Spoilers ahead for the Season 10 premiere of Chicago P.D., called “Let It Bleed.”
Chicago P.D. returned to NBC for Season 10 as the only One Chicago show with an immediate time jump, although – as showrunner Gwen Sigan had revealed when discussing how “messy” the dynamics would get – only two weeks forward. Voight was still reeling from Anna’s death after the disastrous Season 9 finale, and his inability to come to terms with it was affecting the entire unit… especially Halstead and Upton. The two married detectives weren’t exactly fighting in “Let In Bleed,” but they also weren’t at their very best. The showrunner spoke with CinemaBlend about their dynamic, and how conflict with Voight will continue.
The dynamic between these three characters shifted and evolved in Season 9 after Roy Walton’s death and Halstead’s steps to stop the FBI investigation before it took Upton and Voight down. Halstead and Voight are more on equal footing as of Season 10, but Upton questioned Voight’s judgment to the point of going rogue when Torres (played by returning guest star and new series regular Benjamin Levy Aguilar) was in danger.
They had a meeting in which Voight stated that they couldn’t keep going this way if they want to all continue working together. After he left Upton and Halstead alone together, Halstead asked his wife if they were “good.” She was quick to tell her husband “of course,” then asked him the same question. He had the same answer for her. Upstead seemed to reaffirm that they’re still a team, but the episode didn’t exactly end with them heading off into the sunset together. So, what’s up with Upstead?
I asked Gwen Sigan how their relationship is holding up as of the end of the Season 10 premiere, and the showrunner shared:
They would love to just be fine, and you see them say that in that episode. 'Of course we're fine. Of course.' And I think that is what they want so badly, because they love each other so much. But sometimes if you don't look something directly in the face, it can grow. It can continue to be there. So where we'll see fallout is those dynamics of your relationship where they so badly want to be good and they so badly want to be what the other person needs, because they do love each other. But it's not quite as easy as that.
Unfortunately, what’s up with Upstead in this case isn’t that they’re the picture of domestic happiness bleeding into work. On the upside, the showrunner made the point (more than once) that Upton and Halstead truly love each other, and Tracy Spiridakos’ and Jesse Lee Soffer’s performances in their final scene of the premiere suggest that the characters are still all-in. (Spiridakos had a sweet message for her on-screen husband a few weeks before the premiere.)
The upcoming departure of Soffer as Halstead poses major questions about their dynamic, however, as big changes are bound to occur in Season 10 because of it. The Season 10 theme of “savior” and its ties to characters who see themselves as broken (as explained by Gwen Sigan and two P.D. stars) also raises questions about how the fallout will play for Voight as well as Upstead. The showrunner weighed in on whether the three will be able to work together functionally moving forward after everything:
It's gonna be messy. As much as I think they would all love to just put it to bed and put it behind them, [there's] the fallout of Anna and also just the fallout of [how] a relationship between Voight and Halstead has been changing for some time. I mean, really, since I would say episode eight of last season, maybe even four of last season, when Halstead punched him. Their relationship has really gone through a lot in the last season and they've become very close.
Many fans can probably quite vividly remember when Halstead finally snapped at Voight and punched him in the face last season after he dropped some comments about Upton, so a lot has changed for them to now be "very close." They have always had a distinct dynamic within Intelligence, and it wasn’t all that long ago that Voight told Halstead that the unit would one day be his. So, how is this changed relationship affecting them? Sigan continued:
They've become sort of this unit that works together, these two people where Halstead is able to pull Voight back and Voight's able to really push Halstead and make Halstead in some ways even a better cop, and then in other ways, not so much. That continues. It can't be put to bed so easily as them having one conversation. We will see it. We will see them try and we will see what happens.
This dynamic between Halstead and Voight will evidently continue through Soffer’s remaining episodes. As nobody from One Chicago or Wolf Entertainment has confirmed how Soffer will be written out, we can only speculate for now about how Voight and Upton will be affected when Halstead is no longer around on a daily basis.
Tune in to NBC on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET to see what comes next on Chicago P.D., following new episodes of Chicago Fire (which included Upton in its Season 11 premiere) at 9 p.m. and Chicago Med (which has some challenges ahead for Will and Hannah) at 8 p.m. For some more viewing options in the not-too-distant future, be sure to check out our 2022 TV premiere schedule.