Chicago P.D. alumnus Jesse Lee Soffer will make his directorial debut in this Wednesday’s episode, titled “Deadlocked” and airing at 10/9c on NBC.
The hour will see Voight do his best to help a compromised juror during a high-stakes murder trial, leaning back into his old ways to ensure that justice prevails. While Halstead would probably intervene if he felt like Voight crossed a line, Soffer says he enjoys the sergeant’s morally gray antics.
“Just because Jay is the white knight on the show, or has been the foil to Voight’s character, doesn’t mean that Jesse feels the way that Jay does,” Soffer tells TVLine. “I think one of the things that makes it great is how much we live in the gray area and how far we’re willing to push the boundary of a viewer to go, ‘Man, this guy is doing some really off-the-rails, illegal stuff, but I still respect that he’s doing it because it seems like someone’s got to do it.’ I didn’t fight that urge [to step in as Halstead] at all. In fact, I really wanted to lean into the Voight of it.”
Soffer exited Chicago P.D. earlier this season after playing Halstead since the show’s debut in 2014. On screen, Halstead left for Bolivia, where he currently leads a military unit tracking the most dangerous cartel targets. And while Halstead’s departure was sudden, Soffer notes that the Intelligence cop didn’t ghost his wife Hailey — at least not right away.
“He had a conversation about how he had to go,” the actor recalls.
After Halstead left, Upton left unanswered messages and found out through Halstead’s boss that he extended his tour. “I can’t speak to what he’s doing now,” Soffer says. “I think [showrunner Gwen Sigan] and the writers have a plan, and it’s their responsibility to take care of the character… Our show’s a pretty dark show, so I would just say trust the process.”
With an episode of Chicago P.D. under his belt, Soffer isn’t closed off to directing his on-screen brother Nick Gehlfuss in an episode of Chicago Med. “I would love to direct Nick. That would be a lot of fun,” Soffer shares. “He even said, ‘You should come and do it.’ Who knows what’s next? I’m not opposed to it.”
As for a potential Halstead return, he reiterates, “Never say never.”
Are you excited for Jesse Lee Soffer’s directorial debut on Chicago P.D.? Do you think Halstead ghosted Upton? Weigh in below.