Chicago P.D. 10×20 “Fight” could be described with a lot of different adjectives. Sad. Infuriating. Baffling. But perhaps the one that fits best is disrespectful. There were better ways. This has been a constant refrain throughout the entire season. There were better ways. This is a storytelling decision. We did not end up here by mistake. This is a choice. And it is a bad one.
We’re not even talking about the case in particular, or about Hailey Upton’s character arc in this episode, much less Tracy Spiridakos’ performance as it relates to those two things. The actress does the best with what she’s given, and boy does this episode serve as another reminder that this show is often more than it deserves to be because it’s got the kind of performers that can elevate even mediocre storylines. No, we’re talking about the sum of all those things.
Because watching Season 10 in a vacuum, yes, it makes sense to see Hailey Upton putting herself first. In fact, a casual fan might even root for her to do so, because the Jay Halstead we have seen this season absolutely does not deserve a wife that leaves messages telling him she misses him or loves him. And if you’d only watched Season 10 of this show, you might even buy Hank Voight as the kind of boss who could share a drink with Hailey and deliver a line like “You know, it is okay to let go if you’re the only one fighting” with a straight face and mean it.
The problem is, of course, we have watched other seasons of this show. So, it’s hard to buy the revisionist history Season 10 is trying to sell regarding, well …everyone. Voight. Jay. And even Hailey. Remember when Jay Halstead was a stand-up guy who, whatever his issues were, would not just ghost his wife and cease all communication for no reason? Remember when Hailey didn’t trust Voight and was ready to turn on him so he’d go to jail? Remember when Voight was making questionable decisions and putting everyone around him in danger because he thought he was above the law …wait …that still hasn’t changed, some things never change.
Of course, the most disrespectful thing about this episode remains the resolution we get for Upstead …almost a season later. And to be fair, they had been telegraphing the resolution. This is nowhere near a surprise. It’s more of a confirmation. But that doesn’t make it hurt any less. If fans had been holding onto hope, it’s because the situation we find ourselves in, the decisions TPTB made regarding Jay Halstead literally go against everything the character had been for 10 seasons – and everything they had built Upstead to be. And, well …as a fan, you want to believe that’ll mean something.
It didn’t. It hasn’t. And at this point, there’s no reason to believe it will.
Perhaps, in a way, it’s for the best. Now we know. At some point, closure is better than false hope. For people who love Upstead, the couple will always be there and will remain the beautiful, shining thing that it was. The reality of right now cannot really change that. The show can end for you at their wedding, and nothing that happened later can touch you. Jay Halstead can remain the character he always was, the one we knew him to be – and Hailey Upton can finally get to experience some happiness next to the husband that loves her and deserves her.
The rest, well, the rest can be a really, really sad AU some of us have the continue watching. Feel sad for us, because …in this AU, Voight is the hero, Torres is the only one who notices Hailey might be having a hard time, Kim and Hailey still don’t get the friendship they deserve and we have an ongoing storyline with white supremacists! Fun times.
Stay in Upstead land, if that’s what you choose. I don’t blame you one bit.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think of Chicago P.D. 10×20 “Fight”? Share with us in the comments below!
Chicago P.D. airs Wednesdays on NBC.
I agree with a lot of what you said here. Since it was Jesse Sofer who decided to leave, rather that being forced out, it does change things a little bit for me. Having said that, I still HATE what they have done here. Clearly, they are trying to set up a circumstance where Halstead could return while having Hailey move on if he never does. They could have had Halstead move to another unit because working together and being married was too much of a strain on their relationship or have him promoted to Sargant and take over another unit. The fact that they didn’t go this route is somewhat insulting to the audience It’s as though we can’t handle the fact that Upstead’s relationship could continue off screen. We have not seen Donna .on Chicago Fire for a while and yet no one doubts that Boden’s marriage is fine.
If he did come back in say season 12, how would that be handled? After telling Hailey “I’m not going anywhere” in season 8, we’re supposed to be ok with him disappearing for 2 years and suddenly returning? I know he may never come back, but doing this just took a blowtorch to everything that was good about Jay and about Upstead. This was a rough episode from that standpoint.
Right on. I get Jesse left but there were many ways this could have been written that are not insulting to what Halstead and upstead meant to fans. I know he is a fictional character but his goodness mattered, it was soul of the show. Sad to have to let go of the show that once mattered yo me but alas… can’t be the only one fighting as bought said.
Thank you. Every word of this rings true. It didn’t have to be this way. Even if Jesse Lee Soffer left the show, he DID say in an interview that he wouldn’t mind returning a bit if the writers wanted him to…which left open SO many good storylines where he and Hailey could have remained on great terms. He was an Army Ranger. They could have him reenlist after resigning from the PD, sent him on army deployment for chunks of time with him occasionally returning, on good terms, to Hailey for an episode or two a season. That way he was more of a guest star and could have avoided the 3 year contract like he wanted. And that way he still stayed the same caring, upright Jay Halstead that he always was instead of this flakey jerk that the writers are suddenly portraying him as. Spiridakos is trying her best and she’s obviously a good actress, but this story arc is very frustrating and depressing.
Hey, noticed “Season 11” instead of “season 10” is used a lot.
Thanks for the heads up! Sometimes trying to review Fire and PD in one night gets confusing. 😂
I get the writers wanted Hailey to have to let go of Jay. But other ways that could have been achieved aside from torching the beloved character of Halstead. Maybe he went to jail to protect Hailey from having to and he cut off communication with her for her own good? So many ways she could have been in pain losing him while not insulting fans that loved what Halstead and his character meant to the show. So sad for me to let go of PD as a show but it is frustrating and painful to watch and not in good entertaining ways.
Thanks for perfectly expressing all of my frustrations with not only this episode but the whole season. The complete character assassination of my favorite character has been very hard to watch (which I won’t be doing anymore). Is there any way to contact or send feedback/criticism to the show/writers? There’s been no interviews with Tracy or the show-runner and seems to be no outlet to voice our opinions or interviewers to ask questions, leaving us with nothing but these horribly written episodes.