Chicago PD Season 10 Episode 3 Review: A Good Man

Saying goodbye to a fan-favorite character, especially one that has been part of the series since the beginning, is never easy.

And with Chicago PD Season 10 Episode 3, only the third installment into the season, that’s what they did by giving Jesse Lee Soffer’s Jay Halstead a sendoff.

It’s hard to describe how we’re supposed to feel about it, though.

Two things can be true at the same time. One, Jesse Lee Soffer gave us a truly incredible performance throughout the hour and was a joy to watch. And two, that sendoff was rushed and bizarre.

The news that Jesse Lee Soffer would be leaving had fans of the series in utter shock, dismay, and denial.

The lack of any information surrounding the nature of the departure has only fueled the fire. We may never know the whys surrounding the exit; all we know is the impact that it’ll leave on the series and viewers.

But a departure of such a staple of the series and one of the original characters before a midseason finale or finale is simply unusual. It’s rarely done for a reason.

It takes time to give a staple character the sendoff they, the actor, and the fans deserve. It’s something that should be planned well and thought out.

There’s been an influx of mind-boggling exits on primetime these days, and it’s been hard to swallow. No, there’s no appeasing everyone, but a good story is a good story.

As a regular installment, the hour was action-packed and entertaining. The case was riveting, and it was hard to take my eyes off the screen with everything that transpired.

As a final installment for a beloved character (assuming that the open-ended close doesn’t lead to visits), there’s no getting around how rushed the whole thing was.

They had three installments to develop a storyline that would lead to Halstead exiting the series, leaving a job he loves behind, abandoning his position as Voight’s right hand, and walking away from a new marriage.

And they didn’t feasibly give us enough to work within those three installments. They crammed weeks worth of buildup into a single episode and shipped Halstead off to Bolivia by the end.

With more time and breathing room, even if it wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, they could’ve made this exact ending work by fleshing it out more and perhaps reaching this similar conclusion by the midseason.

After all, we spent the entire first half of Chicago PD Season 9 watching Hailey’s descent into darkness and anxiety over her actions in that season opener.

I did the right thing when it counted. Didn’t I do that?


Halstead deserved that type of time, and so did viewers.

Because it was a rushed hodgepodge of things it felt like were missing pieces of the puzzle on Halstead’s headspace, how all of this caught up to him, and the turning point he made in being a man who couldn’t fathom returning to the military and was angry at Mouse for his choice, to mirroring it.

It felt like they borrowed bits and pieces from previous plots. Halstead heading to some army unit because the world is more black and white, and that’s what he needs — it’s an exact replica of how Mouse exited the series.

And maybe it was an intentional callback meant to showcase how Halstead came full circle with reaching that same conclusion. Something he didn’t understand back then, he gets all too well now, and there’s an intention poetic effect to that.

Halstead loving Hailey but abruptly leaving her for a job opportunity and for what’s best for him rips off Erin’s exit, which is unfortunate considering the discourse over the years that led to parallels drawn between the two relationships all of the time.

Halstead: One bad act doesn’t make you a bad person. You and I both know that.
Hailey: What? Jay, can I talk to you for a second? This isn’t you.
Halstead: What isn’t?
Hailey: Everything!

At least Halstead’s exit wasn’t as awful or out of character as Antonio’s, but the notion that Halstead didn’t want to become like Voight or rather did want to become him had tinges of Antonio’s descent in those last days.

If it wasn’t apparent how much of a rush job it was, the lack of any final goodbyes between Halstead and the other team members was jarring.

Credit where it’s due; they at least gave us a rare Halstead and Burgess scene early in the installment. You can count on one hand the amount of those we’ve gotten in 10 years.

But it sucks that they drove the split team dynamic into the ground, and it stuck even for Halstead’s final moments. Why couldn’t Halstead say goodbye to Burgess, Ruzek, or Atwater?

Why didn’t he get a moment with Trudy, who is like the Den Mom of the squad and has personal connections with all of them and would’ve had a guaranteed, sweet, emotional moment?

Why didn’t Halstead get to say goodbye to his new mentee, Torres? A small scene of him giving the kid some parting words would’ve been endearing and made for a lovely passing of the torch moment.

Why did Halstead show up at Chicago Med twice and still didn’t get a scene with his brother?

They at least provided us with final moments with Hailey and Voight. But in doing so, it was glaring how often those dynamics were pitfalls.

Not because they weren’t good ones, but because Halstead got stuck in a rotation with those same two characters, and we missed out on so much, and he suffered narratively because of it.

By now, it’s no secret that this reviewer isn’t an Upstead shipper or was invested much in that relationship. But I sympathize with those who are and still appreciate sensible storytelling.

Soffer and Spiradakos gave their all during that goodbye scene, and their emotions livened up the bizarre writing, but even with their best efforts, they couldn’t make this make any sense.

It felt like they were setting them up for a marriage that fizzled out or some kind of breakup. Narratively, it probably would’ve made more sense if they stuck with that.

