Jesse Lee Soffer Is Already Returning To Chicago P.D. Season 10, But Not As Jay Halstead

Chicago P.D. said goodbye to Jay Halstead in an emotional episode early in the current Season 10, and the hit drama has been continuing without star Jesse Lee Soffer for the first time in its long run. While the characters (including wife Upton and former mentee Torres) still deal with Halstead's decision to return to the army, the actors will soon be working with Soffer again. He's not back as the fan-favorite detective, but with a role behind-the-scenes!

Jesse Lee Soffer is returning to Chicago P.D. in 2023 to direct the sixteenth episode of Season 10, according to Variety. There are no details just yet about when in the new year Episode 16 would air on NBC, but if Season 10 follows the schedule of previous recent seasons (with the exception of the eighth, which was shortened due to COVID production challenges), then Soffer's episode will likely debut in March. 

So, even though Halstead won't be back and fans of the Upton/Halstead relationship won't see what's up with Upstead with the two back on screen together, Jesse Lee Soffer is returning to his longtime home on NBC. It would certainly be fun if the actor-turned-director made a cameo while he's on set – or at least follow Jesse Spencer's example from Chicago Fire when the Casey actor made a voice cameo for a phone call scene after departing – but fans should only count on his influence behind the camera at this point. 

Although Soffer has been active in showbiz going back to the 1993 film Matinee (which ranks as a John Goodman movie that doesn't get talked about enough) and has been part of One Chicago since the first season of Chicago Fire (before P.D. even spun off), he's not currently credited with any directing gigs. With nearly 200 episodes of experience on P.D., what better show for him to debut behind the camera?

With him returning for Episode 16, it's hard to predict what the story might involve. The latest on October 19 (available streaming now with a Peacock subscription) introduced a horrifying new storyline that will continue for multiple episodes, according to showrunner Gwen Sigan, but is expected to wrap by the end of the first nine of Season 10. It should be interesting to see Soffer's take on bringing a script to screen given his many years within the One Chicago universe. 

Meanwhile, Chicago P.D. has had to find ways to move on without Halstead. Benjamin Levy Aguilar opened up about how Atwater is a different kind of mentor than Halstead, and Upton has been quietly mourning her loss (even though her husband left alive and well-ish) rather than wailing and gnashing her teeth, which is definitely in-character for her after we've seen her bury herself in work as a distraction in seasons past. 

Fans still have months to wait before seeing Jesse Lee Soffer's episode of Chicago P.D. as his directorial debut, but you can find new episodes of the long-running drama on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on NBC. All three One Chicago shows are still going strong, with Fire embracing the Halloween spirit and Med revealing some fallout for Will and Vanessa.

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. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.