helpful to get Linda to hang in there. The thing that kept Burgess going was the thought of her child and the knowledge that someone was coming for her, so she wanted to be a source of comfort and support for Linda.
It was very clear that she was traumatized by her shooting because the moment she heard another gunshot go off upstairs, she was in fight-or-flight mode. I love that Ruzek picked up on the situation and called out to her immediately to let her know that he was fine.
What I find to be a bummer is that Burgess still doesn’t feel like she can open up to him and simply be. Ruzek clearly saw how affected Burgess was, considering the case hit so close to home, but when he confronted her about it, she put on a brave face and dismissed his concerns. I know this is just Burgess just trying to be ok for her own sake, but it wouldn’t hurt her to break down the barrier and let him in from time to time. It’s ok not to be ok. And honestly, while I love the strong female leads, I wish the series just allowed them to feel the pain occasionally.
Burgess, especially, could benefit from simply being transparent with Ruzek. He’s never going to judge her or think less of her.
Instead, Burgess went to hang with Hailey, who was also ignoring her very real problems and spending time in the safe house, desperately trying to find any dirt on Sean. The Chief obviously gave Intelligence the homicide case as punishment for investigating his son. There are a lot of people in denial here, and the Chief is one of them. I know it’s a parent’s instinct to protect their son, but honestly, you can’t turn a blind eye to human trafficking.
Of course, he was justifying his behavior by the fact that Intelligence didn’t find anything new on Sean since the failed bust nor could they connect him to any crimes as all of the kids they questioned simply called him a saint and raved about how he helped through addiction.
However, the serial killer case gave Burgess some new perspective, as the “why” behind Mark’s actions was crucial. It was deranged, but it made sense considering what he went through in the past. What was Sean’s “why”? That’s when Burgess connected Ruzek’s interview with a kid, who said that Sean took him to Wisconsin on a fishing trip, to Sean’s four stints in rehab that were also in Wisconsin.
Upon arriving at the abandoned house that Sean previously owned, they made their way to the back where they found a shed filled with mushrooms, which inspired them to start digging. And that’s where they unearthed a woman’s skeleton (she was still wearing her bracelet!).
This is what I would call a smoking gun… and going into the fall finale, it’s time that Upton and Burgess burn it all to the ground, the Chief and his son be damned.
A few stray thoughts to lighten up the mood a bit—I love seeing Burgess and Ruzek co-parent. He needed a lot of luck after she left him with two little girls hopped up on ice cream and a bedtime of 9 pm. Torres is also such a fun addition, particularly the fact that his mother drops him off at work where he basically solves the city’s most violent crimes. It’s so wholesome.
What did you think of the episode? Did you like that the storyline connected back to Burgess’s past?
And will they manage to bring down Sean? We’ll meet back here on Dec 7, Cravers!
Chicago PD Review – Into the Deep (1007)
Chicago PD delivered part 2 of Upton versus Sean O’Neal, and boy, I was not expecting half of the twists that they threw our way. Chicago PD Season 10 Episode 7 was an excellent installment, and an excellent follow-up to Chicago PD Season 10 Episode 5 titled “Pink Cloud.”
The one thing we knew is that it wasn’t going to be easy taking down the Chief’s son, who Upton suspected of sex trafficking young women and children. The case had to be airtight with irrefutable proof, which meant that the members of Intelligence were going to have to go to great lengths to get it done.
First, Voight wanted to make sure they had a case, which is why Upton staked out Sean all by herself for what seemed like weeks on end. She didn’t have a problem with any of it because, as we all know, she’s using this case as a scapegoat for dealing with her personal feelings about Halstead’s abrupt exit. She doesn’t want to face the music or go back home, so she’s pouring herself into this case. She couldn’t save her relationship, but she’s hoping she can save these young and innocent girls that have largely been forgotten but the rest of the world. It’s not ideal for her mental health, but there are worse ways for her to cope so at least she’s doing something productive.
While it seemed as though Sean largely stuck to his routine, Upton proved that she had something when she spotted him meeting with Victor Helms, a slippery man who was arrested numerous times—but never convicted—on trafficking cases.
From there, Voight was able to clue in the rest of the team, but again, they had to be very careful considering the Chief couldn’t get wind of anything. They were working a fake case while following every lead on Sean in hopes of bringing down this whole operation.
