Show: Chicago P.D. seasons one-four
Featured Characters: Erin Lindsay and Jay Halstead
If there’s one thing that differentiates Jay Halstead and Erin Lindsay from a lot of couples on this is list, it’s their partnership. For Halstead and Lindsay, it’s all about unwavering backup and adoration. A true partner, in their case, is everything: the force that’s always behind them, the anchor that holds them and the guiding light which ceaselessly inspires them to be the best versions of themselves. Even if they hadn’t gotten together, there’s no partnership quite like theirs. Chicago P.D. is anything but series focused on love; however, the romance they’ve set up through Halstead and Lindsay is undoubtedly one of the strongest bonds on television right now. It’s hard not to root for them – believe me, I’ve tried. Through their distinctive and selfless partnership we’re shown a duo that protect each other with a steadfast devotion even when there aren’t guns in their faces. It’s in the ways they look to each other when it appears chaos is about to detonate or in the way they know something’s off even before it’s said out loud. It’s in the way they know exactly how the other will react to the given situation in front of them. In doing so, they’re illuminating an even greater mission — a resilient desire to always make certain their partner is in a happy, healthy place. It’s easy to be together because it’s easy to protect one another, to love, fight, and defend side by side. And the level of intimacy they’ve reached is benevolently stemmed from the deferential friendship they’ve been fortifying since day one. Halstead and Lindsay’s love story gorgeously tells a tale of fearless partners taking on life as one — together or apart, their unbreakable promise to always have each other’s backs extends far beyond their accountabilities as detectives.
Their story is fascinating for a number of reasons: their partnership, the forbidden in house romance from day one, along with their own inner demons. Nevertheless, despite the complications, they’re best friends and it’s always delightful watching their ridiculous banter cobbled with exquisite sincerity.
It’s key to note that one of the elements which heavily contributes to making them such a solid duo is the fact that while individually they’re both strong, multifaceted figures with a damaging past, together, they embrace those traits in a way no one else can. Sure, members of the Intelligence unit see Erin Lindsay’s strength as a female cop, but it’s Jay who truly appreciates the nuances that make her as admirable and brave. Halstead was a U.S Army Ranger and even though we know he’s seen unfathomable terrors, he’s able to find it in his heart to sincerely believe that Lindsay’s made him a better detective. And when a man with his background acknowledges a woman’s strength, consisting of all her vulnerabilities and weaknesses, it plays a vast role in making their relationship phenomenal. They’re equals, but even more than that, they’re two people completely and fiercely in awe of one another. A person’s agency is without question incredibly significant henceforth, when it comes to Halstead and Lindsay, there’s a genuine desire in both to ceaselessly respect the other’s needs and desires. Except when it comes to driving, unfortunately, Halstead has no choice in the matter because Lindsay’s always got to be behind the wheel. But when love is real, you respect your partner’s ridiculous quirks and you let them be. Their infatuation with one another as individuals weaved in with their versatilities as detectives, never fails to create fascinating moments on Chicago P.D. It never fails to personally astound me how in sync they are on the field, and while they both take their jobs seriously, there’s a part of me that’s certain their magnetic connection as individuals plays a vital role as well. You have to establish a strong trust with your partner in order to believe they’ll protect you. When they’re on the field, not only are they protecting innocent lives, but they’re protecting each other. And while some partnerships take longer to strengthen, for Halstead and Lindsay, it’s natural — it’s easy working with each other because they’re kindred in ways no two people on the series are.
And that’s exactly why Voight couldn’t keep them apart anymore. They’re two people who are better together than they are apart — it’s important to be with someone who can inspire them in all the right ways.
Being in a relationship with the person you work with can get tricky, but in this case, it makes them better. Halstead knows precisely how to talk to Lindsay when she’s blaming herself for situations. And Lindsay knows exactly how to be there for Jay when cases are heavily affecting him. You never stop taking care of your partner, and in this line of work, perhaps it’s best to have someone who understands you so well. Again, while they come from completely different backgrounds, it doesn’t change the fact that no other person can make them feel as safe, understood, and cherished. Here’s the interesting thing, even if the series chooses to break them apart, (why show runners believe stability is boring, I’ll never understand), they’re still going to be the strongest partners. They’ll continue to work together with a fervent desire to take care of one another. They’ll still turn to each other when things get rough. They’ll still have ridiculous conversations in the break room. A bond like theirs is unbreakable.
I thought about compiling a list of all my favorite scenes, but then I realized we’d probably arrive at a novel length article; therefore, I’ve decided to talk about three events that have happened so far which I’ve felt fortifies their relationship most.
