Detective Jay Halstead is a member of Sergeant Hank Voight's CPD Intelligence Unit and is partnered with Detective Hailey Upton. Halstead is the younger  brother of Dr. Will Halstead, a main character on Chicago Med.
Chicago PD Edit
Jay Halstead had been in the Intelligence Unit for a month when the show premieres. A skilled marksman and a former Ranger, he provides the tactical know-how and is often the designated sniper covering for the team when needed. His interrogation tactics are blunt and tough.
Halstead accompanies Lindsay to her high school reunion. When Lindsay realizes she's out of place, the two instead go to dinner. There, she opens up about her childhood. It is also determined that Lindsay prefers to keep their relationship purely business because her boss Hank Voight (fatherly figure to Lindsay) doesn't tolerate relationships in the Intelligence Unit.
Lonnie Rodiger had killed a young boy who Jay was very close with, since it was his ex-girlfriends younger brother. But Lonnie's dad covered it up and took the blame although everyone knew Lonnie did it because he was a child rapist and pedophile. Jay strongly hated Lonnie and his father so when Lonnie Rodiger is found dead, Halstead is a suspect. Voight pulls Halstead's badge and has Dawson keep an eye on him. It is later revealed that Lonnie's father, Phil had discovered child pornography on Lonnie's computer and confronted him. The resulting argument ended in Lonnie being strangled with a belt.
When Lindsay accepts an offer from the Federal Buerau Of Investigation to join a new task force, she and Halstead begin a romantic relationship because they are not working together anymore but keep it on the down-low because they are both worried what Voight's reaction to the two of them dating will be. The two end up dating for a few episodes but when Lindsay returns to her job at Intelligence the two are very cautious about being caught. Halstead recommends coming forward and just telling Voight but Lindsay refuses and their relationship ends. Hank eventually figured out they were dating but never told Halstead and Lindsay that he knew.
In the last several episodes of season 2 Lindsay spirals downhill and turns to alcohol and painkillers to deal with her guilt and grief over Nadia's death. Halstead persistently tries to maintain contact with her, even after Voight had given up. She turns in her badge to Voight, who declines to accept her resignation and files a 3-day leave of absence instead, but returns to the unit in the season 3 premiere after learning that Halstead had been kidnapped during an undercover operation gone wrong. They remain partners. Later in the season, Lindsay and Halstead get back together. Voight, previously against relationships in Intelligence, states that he no longer cares for that policy, mainly concerned with Lindsay's well being, which he entrusts Halstead with.
Season 4 Edit
In season 4, Halstead tells Lindsay "Cases come and go, bosses come and go, jobs come and go, but I don't want you to come and go" and asks her to move in with him. They then decide to move into the apartment Lindsay already owns. Later once Lindsay and Halstead started living together and they admit their love for one another, Jay had plans to propose to her, but by the end of the season, their relationship had became increasingly estranged until it ended with Erin being forced to leave Chicago, in order to avoid the consequences of her committing brutality on a suspect.
In the episode "A Shot Heard Around the World", Jay isn't thrilled that his coworker and friend Antonio Dawson is leaving the unit. Dawson tells him that knowing the cop he has become made the decision easier to leave.
Season 7 Edit
Jay becomes personally involved with a case after his decision to arrest and send an innocent man he thought was guilty to jail, which resulted in the man's death. In Absolution, Hailey follows Jay to find that he has been meeting with the man's wife and child to support them through a difficult time. He tells her not to tell Voight. Later on, he gets a text message from Angela, the wife, to help him. He leaves early, and Hailey covers for him. He goes to the house, which is empty and calls out for Angela, but instead is hit in the head from behind, knocked unconscious and kidnapped.
The next morning, he does not show up to work. The team goes out to investigate and pings his phone to Angela's house, where they find (presumably Jay's) blood. Hailey finally tells Voight about the situation, who agrees that it should be kept quiet considering the circumstances. The team attempts to track Jay down and get into contact with the men who have taken Angela and Jay.
