Chicago P.D. “Fractures” Review: Healing Starts from the Root

Chicago P.D. “Fractures” Spoilers Ahead

CHICAGO P.D. -- "Fractures" Episode 908 -- Pictured: (l-r) Jesse Lee Soffer as Jay Halstead, Tracy Spiridakos as Hailey, Jason Beghe as Hank Voight --
(Photo by: Lori Allen/NBC)

Back where I swore I’d never be (again) because healing starts from the root, and Chicago P.D. “Fractures” is painting the start of it. As mentioned after “In the Dark,” Jay Halstead and Hailey Upton can be the ones to bring an end to Hank Voight’s reign. Jay Halstead especially, who’s been at the battleground of his corruption for nine years now.

As F.B.I agent North tells Jay, “it’s not a weakness, it’s decency.” Emotions don’t hurt people, when utilized correctly, they help. And that’s who Jay Halstead has always been—a good man fighting in a place where vulnerability, honor, and grace were always governed by patriarchal toughness. The good men on this show have always been under a dark umbrella, vigilantly planting the kind of “his way or the highway” operation.

Hailey Upton might have pulled the trigger, but Hailey Upton isn’t a corrupt detective. She isn’t out for blood solely because she never learned how to control her own demons. Hank Voight carries a myriad of demons, and a man like him should have never been given a high-ranking position to run an intelligence unit. He should have never been on top. He could have been helped…and maybe, still could. But he has a lot to learn and he cannot do it without stepping down.

CHICAGO P.D. -- "Fractures" Episode 908 -- Pictured: Jesse Lee Soffer as Jay Halstead --
(Photo by: Lori Allen/NBC)

Fixing fractures this deep don’t go away after a month-long cast. Fixing fractures this deep requires looking in—it requires getting to the root of the issue, and that’s what Chicago P.D. “Fractures” is promising to do with Jay Halstead. Will it actually? I don’t know. My trust issues with this show run deep, but this appears to be on the right track.

Good television delivers on what it promises and since Chicago Fire continues to be astounding after 10-years, then maybe we could hope. Sometimes it’s hard to believe this show exists in the same universe as the esteemed Law & Order: SVU. But that’s neither here nor there.

Jay Halstead is a decent, good man, and Hailey Upton is the right kind of woman for him.

Jay Halstead has seen his fair share of darkness. He’s loved and he’s lost, and yet in the end, he’s always tried to do the right thing. That much is painfully clear. And this isn’t about the fact that people aren’t allowed to make mistakes, this is about the fact that people should learn from their mistakes. Accountability matters—taking responsibility for one’s own actions matters, but for as long as we’ve known him, accountability is a foreign concept to Hank Voight. He hasn’t learned.

If he had, he’d be a compelling character. And learning from mistakes doesn’t equate to immediate perfection because no one ever reaches such unattainable lengths, but learning from mistakes results in growth. Hank Voight has been the same character since we met him in the Pilot, and instead of fighting to better himself, he’s dragged everyone down with him. Chicago PD “Fractures” makes a point to state that it doesn’t matter who pulled the trigger, it matters that the entire system is structured around a colossal fault line. A fault-line that’s capable of destroying everything and everyone around it.

When Jay tells Hailey they’re going to be okay, Jesse Lee Soffer packs his heart into that declaration. You believe him. Jay is in this mess because there is nothing he wouldn’t do for Hailey, and it comes down to the fact that when he loves, he loves deeply. When he loves, he’s capable of putting aside his own beliefs to protect those he cares for. He’s willing to change his ways for others, and that is yet another thing Voight doesn’t know how to do. He’s never been able to put aside his ways.

Jay wants to marry Hailey. His declaration at the end confirms that but as does his expression in their bathroom. It doesn’t matter how bad it is, she is the woman he wants to spend the rest of his life with, and he should be given the opportunity to get that glimmer of happiness he’s continually missed out on because of Hank Voight. (It’s funny when you think about the fact that Voight’s rules about dating even tarnished so much with Jay from season one.) The two have always been foils of each other, and it’s high time for the one who’s fought ceaselessly to better himself to see some sort of light.

The characters on this show are so easily likable. From day one, even when they’ve had faults, I’ve adored them all…except, well, this article should make it obvious. And there might have been times, sure I won’t deny earlier seasons because I don’t remember every little detail, but the point is, change can be a good thing, and Hank Voight doesn’t seem to care for that notion.

Jay and Hailey do—they want to move forward and Chicago P.D.‘s “Fractures” showcases that they want to believe in better days. They want to better themselves. The show has needed a significant shift since long before Erin Lindsay left. This show has needed more decency, and yet, they’ve forced viewers to read between the lines to see that Jay Halstead has been there from day one. Soffer doesn’t just make sure audiences can see Jay’s heart, but he makes sure it’s heard. And the amount of gut-wrenching heartache in his voice while talking to Hailey in the bathroom made me want to scream. (I might have actually, in all caps.) Because the man would go through hell and back to protect the woman he cares for, and it’s so achingly compelling even without the words to reaffirm it.

Hailey Upton is compelling, realistic, and the kind of woman you could tell is trying. She loves her job, she wants to do right by people, and she wants to protect those who cannot defend themselves. The F.B.I. agent sees it too.

And the way Tracy Spiridakos plays on her vulnerability showcases her heart’s desires with effortless tactics. She’s trying to step out of Voight’s darkened umbrella to a better place, but that cannot happen without getting to the root of issues, and Jay’s closer involvement is the way. And if the rest of the unit finds out? Even better.

What are your thoughts on Chicago P.D.’s “Fractures?”


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