Spoilers ahead for the fourth episode of Chicago P.D. Season 9, called “In The Dark.”
In case you thought that Chicago P.D. was going to delay on advancing the storyline involving Upton killing Roy, Halstead not knowing the secret, and Voight manipulating Upton until midseason, then “In The Dark” proved that P.D. isn’t holding back in Season 9. This episode delivered on Upton slowly but surely falling to pieces – with Tracy Spiridakos crushing every second of it – from her guilt, Halstead connecting dots and figuring things out, and Voight… well, being Voight about it. And there are some things that need to happen next.
Since Voight already got himself a punch in the face from Halstead by the end of “In The Dark,” at least that doesn’t have to be on the list of things that Chicago P.D. needs to do after this episode! When Voight filled in the blanks for Halstead after Halstead figured out that Roy had been murdered, he had the gall to suggest that Halstead didn’t know Upton, and Halstead snapped. That’s not to say that the hour ended on sunshine and roses for Upstead, however, so there are a lot of directions that P.D. could explore next.
What’s up with Upstead? What does the future of Intelligence look like? How long can the secret stay secret now that another person knows? Let’s take a look at some of what should happen next.
Upton And Halstead Shouldn’t Break Up
The truth is out, and if the final shot of Halstead (still wearing his coat) standing over their bed and catching Upton by surprise as she tried to finally sleep is any indication, sunshine and roses may not be coming any time soon for the couple. Jesse Lee Soffer himself shared with CinemaBlend ahead of Season 9 that the secret is “going to cause probably some distrust.”
But a breakup would be altogether too predictable, especially on a show full of cops who have a bad track record with relationships, as Halstead himself called out in the previous episode. P.D. is in Season 9, and needs to try new things to keep the show fresh. There’s more story in Upstead figuring things out together than splitting. For all that they’ve only been a couple for less than a year, they’ve known each other and loved each other too long to just give up. Plus, who would get to keep that gorgeous apartment?
Halstead Should Get To Be Upset
All of that said, Chicago P.D. 100% needs to let Halstead be upset. For all that he blames Voight for what Upton had to do when it comes to Roy, and spent most of “In The Dark” worried about her, and is evidently such a great life partner that even Ruzek was joking about wanting him to have a flaw, Upton kept a huge secret from him after he gave her plenty of openings to come clean. Plus, this has to send him reeling as he does the math all over again about her proposing and her killing Roy.
Halstead punching Voight and then not exactly crawling into bed to snuggle with Upton indicates that P.D. at least let him be upset for the aftermath of learning the truth; whether that sticks moving forward remains to be seen. But he deserves to have his own feelings about a rotten situation without being a saint. I’ve been Team Upton over Team Voight ever since she pulled that trigger on Roy, but I'm on Team Halstead too, because he deserves his due. As he pointed out to Voight, he and Atwater were the ones who found Burgess and saved her, doing things by the book.
There Should Be Fallout For Intelligence
Unless there’s a sizable time jump, Chicago P.D. needs to show the fallout of “In The Dark” on the Intelligence Unit. Halstead literally just punched Voight in the face and was about as angry as we’ve seen him. Plus Upton was falling apart all episode, and seemed to shrink in Voight’s presence. And now there could be drama for the Upstead partnership on the job as well, depending on how things go. This was a messy twist, which could make for great story if explored, but Chicago P.D. is a procedural show that shifts the focus from week to week.
Based on the promo for next week, the focus will shift over to Atwater. That’s a good thing for his character, since he hasn’t gotten much attention in Season 9 so far, despite making a big break in the case in “In The Dark.” He’s also finally getting a love interest, but there needs to at least be an undercurrent of tension between Upton, Halstead, and Voight. Seriously, if P.D. picks up where it left off after “In The Dark,” Voight could literally still be sporting the bruise. At least a tweet from Wolf Entertainment indicates that P.D. isn't just dropping this story next week!
Voight Should Start Getting Nervous
Whatever happens with Halstead and Upton, it’s pretty clear that Halstead isn’t going to be on Voight’s side, and one more person learning the truth could be the beginning of the whole secret coming out. That’s not to say that Halstead is going to announce that Upton killed Roy and Voight hid the body to anybody, but he did just prove that anybody paying enough attention and actually knows Voight can connect the dots. And Burgess for one still hasn’t gotten closure, which Marina Squerciati suggested is going to come back.
Upton’s flashbacks in “In The Dark” also revisited her lie to Burgess, which could be a sign that Burgess is next on the list of characters to put the pieces together. If that’s the case, it could bring in Ruzek, and the secret could snowball from there. Additionally, the feds are on the case now, and they could have the resources to start piecing things together even without the insight into Voight (and Upton). Even Upton is a wild card when it comes to keeping the secret. Time to start worrying, Voight!
Chicago P.D. Should Share The Spotlight More Often
For as much as this was an outstanding Upton-centic episode and Tracy Spiridakos turned in arguably the best performance of her entire time on Chicago P.D. so far, this was also a big Halstead episode, and even big for Voight. And it really worked for the character at the center of the story to share the spotlight, which raised the stakes for the case and added an element of suspense with more variables in the mix.
I always feel that P.D. is the strongest when it focuses on character development and relationships, no matter if they’re romantic, platonic, or even adversarial. Characters have more layers if they get some development even outside of episodes that are centered on them, and I think Halstead having a key storyline on the side in “In The Dark” is a big part of what made this episode so successful, and the conclusion so thrilling. The case was compelling, but the character development was the soul of this episode.
Give Tracy Spiridakos All The Awards
Okay, technically it’s not within Chicago P.D.’s power to give Tracy Spiridakos all the awards, and I know that I just said that the show is strongest when it shares the spotlight, but Spiridakos absolutely crushed “In The Dark.” While her performance during Upton’s panic attack was the highlight, she was fantastic overall as Upton switching between pushing her feelings down and then just unraveling when she couldn’t do it anymore.
While procedural TV shows generally don’t get the kind of awards attention that other scripted series do (and broadcast network shows are increasingly edged out by premium cable and streaming series), I’d love for Tracy Spiridakos to get some wider acclaim for her work in this episode. Or just have an award invented in her honor for just this occasion. The whole cast turns in strong performances, particularly in their character-centric episodes, but this was a standout.
Find out what happens next on Chicago P.D. with new episodes on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on NBC. One Chicago is already a huge success in the ratings this fall with Chicago Med at 8 p.m., Chicago Fire at 9 p.m., and Chicago P.D. at 10 p.m., and P.D. is once again crushing in delayed viewership, so keep tuning in!
Resident of One Chicago, Bachelor Nation, and Cleveland. Has opinions about crossovers, Star Wars, and superheroes. Will not time travel.
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