The men who have kidnapped them both accuse the two of stealing their drugs, which they both deny. Angela later admits that she did steal them, but Jay assures her they will get out. However, the deal with the CPD goes sideways and the two remain trapped. Both of them are severely injured, and Jay, riddled with guilt, admits to Angela that he is a detective and that he was the one who had her husband arrested. Angela threatens to tell the kidnappers to try and leverage her way out but decides against it in the end. Jay attempts to get free, and with Angela's help, he does. He goes upstairs to fight off other attackers whilst Hailey has also found the place, he tells her he has to hurry downstairs to help Angela.
When he gets downstairs, Angela is pointing the gun at him. Jay tries to convince her to calm down, but she shoots him anyway.
Jay is escorted to Chicago Med in a critical condition. According to his brother (Dr Halstead), the bullet grazes an artery in the shoulder but surgery was being done to help. Jay awakens and has a brief discussion with Hailey before they are later joined by Hank. At the end of the episode, Jay is discharged.
Chicago Fire Edit
Halstead worked undercover in a sting to take down a ruthless landlord who threatened to burn down Molly's and Game Day. This resulted in his being shot in the shoulder, but a successful take-down.
During his stint undercover, he had a brief romantic relationship with paramedic Gabriela Dawson, sister of Detective Antonio Dawson. However, after he revealed he was moving to Intelligence, Dawson ended the relationship.
Chicago Med Edit
In 4x09 of Chicago Fire, Herrmann is stabbed by a paranoid worker - Freddie, also an ex-con, that Herrmann had hired after requests from Joe Cruz. Freddie is offended by a joke made by Herrmann and stabs him and runs off. In 1x04 of Chicago Med, firehouse 51 and the team of Med is there to treat Herrmann. Jay's brother, Will, is the attending with Dr. Rhodes. Things go sideways when Rhodes slightly delays in treating Herrmann, leading to a complication. Severide and the rest of 51 push on getting answers, leading them to ask Jay to ask Will - who has a very strained personal relationship with Rhodes - whether Rhodes made the right call. Jay asks Will, who tells him he personally thought that Rhodes delayed treating Herrmann. Jay tells Severide, who calls out Rhodes in front of everyone. Rhodes is upset and figures out it was Will and they argue. Will tells Jay their discussion was confidential, to which Jay replied he never explicitly said this. Will tells him he won't make that mistake again, while Jay replies he also won't be passing on information from crime scenes to him anymore. They later apologize to each other, resolving the argument.
Jay makes several other appearances on Chicago Med, noticeably when Natalie Manning asks him out on a date and he declines after talking to Will, telling him "man, you really need to get it together". He also assists on several criminal cases, including that of a young rape victim in "White Butterflies".
In Season 6, Jay appeared several times when Will got caught up in a money laundering case he was working on. Jay persuaded Will to work with the CPD and FBI in taking down Ray Burke, who was a family friend and whose sons had asked him to make a house call on their ill father. Will was reluctant in helping because he felt he was betraying his patients trust, but both Jay and Agent Ingrid Lee told him he had no other choice. In the end, Ray and his sons figured out Will was working with police and kidnapped him, forcing him to operate on Ray at gunpoint. Jay tracked him down and took him into Witness Protection until the threat was gone.
Background and Characterization Edit
Halstead is characterized as a highly capable and highly principled detective, and a focused and dependable team player with an occasional temper and brash streak. In season 1, then a fairly recent transfer, he was the only member who dares to repeatedly question Voight and stop him during one of his "rampages". He has a hard time drawing the line between his personal and professional lives whenever someone he cares about is involved in the case, as shown with the Lonnie Rodiger murder in At Least It's Justice and numerous times with his brother Will.
