They didn’t reinvent the wheel here by placing an Intelligence unit member in peril for the umpteenth time.
But many parts of Chicago PD Season 10 Episode 20 played out like an action movie befitting of the series’ version of “Action Barbie” as Hailey fought for her life during a particularly dark and gory situation.
And by the end of the hour, after many Jay mentions, she realizes it is time to give up the fight for her marriage with Halstead.
The hour was dark, grim, and incredibly gory. Hailey spent much of the hour covered in blood, slip-sliding in it halfway through and looking like the protagonist in an action thriller by the installment’s end.
They had fun with all the blood packets, and the severed hand was especially gnarly.
But amid all the grimness as Hailey found herself in a dire situation, everything went back to and reflected on Hailey and her marriage to Halstead.
We’ve been watching the slow death of Upstead for the majority of the season, and it’s been brutal, even for those of us who weren’t fans of the pairing.
Hailey has been in this weird and twisted limbo since Jay left, and he’s spent most of that time away, barely taking any of her calls.
Halstead’s departure was already controversial and resulted in a less-than-ideal sendoff to the liking of many fans. If that wasn’t already tough for many, it’s what they’ve done to his character since he left that’s been an especially bitter pill to swallow.
As someone coming off New Amsterdam‘s final season, where they completely and utterly annihilated Helen Sharpe’s character in one of the most egregious instances of character assassination in years, it genuinely sucks when that happens to a beloved character.
While I don’t think the issue with Halstead is in the same realm as that with Helen Sharpe, it’s still been an unusual, notable instance of some bizarre character choices after the fact.
You need more time, I gave you that. You wanted your time.
In this installment alone, one knew it was bad when there was a brief period where based on how things have gone thus far this season, it wouldn’t have been surprising if Lee was covering for Halstead somehow with this money situation or Halstead inadvertently was how Hailey got dragged into this mess in the first place.
The fact that it didn’t seem like a stretch speaks volumes about how the audience perceives Halstead these days.
And so it was fitting that Hailey’s devotion to Jay, this ghost of a husband and a marriage that she has, is how she wound up zip-tied in a dingy bathroom of some sort of trap house with a squirrely guy who was far too representative of herself.
Every Hailey-centric this season has tied back to how lost she is without Halstead and how she struggles to navigate her life with a husband who isn’t physically nor emotionally there.
Kim: What if it has something to do with Jay?
Torres: I tried him. He’s off the wing for a bit. I don’t think they’re doing well.
Her loyalty to Jay is what prompted her to answer that phone call from Lee, and she went down a horrific path as a result.
Lee was a mess. He was frustrated from the beginning. He barely wanted to trust Hailey even though he had contacted her. He got them kidnapped, held onto valuable intel the whole way through, and jeopardized her life.
To think he did all of this for a woman who didn’t give a damn about him was enraging. It was hard to sympathize with his blind loyalty to someone who didn’t deserve it and his stupidity.
He let Vicente and Eli chop off his freaking hand because he was trying to protect Jessica. Hailey was getting her ass whooped left and right when she wasn’t kicking ass, that is, and he just acted like it wasn’t happening and apologized without giving her anything to work with in the interim.
I thought if I got the money, she’d come back to me.
So many of the captive scenes with Lee were so damn frustrating because not only did it seem like Lee lacked any sense of survival, but he wasn’t trying to keep Hailey alive either.
It’s like she was doing the lion’s share of the work to keep them both alive and working in opposition to him in the process. But Hailey is always quick on her feet, and she was great at showing her skillset adapting to everything thrown her way as best as possible.
And one thing you’ll never say about Hailiy Upton is that she isn’t a fighter. She was kicking ass the whole way through, putting all those nights of grappling and sparring with Torres to good use.
Trying to get Lee to talk or share anything was like pulling teeth. And Hailey’s expression when she realized she was on the verge of dying because he was protecting someone he loved was one of resignation.
Lee: I am so sorry.
Hailey: I don’t need an apology. I need you to start talking.
She could understand that position too.
It’s sad that when Lee got some fight in him and was willing to lend a hand, pun not intended, he got killed trying to help Hailey.
It didn’t have to go that way for him, and as if it wasn’t traumatizing enough that Hailey got abducted and had to listen to him get his hand cut off, she had to watch him die, too.
Was the installment action-packed? No doubt. Was Hailey a badass? Most definitely, was Tracy Spiradakos great in it? Of course.
