‘Chicago P.D.’: Jesse Lee Soffer & Tracy Spiridakos on Upstead’s Big Winter Finale Moment
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Chicago P.D. Season 9, Episode 9 “No Way Out.”]
Who doesn’t love a winter wedding?
Well, that’s what Jay Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer) and Hailey Upton (Tracy Spiridakos) had in the Chicago P.D. winter finale, after the former took care of FBI Special Agent North’s (Alex Morf) ultimatum. Rather than turn in Voight (Jason Beghe) or risk his and Hailey’s arrest, Jay used blackmail material to get the agent to back down. Then, he went home to Hailey and asked her to “marry me, now.” She said yes, and the episode ended with a look at them exchanging vows and rings at the courthouse and their wedding night.
Soffer and Spiridakos discuss that big Upstead moment and tease what’s ahead.
Jay and Hailey are married! What made that the right way for them to do it? They don’t seem like big celebration kind of people.
Tracy Spiridakos: Yeah. I feel like when we found out — we personally found out a couple days before it was happening — we were like, “Wait, what? Already? They just —”
Jesse Lee Soffer: We got the script and we were like, “Oh, OK, we’re doing that.”
Spiridakos: “That’s how it happens.” It really was the perfect way for that to happen. It really stays really true to those two characters. And I love that it was a spur of the moment thing and it was just for the two of them. It wasn’t a big celebration because it’s just for the two of them. Things have been so fractured for so long between them that it was a moment for the two of them to reconnect and kind of show that they’re in this together and they’re going to move forward together. I can’t imagine it have been a big wedding and so I just don’t feel like that would be them. They did a really, really good job with that.
Soffer: It also is nice closure for the Roy storyline and North storyline. We’re over this, we’ve gotten through this, we’re still together. It didn’t break us. And then to have the two characters get married, it just made sense. So I think it was good writing.
Are we going to be getting a celebration with the rest of the unit?
Spiridakos: I don’t think so.
Soffer: Doubtful. Outlook not so good.
Spiridakos: Yeah. They see us in the next episode both wearing rings and they put it together. I can’t remember who sees it first, if it was Voight or I think it was Atwater [LaRoyce Hawkins].
Soffer: I think it’s Ruzek [Patrick John Flueger].
Spiridakos: It was Atwater, and he’s like, “Wait, what’s happening?”
Soffer: It’s literally the next morning and we’re wearing rings.
With moving past Roy and married now, what’s their relationship like moving forward? Are they stronger than ever on and off the job?
Soffer: I’ll be totally honest with you. We spent so much time in the first part of the season doing the Roy and North storyline that after that storyline is over, I think a lot of the storyline shifts to some of the other characters and what’s going on in their lives. Atwater has a relationship that he hasn’t been totally forthcoming in. Ruzek and Burgess [Marina Squerciati] have Makayla and they’re dealing with this interesting dynamic. So we spend a lot more time with those characters and we start building some of those storylines out and we leave the marriage to the side. I’m sure it’ll come back. Being a cop and married and in the same unit is not going to be easy. I’m sure that those things will circle back around.
Are we going to get an Upton-Burgess conversation about Roy?
Spiridakos: I know. I really want to, and I’m not sure. We’re only on Episode 13 right now, so I’m not sure what’s coming up, but I would really love that. We had that moment in the hospital.
Soffer: There’s a lot in there. That’s a really intense dynamic to see play out, for Burgess to find out. That’s something that the writers have in their back pocket for one day if they want.
Spiridakos: So far, we haven’t seen anything yet.
How much will Jay’s decision about North weigh on him?
Soffer: I think Jay’s a very moral character and sometimes he’s the kind of ethical backbone of the unit and this was a great storyline because it really puts that ethical framework he has to the test. He had to make a decision about what was worse. Burgess could have died. This guy was responsible, this guy’s a horrible person, he was trafficking women, he was a murderer, and what happened was an accident. Hailey convinced Voight to bring him in, and then she had to shoot him.
What Voight was doing was wrong. He held this guy against his will. He wasn’t operating within the terms of the law. But when all is said and done, who belongs in jail, who got justice? I think that Jay went with the much lesser of two evils to protect people that he loved. It is nice to see the character grow and shift and change a little and for that to also change his relationship with Voight is going to be interesting. And I think it’s going to be something that fans have wanted for a long time, so that’s very cool.
Jay acknowledges that the city needs Voight, then we got that scene near the end about telling the truth. What does he imagine that dynamic is like going forward?
Soffer: I don’t know that he imagines what it’s gonna look like. He’s saying to Voight, “Look, I respect you and I understand you. I need you to respect me and understand me too. And if you can’t do that, I’m gone. But I think now, you see you can trust me, so we need to come together.” And so we’ll see how that plays out.
Spiridakos: We do see a bit of that though coming up.
Soffer: We do. Yeah, you get some of that. We start to build that dynamic in a different way, which has been interesting and fun to play out.
Where does that leave Hailey? Her relationship with Voight had to change because of all of this.
Spiridakos: Absolutely. She kind of had Voight on a pedestal for a long time and that’s definitely changed. The way that she views him has shifted. I think she still respects him. Like we’ve said before, the unit is a big family, but the way that she sees him has changed and I haven’t seen what’s coming up for the two of them yet. I’m interested to see how that plays out though going forward.
Soffer: Jay’s family is mostly dead except for Will, so I don’t know. We have a big show and we have a lot of characters and the show is really about policing and the Intelligence Unit and we have such a big job to do week in and week out that I don’t know that we can spend time with Will patting Jay on the back about his marriage.
Spiridakos: I bet you it’ll come up. Hailey’s family, I think she has two brothers.
Soffer: I thought you were one of 11 kids or something, right?
Spiridakos: You know, I don’t actually know. [Soffer laughs] I think they’d be pretty mad or maybe they know. Maybe I’ve called them. … I imagine she would have told her mom, I think they’re close, but yeah, I would love to find out more about her family. How many siblings does Hailey have? This is a question. Does she have siblings?
What else can you tease about what’s coming up?
Spiridakos: I have a really fun one coming up. There’s a really fun case. And my stunt double Kelli and I get to go in the river — more Kelli, let’s be clear, more Kelli than I.
Soffer: Also, you should be specific that it’s the Chicago River in January.
Spiridakos: Yeah, that’s happening. Very excited about it. It’s gonna be fun. It’s gonna be freezing.
Chicago P.D., Wednesdays, 10/9c, NBC