Chicago’s “Upstead” Breakthrough PD: EP, Jesse Lee Soffer, Tracy Spiridakos Preview What Lies Forward
Warning: The following contains spoilers for the Wednesday episode of Chicago PD entitled “Tender Age. Read at your own risk!
Chicago PD returned Wednesday night with a new episode that saw it Burgess and Ruzek team up to help a lost child, and Upton considers a tempting job offer with the FBI.
The episode started with Ruzek and Burgess discussing how they got pretty much an old, romantic couple. It’s true – they have breakfast in the same restaurant, work together, then meet in the same bar, don’t go out much and haven’t met. Remind us why aren’t they together?
Their casual conversation ended abruptly when Ruzek almost ran a dazed young girl across the streets. Since the girl didn’t say a word, Burgess found out her identity from a sweater embroidered with her name and tried to bring her back to her home. However, she and Ruzek soon discovered that the girl’s entire family had been brutally murdered.
With the child too traumatized to speak and with no close relatives available, a reluctant Burgess – who admitted she did not have much experience with children – was blamed for the young witness. Despite her initial reservations, Burgess quickly bonded with the girl, and even got her to research what she saw, which led to the perpetrator’s arrest. Burgess may not think she has the instinct to be a mother, but her handling of this case has proven otherwise.
In the meantime, Upton had taken on a tempting offer from the FBI to head a task force that would bring her a huge raise but would ultimately move her away from Chicago. When she discussed it with Halstead, she decided to decline the offer. “I’m better with you than my partner,” explained Upton. “You, 21, Voight … I know I’m better here so I won’t take it.” Upton then admitted that it has been a long time since she viewed Halstead as just her partner and almost expressed her feelings for him. Halstead got the message loud and clear, however, and pulled her in for a kiss before the episode went black.
As part of this new development, TVLine met Chicago PD boss Rick Eid along with stars Jesse Lee Soffer and Tracy Spiridakos, who spoke to us exclusively, in separate interviews about what this expected lockdown means for the couple and what challenges they face they face each other in the coming episodes. The answers, which have been edited for clarity, can be found below.
TVLINE | What was your reaction when you first found out at the end of Episode 3 what was going to happen to the kiss between Halstead and Upton?
TRACY SPIRIDAKOS | My first answer was, “Oh s – t. Linstead fans will be mad. ” [Laughs] But I think we all knew it was coming! I like the way this scene is written and how Eriq is [La Salle] directed it. I am thrilled that the fans are seeing it.
JESSE LEE SOFFER | I was surprised! It felt like we hadn’t touched that dynamic a bit, so it was interesting to me that this would be the moment we’d jump in.
TVLINE | What kind of conversations do you have with each other and / or with the producers and directors about the direction of the scene and how to play it?
SOFFER | There wasn’t really a convo just that we knew it was something the writers have seen over and over again for the past couple of seasons. It was something that would be on the side sooner or later. I know a lot of fans were out for it to happen.
SPIRIDAKOS | I think we all – Rick Eid, [writer] Gwen Sigan, Eriq La Salle, Jesse Lee Soffer and I really wanted to show how they are best friends and partners first and foremost and that the bond these two have is really special. The intimacy of that moment came afterwards. It wasn’t planned by either of them, and I really like that.
TVLINE | This is something that has built up for the seasons. What made this moment the right one for Halstead and Upton to take the next step in their relationship?
OATH | Their feelings for each other have grown over the past two seasons. In all honesty there was nowhere else to go. They had to take things to the next level, or at least try to. They just needed a catalyst, like Upton’s FBI job offer.
SPRIRIDAKOS | I think the moment came from the fear of getting disconnected with this new job offer on the table. For Hailey, the idea of leaving Jay was the reason she didn’t take the job and made her face her feelings for him directly. In the past she had an opportunity to tell him how she felt about him, but the moment never seemed right. This time she took the opportunity and ran with it.
SOFFER | It’s something that was in the Halstead and Upton dynamic that the writers have been letting us play for a long time. So for the characters, I suppose sooner or later you have to get started or get out of the pot. [Laughs]
TVLINE | What are the major professional and / or personal barriers for Upton and Halstead to continue this romantic relationship?
SPIRIDAKOS | We will see! I know that vulnerability isn’t Hailey’s strongest attribute. [Laughs] So I’m sure this will show up.
OATH | I suspect there will be many unique challenges. It’s one thing to want to be in a romantic relationship [with] someone; Getting this romantic relationship working day in and day out while working together in a high pressure environment is a different matter.
TVLINE | This isn’t the first time Halstead or Upton have been romantically involved with someone in the Intelligence Unit. We have seen the complications that have arisen in those previous relationships with Lindsay and Ruzek. What have they learned from these previous relationships and how could they do something different this time?
OATH | I think they both learned a lot, but that doesn’t mean it will be easy. Juggling a romantic relationship at work is difficult. Halstead and Upton are very different people – and very different cops. So there will definitely be conflict in the workplace that could carry over to your personal life. But I think Upton and Halstead really love each other. So there’s a good chance – a 50/50 chance I would say – that things could work out.
SPRIDAKOS | I think for Hailey her time with Ruzek was more of a fun thing that got serious faster than she expected. As much as she cared for Adam, there was no real love there. There is this time around and I think it will make a big difference to them.
TVLINE | What can you preview about the aftermath of this Upton / Halstead development in Episode 4?
OATH | In Episode 4, Upton is confronted with a personal matter that makes Halstead uncomfortable and Upton even more uncomfortable.
Chicago PD fam, what do you think of “Upstead” that is finally taking it to the next level? Hit us in the comments!
Reporting by Vlada Gelman.