Chicago P.D. said goodbye to Detective Jay Halstead on the latest episode of the show, ending a 10-year run for the character.
It was an emotional episode for the show, with Chicago P.D. star Jesse Lee Soffer officially walking away from the drama.
For years, Soffer has played Halstead, the right-hand man to Intelligence leader Hank Voight.
But even being married to another main character (Detective Hailey Upton, played by Tracy Spiridakos) wasn’t enough to keep Halstead in Chicago.
It was announced a while ago that Soffer was leaving Chicago P.D., but that didn’t mean it wasn’t still jarring and gut-wrenching, all at the same time.
Within the context of the show, Halstead had enough of the gray lines of police work and opted to return to the Army, where he says that everything is “black and white, right and wrong.”
Now, showrunner Gwen Sigan has explained in more detail what One Chicago fans witnessed on the episode called A Good Man.
Behind-the-scenes details from Chicago P.D. Season 10, Episode 3
“We all really wanted to do justice for Halstead’s character as best we could—to who he’s been for the show— we really wanted to make that decision to leave his own decision. For it to come from him,” Gwen Sigan told NBC Insider.
“It felt important to keep him alive and keep him out in the world trying to do good. The idea of him getting back to who he was gave us that opportunity. The army’s always been integral to who he is. I think that time with the rangers shaped him, his morals, his compass, and it was fitting that he’d want to get back to that; to some sort of simplicity and an idea of ‘right and wrong,'” she went on to add.
Why did Jesse Lee Soffer leave Chicago P.D.?
“This is sad but true. Just want all the fans to know how grateful I am. You guys are why we do it! It has been an honor. Love you all,” Jesse Lee Soffer wrote on Twitter when the story broke that he might be leaving the One Chicago drama.
Soffer would later return to Twitter to share another message with the fans ahead of the Chicago P.D. Season 10 premiere.
“10 years in a blink. I couldn’t be more proud. Thank you for going on This journey with us. I love our fans. Season 10 premiers tonight at 10/9 central on @NBC @WolfEnt @NBCOneChicago,” Soffer wrote.
Moving forward, Halstead remains alive in the world of One Chicago, which keeps the door open should Soffer ever want to return to the show. That might even create some interesting scenarios where he just reappears for an episode or two.
Or, the show could just write out the character by having Halstead die off-screen, and for Upton to then have to deal with it.
And speaking of death on One Chicago, a heart-wrenching new episode of Chicago Fire killed off a main character.
Chicago P.D. airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on NBC.