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This Week’s Most Noteworthy Performance: Jesse Lee Soffer

November 1-7
A Dead Kid, a Notebook, and a Lot of Maybes” | Chicago P.D.
Jesse Lee Soffer

Jesse Lee Soffer’s appeared in this category before, but nothing he’s done in the past could compare to the incredible performance he put on in Chicago P.D.’s “A Dead Kid, a Notebook, and a Lot of Maybes.” Soffer was at the top of game — while his character showed the most bravery he’s ever exhibited, Soffer’s particular acting choices made every moment utterly convincing.

Sometimes it’s right to bare it all, other times subtly does the trick masterfully. And in order to tell viewers a more profound story, Jay couldn’t pour his heart out drastically. As mentioned in our full episode review: “Anyone who’s served has seen traumatizing events some of us can’t even bear to imagine, and even though Jay doesn’t speak about his past often, this is something everyone’s fully aware of. However, telling Voight and Erin about a time in his childhood where he’s felt out of place felt so incredibly sincere in that moment because as Jay’s looking through the glass, Soffer makes it clear that Jay’s been mentally and emotionally transported back to a time in his childhood. And I loved how Voight too was given the chance to see a part of Halstead that’s yet to be revealed. It’s always been evident that cases like this make his blood boil the most, but the team has yet to see him resonate with someone as closely as he did with Ethan. This was his chance to not only keep history from repeating itself, but the opportunity to make sure a kid feels safe in the world again.”

Throughout the episode, Soffer made it clear that Jay’s trying his absolute hardest not to come undone, but the glimpses of pain we caught in his expressions allowed us to see that he does indeed understand Ethan Jones to the core. Soffer did the most work with the poignancy he wore in his eyes — you saw compassion and understanding in him. You felt his trustworthiness, and if I were in Ethan’s position, I’d have enough courage to confide in him, too. What’s essentially so riveting about the work Soffer’s done this week is the fact that it’s left viewers marveling over the heroism he’s shown. We’ve always known that a great amount of bravery runs through Halstead’s veins, but this week we were exposed to a side of him that’s not so whole revealing that life’s broken him more often than not, and it’s a choice to continue carrying on courageously. At times, subtly is key and when you looked into Soffer’s eyes, you could see Halstead’s pain remarkably. You could see him try to hold it all in and showcasing that innermost anguish is where Soffer’s strength was at. The innate vulnerability that was present throughout the episode allowed viewers to see just how much dearly he wants to help. Halstead loves his job because of where he’s been, and Soffer’s performances gave us the chance to see a much braver side of the character — a type of heroism we’ve yet to see before and that’s always admirable.

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