Whether you enjoyed the pairing or not, there have been so many unresolved issues and communication problems between them that it felt like that should’ve gone somewhere.

In the past couple of installments, the distance between them was pronounced. Halstead had shut down on her completely. And they simply never did anything with that.

They could’ve spun it into something about them getting married too soon or unpacked some trauma or whatever else. Instead, it just went unaddressed.

Halstead told her that she was the love of his life, and they hadn’t ended their relationship. Still, he also essentially emotionally manipulated her into agreeing that she should let him go if she really loved him. He abandoned her for an indeterminate amount of time by leaving the country that same day.

Halstead: We’re doing it again.
Voight: What?
Halstead: We’re doing it again.
Voight: Listen, we don’t have a lot of time. Now give me the knife.
Halstead: What the hell am I doing?

And he did that after he went to the Chief without speaking to her about his plans and resigned without so much as discussing with her. I mean, she’s his wife, so all of this is weird as hell.

Hell, I don’t know how Hailey is supposed to process any of this. For the story and character’s sake, it’s something that begs to be explored — the abandonment scars here are astronomical.

But I can’t say that I’m excited to see that aspect of the season unfold, even though it’s necessary. Halstead is gone now, and I can’t say I’m in a better position to understand Upstead, where this leaves them, and why they pushed so hard to marry them off if it ended up like this.

And are we supposed to hold out for some Dear John letter down the road? It’s like the Gabby/Casey situation and the Casey/Brett situation on Chicago Fire.

I don’t know what to make of Halstead’s final scene with Voight either. He sounded confused himself. He wants to be Voight, so he has to leave.

The two of them have a complicated relationship, and they turned the Boy Scout, Voight’s Keeper bit on its head with those words. It felt more true to Hailey than to Halstead.

But Halstead is gone, and Voight has lost another person he respects and cares about, so the theme remains that Voight keeps losing his people.

If the weirdness around this serving as an exit weren’t so prominent, this would’ve been a damn good episode.

Ironically, this was the most interesting Halstead has been in years, and that’s because they gave Jesse Lee Soffer more to do. It’s a pity they gave him all this material for his final installment. He really delivered.

That opening montage with the nervous tapping of the ring finger and the growing distance between Halstead and Hailey was beautifully shot and directed.

The action at the pharmacy was pulse-pounding, and so was Halstead’s time in that warehouse. When he repeatedly stabbed Watts, my jaw was on the floor in shock.

And you could tell that Halstead had checked out and was in shock for a bit, which felt like a brief callback to his long-abandoned PTSD, and it made me wish that those little things were explored more over the years.

Halstead crossed all types of lines with this case, but he was devoted to it the second he entered that pharmacy. His instant connection with Lenny added that personal element that makes a case good.

Halstead: I thought you hated long goodbyes.
Voight: You could have any job you want in the department. You don’t need me. You’re past that. If you don’t want to be me…
Halstead: No, it’s worse than that. I do. I do want to be you. But it’s like you always told me. I’m not, and I shouldn’t try.

Halstead went off the deep end a few times, and everyone noticed it. His no-knock entries into the meth-head house, the deal he couldn’t deliver on while interrogating him, the choice to leave things out from Voight — all of it was intense.

Ironically, it didn’t feel as out of character as it may seem to some fans because we’ve seen how Halstead gets when he’s passionate about a case before, how it can cloud his judgment, and how he can bend the rules.

He just took it up a few notches. It was bound to land him in some kind of trouble. Hailey tried to be his voice of reason the entire time, but she couldn’t get through to him.

But it’s like they’ve all been through and done too many things to pull each other’s card, and maybe that’s at the core of the problem.

It’s hard for Hailey to play a moral compass when he knows what she’s done and can’t push that out of his mind. Of course, he’d go to the lengths he did to protect Lenny after his bond with him.

It was a cycle that had to break. Halstead ended up in the same situation that required Voight and Hailey to develop cover stories to protect him from his actions.

They couldn’t keep going down that route over and over again. Understandably, he had to put an end to it. While he still didn’t get to own his actions because of the Chief, he got to quit on his terms and go into something he felt suited him better. Lenny’s words about how he did the right thing when it counted stuck with him.

Halstead putting an end to that cycle is noble, and it stays true to him as the Boy Scout, even if so much of the other stuff was wonky. Halstead felt so lost, and I wish there was more buildup or a deeper dive into that because it could have been far more compelling with time.

Halstead: We’re doing it again.
Voight: What?
Halstead: We’re doing it again.
Voight: Listen, we don’t have a lot of time. Now give me the knife.
Halstead: What the hell am I doing?

It’s no question that Halstead’s absence will leave a void in the series.

Over to you, Chicago PD Fanatics. How did you feel about Halstead’s departure? Sound off below!

If you want to relive the best Halstead moments, you can watch Chicago PD online here via TV Fanatic.

Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

Original Source Link

Related Articles

Back to top button