When Chicago P.D. returns for Season 11, Intelligence will lose yet another member.
Tracy Spiridakos is set to depart the NBC procedural as Hailey Upton, though it’s currently unknown exactly which episode she’ll make her big exit. The news comes after Jesse Lee Soffer left the show in Season 10 after portraying detective Jay Halstead since P.D.’s debut in 2014.
More from TVLine
Spiridakos first appeared as a detective for the Robbery-Homicide Unit in the Season 4 episode “Fagin,” where she initially butted heads with Voight while working the same case. She was then invited to join Intelligence but didn’t take the sergeant up on his offer until Season 5, after Sophia Bush’s Erin Lindsay left to join the FBI. Upton grew particularly close to Voight, as well as her partner Halstead, who became her husband in Season 9. But Halstead left for Bolivia in Season 10 — which wrapped up this past May — and she struggled with his absence throughout the season.
Halstead had stopped returning her calls, and in the season’s twelfth episode, she learned from Major Baxter that he asked for an extension of his current tour without first consulting her, and she then broke down crying.
With Upton’s final days as a member of Intelligence approaching, and no details available about her impending departure, we’ve come up with a few theories of our own. Here are four ways Upton could potentially leave Chicago P.D.
1. She goes to be with Halstead in Bolivia
With Halstead pretty much falling off the grid after taking an assignment in Bolivia, Hailey left message after message to no avail. What if she took matters into her own hands and just followed her husband to South America?
When Sean (played by guest star Jefferson White) — then a suspect in a human trafficking case — told Upton that she wanted to “save something too badly right now” in Season 10, Episode 7, we’re pretty sure she wasn’t pretending when she admitted that he was right about her and Halstead.
She clearly missed her husband, so it’s highly plausible that she would do whatever it takes to make their marriage work, even if that means leaving Intelligence to help him track down cartel targets in Bolivia. Besides, she and Halstead have already proven that they work well together.
2. She gets promoted
Upton has been working closely with Voight for the last few seasons, so what if that leads to a promotion to either corporal or sergeant, which then requires her to move to a different unit? We don’t think she’d settle for administrative duty anytime soon, and both titles would allow her to remain close to the action while also taking on a new leadership role. We could easily see her mentoring younger officers, which she can’t currently do in Intelligence.
Plus, it gives her something new to focus on instead of spiraling over Halstead. This would also open the door for future appearances, with Upton potentially helping out Intelligence on occasion.
3. She decides to take a break
Between the Roy coverup, Halstead leaving, and Sean getting under her skin, Upton has been through a lot emotionally in the past few seasons and could really use a break for her mental health. What if she took extended time off from Intelligence to get her head back in the right space? This could lead to a future return, with a revitalized Upton ready to take on new challenges. Of course, that would all depend on Spiridakos’ desire and/or availability to come back sometime down the line.
4. She dies in action
This is the one scenario we don’t want to happen, but given the dangerous work that Intelligence is often involved in — and the many close calls — it’s a slight possibility. Plus, she wouldn’t be the first person from the unit to die.
However, this option would make her departure permanent, and it would close the “Upstead” story on an utterly depressing note. Could the writers kill Upton and break our hearts (as well as Halstead’s) in the process? Sure. But will they actually go there? We sure hope not!
How do you think Upton will leave Chicago P.D.? Share your theories below!
Best of TVLine