Despite being on good terms with his co-workers and hanging out at Molly's with them or his contemporaries from Chicago Med and Chicago Fire, Halstead is an extremely private person. When Will is first introduced in season 2, Lindsay comments to Jay that she didn't know he had a brother. Besides Mouse, Will and Olinsky, only Lindsay knows anything more about Halstead's military background, having been the one who accompanied him the military funeral of a friend in the episode Forty-Caliber Bread Crumb. He is still reticent about his military service but has been more open about it with Upton, who had forced him to go for counselling in season 5.
Halstead appears to have issues with abandonment, noticeably shown with the departures of Erin, Antonio, and especially Mouse. This may stem from his belief that his brother Will abandoned him when their mother was dying and Jay came back from his deployment, saying that he was "out partying" instead of being there for Jay. Jay was very hurt by Will's actions and still harbored some resentment towards him as of "Say Her Real Name".
Halstead is a veteran, having served in Afghanistan with the 75th Ranger Regiment. Mouse mentioned that they were deployed there in 2008, indicating that Halstead only joined the police force after that. He and Mouse were deployed to the notoriously dangerous Korangal Valley; both his reaction to his physical torture and comments made by his kidnappers in Life Is Fluid that Halstead was tortured at some point during his service. Mouse received a medical discharge and reveals in What Puts You On That Ledge that the incident happened when he and Jay were at the head of a convoy. It is unknown what, exactly, happened, but Mouse's comments imply that Jay was also released on medical discharge at the same time. His military service, although infrequently referred to, has undoubtedly had a major impact on him. It has been mentioned that he had difficulty readjusting to civilian life when he first came home and likely suffered from PTSD, based on Mouse's vague allusions to specific incidents in their deployment and Will's brief statement about Mouse being the one who "dragged Jay home...after what he went through". Halstead joins the Chicago Police Department after leaving the military and returning home to Chicago for good; it is implied that joining the police force was what helped him to work through his psychological trauma. A deleted scene in Little Bit Of Light reveals that Jay has been attending a weekly support group for veterans and trying to get help for his issues. It is revealed in season 5 that despite being mostly functional he still exhibits symptoms of PTSD, specifically insomnia and nightmares. He is extremely tight-lipped and reticent regarding his military past: much of the information gathered on his military past is usually from indirect mentions and references from other characters. In season 5 he is forced to see a therapist by Voight after getting romantically involved in his target while undercover. He later admits to Upton that he found therapy helpful, though it is not until the season 6 episode Trigger that Halstead speaks at length about how his time overseas has affected him, telling Upton that he had learned to deal with his PTSD and not let the past trauma define him.
The Halsteads are from Chicago. Jay's doctor brother Will mentioned on Chicago Med that they were third-generation residents of the historically Irish-populated South Side neighborhood of Canaryville. They are from a blue-collar Irish Catholic background and both brothers attended Catholic school. Little is known about their family as neither brother talks much about it. It was revealed that their mother has passed away due to the fact that it was noted she was dying while Jay was deployed. Neither brother has had a good relationship with their father Pat as he disapproved of their career choices. While Will was able to reconcile with him, Jay never did and only discovered after Pat's death that the latter was actually proud of him as well.
Although Jay and Will are on good terms and very close, Jay has expressed some lingering resentment towards Will for not being there when their mother died, during which time Jay was deployed and Will was (in Jay's words) "out partying". While neither of them are close to their father, Jay, unlike Will, had not spoken to him in over two years prior to Will's introduction in season 2 of Chicago P.D. When Pat was hospitalized (Chicago Med season 2 episode "Generation Gap") Jay was very reluctant to see him even then. Jay seems to strongly dislike his father and exhibits a significant change in mood and demeanor whenever he is so much as mentioned.
