[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 8, Episode 11 of Chicago P.D., “Signs of Violence.”]
Detectives Hailey Upton (Tracy Spiridakos) and Jay Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer) begin and end their day in the April 7 episode together — and with those three important words in a relationship: “I love you.” But quite a bit happens in between before she responds to his declaration.
After Hailey flees from her own apartment when he drops those words on her, she comes across a case involving a missing family. As Intelligence soon discovers after beginning their investigation, the husband, Ray, stole someone’s identity and was abusive. And he stole from the wrong people, leading to his family’s abduction and wife’s murder. It’s up to the unit to find the person responsible before it’s too late to save Ray’s daughter, Becca.
She’s the only one Hailey cares about (the detective’s father was abusive), and she’s willing to go far to make sure Becca is found alive. That includes threatening to call ICE on the hitman’s relative in hopes he’ll give up where he buried her and her dad alive. Sergeant Hank Voight (Jason Beghe) refuses to let her, but they do find Becca in time. (Ray’s dead when they arrive.)
Then, at the end of the episode, Hailey admits to Jay, “I don’t think I ever really learned how to do relationships, intimacy, telling people how I feel, properly. You couldn’t do that in my house. When I was a kid, being told ‘I love you’ was always after ‘I’m sorry.'” But, she continues, she does want to be with him, “so badly.”
“We’ll figure it out because I want to be with you, too,” he assures her. “I’m not going anywhere.”
“I love you so much,” she tells him.
Spiridakos opens up about the emotional hour for her character.
Hailey’s the most emotional and honest we’ve seen her in the last scene with Jay. How do her opening up like that (and saying she loves him) and Jay saying he’s not going anywhere affect their relationship going forward?
Tracy Spiridakos: We’ll see them struggle a little with their personal/work-life dynamic. I don’t think we have anything quite as emotional between the two of them as in this episode. This episode does set a good foundation for their relationship but there are definitely some obstacles coming up!
Does opening up like that to Jay affect Hailey in any other aspects of her life, whether at work or with anyone else?
I haven’t gotten to see anything that is affected by her opening up yet but that doesn’t mean it isn’t coming up next season.
Voight says Hailey needs to find a way to not lose control when something touches the bruised part of her. How will we see her do that? Facing her past head on?
Yes, I think she’ll have to face her past and also learn to channel her emotions in a healthier way when she feels them. She told Jay to go to therapy several seasons ago. Maybe now it’s her turn.
Hailey was willing to cross a line — she’s done it in the past — and says she would’ve used ICE if not for Voight and Jay. What kind of detective would she be now if she hadn’t come to Intelligence?
That’s hard to say because Hailey was really by the book when she came in to Intelligence. She even had a moment in Season 5 where she threw Adam [played by Patrick John Flueger] onto the hood of a car because she saw him cross the line. She would not have met Hank Voight, who pretty much showed her how to cross the line. If she wasn’t in Intelligence she’d probably still be in robbery-homicide, making a name for herself there.
Chicago P.D., Wednesdays, 10/9c, NBC