But this series has relied too heavily on traumatizing the hell out of the same couple of characters beyond reason, and it’s especially glaring and agitating when it’s the female characters.
How often can we see Hailey and Burgess get put through the wringer like this? It’s utter madness at this point!
When Hailey was lying on the ground after causing an accident and stabbing Vicente in the jugular, she was drenched in blood and looked like Sissy Spacek in Carrie.
Only Hailey’s superhuman coping mechanisms keep her from being a walking open wound at this rate.
And this entire case was a painfully bloody, traumatizing, and deadly lesson in how she needs to learn to let Halstead go.
Voight’s advice couldn’t be better and more apt. If she’s the only one fighting in their relationship, it’s time to let it go. It doesn’t mean she loves Halstead any less or didn’t give it a proper go.
I wanted to cheer when he said she needed to love herself more. Because absolutely no one deserves to be going through a marriage like what Hailey is enduring.
Halstead isn’t communicating with her at all. He’s full-on checked out of their marriage, and she spends more time talking to his voicemail than him.
He isn’t behaving like someone wanting to return or be with her. Their relationship right now is entirely one-sided. And again, literally, no one deserves that.
For Hailey’s own health and peace of mind, she needed to let it go, as painful as it was.
She’s the only person in this marriage. While that’s not what she would’ve envisioned, she was well past time to accept the message Halstead is sending with his actions and close that chapter until a time comes when they can have a proper discussion and end things properly.
In all of this, they’ve made Hailey a victim in her relationship with a man they spent the better part of ten years putting on a heroic, honorable, morally centered pedestal.
The switch-up is jarring, to say the least. And it’s sacrificing ten years worth of Halstead’s character development to prop up Hailey and make her sympathetic here.
It’s not that Halstead wasn’t a flawed character. Hell, we’ve cited all the ways he was before. But this particular move feels so out of character and bizarre.
Nevertheless, I’m glad Hailey took heed of Voight’s paternal wisdom. Hailey has been a shell of herself all season because her husband abandoned her.
She’s been clinging to this idea that he was coming home, not moving any of his belongings and still wearing that terrible utilitarian wedding band as a symbol of something that’s just no longer there.
Halstead has clearly moved on as he’s figuring out what he needs and taking this time to find himself or whatever he’s supposedly doing.
Hailey: Lee died for her. He wouldn’t give her up, not even for me.
Voight: You call Jay?
Hailey: No. He’s still in the wire for another 12 hours. He’s not even going to know I’m gone.
Voight: You know it’s okay to let go if you’re the only one fighting. It don’t mean you don’t love him. It just means you love you, too.
And she deserves to move on as well. Hailey crying while taking off that ring felt like a sign of the Upstead chapter closing.
She watched Lee die for someone he loved who wasn’t matching his efforts; she need not do the same.
Something that emerged from this installment was the special bond that she and Torres have formed. The opening montage of their workout sessions was one of the best scenes of the hour.
They’ve built up a rapport which is nice to know since Hailey has been isolating herself from the others since Halstead left.
And Torres remains a breath of fresh air and a great addition to the series. He instantly knew something was wrong, and he did his diligence, checking every avenue in his attempt to find Hailey before enlisting help.
He wouldn’t be deterred from following his gut either. And had he not been checking in with her and in tune with her process, she could’ve gone much longer without the team realizing something was wrong.
Once they figured out something was wrong, it was all hands on deck, and I love it when this unit goes to bat for one of their own.
Voight looked like he was out for blood, especially when he saw the video footage of her ambush. You could visibly see the panic and that switch that goes off when he thinks for a second that he could be on the verge of losing one of his people.
You felt to your core every word he uttered to Jessica, and you knew he meant every threat.
Halstead is gone, but Hailey has her family via this unit, and that’s something.
Over to you, Chicago PD Fanatics. How would you rate this Hailey-centric? Is this the end of Upstead? Sound off below.
You can watch Chicago PD online here via TV Fanatic.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is an insomniac who spends late nights and early mornings binge-watching way too many shows and binge-drinking way too much tea. Her eclectic taste makes her an unpredictable viewer with an appreciation for complex characters, diverse representation, dynamic duos, compelling stories, and guilty pleasures. You’ll definitely find her obsessively live-tweeting, waxing poetic, and chatting up fellow Fanatics and readers. Follow her on Twitter.