Image Credit: NBC
This one hurts. Hailey Upton put an end to her marriage with Jay Halstead in the Chicago P.D. season 11 premiere. She signed the divorce papers and sent them off. Ever since Halstead left Intelligence for a new job, his relationship with Upton was never the same. Hollywood Life spoke exclusively with executive producer Gwen Sigan about whether or not Upton will get further closure about ending her marriage.
“I think there’ll be more emotional closure for sure and the hope on the other side of it,” Sigan said. “We’ve lived a lot in the pain of it and the struggle of needing to let go of something and how difficult that’s been. But we will get to the other side of it and feel some closure and feel that love. That relationship was not bad. That relationship was just something that couldn’t live forever, but that will see Upton transform and get to a better place.”
Tracy Spiridakos in season 11. (NBC)
Obviously, Upstead fans want to know if this is really it for Hailey and Jay. “We have no plans right now of him returning to the show, so there’s nothing right now,” Sigan revealed. “But I would never say never to anything. I think 20 years from now what those characters are doing, they might be together in my mind. They just have so much love for each other.”
Tracy Spiridakos announced her exit from the show ahead of the season 11 premiere. However, Sigan promised that Tracy is “in the full season.” Sigan added, “She will connect with characters again and be brought back into the family of the unit. We’ve got some really fun characters coming in for her to play up against and those will also be a part of that journey of new self-discovery and new transformation.”
While Tracy will be in the full season, Sigan has started to think about what Intelligence will look like without Upton. “We’ve been talking about it, but I think the unit is going to be pretty lean without Tracy. So yes, I would love to be able to kind of add something new and different. It always gives the show some freshness and also gives our characters someone new to play against, which is of course fun. So yes, hopefully, we’ll have some new characters coming in.
At the end of season 10, Ruzek was shot on the job after going undercover. Ruzek was rushed into surgery in the final moments of the finale. Getting back on the job is not going to be an easy journey for Ruzek in season 11.
“We love the idea of playing it with him as realistically as we could,” Sigan noted. “Most of the time if you’re shot on the job, it’s a very long process to get back on the job. The second episode we’re calling ‘Retread,’ which is the real process in the CPD. You have to retread. You have to pass everything again. You have to pass physical tests. You have to pass all of the written tests again. It’s a long process.”
Patrick J. Flueger in the season 10 finale. (NBC)
She continued, “For someone like Ruzek, whose self-worth is so tied to his job. His job is him. His job is his blood. It was his father, his grandpa, this guy is third generation police. And so to suddenly not have that and not have the physical ability to just feel in your body you’re the same person because the physical rehab that we didn’t get to see that happened in the 6 months offscreen was not easy. And then just mentally that knowledge that you miss the job so much, and you have this hole. What do you do to fill that hole that used to be filled with that job is such an interesting place to be. We really dive into it in episode 2, into his headspace, and into sort of that spin out of mentally what do you do, and then seeing Burgess have to be that rock for him and him have to find his way out of it is a really nice, satisfying story in episode 2.”
When it comes to Atwater, Sigan teased that his journey will be “different” than anything he’s gone through before. “We saw last season him unite with his father. We’ll get to see Lou again this season, which we’re really excited about,” she told Hollywood Life. “We’ll see how that relationship has progressed. He’s got this really impactful storyline of when you have so many things going on in your life, you’re accountable to so many people, you’re responsible for so much, and you want to be so many things to so many people, can you sustain that forever? And what would happen if something were to occur that shifts that and that you can’t be responsible for? It’s an interesting place to put his character, and I’m very excited about it.” Chicago P.D. airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FOX.