The unfortunate thing about the case is that it had legs, but they kept hitting dead end after dead end. When they finally got Helms, he resisted arrest and tried to shoot Hailey, which forced Torress to shoot and kill him. As he bled out, Upton begged him to give her something tying it all back to Sean, but she never got it. The setbacks only encouraged Hailey to push harder to find the missing pieces.
They brought in Birdie, the juvenile that Helms tried to pimp out to Ruzek when he was posing as a buyer before he had to announce himself as CPD because Helms threatened to kill her. Even as all the women—Upton, Burgess, and Platt (and it was so fun seeing her interrogate someone for a change)—begged her to give Helms and Sean up in order to help the other women, she refused to budge.
When Hailey realized they were running out of time, she kind of went for a Hail Mary, or, as Voight said, she tickled the wire by seeking out advice from Sean about the “pain” she felt from losing her husband and the death of Abby, the young woman she couldn’t save in the previous episode. While I definitely had a lot of anxiety about the scene considering Hailey was beyond tired and overworked, she played the part perfectly and got Sean to do exactly what she needed him to do: call Helms’ burner phone so that they could have a new lead.
To be quite honest, this episode was so intense that there were a handful of moments where I actually had to press pause and brace myself for what was coming next. One of those moments was when Birdie approached Ruzek and got super handsy with him. I didn’t know what his call would be, but I also knew he wouldn’t want to blow their cover, plus the whole situation was just beyond awkward. And when he blew their cover in order to save Birdie, I had to pause and just contemplate how this was going to change the plan knowing that Upton was so desperate for a win. She inadvertently blamed Ruzek for the call since it lost them the advantage, but truly, Voight was right when he said she was too hot about the case—there are some lines that can’t be crossed. Ruzek exerted great judgment in that situation knowing everything that was on the line, and he also felt bad about it as he tried to find any other way to bring down Sean.
The burner phone gave them a huge leg up as they were able to triangulate the area where they thought the girls and children were being kept. But unfortunately, there’s still a process that needs to be followed for any of this to stick, and before they could raid the place, they needed the DA to sign off on it. Voight promised Nina that he was good for it, and he would have been if Sean and his co-conspirators weren’t tipped off that they were coming.
During that time, the abandoned factory, which was used for sex and not as a place to hold the girls, was cleared out completely, including all tech ripped off the walls and every single piece of DNA wiped clean with bleach.
Hailey knew she wasn’t made by Sean, which only meant one thing—Chief Patrick O’Neal blew their cover.
And this is where the episode got a whole lot more heartbreaking. When Voight confronted “Patty,” the high-ranking and decorated officer was clearly frustrated that Intelligence was going after his son. In fact, he didn’t even deny that he told Sean, telling Voight “he’s my son.” Unfortunately, he had no idea the extent of the damage he had done. Patty thought the whole case revolved around Sean’s drug addiction as he swore he knew his son wasn’t using right now, but his whole world was flipped upside down when Voight told him that the operation involved the sex trafficking of minors… sons and daughters.
At this point, it was clear that Patty realized just how much he had messed everything up, and though it’s frustrating since they were *this close* to figuring it out, I feel for the man who simply wanted to help his child and thought that he was doing the right thing.
Is it possible that if Voight looped in Patty from the beginning, he would have helped them because it was the right thing to do despite the love he had for his kid?
The episode ended with Upton staking out Sean’s house, only this time, she didn’t have to hide. They were made, which meant that Sean was aware that they knew his business. Upton’s presence was a simple reminder that she was not going anywhere and she was not going to stop pursuing this case.
She’s putting the heat on him, but in a good way that’s necessary this time.
But what now? Will Patty help Intelligence take his son down? Or will he continue protecting him and make it harder for everyone else to get anywhere?
How will Sean continue his business with Intelligence watching his every move? Will it force him to relapse?
The promo for the upcoming episode teased a new Burgess-centric case involving a serial killer, so the series will once again focus on another case before likely looping back to this one, but I can’t wait to see the resolution. One of the best things that PD has ever done is create a case that spans multiple episodes and keeps audiences hooked. The standalone cases of the week are compelling in their own right, but I’m invested to see how this is all going to turn out. And to see how Hailey copes once she no longer has a case to distract her from the reality of losing her husband.
What did you think of the episode? Did you expect all those twists and turns? And did you anticipate that it would be the Chief to ruin it all?
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