How ‘Chicago P.D.’ Wrote Out Jesse Lee Soffer’s Jay Halstead — and Left Upstead
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Chicago P.D. Season 10 Episode 3 “A Good Man.”]
Heading into “A Good Man,” the promo had us thinking this would be the Chicago P.D. episode in which we’d be saying goodbye to Jesse Lee Soffer — who first appeared in One Chicago on Fire, before this series premiered — and his character, Detective Jay Halstead. And it turns out we were right.
As the episode begins, there’s an obvious distance between Jay and his partner and wife, Detective Hailey Upton (Tracy Spiridakos). While she’s home, he’s out, alone or with Sergeant Hank Voight (Jason Beghe). And while he’s out on a drive alone, he responds to a robbery at a pharmacy. There, he meets a fellow vet, Lenny, who insists on helping and is shot in the process. “Let’s do it again some time,” he says when Jay and Upton talk to him at the hospital.
It turns out that robbery is just one of a few; the men are looking for cold meds to use to cook meth. But the more Intelligence investigates, the more it becomes clear there’s more going on than they originally thought. They track down the owner of the getaway car, and he has a long rap sheet and is hooked to meth, but he sold his vehicle, he insists. After Jay makes a promise he can’t keep, he gives up the new owner’s name: Benjamin Watts, likely the guy who shot Lenny. However, after Upton looks into his transactions, she finds something worrying: two hours before the pharmacy robbery, Benjamin sent $400 to Lenny. She doesn’t think Lenny was just a good Samaritan but rather in on the robbery.
Lenny admits he was the lookout, but he didn’t think anyone would get hurt. But when Jay and Upton try to get him to give up who hired him and show him Benjamin’s photo, he goes into cardiac arrest. After they leave his room, Upton wants to call Voight, but Jay refuses to let her. “He’s dying. We can’t take his name, too,” he argues. “One bad act doesn’t make you a bad person. You and I both know that.” That’s when Upton calls her husband out on his odd behavior lately, including lying to and pulling away from her. But she doesn’t get an answer to that from him, and after learning that Lenny died, Jay insists they need to make the case another way.
The only problem? Intelligence isn’t finding anything else. And then there’s another robbery, one that left two civilians dead. Still, Jay doesn’t want to do what Upton sees as “the right thing” and instead goes to Lenny’s. There, his friend Nolan shares he knew Lenny was in pain. “I know when people are in pain, sometimes they do things they might not otherwise do.” (Sound familiar?) When Lenny came home rough, he couldn’t hold down a job or pay the pills, so Nolan thinks he just got desperate. And so to keep Lenny’s name clean, Jay goes through his phone and computer, alone.
However, Upton and Voight follow Jay to a warehouse, and after they see Benjamin pull up, she goes in. But just as Jay finds Benjamin’s lab, the guy finds him — and in the ensuing fight, Jay loses his gun and Benjamin gets his hands around his throat. Fortunately, Jay has a knife, and he repeatedly stabs Benjamin, who dies. When Jay turns around, Upton’s standing there. When Voight joins them, he and Upton immediately come up with a cover story while Jay just stands there. “We’re doing it again,” he finally says, not handing over the knife. “What the hell am I doing?” Upton tells him he’s going to be OK.
The next time we see Jay, he goes to Chief O’Neil (Michael Gaston). to “tell the truth,” he says. But then O’Neil tells him all about how they’re going to make sure the Army knows about Lenny’s sacrifice and takes care of his family, as well as about the lives that have been saved by stopping Benjamin’s operation. Jay thanks him, then puts his badge on his desk. He’s resigning.
“You were right about me, I changed,” Jay tells Upton at home. She didn’t mean for him to resign, but “I had to. It was the right thing to do.” Now, he’s going to run a squad tracking down the worst cartels in Bolivia. “It’s black and white. It’s good and bad. It’s right and wrong. It’s no more of this. I need that. I need that back,” he explains. What’s worse? He flies out today. But “it’s not forever,” he promises. “It’s eight months, maybe a little longer, but I swear to you, that we’re going to get through this because you’re the love of my life. And if I’m yours-“ She interrupts him: “Of course you are.” And so, “then you’ll know that you have to let me go,” he says, and she agrees. He kisses her, then hugs her as she cries.
But Jay’s not getting away without a goodbye from Voight, at the airport. The sergeant would make sure he had any job he wanted in the department, but he knows the former detective doesn’t need him. “You’re past that. You don’t want to be me.” However, Jay corrects him: “No, it’s worse than that. I do. I do want to be you. But it’s like you’ve always told me: I’m not and I shouldn’t try.” And with that, Jay Halstead leaves Chicago.
What did you think of how P.D. wrote out Jay? Let us know in the comments below.
Chicago P.D., Wednesdays, 10/9c, NBC