The depth of Hailey Upton’s pain came out in full force in “Signs of Violence.” She’s suffered so much trauma, and it threatens her ability to do her job and be in a relationship.
I’ve said it before, Chicago PD knows how to bring the intensity, especially when it’s a personal episode. In the last couple of episodes, the procedural has been all-in on family.
We know that Upton (Tracy Spiridakos) still carries the weight of what her father did to her and her mother. We saw this earlier in the season when her dad was in the hospital. “Signs of Violence” showed just how deep that trauma goes.
It all started with a nice day off with her and Jay Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer) lying in bed planning their day when he said, “I love you.” She freaked out and went to the bathroom. When she came out, she said she forgot she was going to take her car in, and she should really get that done. She told Jay to stay. She would be back. But instead of taking her car in, she turned on the radio and took a case.
It was a missing neighbor’s report. Which could have been nothing, but this is Chicago PD, so we knew it was leading to something big.
Upton searched the home and found it really odd how bare it was. She noticed the bed in the master bedroom had been moved. When she moved it back, she found blood. There was also a distinct smell of bleach.
It was officially a case. Hailey was all in because of the little girl, Becca (Stella Grace Fitzgerald). She was afraid the father was beating her and the mother.
The father used a dead man’s identity to rent the house, but it went so much deeper than that because it turns out they had been kidnapped. The dad had been stealing money for the Albanians and skimming off the top. They got on to him before he was able to move on. He was a grifter who would steal and then move to a different city, but he had a girlfriend and his daughter with him. She was 12 years old and had never been in school.
Hailey saw herself in this girl, and she knew the girl next door knew more than she was letting on because she had a friend that she would run to to hide when things got bad, too.
At first glance, it could seem that her past was helping her with gathering evidence in the case, but it wasn’t until she and Halstead were outside the suspect’s property that she started to unravel. She disobeyed Hank Voight’s (Jason Beghe) order to wait for backup and went in because she believed the little girl was in the shed.
You felt the frustration Upton was feeling to get to this girl and protect her, but the limits of the law were stopping her from getting to Becca. She almost did something illegal that wouldn’t have helped them anyway.
In the end, it was her detective skills that found the girl before it was too late.
Hailey had two great monologues in the episode, both of them directed at Jay. The first when she almost did something illegal when Jay was trying to stop her. She was so hard on herself, saying that he wanted to know how screwed up she was and when he should back off. She knows she has this trauma. She’s just refused to deal with it all these years.
I cried at the end when she was telling Jay that an “I love you” always came after an “I’m sorry, I’ll never do it again.” But of course, it happened again. She admitted she doesn’t know how to be in a relationship. It was so heartbreaking to watch her admit how she really feels, but it was also nice that she was opening up and finally dealing with her past.
It really was a lot for Upstead hearts to handle. We finally got them together, and it almost seemed like she was going to pull away. This ship won’t be all fun, but I’m here for Tracey’s amazing performance. She makes you feel everything Upton is going through.
Voight has definitely been more of a mentor this season. He’s playing by the rules, probably for the first time in his career.
Hailey didn’t like him psychoanalyzing her at first. We know this is her motto. When someone tries to sympathize with her about her past, she gets defensive. But I think Voight got through to her. That’s probably why she went home to open up to Jay, finally.
We’re so used to the Voight that it does whatever it takes to catch the bad guy. It’s taking some getting used to this new role he’s playing, but it almost feels right, too. It would be nice to have a Voight-centric episode sometime soon to dive deeper into this new Voight.
What did you think of Tracey’s emotional performance? Do you think this means a rocky road for Upstead? Tweet me @MandyTTCarr or comment below.