Warning: Contains SPOILERS for Chicago PD season 10The Chicago PD season 10 premiere already introduced Jay Halstead’s replacement in Intelligence. When news broke out that Jesse Lee Soffer is exiting the One Chicago show, it came as a surprise. The actor is among the remaining original cast who are still in the series and is considered to be one of its leads. Amidst this impending big change, Chicago PD needs to continue without Halstead, with a substitute waiting in the wings.
Coming from a big win with the death of Javier Escano (José Zúñiga) and the takedown of Los Temidos, Chicago PD season 10 should start on a high note. Instead, the police procedural’s milestone year will be bittersweet as it will also see the departure of Soffer, who has been playing Halstead on the show since it premiered in 2014. In-universe, Intelligence is also set to suffer a massive loss as Halstead functions as Hank Voight’s (Jason Beghe) second-in-command. While Soffer’s exit looms, Chicago PD appears to already have a plan in place with regard to the matter.
One of Halstead’s most important traits that makes him an effective second-in-command is his ability to call out Voight for his questionable actions and decisions. While he has mellowed down on his superior, the Chicago PD season 10 premiere, “Let It Bleed”, shows Halstead’s partner and new wife, Hailey Upton (Tracy Spiridakos) doing exactly that as Voight grieved the death of Anna Avalos (Carmela Zumbado), his civilian informant. While the rest of Intelligence, including Halstead, was willing to walk on eggshells around the Sergeant, Upton took the matter into her own hands and warned Voight that he is on the cusp of losing the team if he doesn’t shape up soon. The old version of Halstead would have undoubtedly pulled the same move; in fact, he had done that multiple times in the past. After he leaves, the Chicago PD season 10 premiere proves that Upton is capable and willing to take over that role.
Intelligence Needs Upton Now More Than Ever
The Intelligence unit isn’t new to losing valuable team members. Voight’s quasi-daughter and subordinate, Erin Lindsay (Sophia Bush) left in Chicago PD season 4 after getting a better work opportunity. Subsequently, Voight’s longest friend and trusted colleague, Al Olinski (Elias Koteas), died, while his original right-hand man, Jon Seda’s Antonio Dawson exited Intelligence to deal with his substance problems. Every single time these big departures went down, Halstead was there to help the team. As Intelligence suffers its biggest loss yet with Halstead’s impending exit, Voight would need someone to help him usher the squad during this precarious period. Not only is Upton the most similar to her husband, but she is also the most veteran member of Intelligence. Without Halstead, she is in the best position to lead the team if Voight is not available.
Soffer’s decision to leave Chicago PD was a massive shock and will definitely change the trajectory of the show moving forward. The fact that he won’t even be able to finish season 10 makes it trickier to give him a satisfying send-off. Luckily, it seems like NBC already has a plan in place about what happens to Intelligence once Halstead exits as hinted by the Chicago PD season 10 premiere.
Chicago PD season 10 airs every Wednesday on NBC.