Jay is extremely protective of Will and is very quick to jump to his defense. In The Number of Rats, the SVU crossover includes Will being called in for questioning by Voight and Olivia Benson without telling Jay the motive behind it. Olivia believes Will is connected to the brutal murders of young women, due to the fact that he works at a hospital and lived in New York where and when one of the victims was murdered, and sees him as a suspect. Voight doesn't tell Jay this, who only finds out after Will is ambushed by the string of questions when he is brought in to "help". Jay is furious and demands Will be taken out as soon as he realizes what's going on, never once doubting his innocence. Will tries to say he will help and is ready to answer the questions but Jay won't let him, and forces him to leave and not say anything. In the Chicago Fire episode "I Am The Apocalypse", Chicago Med's backdoor pilot, Will is inside the Emergency Department when a terrorist sets off a bomb. He is not seriously injured, but Jay is shown to be very worried about him, immediately saying "tell me you're not in there" when Will calls him from inside the building. Likewise, Will has expressed his concern about Jay's mental well-being following Erin's sudden departure and the grisly and draining nature of his work in the CPD.
Jay developed feelings for Erin after they started working together. After getting to know a little about her background, they both had feelings for each other, but Voight would not let them work together and date at the same time and so they didn't. However, in season 2, they started dating and assured Voight it wouldn't interfere with their work. This was after Lindsay temporarily accepted another job offer. Jay never really disclosed to Erin about his time in the military or opened up to her about the PTSD he had suffered. Only ever getting hints from Will or Mouse. They continued to date on and off but always remained close.
However, in Season 2 , Lindsay broke it off after Nadia's death and left Intelligence, spending her nights in clubs and bars in grief. Jay was insistent on bringing her back and calling her everyday but she refused to do so. Voight left her after weeks of waiting, upset at her choice. In Life is Fluid, Jay was kidnapped and tortured in an undercover case gone wrong. Erin came back to save him, after which she came back to the unit and got back together with Jay.
In You Wish, Jay ordered a DNA test to see whether Jimmy, who Bunny claimed was Erin's real father, was her real father. She didn't want to do it but he did it behind her back and gave her the test that showed he wasn't. Jimmy lashed out in anger and Erin was extremely hurt, blaming it on Jay for ordering it in the first place.
In Remember the Devil, Will told Jay that his ex, Abby, is in town and tracked them both down. Jay brushes it off until he sees her outside the station waiting for him. He tells Erin to go and meets up with Abby, who tells him that he needs to sign the divorce papers. Jay was married but he tells her he did sign them, which she says she threw away without filing. He agrees to re-sign. Erin eventually asks him if he's cheating on her. He tells her about Abby and their small marriage that he says was only a joke and it was over quickly. She is upset he didn't tell her about it but he feels guilty for not telling her about it. He meets up with Abby, who says she still loves him. Feeling conflicted, he immediately tells Abby no but goes home and packs. He tells Erin he'll be staying with Will for some time until things are okay. She tells him not to but he says he needs to sort his life out and leaves, that is when they break up. After that, they still have feelings for each other but are not together. Jay later realizes he made a huge mistake by letting Erin go so he asks his brother to give him their mother's engagement ring, so he can propose to her. Unfortunately, by the time he got the ring and tells Erin to meet with him, she was already at New York for her new job.
Initially, Halstead and Upton were on uneasy terms with one another on a case that brought her unit against his. However, after joining Intelligence, their relationship slowly begins to smooth out; both become good friends and partners with one another by the time Lindsay leaves for New York.
Throughout their time as partners, they have relied on each other as confidants and for comfort. Hailey is the first to suggest Jay get some help after an undercover operation gone awry triggers a relapse of his PTSD. His initial refusal to get professional help prompts her to threaten him with changing partners. She often asks for updates regarding his sessions and is happy to know that it benefits him. Likewise, Jay visits her after a similar operation turned personal for Hailey and shared a drink with her.