First up, during “What Do You Do” (2×15) Halstead and Lindsay discuss retirement in Northern Wisconsin. Although it starts off as an adorably hilarious debate, in the end, Halstead makes it clear that when he mentioned it earlier, it was because he intended it to be for the two of them. This is the moment where it’s clear neither of them have ever felt this way about anyone else. And for Halstead especially, it’s his way of showcasing adoration, because although the two have never shared “I love yous” — you don’t just wish to retire with someone you aren’t completely enamored with.
We briefly discuss the same scene in our weekly review, so it’s only fair to include it in this article:
“There’s a lot of reassurance in holding hands and their scene in the break room did a gorgeous job of illuminating the feelings within them. Much like their scene in “Conventions”, Jay’s choice to hold Erin’s hand was a moment of reassurance. Exhibiting the magnetic connection between them and validating the fact that he treasures all of her. And in this scene, it was meant to crystalize the idea that whatever their future holds, she’d be cherished. Whether it’d be in Wisconsin or the North Pole, the two of the them together is all that matters. However, there’s a long way to go before the two of them retire, but the conversation alone, the promise of ‘you and me’ wonderfully elucidates the adoration they have for one another. Jay’s thoughts of the future and Erin’s openness to it showcase that even though the three little words haven’t been exchanged, the feeling’s are there – they don’t want to be without each other.”
Next on the list of favorite moments happened in the season three premiere, “Life in Fluid”. Again, it’s another episode that’s been reviewed, so a lot’s already been said, but it’s a pivotal one, for it authenticates just how valuable Jay Halstead is to Lindsay. There’s no one else that could’ve pulled her out of the chaos she was in other than Halstead.
Erin’s choice to immediately go down to the station in order to help Jay seamlessly reveals that it doesn’t matter how terrible she feels and how afraid of she is of bringing harm to those she loves, she’d stop at nothing to protect him. Jay’s not only her partner on the field, but the closest person she’s ever known other than Hank. Jay’s the man is he loves — the one person she’d do anything for because she knows with full confidence, he’d do anything for her.
Jay’s choice in words astounds me because there’s so much depth to his “I’m glad it was you they sent.” It’s riveting and inspiring to see a man written with such impeccable qualities on television. There are countless reasons he’s glad it was Erin but for the most part, it’s never easy for a man to let his walls down. It’s not easy for him to be physically weak and defenseless but it’s easy to feel safe with Erin. He knows how she works, he trusts her abilities as a cop more than anyone else’s. He trusts her skills and the two of them know how to work together in order to get the best outcome. He needed it to be her because it not only meant the situation could remind her of her abilities, but letting her know he wanted her by his side allows her to see that she’s not bad news — she’s irreplaceable to him.
This is one of those scenes that required no further dialogue because what they were able to achieve with their expressions says much more than what words could ever. And that’s precisely why I’m so pleased with this episode. I’m a fan of stunning performances that make me believe there’s so much more than what the audience sees on the surface. Erin hasn’t cried since Nadia’s death — we’ve seen her fight through emotions with anger but this is the first time we’re actually watching her fall apart again. This is the scene where we’re watching her truly come back because tears are a representation of openness and if she’s allowing herself to be vulnerable again, it means she’s allowing herself to feel again. She’s no longer choosing to hide behind temporary cures but rather giving into her heart’s desires even though it could hurt her. She’s choosing to look passed her fears because the man staring back at her is someone who’s worth that risk. There are 100s of what if possibilities in their line of work but at the end of the day, opening the heart to love is always worth it in the end.
If it isn’t already clear how strong their bond is, this is the episode that undeniably revolutionizes it.
And lastly, back in “Conventions” (1×06), we see Lindsay open up about her past for the very first time revealing that she feels comfortable and safe to share parts of her with Halstead. And his openness in understanding her threaded with a clear desire to know more forced me to believe that these two were bound to be epic. It’s only a matter of time where Halstead opens up, but when it comes to his military past, we know that it’s not because he doesn’t trust Lindsay, it’s just a lot more difficult to relive those memories.
Now that they’re together without anything holding them back, things are even more gorgeous than before. The promise of back up heavily contributes to fortifying the versatility to be their real selves: strong, vulnerable, flawed, messy, wise, careless, etc. And that’s what this relationship finally is — a choice to give it all they have. A choice to really explore what’s within them — to give their all to another being. It’s different this time: their hearts are more open, they’re sharing their lives with each other in a way that’s bound to only make them better. When adoration is as real as this, it always plays the most excellent role in inspiring someone to be the best can be.
Chicago P.D. is nowhere near close to being over, but it’s evident that no matter where this journey takes Halstead and Lindsay, somehow, they’ll find their way back to each other. No matter how bumpy roads get, their loyalty to one another will remain unwavering. And when they’re together, life’s better and easier. It’s beautiful to watch their love story unfold, and as far as upcoming episodes go, I cannot wait to see them get to know one another on more profound levels. If they’re this wonderful and resilient now, I can only imagine how immaculate their story will be later on.