Jesse Lee Soffer Returns To Chicago P.D. Set In Fun BTS Photos, And His Former Co-Stars Are Hyped

jesse lee soffer in chicago p.d. season 10
(Image credit: NBC)

Jay Halstead departed the Windy City in Season 10 of Chicago P.D., which has not been good for his marriage, to say the very least. Actor Jesse Lee Soffer’s departure as the character marked a major shift in the long-running show. Now, he has returned to the P.D. set, but not to reprise his role as Halstead. Soffer went back to his old stomping grounds to direct an episode, and some fun behind-the-scenes photos give a sneak peek at him in his directing debut. While fans will have to wait to see the episode, his former P.D. co-stars are already hyping him!

News broke that Jesse Lee Soffer was coming back to P.D. to direct an episode just a couple of weeks after he bowed out of the NBC drama as Jay Halstead. At the time, Halstead going back to the army and leaving a tearful Upton behind was still fresh. Fortunately, in some photos that the actor-turned-director shared on Instagram, Tracy Spiridakos definitely isn’t crying! Take a look at Soffer back on set with Spiridakos and more of his former co-stars:

I can’t speak for anybody else, but seeing Tracy Spiridakos smiling in a photo with Jesse Lee Soffer is pretty nice after the most recent episode involved Upton all but breaking down after getting some bad news about Halstead's odds of choosing to come home. Another photo shows Soffer on the streets of Chicago to direct LaRoyce Hawkins (whose Atwater may be the next officer to become a detective after Halstead left) and Jason Beghe, and then back in Intelligence with what looks like most of the series regulars. 

There’s only so much that fans can glean from a few photos, but luckily, a couple of his P.D. pals hit up the comment section to hype Soffer’s work as a director. Marina Squerciati, whose Burgess has been through the wringer and back again over the past few seasons, posted:

He's soooooo good at it!

Marina Squerciati worked with Jesse Lee Soffer all the way back to Season 1, so I think we can take her word that he’s pretty great as a director! It would certainly be hard for the show to find somebody with more Chicago P.D. experience to step behind the camera to helm an episode. Tracy Spiridakos echoed Squerciati’s sentiment, and added a couple emojis for good measure:

Yaaaa! Killin it 🔥🔥

Spiridakos and Soffer spent much of their screentime over his last few seasons together, and she’s showing her support for him in his new endeavor. In a fun twist, a star from elsewhere in the nine-show Wolf Entertainment TV universe also hit up the comment section to support Soffer. Chicago Fire’s Daniel Kyri (a.k.a. Engine firefighter Ritter) commented:

Eyyyyyy 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾

Jaina Lee Ortiz – who stars in a different primetime hit as leading lady of ABC’s Station 19 – popped in to Jesse Lee Soffer’s comments to say “Go Jesse, GO!” with some fire emojis, which honestly just makes me wonder what network television would look like if Grey’s Anatomy and Station 19 somehow shared a universe with One Chicago, the Law & Orders, and the FBIs. 

Jesse Lee Soffer went on to post a couple more photos, first posing with producer Brian Luce and then revealing what the producer hilariously has hanging on his office wall: 

Has the large framed print of Jay Halstead been up on that wall all along, or was it a special addition for Jesse Lee Soffer’s directing debut? That answer may never come, but there’s a bit of nostalgia to go along with the fun (and “FUCKING FANTASTIC” mug) with an image of the late Alvin Olinsky, who was killed off back in Season 5.

At the time of writing, NBC hasn’t announced when Jesse Lee Soffer’s episode of Chicago P.D. will air, although it’s likely to debut in March. The show will return from its mini hiatus with the thirteenth episode of Season 10 on February 15, followed by the milestone 200th episode on February 22. Early reports stated that Soffer’s episode would be the sixteenth of the season; if that’s the case, and if P.D. doesn’t go on any more multi-week breaks, then his episode should air sometime in early-to-mid March. 

For now, fans can just look forward to Chicago P.D. returning after what may have been Upton’s last episode of torment from Jefferson White’s Sean O’Neal. Starting on February 15, P.D. will be back in its usual 10 p.m. ET time slot on Wednesdays on NBC. You can also revisit some past episodes streaming with a Peacock Premium subscription! The show hasn’t yet been renewed for a Season 11, but news on its future will hopefully come sooner rather than later. 

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).