It is likely that she holds romantic feelings for him even though it seems like he likes her, as they have flirted with each other on occasion, especially during the aforementioned undercover op. She is also the first to tend to Jay after he gets shot in "Endings", crying even after knowing he is okay because they are partners. Furthermore, after Jay sustains serious injuries in "Mercy", Hailey is deeply affected and doesn't leave the hospital until she knows Jay is okay. At the end of the episode, Hailey is about to express her feelings to Jay but is interrupted by a phone call.
Greg "Mouse" Gerwitz was Jay's best friend and part of his team when he was deployed to Afghanistan. During Mouse's interview for the IT job in "What Puts You On That Ledge," Platt mentions that Mouse recieved a medical discharge and asks him about the incident. Mouse tells her that he and Jay were in the lead of a convoy, and although he becomes very uncomfortable and does not continue, it is implied that their convoy was bombed and Mouse and Jay were both seriously injured, resulting in their medical discharge. They helped each other through their difficulties readjusting to civilian life and PTSD; Will tells Erin that Mouse was the one who looked after his brother after their return from war and helped him with "what he was going through", and Jay later reveals that Mouse would call him in the middle of the night when he couldn't sleep due to the psychological trauma.
Mouse served as Jay's CI for a short period of time (likely due to his felony charge). The following year, Jay helps him get the job at the District, saying of Mouse, "I would trust him with my life. And I have, several times." He advocates for him when Voight is suspicious due to Mouse's criminal record and PTSD symptoms and is extremely concerned when he is held hostage in Actual Physical Violence, even telling Voight that he should be the one to kill Mouse's captor.
In Season 4, Mouse starts thinking about going back to the Army Rangers. In Made A Wrong Turn, he tells Jay that he's been thinking about returning to the Rangers. Jay is immediately angry and worried about him, asking if he remembers "what it did to you". He tells him that they will discuss it later, and Mouse brings it up again in A War Zone, bringing the argument to a head. Jay also brings up Mouse's criminal record; Mouse then asks Voight for a favor to clean his record or he won't be allowed back, and Voight says he'll consider it. Mouse says he wants action, so Jay tells him to become a police officer like him, but Mouse says he was "born to be a soldier" and would re-enlist even if it meant death. Jay, blinded by his concern, refuses to let him and this angers Mouse, who then shouts back at Voight after ignoring him in front of the whole team, saying that this is the only thing he's ever asked for. Erin, after breaking up an argument between Jay and Mouse, helps Jay to realize that returning to the army is a bad idea - for Jay, and he is projecting that onto Mouse. Jay comes around and has Platt clear his record, telling Mouse at the end of A War Zone that if he wants to re-enlist, he's "behind him 100 percent". In a deleted scene, he says that he considers the Chicago P.D. - especially Jay - family, and he will always carry them with him.
Notes and Trivia Edit
- Halstead served in the 3rd Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment.
- It is likely from there that he learned to speak Arabic.
- Halstead has switched his service weapon three times:
- Season 1 showed him using a Glock 17.
- In seasons 2-5, Jay used a standard Glock 19.
- After Confidential, he uses a modified version of the latter with a nickel-finished and serrated slide.
- After "[riding] shotgun since day 1 with no complaint" alongside Erin Lindsay (and occasionally using her Chrysler 300C), he drives a GMC Sierra. In Season 6, this is switched out for a RAM 1500 Laramie Longhorn.
- He has mentioned the former as being his "dream rig."
- The latter is likely a nod back to the Dodge Ram 1500 previously used by Antonio Dawson, especially with its matte-gray repainting since Descent.
- Jesse Lee Soffer, who plays Jay, has dated both Sophia Bush, his co-star in Chicago PD, and Torrey Devitto, who plays Natalie Manning in Chicago Med.
|Season 5 Appearances|
|"Reform"||"The Thing About Heroes"||"Promise"||"Snitch"||"Home"|
|"Fallen"||"Care Under Fire"||"Politics"||"Monster"||"Rabbit Hole"|
- ↑ and according to Jesse's tweet https://mobile.twitter.com/jesseleesoffer/status/580918754051252224?lang=en