Will Chicago P.D. Say Goodbye To A Key Character After Halstead's Decision?
Halstead has a choice to make, and it won't be an easy one.
Spoilers ahead for Episode 8 of Chicago P.D. Season 9, called “Fractures.”
A big secret has been hanging over Chicago P.D. throughout the entire ninth season so far thanks to Upton killing Roy Walton and Voight disposing of the body. The situation only got stickier when Halstead finally found out, and “Fractures” proved that the FBI didn’t settle for slapping Roy’s picture on the wall of a post office after all. The feds, led by Agent North, traced Roy’s last known whereabouts to the Intelligence Unit, and depending on what happens after Halstead makes a big decision about the case, P.D. might have to say goodbye to somebody.
In light of the events of "Fractures" and the decision that Halstead is going to have to make that could change just about everything on the show, let's break down what happened and where the story could go from here.
What Halstead Has To Decide
Halstead saw the case go from “circumstantial” to pretty damning when North led him to where Voight disposed of Roy’s body, which North only found because he followed Halstead’s digital footprints in tracking Voight’s GPS on the night of the murder. All the bits and pieces of evidence combined with the actual body seems to mean that somebody is going down for Roy’s death, and it’s up to Halstead what happens next. North laid out the two choices:
Now, if you’re me and watching from home, you might have been ready to flip on Voight before the final credits even start to roll and let him go down for everything he’s ever done. If you’re Jay Halstead, however, the situation is more than a little complicated. Halstead is a loyal character, and he has worked under Voight for the better part of a decade. He knows that Voight technically didn't kill Roy, and his own hands have been dirtied over his years in Intelligence as well. Flipping on Voight would undoubtedly not be an easy decision for him.
But could Halstead really let Upton (and himself) go to prison when there’s the option of Voight being taken down by the feds? Sure, Upton pulled the trigger on Roy, but Voight arguably forced her hand. And Halstead directly and without hesitation told Upton in “Fractures” that he didn’t want her to turn herself in because he wants to start their marriage with her outside of prison. Throw in the fact that he was only dragged into the mess because he figured out the secret with some good police work, and it’s hard to imagine Halstead not doing everything possible to keep the FBI's focus on Voight rather than him and Upton.
North lumping Upton and Halstead together was actually a pretty genius move to force Halstead’s hand one way or the other, but this is Chicago P.D. If any member of the Intelligence Unit is given two choices, there’s always the possibility that they’ll find (or force) another option. So, is there a way out of this situation that would somehow result in Halstead, Upton, and Voight all sticking around, and P.D. not having to say goodbye to anybody to resolve this storyline?
How Chicago P.D. Could Handle Halstead's Choice
Based on the size and scale of the operation that was recovering evidence from Roy's grave, making this case go away can’t be as simple as digging up dirt on Agent North. There are too many people involved, too much has been proven, and the FBI is handling the investigation. This storyline with Roy’s death has been built up so much that it really shouldn't end without some kind of change to the status quo, and the most obvious change would be losing a character.
And the most obvious character to lose is Voight, from a story perspective. Halstead has many more reasons to flip on Voight than to set up himself and the woman he loves to go to prison. A lot could depend on how quietly Voight would take it if Halstead did turn on him, since he could theoretically take Upton down with him. That said, from a show rather than story perspective, Jason Beghe is top-billed on Chicago P.D., so Voight may be safe for as long as Beghe is on board.
Another possibility is for Chicago P.D. to come up with a third party who could take the heat for Roy’s murder and prevent Voight or Upstead from going down for it. Samantha Miller has been my wild card pick to take the fall, and she did get a mention in “Fractures.” Still, the feds have enough evidence for North to feel confident that the guilt is spread between Voight, Upton, and Halstead, and Halstead is the one in the most challenging position when it comes to how the case proceeds.
And Halstead’s actions in “Fractures” paint him as a man who is back on Team Upton, after struggling with her actions for a few episodes. He told her not to come clean about killing Roy, reaffirmed that he loves her and wants to marry her. If anything, the mentions of love and marriage again in “Fractures” could work to set the stage for a courthouse wedding in the upcoming fall finale so that Halstead wouldn’t have to testify against her. It crossed my mind during their bathroom chat!
To contrast, Halstead hasn’t had a kind word (or expression) for Voight since he punched him in the face. He wants to marry Upton and he holds Voight accountable for what happened to Roy, so the choice seems clear and even potentially rife with opportunities. But how much is ever really clear when it comes to Hank Voight, with his knack for holding on to his position in CPD? And would Upton turn herself in to spare Halstead from making the decision?
At the end of the day, I think that the only way a key character could take the fall for Roy and have it stick would be if one of the actors decided to leave the show. Unlike how Chicago Fire spent weeks building up to Jesse Spencer's departure as Matt Casey, Chicago P.D. hasn’t dropped any clues that Jason Beghe, Tracy Spiridakos, or Jesse Lee Soffer is on the way out. P.D. does like to deliver fall finale cliffhangers, though, so fans may want to prepare for an intense end to the next episode.
Unfortunately, fans are in for a wait for the next episode. Chicago P.D. won’t be back with its fall finale until Wednesday, December 8 at 10 p.m. ET on NBC. Chicago Med and Chicago Fire will have some issues to deal with in the fall finales as well, with Med delivering what could have been bad news for Ethan and Fire raising questions about Stella’s future.
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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.
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