Chicago P.D. Showrunner Explains The 'Catalyst' For Upton And Halstead's Relationship Status In 2021


The long wait for One Chicago's return to NBC is almost at an end, and Chicago P.D. promises some intriguing developments on the relationship front for at least one duo: Upton and Halstead. The slow burn between the partners has been speeding up, and the 2021 return will present Upton with an opportunity that means they'll have to consider the their future together...or apart. Will Upton's offer from the FBI mean the end of Upstead? Chicago P.D. showrunner Rick Eid shared with CinemaBlend what's in store on the Upstead front in 2021.

Upton will receive a job offer from the FBI following her time with OA and Co. over on CBS' FBI, which seemed to be precisely what Halstead was afraid of when she left Chicago for New York at the end of Season 7. Chicago P.D. boss Rick Eid shared how Upton and Halstead each view the job offer from the FBI:

They’ve been silent about their feelings for a long time. So, the job offer serves as a catalyst for them to open up to one another. Ultimately, it’s Upton’s choice. Does she want to stay in Chicago and take a chance with Halstead, or move to New York and become an FBI Agent.

Well, they can only remain silent about their feelings for so long when faced with a possible separation, and their relationship status evidently hinges on Upton's choice! Although Upton didn't originally want to work with the FBI in New York (and deliver the first crossover between One Chicago and the FBI/FBI: Most Wanted universe), Rick Eid previously said that she "loved her time" in New York.

According to the showrunner ahead of the 2021 return, the possibility of Upton returning to New York on a permanent basis will be a catalyst for her and Halstead to finally open up about their feelings. Upton admittedly almost told Halstead that she loves him back in early 2020 after he nearly died, but it sounds like they'll be past the point of "almost" and "nearly" with her major job opportunity.

The good news for Upstead fans when it comes to the relationship status is that Rick Eid's comments indicate that Upton will want to take the chance with her partner if she stays, so we can probably count on Chicago P.D. not just returning to the status quo as long as Upton decides to stick with CPD. Tracy Spiridakos did guarantee at the end of the 2019-2020 TV season that Upton would be back on Chicago P.D. (although not for how long), and Rick Eid has also dropped teases about what's to come in Season 8 moving forward.

Viewers probably shouldn't panic that Upton will make a move to New York by the time the final credits roll with the first P.D. episode of the new year. The answer to the long-running question of "What's up with Upstead?" may come sooner rather than later thanks to the big choice Upton will have to make for her job. It should be interesting to see what Halstead has to say, since Chicago P.D. didn't give as much of a window into his feelings in Season 7 compared to Upton. At least the catalyst this time will apparently be a professional opportunity because of a job well done rather than anybody getting shot!

See what happens next for Upton and Halstead when Chicago P.D. returns on Wednesday, January 6 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. Check back with CinemaBlend for more Chicago P.D. (as well as Fire and Med) coverage, and check out our 2021 winter and spring premiere schedule for more of what's on the way.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).