Warning: spoilers ahead for the winter premiere of Chicago P.D. Season 7 on NBC.
Chicago P.D. returned for the second half of Season 7 on January 8 to finally resolve the cliffhanger of whether or not Halstead would survive being shot by Angela back in November's fall finale. While Jesse Lee Soffer went hard on the idea that the gunshot heard 'round the fandom really could be "the end" for Jay, the winter premiere proved that he survived, and P.D. showrunner Rick Eid has shared how Halstead will be different after his ordeal.
When asked if Halstead will change the way he does his job after what happened to Marcus West and then Angela, Rick Eid said this:
Yeah, he's affected by what happened and a little more cautious about certain things. Halstead's a guy who feels a lot for other people and tries to save people. That comes into play in Episode 15. His desire to do the right thing and to help people and save people and get justice sometimes doesn't work out well, and we'll see that.
Well, that probably qualifies as good news and bad news! Rick Eid's words to TV Insider indicate that Halstead will be more careful about what he does and doesn't pursue, which could mean fewer gunshot wounds and sticky wickets for Intelligence in the CPD. On the other hand, Halstead's instinct to follow his sense of justice and need to help people has set him apart throughout the run of P.D. in a unit that regularly crosses lines, and that may not be a good thing.
Notably, the winter premiere did see Halstead take Upton's advice about not answering the call from Angela's son, despite his desire to make sure that the kid will be okay. Considering he did the opposite of what Upton advised about Angela in the fall finale and that got him shot, is this a sign that the changes are already happening? Some "shocking stuff" is on the way, according to one actor!
Interestingly, Rick Eid shared that Halstead's post-shooting state comes into play in Episode 15. If we assume that the episode numbers continue to correspond between all three shows of One Chicago, then Episode 15 of P.D. Season 7 will be the second half of the crossover with Chicago Fire that will bring back a character from P.D.'s past. Although that character will be Brian Geraghty's Sean Roman, a.k.a. a character with more ties to Burgess than Halstead, perhaps he'll be key to Halstead's arc in the crossover.
Rick Eid's comments about Halstead actually echo what Jesse Lee Soffer told CinemaBlend ahead of the fall finale. When asked if Halstead will learn to let things get if he survived the cliffhanger, Soffer gave this response:
If he were to come back, you would hope that this would be such a life lesson for him that it would change the character and that he would grow from it.
Of course, Jesse Lee Soffer also said that Halstead couldn't let Marcus West's case go because "Jay has such a big heart." I would argue that getting shot won't change that about Halstead, and not just because he literally was not shot in the heart or because he's been shot before on P.D. without losing his drive to do the right thing. So, only time will tell.
Given the events of the winter premiere, I do wonder if Halstead's drive to do the right thing despite any personal cost will continue to hinder a potential relationship or revelation from Upton. She realized that she might love him more than just as a partner, and she seemed to be on the verge of telling him up until he wanted to answer the call from Angela's son. Understandably in my book, this spooked Upton from wanting to drop those three little words.
See what happens next for Halstead and Co. when new episodes of Chicago P.D. air on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on NBC, following new episodes of Chicago Fire at 9 p.m. ET and Chicago Med at 8 p.m. ET. The next episode looks like it will focus on Ruzek and Burgess now that Burgess has decided to remain pregnant, so any changes to Halstead may not be evident until down the line.